As we discussed in a previous post, 8 seconds is all that you have to get attention from viewers. Do You Know the 8 Second Rule? –

( via @Shareaholic)
With only 8 seconds and competing with an average of 121 emails daily sent to your readers, your emails need pizazz to stand out and get opened. That pizazz or something extra for  your email message to make it to your intended reader is by improving readability of your email copy.

Increased Readability= More Clicks

Studies show that 79% of readers admit to only skimming Web content. So, you must make it easier to skim.

This is done by:

  • Making lists
  • Including bullet points
  • Breaking up the copy with bold subheads
  • Small paragraphs of only 3-4 sentences
  • Inserting images or videos to better attract eyes and increase understanding of your copy
  • Using simple words instead of complex ones

Give plenty of “white space”.  This is the white background around the copy which provides a location for the eyes to rest before they continue to scan.

Good email flow eliminates flowery prose and instead provides concise, short , and clear content, leading to your call-to-action which is what you want your viewers to do when they’ve read your email campaign.

Spend time drafting your subject line. Only one out of every three people will open your email based on the subject line so it must be relevant to them as well as in sync wth you, your practice or business and your services.

How to Calculate Readability

The Flesch-Kincaid test is the most well-known parameter to determine readability and it is accessible from your “word” application in most cases. Many browsers have downloadable plugins to determine readability as well so give your copy a quick check before hitting the send button.

Image: Wikipedia

You don’t have to work out the formula!

This is automatic. The Flesch-Kincaid formula uses word and syllable counts to assign your text a number, usually between 0 and 100. The scale tops out at around 120, but there is theoretically no lower limit: 0 value denotes very confusing text, while text with a score of 100 is very simple.

Generally,  clean-and-simple email will score around 70 or higher.

When done, reread your copy to make sure your message has the intended meaning. After all, the goal of email copy is to steer your reader towards your CTA, and your reader might not make it there if there are obstacles along the way.

Make sure that your message looks good on mobile devices. This is how most people view their emails now and 72% of people will delete it if it doesn’t look good on mobile.


Check out these MarketingProfs articles:


Need more help?

Check this book out at