I received an email from a salesperson this week that was similar to many I receive: giant blocks of text, staring at me, unyielding, from my screen.

I was immediately exhausted and the delete button became my savior.

Interesting that Marketing Profs had an article last week discussing this very issue, titled Two Sure Ways to Make Your Email Copy Sing.

Per the article:

“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.”


Ad Agency Prospecting

I’m now officially adopting the phrase “wall of text.”

Take a look at the emails you’re sending prospects, do you see the dreaded “wall of text?”

If so, you’ve got to re-think your efforts. Per the article:

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.

I have to consistently remind myself of this.

All those semesters of English and English lit curse me when I break up a few paragraphs into double or triple that amount, but email, as I remind my inner English Lit, is an altogether different animal.

Marketing Profs lists two ways to help write emails that will break through:

1) Write paragraphs that occupy as little as one line but don’t exceed six lines. “This … issue becomes more pressing as screen displays narrow, thanks to the spread of smartphones, netbooks and other mobile devices,” Brownlow notes.

2) Reduce the sense of monotony by varying the length of your paragraphs and sentences. “Throw in the occasional one-line paragraph or a three-word sentence and you may annoy your English professor,” he explains. “But you give the reading landscape contours and diversity. The content looks like a melody of words, not a dirge.”

Good advice for Ad Agency New Business.

Use these rules as initial guidelines for your prospecting emails and save those wonderfully developed paragraphs for that great American novel you’ve been writing for the past decade or so.

I'm the VP of Sales at RSW/US. We specialize in working with services firms to help drive and close new business-if you need help with that, email me at lee@rswus.com. What I actually do: drive sales efforts to bring ad agencies and services firms on board with RSW, create content around successful new business tactics and help drive RSW/US marketing objectives, including social media channels, blog content, webinars, video and speaking engagements. Dig it.