The Power of Readability: 9 Ways To Write Simple, Clear Emails That Convert

May 30, 2023
 min read

The sales landscape continues to get more difficult. 

Your emails have to do more than just land in their inbox (which can be a challenge in and of itself if you fall back on templated emails) — they need to be persuasive, captivating, and actionable. With the average open rate for emails hovering just over 20%, you need every tool in your arsenal to break through. 

And that all starts with readability. 

A crystal clear, digestible email is your golden ticket to improved response rates, scheduled meetings, and conversions.

So, fasten your seatbelt. We're about to dive deep into the craft of penning highly readable sales emails.

What is email readability, anyway? 

Email readability is just what you’d expect: a measure of how easily your email can be read. It encompasses all the decisions you make during the composition of your email. 

How long is your email? 

What type of words are you opting for? 

What's the stylistic appeal? 

All these decisions make for an easy-to-read email – or a challenging one. 

Think of the overflowing inboxes, short attention spans, and the hectic schedule of your buyers today. Your job is simple: get people to open your email, read it, and take action. Readability shouldn’t be an afterthought. It drives replies, meetings, and even conversions. An email that's hard to read can stop your readers in their tracks.

Do easy-to-read emails make a difference?

You might find this surprising, but sales emails crafted at a third-grade reading level are hitting home runs in terms of reply rates. One recent study found that emails with an eighth-grade reading level or lower had a 36% higher open rate and a 17% higher response rate than those with a 12th-grade reading level or higher. has a built in Email Analyzer that will assess the readability of any email you craft and provide custom coaching points to help you improve it.

Consider the results from our latest readability analysis. When we look at the reply rate by email readability, we see that sales emails written at around at third grade reading level get dramatically better results:

The graph utilizes the Coleman-Liau index, which bases readability on word and sentence length. As Coleman and Liau explain, “word length in letters is a better predictor of readability than syllables.”

Further studies reveal that the more readable a text is, the more likely people are to engage with it and enjoy it. These findings show that by simplifying your sales emails, you can drive better engagement and ultimately get higher conversion rates. Let’s take a closer look at what it takes to make your sales emails clear, compelling, and readable.

Crafting engaging sales emails

Ready to make your emails not just readable – but a delight to read? That's the sweet spot we're aiming for. In this section, we’ll look at proven tips to boost the readability of your sales emails, helping you to craft messages that are clear, compelling, and reader-friendly.

Engage with questions

Posing thoughts as questions not only keeps your sentences concise, but it also adds a touch of personal interest. It's a terrific way to encourage responses and gain insights into your prospects' needs. has a built in Email Analyzer that will assess the distribution of questions in your email. We recommend anywhere from 1 - 3 for peak engagement.

Embrace brevity

Keep sentences short and to the point. This isn't about dumbing down your language; it's about clear communication. Even celebrated children's authors like Roald Dahl and Judy Blume master this technique. Take this excerpt from Dahl's 'Fantastic Mr. Fox': 

"Bean was a turkey and apple farmer. He kept thousands of turkeys in an orchard full of apple trees. He never ate any food at all."

It’s simple – yet the sentences carry weight and express so much in just a few words.

It should take well under one minute to read your entire email.

Use everyday words

Make your emails sound like natural, everyday conversation. Opt for words with two syllables or less where possible, and swap out less common words for ones you'd use daily. For instance, instead of "customarily," use "mostly." It's all about keeping things simple and familiar for the reader.

Pro tip: if you’re looking to simplify your word choices, and WordHippo are great places to start.

Play with white space

Paragraph breaks not only improve readability but also make your email appear less intimidating. Including white space gives your words room to breathe, helping your prospect navigate to the information they find most relevant.

Keep each paragraph to about 2-3 sentences. If you're using bullets or a list, give them their own space.

Keep it succinct

Word count matters. An analysis of 260 million emails found that concise, easy to read subject lines between 6 and 10 words got the highest open rates. has a built-in Email Analyzer that will assess the length of your subject line, and coach you if it goes beyond ten words.

Short messages win, too. Our monthly email benchmarks report consistently show an ideal target of 130 words for the body of cod outbound sales emails. Subject lines can change in effectiveness over time, but this optimal range for body text has stayed consistent.

Get rid of typos

Typos are increasingly common – and easy to overlook. But if you’re letting them slide, they chip away at your credibility and make your text tough to read. 

To prevent these missteps, read your emails aloud to yourself, take advantage of handy grammar tools like Grammarly built directly into the Regie Chrome extension, and scrutinize past emails for hidden errors.

Cut the jargon

Jargon might sound authoritative – but it usually gets in the way of communication. It can create a rift between you and your audience, and its meaning tends to shift over time. Stop worrying about sounding authoritative and using buzzwords and instead say what you mean in plain language. You’ll sidestep communication pitfalls – and come across as more confident and knowledgeable, too.

Embrace the active voice

Using active voice keeps your word count trim and gives your writing a persuasive punch. Not clear about active and passive voice? Here are some examples:

   Active: Jerry tipped the lamp over.

   Passive: The lamp got tipped over by Jerry.

   Active: He presented me with an opportunity.

   Passive: An opportunity was presented to me by him.

The active voice puts the subject in the driver's seat of action, while in passive voice, the subject is acted upon. Words like "was" or "had been" often signal passive voice so steer clear of those. 

Put Your Email Readability to the Test

Testing your email readability is surprisingly simple. You'll find plenty of free readability analyzers online – including Regie’s free Chrome extension

The Chrome extension doesn’t just evaluate readability but also checks for:

  • Subject Length
  • Message Length
  • Reading Time
  • Question Count
  • I:You Ratio
  • Spam Words
  • Gender Bias
  • Inclusion

And it can whip up an entire email, subject lines, value propositions, and pain points with the power of Generative AI. Plus, it offers handy tools for rewriting, shortening, and extending pre-written text.

Designed for sellers, the Chrome extension works where you work, whether that be your sales engagement platform, inbox or LinkedIn. 

The Impact of Readability

The foundation of effective sales email communication is readability. A readable, engaging email is the key to replies, booked meetings, and eventually, conversions.

To recap, well-crafted, readable sales emails:

  • Are penned at or near a third-grade reading level
  • Use engaging questions
  • Utilize short and straightforward sentences
  • Employ easy-to-understand words
  • Frequently break up text with paragraphs
  • Stay concise
  • Are free from typos and grammatical blunders
  • Incorporate bullet points for easy scanning
  • Evade jargon
  • Apply active voice

By following these guidelines, you'll craft sales emails that convey your message clearly, are effortlessly digestible, and bring in the results you're aiming for.

Want more insights on sales writing and a peek into how works its magic? Book a demo with us here, and let us help you craft emails that truly connect with your readers.

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