According to a June 22, 2017, article in Entrepreneur, the first marketing e-mail was sent nearly 40 years ago by a marketer named Gary Thuerk from Digital Equipment Corporation. Wanting to promote his company, Thuerk decided to send an e-mail to approximately 400 people. It worked! His company saw a huge spike in sales. And, the rest is history.
While there’s no denying the effectiveness of e-mail, one of the inherent problems for marketers is the reality that prospects have short attention spans. But, there is good news on that front. After analyzing data from billions of e-mail opens from 2011 to 2016, Litmus just released a report that states the average time spent reading an e-mail has increased by nearly 7% since 2011.
That’s great news, but the reality is that attention spans are still pretty short. So, for our e-mails to be the most effective, we need to keep these guidelines in mind:
- All of your e-mails MUST be mobile friendly. If they aren’t, you will lose subscribers.
- Make sure your subject line speaks to what is in the content of your e-mail. If it doesn’t, your readers feel tricked.
- Take advantage of headlines, subheads, and bullets to quickly communicate information.
- If you are going to use an image, make sure it’s a good one that grabs attention and connects relevantly to your content.
- E-mails that take a long time to load because there are too many large images won’t get read. Period.
- Sometimes you need to write a long e-mail, and that’s okay. Just make sure you don’t go over 102kb because if you do, it will likely get clipped by the e-mail provider.
- Always test your e-mail across platforms to make sure it can be opened and read and that all of the links work.