Should your newsletter be lengthy, short and sweet, or somewhere in-between?

Determining the length of your newsletter can be tricky. You don’t want to ramble on and on (and on and on ….) yet, you want to provide value and give your subscribers something worthwhile in return for signing up.

So what is the optimal length for a newsletter?

Well, given we’ve (apparently) all got ADD when it comes to online content, you’d assume that if the key take-away isn’t understood within the first five seconds, the communication has failed.

So … short and sweet is the ideal length?

Not necessarily.

The ideal length very much depends on what you have to say and who you’re saying it to.

You see, people will read long (and short) newsletters if it’s of value to them. But, and this is a big but, you’ve got to prove to them within those first five seconds that it’s worth their time and effort.

And that’s the tricky part.

Packing a punch

Longer newsletters – upwards of 1000 words – require more investment, on your side and from your readers.

They require research, strong headlines, leading sub-headings and flow.

And if done well, they can create more meaningful relationships and a loyal following.

Keeping it short and sweet

Short newsletters – around 250 words or so – are less risky. They’ll take less time to write, and less time to read.

But …

… with shorter newsletters, you may find that the content isn’t meaty enough. There’s nothing of real value contained within it. And over time, this may cause your subscribers to start unsubscribing.

With no one-size-fits-all answer, what’s a VA to do?

If you’re creating a news item, giving facts or outlining a principle or idea, short newsletters are often the way to go.

If you want to demonstrate in-depth knowledge on a particular subject, build an argument or tell a story, longer newsletters can often be more suitable.

Stand out, be memorable

But ultimately when it comes to sending out newsletters, your aim is to use it as a marketing tool.

Simply sending out a newsletter with a sales message each time will result in people getting fed up with the in-your-face sales tactic, that they’ll leave.

The idea of your newsletter is to retain your subscribers by producing interesting, engaging content, that when they decide they need a VA, who will they turn to first?

The VA who sent out sales messages each week or month?

The one who sent out dull newsletters?

Or the one who provided information relevant to their industry, or interesting stories, or thought-provoking articles?

It’s a no-brainer.

So when it comes to your newsletter length, mix it up.

Send both.

Stand out from all the other newsletters that are geared solely towards the ADD population, by sending lengthy informative content when you’ve got something meaty to say. But drop in those snappier bite-size pieces from time-to-time to spark ideas, thoughts or just to add a little humour to your subscribers day.

If you send newsletters out, what length do you favour?