Move Compelling Content Up And Graphics Down To Win At Email

3d illustration of a large chrome at symbol wi...

I see so many emails that lead with menus from their website, unsub and web version text, large header graphics/logos (that don’t show up) and other distractions. Subscribers DON’T CARE! I suspect that many times this is just to fill in whitespace. Branding your company is a good argument, too. Recognizing you as the sender… Even better argument. Whatever the case, get rid of it. Why? 1) Subscribers don’t care. 2) Images are disabled on 50+% of email programs and I’ll bet that number is growing. I achieved a 700% increase in response rates for one email program by following this simple rule: Move content up and images down… What’s the big deal? Read on and I’ll tell and show you.

The top left 4 inch square of your email is the most valuable real estate there is. Move the stuff subscribers don’t care about lower down and give them something that will make them thankful for receiving the email and continue to open your emails in the future. If you are in retail, give them the latest coupon and a link to get it. If you are pushing content, lead with the headlines and links versus an intro or long teaser paragraphs. And whatever you do, don’t put a bunch of images at the top before your content. Here’s an example of why you shouldn’t…

This is a screen shot of three emails in my inbox using the Auto-Preview view of Outlook. Can you spot the winner? (Click to open small window.)

Hope you're saying something important here

The first one wins. The other two aren’t leading with content I’m interested in. If I’m someone who uses Auto-Preview (25% of users do), then the two losers haven’t told me anything. I have to open the email to figure it out and stats say that people won’t. I completely ignore the last email because it’s full of image links. I glance right over it.

This comes down to layout. If you position your images after your lead content, the image links will appear after the most important content.

Now for the clincher. This image speaks for itself: (Click to open small window.)

Images are disabled on 70+% of recipients

50+% of recipients have images disabled by default. 70+% of them will make the decision to read, file for later or delete your message without enabling images and without scrolling down.

Push your content up and your other messages down…

Stay tuned for more. Thanks for reading.

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Email Marketing: Move Compelling Content Up And Graphics Down To Win At Email

Posted: December 15th, 2009
at 7:36pm by Rob Van Slyke

Tagged with , , , , ,


Categories: Email Design

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  1. [...] I talked about putting more actionable and compelling text than images in the Preview Pane will increase your email response rates. This next little technique will too. Everyone is talking about how to eek out every last [...]

     


 

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