Leave The Stuffing In The Turkey: Why You Shouldn’t Overstuff Your Emails

stuffed turkey

In America, Thanksgiving makes us think of fall, family, football and, of course, a big holiday meal with turkey and all the trimmings. But this Thanksgiving, no matter where you are, heed our warning – stay away from “stuffing!”

We’re talking about email “stuffing,” of course – when you try to cram way too much into one long message. And most of it may not even be what your subscribers want to hear about.

People get very busy and overwhelmed during the holidays. They don’t have time to read long emails to find what they’re looking for. So here’s what we suggest: clean up your emails to keep them short, succinct and relevant.

Why A Cleaner Email Is Better

Out of the nearly 145 billion emails sent every day, recipients classify only 14% of them as important. We’ve mentioned before that online consumers have incredibly short attention spans, and with all of the emails they have to sort through – especially over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend – you’ll want to serve them up something shorter and sweeter to get their attention.

So how do you “unstuff” your Thanksgiving emails to make sure they’re not just brief but remembered?

Start Preparing Your Content Now: Determine What Not To Include

Planning ahead will help you determine what’s important and what you can leave out. Decide now what your top specials will be and how you’ll want to talk about them. Advertising a lot of sales? Instead of one large email you send on Thanksgiving, break it up into pieces. Set up a series of smaller messages, each with different sales items, to run throughout the week.

Set up your emails and schedule when they’re sent.

Target Customers: Just Send What They’re Interested In

Sending targeted emails allows you to keep your messages not only relevant but brief. This way, subscribers can scroll through to quickly locate only deals they want. Organize your subscribers into segments based on their preferences and create a different message, or set of messages, for each group.

For example, a pet store might want to target dog owners and cat owners with separate emails. Dog owners won’t care about the cat deals – and vice versa – so it’s better if they receive only the specials they’re interested in.

Want more about segmenting? Check out our guide.

Market Beyond Email: Don’t Try To Cram In Everything

Utilize all of your marketing channels. Keep your emails to-the-point by just highlighting a few of your specials. Then use your website, blog and social media pages to announce the rest of your sales and reach your customers wherever they connect with you.

Post your broadcasts right to Facebook and Twitter from your AWeber account.

More Thanksgiving “Dishes”

Now that you know how to avoid “stuffing,” you should also consider:

  • Cooking up a great “appetizer” – the subject line. This is the time to announce what subscribers will get when they open your email and to tease your specials. It’s best to be clear and not get too creative.
  • Serving a little “corn.” When sending holiday emails, it’s ok to sometimes be a bit corny. If it’s appropriate for your business, have a little witty fun with your content or dress up your email with a seasonal template.
  • Dishing up the best part of Thanksgiving dinner – dessert. People love “sweets” so offer up an exclusive sweet treat, like a special coupon or product offer, just for your email subscribers.

What’s Your Best Trick For “Unstuffing?”

How do you keep your emails short and sweet? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!



  1. Marie

    11/21/2013 6:00 pm

    My first draft is always way too wordy. I tighten up sentences, remove unnecessary words, and separate paragraphs until my news is in small readable chunks. I also love the AWeber option to put a 2- or 3-line preview of a blog post with a “read more” link to click if the reader is interested. I like your appetizer + corn + sweets suggestion too!

  2. Suzanne Reilley

    11/23/2013 5:06 pm

    One of my favorite tips comes from the copywriter, Matthew Goldfarb. Write what you’re going to say as if you’re talking to someone else. Then write, “in other words” and recap the essence …the meat of what you were trying to say. It’s that second one that you’re going to send out to your readers.

    It’s so simple and I find it really works.