Are Longer Emails Better? Why Scrolling May Be Your Friend

Hey, you! Want to go down a slide? No, not our slides. But it’ll be fun. Ready? Let’s go:

Wasn’t that cool? I made you scroll for a really long time.

Scrolling used to be considered a hindrance to conversions on most sites, but not anymore. Facebook, Twitter and other social networks made it okay, even enjoyable.

That explains why you’re seeing more and more sites that look like this. Saucony’s website design is known as parallax scrolling. This is a design technique that makes background images move slower than images in the foreground, creating the illusion of depth and immersion for the person scrolling on the site. You can see more examples of it here.

But this is website talk. What about emails? Is it better to have longer emails? Well… maybe. Let’s dive into this concept a little further.

Why Scrolling IS Working on Websites

Here are the three main reasons this type of design has really picked up in recent years:

  • It’s visually appealing – you’ll notice that the length does not mean it’s content-dense. These websites rely more on images and whitespace to achieve their desired effect.
  • It tells a story – we know that people like stories. On the communication theory side, Walter Fisher’s Narrative Paradigm theory says that all meaningful communication is a form of storytelling. On the marketing side, we see it trending in content and businesses are paying to keep up with the trend.
  • It’s fun to interact with – yeah, it’s pretty awesome.

What About Emails?

Traditional best practices in email marketing will tell you to keep your emails short. People have short attention spans and you have to plan for that. Some people even use scripts to block emails that have too many words.

But remember that sites that use parallax scrolling don’t have a lot of words. It’s the design elements that make it so long. That makes this something to consider for email.

Here are three takeaways for applying this technique to email:

  • More whitespace and images might be worth a test, even if it makes the email longer.
  • The call to action doesn’t have to be “above the fold.” Many of the websites include a call to action at the end of all that scrolling.
  • Look at what keeps your subscribers engaged. Are they more likely to click on your links if you have something fun that leads them down to your call to action?

What Do You Think?

Do you think this design on websites will lose its magic? Do you think longer, more image-heavy emails will start to emerge?