In a post at Email Marketing Reports, Mark Brownlow presents a screenshot that looks like a page from a 19th-century novel: lengthy paragraphs filled with sentences of uniform length.

That, he notes emphatically, is not how your email messages should look.

"In fact, you wouldn't read the words if that was an email," he says. "The wall of text is a barrier that few will bother scaling. No matter how good the writing, how valuable the information, how trusted the source, response is sacrificed because the paragraph length demands more reading effort than some are prepared to commit."

It's all psychological. The same information that looks ponderous in two paragraphs appears easy-to-digest when broken into five paragraphs. In other words, the rules you learned at school about fully developed paragraphs simply don't apply to online communication.

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