Using targeted email, e-letters or e-blasts to get heard? Then you already know that unsolicited messages, or those that you initiate, play by different rules than messages that readers seek out.
Here’s why. Today’s email reader:
- Decides within the first few seconds whether to keep reading. So if it isn’t relevant or looks too overwhelming—with lots of grey text and no visual interest—your reader won’t go further.
- Doesn’t want to work hard to see if there’s something of interest to him or her.
- Gets too much communication. If the spam filter doesn’t filter it out, they’ll attempt to triage it quickly—based on those first two to three seconds. First impressions are everything.
- Scans, rather than reads. And does so in this order:
• Subheads and captions
• Bulleted lists
• Last of all, blocks of text
If you can’t interest them with the first few, they won’t go further.
Today’s e-communication has to get past obstacles to get read. Here are three tips:
- Get the reader’s attention and keep them from leaving. Make an offer, offer content they relate to or show a picture the reader will connect with.
- Make it easy for them to find what they’re looking for. Don’t bury it inside long paragraphs, but giving them directional signs—like captions, subheads or bulleted lists.
- Make a call to action that’s easy to spot. Link to more information, a phone number or an email address.
Remember that when you initiate the communication, it’s up to you to make it interesting enough for the reader to commit time to it. And that begins by knowing how your readers will take in information and what obstacles will prevent them from getting your message.