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Content Development for Email


The following information is a guide for developing your email content in relation to the set-up to optimize the recipient's user experience and the final delivery of the email message(s).


  • Develop and apply copy that is easy to scan content, using clear and direct copy.
  • Prioritize the content by making headlines and navigation obvious and relevant.
  • Limit the number of topics covered in messages. Typically stick to one topic per email.
  • Be aware of cultural sensitivities, and avoid obscure acronyms in the email copy and in selecting images.
  • Information should be relevant to the purpose of the page, not made up of jargon.
  • Optimize for copy for the mobile experience, email copy should be at a readability level of the 8th grade;
  Easy Articles Hard Articles

Average Length

404 Words

988 Words

Average Reading Level

8th Grade

12th Grade

(Reading Content on Mobile Devices,12/11/16 Kate Meyer, Nielsen Norman Group)

Implementing a Tone-of-Voice

Apply the correct voice with respect to the email audience and the email topic.

There are 4 primary tone-of-voice dimensions;

  • Funny vs Serious
  • Formal vs Casual
  • Respectful vs Irreverent
  • Enthusiastic vs Matter-of-Fact


All components of the email message should be relevant to the recipient. This includes the following:

  • Schedule; a message should be sent in a timely manner in preparation or following the subject matter.
  • Sender Profile; it's best to apply an organization or event, versus a specific individual when sending a mass communication. This builds trust and sender reputation, which impacts how individuals report a SPAM Complaint.
  • Content; this includes both copy and images.
    • Imagery: images should be applied when they related to the subject matter.
    • Copy: this includes the subject line (stay CAN-SPAM compliant), the pre-header text, and the copy set-up inside of the email.
      • Do not include document or video files to the email.

Connecting to the Website +

Email is an extension of the website and should cater back to the website or a specific landing page for the purpose of exchange; i.e., event registration or an opt-in opportunity for future nurturing or e-commerce.Social media can make or break you, everything is not meant for sharing.

Use active and relevant words for inline links. Do not use 'click here', or like terms, instead apply inline links to call out the related content, for example:

"...Graduate School of Business lecturer and coach ALLISON KLUGER teaches nascent entrepreneurs how to communicate like leaders. She shares four tips....." ('The Dish', Stanford Report, October 3, 2017)