Making the Most of Your Three Second Email Marketing Window

by Victor Green
3 mins read

The digital world has always known that the attention spans of target customers is fleeting at best. However, a new report from Jess Nelson of Media Post’s Email Marketing Daily blog explains that the average time a reader spends perusing a marketed message sits at around three seconds.While this small window of opportunity might seem like a daunting obstacle that’s simply too hard to overcome, the truth of the matter is that with the right approach, three seconds is more than enough time to capture the attention of your readers and truly build a lasting – and profitable – bond with these audience members. To help ensure that you never waste another crucial moment in the inbox, join us as we talk about the best ways to make the most of this three second email marketing window.

Build Around Different Platforms

Sticking with Nelson’s coverage of this revelation shows that the first step toward maximizing this opportunity revolves around understanding which platforms resonate with the various segments of your target audience. Specifically, mobile users are far more likely than desktop audience members to dip below the three second attention span mark. The following percentages represent the portion of users of each platform that are less than willing to devote the entire three seconds to the average email marketing offering:

  • Kindle Fire – 64.5 percent
  • iPhone – 53.9 percent
  • Android phones – 50.2 percent
  • Android tablet – 48.8 percent
  • iPad – 42.4 percent

In contrast, the average desktop reading experience lasts for 15 seconds, thereby confirming that if you want to win on the mobile front, you’re going to need subject lines and content that get to the point in a hurry. Digging a little deeper, having unique messages for each mobile platform – and offering something a little bit more in-depth for your desktop contingency – is key to maximizing your impact within each of these segments.

Skip the Subject Line Fluff

Speaking of subject lines, Econsultancy’s Jack Simpson suggests trimming the fluff and getting straight to the point if you plan on keeping the wandering eyes of these viewers from straying to the next message in the inbox. As you start to craft these representations of the content within, keeping things short and punchy is a mantra that should become second nature.Can you impart the same message in fewer words? Will this impact the clarity of your offer or content? Would you bother opening this email if you were on the other side of the equation? Answering these questions during the development of your email content might seem exhausting at first, but putting in the extra work is still far more desirable than receiving a less than stellar response from your brand’s highly coveted target audience.

Play to Your Strengths above the Fold

Another useful method of optimizing this limited opportunity for exposure, according to the HubSpot Blog’s Olivia Allen, is by working a little magic in the preview pane. With virtually every major email service provider incorporating message previews on both mobile and desktop platforms, it’s imperative that your brand leverage the power of this “above the fold” section via poignant and engaging content.Whether you’re leading off with a powerful limited time offer or a stat, fact, or figure that leaves your audience floored, having your first two to three lines of content jump off the screen and in front of your audience is the best way to harness the potential of the preview pane. Naturally, you’ll need to keep the hits rolling once the viewer opens the message, but it’s safe to say that getting your foot in the door with great preview content is the ideal first step in this process.

Lure Your Readers in with a Question

Finally, Allen notes that if you’re able to sneak a question into the subject line or the preview panel, then you stand a much greater chance of piquing the interest of your viewers in the inbox. Even something as simple as a “Did you know?” or “Have you heard?” lead-in increases open rates dramatically thanks to the inherent curiosity found within most audiences. The big point here is that you engage the reader via a conversational take on the email marketing experience and talk with – not at – him or her.There’s no denying that this three second window of opportunity can feel like a tight squeeze at times for even the most seasoned email marketers. However, with what you’ve learned here leading the way, there’s no reason why your brand can’t generate an impactful and interactive inbox experience that makes the most out of the fleeting attention of these valued viewers.

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