Why Care About Email Readability?

Overcrowded inboxes are ever present in businesses everywhere. There are now so many emails vying for your attention, why should anyone read yours? If your email is difficult to trawl through, people will scrap it immediately. So make them easy to read. Make them readable. Email readability is becoming more and more important, for both engaging your recipients and getting your email delivered to the right place (the inbox not the junk folder). We’ve been reading up about readability in email, and we’ve got a few points we feel important to share.

What is readability?

Readability is what it says on the tin. It refers to the ease with which your copy can be read. Readability measures provide a score to quantify reading ease, with the most popular (The Flesch Kincaid) providing a ‘reading age’ referring to the age needed to easily read your copy. If your content is too complicated, people won’t understand and will struggle to get through your writing. Too easy, and you’re likely missing something important.

It will be down to you to decide what age is best for you to target, as it will vary depending on your audience. You will be best placed to know what works best. Use this insider knowledge to write at the level which resonates to your leads and customers. Typically, we recommend between 7 and 10, with the reading age rising for more in-depth pieces of content as well.

Why should I care?

Getting your readability right will help ensure that your content displays the clear messaging you want. It will be immediately obvious what your email is about, and your recipient will be able to identify what your desired action is (what you want them to do). As a result, your click-through rates will increase, and with that increase, your sales will too in the long run.

How can I improve my readability?

If you’re worried that your readability isn’t quite hitting the mark, there are several easy ways to improve the content for better email readability.

Simplicity: Break up long sentences, use simple language and keep paragraphs short. 2-3 sentences max.

Reading Ease: The content you’ve spent ages beautifully crafting is wasted if there’s no one to read it. Consider how easy your email is for you to read. This includes the format of your email. Does the text colour stand out from the background? Is your font easy to read, and is the size appropriate?

Grouping: Break your text up into sections. This helps compartmentalise your text, so people can take the information in more easily. Use bullet points if appropriate, and group relevant information together.

Tone: Add some zing to your writing. Personality can make reading your copy an awful lot easier. Sending a standard sales email isn’t exciting, and the likelihood is your audience will switch off before the end of the first line. Try something a bit different. Add a conversational tone to your emails. It’s easier and more personable to read.

How can I assess my reading age?

There are several ways of seeing what your reading age is. There are online apps which can help. The one we typically use is called the Hemingway Editor. It is a free online tool, which identifies hard to read sentences, as well as complex phrases, passive voice and adverbs, so you can adapt to make your copy ‘great’.

Our impending in-product AI tool will also tell you your readability if it requires adapting for your audience. Based on your own sending audience, AI learns what reading age works best. This information is then used to flag any content not in-line with your audiences’ preferences.

Add some panache to your email, consider where you can improve, and work to your audiences’ tastes. Keeping content relevant to your audience will improve the action prompted. Take a read through our MD’s own words on how to make your writing wise beyond belief with readability.


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