Cold email is a powerful yet difficult marketing outreach skill to master. Of course, many factors affect the results of your efforts – the content, subject lines, personalization, time of day and more.

However, one key aspect you shouldn’t overlook is the length of the email. Prospects tend to ignore long texts and become disinterested in short ones. It's important to find the right balance to engage them and guide them through the funnel.

In this article, let's dig into what's the ideal length of a cold email – plus some tips and tricks for how to get maximum impact from your cold outreach.

Why Does Cold Email Length Matter?

The length of your cold emails plays a crucial role, far more than you might expect. The right balance can be the key to shifting from OK open rates to impressive click-through rates and ultimately, a higher number of appointments and closed deals.

While optimizing subject lines and intros can indeed enhance open rates, the real game-changer lies in what comes after the email is opened. It's about the content and the call to action – that’s what truly influences your cold emails’ effectiveness.

Remember, these rates are critical because they directly show how effectively you move prospects from reading your email to engaging in meaningful conversations.

Look at it this way –  people receive a plethora of emails daily. Sure, a good subject line might draw them in but a lengthy, text-heavy email will lead to quick dismissal. They might ignore it, archive it or worse, mark it as spam.

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That's why it's vital to keep your cold emails concise. Short, direct messages respect the prospect's time and are more likely to be read and acted upon. Each word in your email should serve a purpose, pushing the reader towards the action you want them to take.

So, as you craft your cold emails, always prioritize brevity and clarity to maximize the chances of your outreach leading to tangible results.

How Long Should Cold Emails Be?

Unfortunately, there's no "perfect" word count for cold emails. Fortunately, there is plenty of research to help get us into a ballpark.

Boomerang found that emails ranging from 50 to 125 words tend to receive the highest response rates. They say shorter emails are more likely to be read and acted upon because they respect the prospect's time and don’t overwhelm them.

But Klenty suggests a slightly longer range of 100 to 150 words. That way your email is concise yet comprehensive enough to effectively convey value. This sentiment is also backed up by data from Growleady.

At EmailAnalytics, they say optimal length can vary depending on the prospect's device. For mobile users, shorter emails are preferable due to smaller screens and shorter attention spans, while desktop users may engage more with longer messages.

Finally, Constant Contact found that emails with approximately 20 lines of text, which usually amount to about 200 words, perform well in terms of engagement and click-through rates.

So, what can we gather from all of this? The ideal cold email length is between 50 to 200 words. It’s long enough to convey the necessary information and call to action but short enough to maintain the prospect's engagement and increase response chances.

Factors that Influence Cold Email Length

When it’s time to determine the optimal length for your cold email, here are a few key factors to keep in mind:

Audience Expectations

Different audiences have different expectations and preferences regarding email communication. For instance, a startup founder might prefer quick, to-the-point messages. Whereas, someone in a more technical field might expect more detailed information.

Tailor your email’s length and content to fit the norms of your industry and the lead’s specific preferences.

Content Intent and Your Objectives

The purpose of your email significantly dictates its ideal length. If your goal is to introduce a product or service, a concise email that clearly highlights its benefits is crucial. However, if you want to book a meeting or call, providing just enough information to pique interest without being overly pushy is key.

Each objective might require different lengths; for example, sharing high-level information could be done in fewer words, while proposing a detailed business idea might need a bit more space to be clear and persuasive​.

Personalization and Targeting

Personalization is crucial in making your cold email stand out, but it doesn’t mean the email has to be lengthy. Effective personalization involves mentioning specific details relevant to the prospect, such as referencing a recent achievement or noting a mutual connection. This shows that you have done your research without adding unnecessary length to the email. Remember, it should complement the brevity of the email so it’s focused and direct​.

In short, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to how long a cold email should be. It depends on your industry, the complexity of your message and your relationship with the prospect.

How to Optimize Cold Email Length

So, how do you actually write a cold email that’s not too short or too long? Here are a few tips and tricks to get you on the right track.

