Email Marketing: The science of short and sweet

We all know that with email marketing you need to keep it short and sweet, because nobody is going to spend lots of time reading copy and will just skim over it.  This seems like common sense, but is it actually true?

Recently when catching up on Jakob Nielsen’s Research we came across this great little article on how they used an eyetracking heatmap to see where exactly we look when opening an email newsletter.  The areas in red were looked at the most, yellow second and blue were looked at the least.

Email Marketing, Ad Astra Marketing Agency, Chichester, West Sussex

Looking at the results you can see a clear emphasis on looking at the first two words of each headline, following a diminished interest in the body of the copy.  Towards the bottom of the email interest has rapidly dropped off.

The same study found that:

  • average newsletters opened were read for 51 seconds
  • readers only read 19% of the content in the email
  • the predominant behaviour was ‘scanning’
  • 35% of viewers only skimmed a very small part of the email
  • people were highly inclined to skip the introduction, although only 3 lines long 67% of viewers had zero fixations in newsletter introductions

So, how we can use this information?

From this information we can take away a lot on how to prepare your email campaign.

Keep it short – people won’t read long copy so keep it short and sweet, with the most important information near the top.

Headlines are important – the first two words of a headline are the most important so keep them short and punchy.

Informative – readers will skip introductions and long pieces of information, if its not necessary to include, don’t include it.

Clear message – keep your message simple, avoid too many topics and ensure a clear call to action.

We hope this guide helps your email newsletter receive an increased rate of engagement with more readers following the call to action.


Planning your email campaign?

Contact us for a free consultation on your email campaign and online marketing strategy using our online enquiry or by calling 02392 160960.

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