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Short and Sweet: When Your Emails Say More with Less


As a writer, I have to swallow the bitter pill of truth when it comes to online copy; often, less is better. So when I got a brief but effective email from Pandora (the free online radio station, not the mythical world featured in Avatar), I could appreciate their brevity.

This email was a follow-up to my free trial of Pandora One, the upgraded version of Pandora. I was immediately struck by the simplicity and effectiveness of the messaging. Pandora follows some basic, smart rules of online marketing:

  • Clear subject line. Not only do I know whom it’s from, but I also appreciate them showing their customer appreciation.
  • Recap of benefits. As a reminder of what I’ll be missing out on with the free version, Pandora restates all the compelling benefits of upgrading. The photo of the Pandora One app is a nice visual reminder, too.
  • Simple CTA. The call-to-action is clear and attractive.
  • Open to suggestions. The email signs off with a request for customer suggestions, comments or questions, underlining the company’s desire to keep their audience happy.

As much as it may pain a writer to admit that less can be more, I have to give Pandora props for this brief and concise email. I’ll take that cue and keep this post short, too.