Are Your Emails Too Long?

My mouse died yesterday. I’m struggling, big time. I just, I just don’t know if I can take it.

I’m using a backup now. The backup is a wired Logitech piece. It’s sufficient, but it’s definitely not my Microsoft Surface Mouse. No, not the Arc. Ain’t nobody got time for a mouse that bends. This, though, is the Microsoft Surface Mouse, a thing of utilitarian non-Mac personal computing peripheral art:

(Source: Microsoft)


No, I have been using the standard Microsoft Surface wireless/Bluetooth mouse for almost a year. Almost. Not quite. Not even a year. That’s how long my mouse lasted. It’s dead now, though. Dead, and I can’t revive it. I tried CPR, I tried surgery. But alas, it’s dead. I may bury it this weekend. Or, maybe someone at Microsoft will see this and recognize the value in replacing my now defunct, but much appreciated mouse.

But how did it die? How did something so simple die? Did I drop it? Did it run out of batteries? Did aliens assume possession of its body and shut down its organs as part of their species analysis? No, none of the above. Instead, the scroll wheel is no more. The mouse no longer scrolls. It’s in otherwise great shape, and I just replaced the batteries a couple weeks ago.

So, how and why did the scroll wheel give up the ghost? Again, maybe Microsoft will see the value in a post-mortem autopsy? But my immediate thought is that I look through too many emails that are far too long – sometimes several hundred a day.

How many elements are you including in your emails? How long is your content? Are you truncating content, sending people to your website to read more? Or are you dropping a novel into your email expecting people to read it? If so, are you also expecting them to scroll through the complete email to find your call(s)-to-action? Do you have additional/supplemental elements to your emails that are extending their length and adding complexity? How many people are clicking on your last call-to-action? Do you know the ratio of openers that are glancing, skimming, or reading?

Obviously, I’m distraught about my mouse. It was a good mouse. I worked well, was sleek, and matched my keyboard. Now I am using a regular old general issue Logitech piece. It works well, too, but every turn of that scroll wheel reminds me that far too many marketers and organizations – including my own, in many cases – send emails that are far too long, diffusing the focus of content, fragmenting reader concentration from the primary purpose of each piece, and allowing our innately short (and continually shrinking) attention spans to distract us and reduce the depth of our engagement with the email content.


Alright, enough from me, I think I need to go test subscriber engagement rate effects from various template lengths.


Do you feel emails (and other forms of marketing content and collateral) are too long? Has your Microsoft Surface mouse succumbed to the same ailment? Should Microsoft read this and send me a replacement for the simple fact that I mentioned Microsoft nine times in this post?


Did you just go back and count the number of times Microsoft was mentioned (now ten)?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *