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Boost Your Email ROI by Improving Your Copy's Readability

by Trisha Randolph  |  
July 17, 2017

As an email marketer, you test subject lines and calls to action for optimal performance, but are you submitting your copy to the ultimate test? If you're not testing your copy for readability, you may be missing out on clicks, conversions, and revenue.

Why Does Readability Matter?

When on average office workers receive 121 emails per day, fighting for your reader's attention is a brutal free-for-all. And that fight isn't getting any easier: The average attention span is now just eight seconds.

More than ever, it's important to make your emails stand out in a sea of content and grab your reader's attention quickly. Optimizing emails for readability is your ticket to beating the ticking attention clock.

Even when readers open one of those 121 emails, they're not devoting their full attention to it; they are merely skimming the material. Fully 79% of readers admit to skimming Web content.

Accordingly, the more you can say with fewer words, the more your audience takes away. Content that is clear, concise, and easily understood passes the readability test, ensuring that readers reach your call to action (CTA) before mentally checking out.

Highly readable copy also curbs confusion. Anyone who's worked in an office has a story about a miscommunication (or two, or 12) caused by unclear email. When you're lucky enough to grab your reader's attention, you don't want to waste that opportunity with unclear copy. Readable emails let your reader know exactly where you stand.

Finally, improving readability may determine whether your reader opens your email at all. There is no universal standard for subject line lengths, but there's no doubt that the space for grabbing attention here is limited. One-third of people decide whether to open an email solely on the subject line's contents, so getting your message across quickly is critical. The same applies for your teaser, or preheader, text.

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Trisha Randolph is director of marketing at PostUp, an email, mobile, Web, and social marketing platform designed to help publishers, brands, and marketers build grow and engage their audiences.

LinkedIn: Trisha Randolph

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  • by Grant wilson Fri Jul 28, 2017 via web

    Good thing regarding ROI...

  • by Steve Maarten Thu Dec 7, 2017 via web features a great tool that provides scoring using Flesch-Kincaid and several other algorithms. It also includes useful stats as to long words, long sentences, passive voice, etc.

    I've also created a cheat sheet of the essential tips to improve readability.:

  • by Connor Tue Jun 12, 2018 via web

    The readability of your copy is definitely one way that your contacts will decide whether to engage with you. However, you also need to be aware of the people you are speaking to.

    Make sure you use a conversational tone and language that your contacts can relate to. If your contacts are experts in their field then they will react differently to a beginner. Your tone should also be reflective of your brand and can be used to build relationships with your customers.

    Also consider whether what you are saying adds value. It's great to create a piece of content with high readability but it needs to tell your contacts something new or interesting.

    In a recent blog post about email copywriting, we discussed how copy needs to be:

    - Friendly
    - Consistent
    - Approachable
    - Emotive, and
    - Assertive

    Read more here:

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