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Cold email

Data says: The Shorter, the Better for Your Cold Email

Our data shows that the optimal cold email length is between 25 and 50 words. Here's why, and how to write an effective, short email.

Two sales reps review the length of their emails on laptops while sitting side by side in a lavender field.

Gong recently published data showing that follow-up sales emails with more than four sentences generated more meetings.

And we get asked about this quite a lot.

"I'm sure you've seen the Gong data that says longer emails work better."

Let's talk about that data...

Gong's analysis of follow-up emails shows that follow-up sales emails with 4+ sentences get 15x more meetings than follow-up sales emails with three or fewer sentences.

People see this and think, "I need to write a longer cold email."

I get why. If you glance at it, you might miss a key phrase, "follow up."

Follow-ups are a type of cold email, but it's not how you open up the conversation.

The data for those emails, your openers, is much more conclusive: Short is better.

You'll notice a peak around that 225 range. It's an interesting data point, but it's still sub-optimal compared to aiming for an email between 25-50 words.

We're tracking it. With the right content, maybe it's the next "pattern break."

Your Prospects Aren't Thinking About You

There's a much more interesting conversation around Gong's data. Your follow-ups need context!

We often forget. Prospects don't think about us nearly as much as we think about them.

They're not thinking about you at all.

You may not realize it, but "bubbling up" your follow-up is asking a lot. Without any idea of who you are and why you're there... you're assuming they'll drop everything to read another email?

As our advisor, Amy Volas, would say, "That's a hard no."

Proper follow-up requires redundancy. You have to repeat why you're there. You have to give your recipient the context.

Our brains crave context.

It's why you should introduce yourself at the start of a cold call. Otherwise, they'd wonder, "who is this?!" the whole time you're talking.

Explain Yourself With This Framework

There's similar truth to email. We need to explain why we're showing up. It's why one of our favorite frameworks starts with context:

Context = {Observation} + {Insight / Problem}

An example:

I think your whole team posted about open roles this week. Guessing you're scaling pretty quickly.

With that, I imagine you've got a plan in place for ramp.

If you're going by Gong's data, you're already well on our way to a meeting with those three sentences. 😉

Know what's great about using this framework? You can rephrase this context in several different ways. You can reuse the context. Use it in a cold email, or follow-ups... you should reference it whenever you can.

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