Streamline Your Message

Begin by honing your sentence structure. Aim for brevity and clarity with these techniques:

  • Use an active voice to make your sentences more dynamic.
  • Eliminate unnecessary words that don’t add value to your message.
  • Keep to one idea per sentence to maintain focus and readability.

This approach helps keep your content sharp and to the point, so you don’t dilute your core message.

Use Targeted Personalization

Again, we have to highlight and stress the importance of personalization. It goes beyond just name-dropping. It’s crafting emails that speak to your lead on a personal level.

Here’s how you do that effectively:

Step 1: Get the Right Data

First, you want to use Findymail to get accurate and reliable B2B contact information – of course, you especially want emails.

You can get email addresses for leads by searching online, like finding emails on LinkedIn profiles.

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Another handy feature is using it as a formula in Google Sheets. This lets you find email addresses for your leads even if you don't have a B2B contact database.

Since Findymail only returns the most current information, you don’t have to worry about data decay or undelivered emails.

You can also retrieve and verify email addresses from platforms like Sales Navigator and Apollo. This ensures that you're sending your message to the correct recipient, giving you confidence in your outreach efforts.

Also, Findymail’s Datacare feature helps clean and re-enrich your CRM, so data integrity is maintained from the get-go. It uses a proprietary algorithm to find and confirm email addresses and accurate contact information that you can use immediately.

Step 2: Get Deeper Insights on Prospects

Next, you need to understand your prospects to create relevant emails. Leverage tools like Sales Navigator or ZoomInfo for lead and CRM enrichment to gather detailed information about your prospects’ roles, challenges, team size, technology used and company news. Then you can integrate these tools with your CRM systems to get a holistic, comprehensive view of your prospects and unlock highly personalized outreach.

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Step 3: Start Crafting Your Emails

With the right data in your CRM, you can craft tailored emails that perfectly fit different ideal customer profiles (ICPs). For example, let’s say one of your ICPs is a B2B SaaS that struggles to scale, then you can create messages to tackle their specific pain points.

Here’s an example of how you could structure such an email within the optimal cold email length:

Subject Line: Scale Your SaaS Operations Seamlessly

Hi [Name],

I've noticed that many SaaS companies face significant challenges as they scale, particularly when it comes to integrating complex systems and managing increased customer demand. This hurdle might be all too familiar to you at [Company Name].

Our specially designed solution can help by:

  • Automating essential processes to improve operational efficiency.
  • Providing robust analytics tools to track performance and identify growth opportunities.
  • Enhancing customer support capabilities to handle increased demand without compromising service quality.

I would love the opportunity to show you how we can help [Company Name] streamline operations and prepare for sustainable growth. Are you available for a quick call next week to explore this further?

Best regards,

[Your Name]

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As you can see, it’s personalized, offers value, a clear CTA and, most importantly, it’s under 150 words. The prospect can quickly read and decide if it’s a fit for them.

Use Visual Breaks

The layout of your email can significantly impact readability. To make your email skimmable and easy on the eyes:

  • Use bullet points to highlight key information.
  • Break up large blocks of text into shorter paragraphs.
  • Employ strategic line breaks and whitespace to enhance visual flow.

Utilizing formatting techniques highlights important points and improves email navigation, as shown in the template above.

Always Test and Refine

Leverage A/B testing to experiment with different email lengths and content structures. Monitor key metrics like open rates, click-through rates and conversion rates to identify which variations resonate most with your audience. This iterative process lets you refine your approach and adapt to what works best for your target audience​.

Remember, the key to successful cold emailing lies in balancing brevity and info so that each word serves a purpose and contributes to your overall goal of closing the deal.

Best Practices for Ideal Cold Email Length

Here are some best practices to keep in mind when optimizing your cold email length:

Prioritize Content Quality

Quality is the cornerstone of every cold email. It's not just about what you say, but how you say it.

Begin by ensuring your message is targeted, engaging and offers clear value to the prospect. Focus on precision in language and clarity in your call to action.

