Do you send email newsletters to supporters?

Do you ever email your board with important updates or questions?

Are you using email campaigns to raise money?

If so, you’ll want to pay attention to the information Google just released.

They have a plugin called Boomerang that lets users schedule messages for specific times and monitor responses. That means they have data and insights based on more than 40 million email messages. In other words, their study can help you send better email.

Here’s what they found.

#1 – Emotional messages work better.

Messages that are positive or negative beat messages that are neutral.  Whether it’s customer service feedback or checking in on a friend, they recommend adding a little emotion (but not too much).  If you’re an angry elf, your message is going to be ignored.  But if you’re too passive, people won’t think you care.

#2 – The ideal message contains 50-125 words.  

Boomerang says emails in this range got a response 50% of the time.  Just like the emotion thing, you want your message to be short, but not too short.  25 word messages and 2,000 word messages produced the same response rate.  “If you need to send War and Peace, you might want to send it as an attachment,” they say.

#3 – The idea subject length is 3-4 words.

Based on their look at 40 million emails and what got response, Boomerang says this is the subject line sweet spot.  If it’s longer, it might come across spammy.  If it’s shorter, it looks like you put zero thought into it. The subject line of your message is actually the most important part.

#4 – Use simple words.

Writing at a third grade reading level will get you a 36% better response than a message written at college reading level. I’m not telling that to my English professors.

#5 – Ask questions.

Emails with questions more likely to get a response.  So if you want a response, ask for it.

Read more about the Boomerang for Gmail study here.