Three to Five

February 2, 2009
39 Views

There are a ton of stats that talk about the average length of time a person spends looking at a marketing email, industry average puts you between three and five seconds – this is assuming you have earned an open! That said, what is wrong with this email?

From Field: Ecommerce_Offers@CompanyName.com (real company name shielded to protect the innocent.)
Subject Line: Sundeep, they are here! Sneak Peak Just for You! Plus $20 off $100 purchase! Entire line of gizmos! Huge Savings Event!

Granted I received this email, but here are the main issues:

Problem I: Who is this email really from (I know we’re shielding them) but in my inbox, all I saw was the first part, Ecommerce_Offers.
Lesson: Keep your headers obvious.

Problem II: The subject line way too long; believe it or not, this is one of their shorter subject lines. Usually they describe one product, this email talks about the entire section.
Lesson: Keep users intrigued by offering an alluring subject line, draw them rather than embedding the offer in the subject.

Problem III: It’s not really personalized, just because they have my name in it doesn’t mean it is really for me. I feel more alienated when I see my name in the subject line,


There are a ton of stats that talk about the average length of time a person spends looking at a marketing email, industry average puts you between three and five seconds – this is assuming you have earned an open! That said, what is wrong with this email?

From Field: Ecommerce_Offers@CompanyName.com (real company name shielded to protect the innocent.)
Subject Line: Sundeep, they are here! Sneak Peak Just for You! Plus $20 off $100 purchase! Entire line of gizmos! Huge Savings Event!

Granted I received this email, but here are the main issues:

Problem I: Who is this email really from (I know we’re shielding them) but in my inbox, all I saw was the first part, Ecommerce_Offers.
Lesson: Keep your headers obvious.

Problem II: The subject line way too long; believe it or not, this is one of their shorter subject lines. Usually they describe one product, this email talks about the entire section.
Lesson: Keep users intrigued by offering an alluring subject line, draw them rather than embedding the offer in the subject.

Problem III: It’s not really personalized, just because they have my name in it doesn’t mean it is really for me. I feel more alienated when I see my name in the subject line, I’m not alone a lot of research has shown similar feelings.
Lesson: Look for content based personalization to engage, adding the recipient’s name doesn’t count.
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