Quality also involves carefully editing your email for grammar and coherence, ensuring every word supports your objective. Well-crafted emails enhance readability and can greatly influence the prospect's perception of your professionalism and the credibility of your message.

Craft a Compelling Subject Line

Your subject line acts as the headline of your email and is critical in making a first impression. Effective subject lines are usually concise – aim for 50 to 60 characters – to avoid being cut off in most email clients. They should spark curiosity or offer a clear benefit that aligns with the prospect's interests or needs.

Think of your subject line as a gatekeeper; it should be compelling enough to convince someone to open the email without being misleading. Testing various subject lines through A/B testing can also provide insights into what resonates best with your audience.

Clarify the Core Message

Clarity in your core message involves more than just knowing what you want to say; it requires an understanding of the prospect's perspective and how your message fits into their world. Define the primary purpose of your email: Is it to inform, request, convince or sell?

Anchor your content around this purpose and ensure every element of the email supports this goal. This focused approach prevents the common pitfall of diverging into less relevant details and helps maintain the necessary conciseness for effective communication.

Simplify Your Writing

Simplicity in writing is key to enhancing comprehension and engagement. Use plain language and short sentences to make your points. Avoid using complex language that might confuse readers. Instead, use a friendly, conversational tone that mirrors face-to-face communication. Simple language helps keep your emails brief and to the point, improving the likelihood that prospects will read through and engage with your content.

Edit Effectively

Effective editing involves more than correcting typos; it's about honing your message to be as clear and impactful as possible. After drafting your email, take a step back and review it with fresh eyes. Look for ways to condense your language, remove redundancy and enhance clarity.

Ask yourself if each sentence and word serves a purpose. If not, cut it. 

This process not only tightens your email but also sharpens the focus on your key message, making it more likely to resonate with the prospect.

Know Your Audience

Understanding your audience is crucial in tailoring your email's tone, length and content. Different sectors and roles may have varying preferences for email communication.

For instance, a C-level executive might prefer straight-to-the-point summaries, while a technical manager may appreciate more detail on the functionalities. Research your prospect's industry, role and company culture to better align your email with their expectations and increase its effectiveness.

Adjust According to Email Format

The format of your email should reflect its purpose and the relationship you have with the prospect. An initial outreach email, for example, should generally be shorter and more focused on introducing yourself and your value proposition.

On the other hand, a follow-up might include more detail or recap previous communications to build on existing engagement. Matching the email's format to its function helps ensure that your message is appropriate and effective.

Include a Clear Call to Action

No email should end without a clear call to action (CTA). Whether it’s asking for a reply, scheduling a meeting or directing the prospect to a resource, your CTA should be explicit and easy to find. It directs the prospect's next steps and significantly influences the likelihood of engagement.

Make sure CTA is specific, relevant and easy to act on, providing a seamless transition from the email to the desired action.

Getting Cold Email Length Right With Findymail

Just like a well-crafted elevator pitch, a cold email should be concise and compelling and deliver its message efficiently within a brief window of opportunity. The right length of a cold email is crucial—it should be long enough to convey your message clearly but short enough to maintain the reader's attention and respect their time.

Many experts agree the ideal length is between 50 - 200 words. However, getting the balance right can mean the difference between a new connection and a missed opportunity.

But how long the cold email is is only part of the puzzle. The data you have on prospects can make or break your business. That’s why Findymail is essential to have in your toolkit.

Here’s how Findymail can enhance your outreach once you've perfected your email length:

  • Find and verify email addresses to ensure you reach the right people while maintaining your sender reputation.
  • Make sure your CRM has the most current and accurate contact information.
  • With rich data insights, Findymail allows for deeper personalization, making each email feel tailor-made for the lead.
  • Findymail automates and simplifies the maintenance of your contact lists, keeping your data fresh and actionable.

If you're ready to take your cold emailing to the next level, sign up for Findymail today.