Oversized portions are hard to swallow, even in email marketing
I recently worked in a development team where we used to refer to overlong marketing messages with irrelevant content topics as “mega-blast burgers”. Email messages also often contain multiple layers of seemingly random topics stacked on top of each other. Sometimes when I see email marketing messages I get a feeling that email is just a big tube where people are all yelling at the same time. How can we avoid the mega-blast burger swelling?
The cure can be worked out using common sense: Ask yourself which is more efficient: giving everything to everybody at once, or small, personalized portions served to the right target audience? The answer might seem easy and logical, but still the quick sense of satisfaction from your last mega-blast burger stays in mind.
The Avaus Growth Hacking team analysed over 100 million email messages sent since 2010. Driven by the mega-blast burger, we compared the click rate of emails of different lengths. We divided the messages into three categories: long emails, medium-length emails and short emails. The results showed that the click rate was highest for short messages and lowest for long ones.
This does not mean that shorter messages are always better, or that brevity itself is a reflection of quality. But my experience tells me that longer messages usually include topics and themes from various sources and the content is more scattered. This can perhaps explain why shorter messages seem to activate readers more.
We also used the click and reactivity rate (people who clicked / people who opened the email) when we studied other content factors. We noticed that messages with dynamic, personalized content optimized for different screen sizes had higher rates than static messages with no screen-size optimization. Again, giving an email dynamic modules or personalizing the email with the recipient’s first name is not a direct guarantee of success. They are, though, features that usually indicate that whoever prepared the content was at least giving some thought to the recipient. Inserting “Hello <customer.firstname>” into your copy text will not take you to the stars, but it’s a good start towards a more customer-focused approach.
Don’t use personalization just for the sake of it. This is not a fad; it’s a requirement set by our customers. I suggest you start light and have some appetizers first. Here are a couple of my favourites: test, measure and optimize.