Shortmail: pros and cons from a marketer

7th July 2011 By Louise Stephens in Email design

Shortmail has been heralded by its owners as “a new kind of email” which is set to “make email more social and more efficient”. Essentially, it provides email in a text-only format and allows you just 500 characters in which to get your message across. It also synchronises with Twitter to provide an integrated social media experience. It feels an odd concept but will it catch on? 



  • It’s main USP of a 500 character limit promotes best practice to a certain extent – less is certainly more when it comes to email text
  • Spam reduction – it promises to eliminate 99% of spam because of the shorter length of the emails running through the system and the lack of HTML or attachments
  • It can store more messages for free than other email clients because of the shorter length of the emails –providing almost unlimited email account for each of  its users


  • No HTML = no design element  = no brand
  • Although not normally used in email marketing software packages, attachments are still widely used in email clients such as Yahoo. Shortmail doesn’t accept attachments, which could be an annoying factor for those who still like PDFs and images sent in this way
  • The integration with Twitter seems slightly pointless. In what circumstances would you want or need to send an ‘open’ email? Even if it is a general email for promotional purposes, these should be personalised, segmented and targeted for the greatest ROI
  • Emails cannot be stored or organised
  • Most B2B organisations use a formal tone and may find it difficult to adjust to conversational approach and social media feel to the product

The jury’s out at little green plane but check out our list of pros and cons to find out if Shortmail will work for you. Comments most welcome.

Louise Stephens
About the Author

Louise Stephens

Louise is an email marketing consultant at little green plane. She advises and builds lasting relationships with our existing clients as well as handling all new business. Louise also conducts full demonstrations of our software and will advise on the right package for your business. Louise is passionate about email marketing and will happily train clients on a number of topics including; best practice, engaging your audience and getting the best return on your investment.