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Email Usability: 6 Tips to get Your Email Read

November 5, 2012

Filed under: General

You're probably speed-reading this blog post, so we'll get to the good stuff. Here are a couple of tips for getting the important bits of your email read:

Keep it short
Interest in the content of an email diminishes as the email extends, so cut the copy and keep the most important points of the message near the top.

Optimize your headlines
As the first two words of a headline are the most important, keep them informational. For example, a headline such as "3 tips for improving email usability and response rates" could be rephrased as, "Email usability: 3 tips for improving your response rates".

Get to the point
Most readers will skip any long-winded greetings or introductory text, so decide if it's worth including. If an introduction is necessary, avoid adding any important information to this section.

Focus the message
Where possible, avoid covering too many topics and keep the message simple. You're only going to have the reader’s attention for a few seconds, so make it count by using a standout call-to-action.

Make it scan-friendly
Limit body copy to easily-readable paragraphs, preferably under 60 characters in width. Selectively use images to reinforce your message, as images often take less time to understand than words.

Align to the left
That's because readers of left-to-right languages (such as English) are accustomed to scanning from the top-left first.

Finally, your email design may only get an average of 51 seconds of fame per reader (if it gets 'read' at all).

How will you make the most of it?

Tags: email, usability, headline, response rate

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