Beating the 8-second attention span

How to Create Marketing Emails That Prospects Want to Read, Not Delete

Did you know that humans now have a shorter attention span than goldfish?

Research carried out by Microsoft in Canada in 2015 showed that the average human attention span has fallen from the pre-smartphone figure of twelve seconds in 2000 to a mere eight seconds now. That’s a whole second less than the nine-second span displayed by goldfish – though don’t ask me how you measure a goldfish’s attention span!

So you have approximately eight seconds to attract, engage and inform your customers and prospects with a marketing email. That’s not very long at all.

To help you meet this challenge, we have asked Raj Khera (Partner, MailerMailer, makers of Curated Newsletters and Presstacular – IT marketing solutions for MSPs) to provide some hints and tips on how to write marketing emails that will engage your audience and beat the 8-second attention cut-off.

Over to you Raj!

Your contacts receive numerous emails each day, all vying for their attention. If an email doesn’t immediately capture their interest, it gets deleted without a second thought. So, how can you get them interested in reading your emails? You need to avoid using a hard-sell approach and follow some data-driven tips.

Resist the Hard Sell
You offer essential IT services and solutions, so you naturally want to tell your current and potential customers about them. However, you need to resist the urge to send out emails that do nothing but extol the virtues of your company and its offerings. Promotional emails that take this hard-sell approach are quickly deleted.

An educational approach is much more effective. You can educate your contacts in many ways, including providing them with:

  • Informative IT articles. Use informative IT articles to create awareness about current issues that might be affecting their businesses. For example, tell them about the latest ransomware attack and how they can protect their business from it. But don’t say the best way to protect their businesses is to buy your service or solution, even if it is true. That can turn people off. Instead, give recommendations, such as keeping software up-to-date and using anti-malware software and then offer them an option to discuss their situation with you to make sure they get the right solution.
  • IT checklists. Create an IT checklist that helps your current and potential customers perform tasks or make preparations. For instance, make a checklist of the types of files that need to be backed up nightly or a checklist of things to do to prepare for bad-weather events.
  • IT guides. Use guides to provide information that will help your contacts make important decisions. For example, offer a guide that helps them decide whether to use public, private, or hybrid clouds.

By taking an educational approach, you offer valuable information that your contacts will appreciate because it will help them run their businesses.

Data-Driven Tips to Follow
Having educational content is only half the battle. You might have excellent content, but it’ll never get read if your email fails to grab your contacts’ attention. Market research has revealed some tips that can entice your contacts to open and read your email marketing campaigns:

  • Introduce an element of timeliness in your email’s subject line. Emails with subject lines that are timely and talk about news or events tend to have the highest open rates. So, use words like “Today”, “Recent”, “News”, and “Report” in the subject line to grab your contacts’ attention.
  • Include the recipient’s first name in the email’s message. People who can see their first name when they preview the email are much more likely to open it. If you use an email marketing tool, you can easily send personalized messages by using the tool’s mail merge functionality.
  • Don’t over-personalize the email. When it comes to personalization, more is not better. Including too much personal information in the email’s message turns people off, lowering the response rate. Personalizing the email’s subject line has the same effect.
  • Don’t include all the content in the email. People are busy, so an email packed with content will hurt rather than help your email campaign. A better approach is to include a teaser that will get your readers interested in the topic. It should be short — only three or four lines long. After the teaser, include a call to action that encourages them to click for details. If you have an email marketing tool, using a teaser and call to action has another advantage: You can track who is opening and reading the various components of your message so that you can follow up with them.
  • Include an image in the email. Adding an image to your email can make it more visually appealing. Several stock photo websites provide images that you can use without paying any fees.

Do You Want to Learn More Tips?

At Inbay, we want you to grow your business and take on more customers. It’s in our interests. We can help you to achieve profitable growth, by freeing up your time to focus on more effective marketing strategies and on winning new high-value projects.

We can help you achieve this if you partner with us for NOC and Service Desk.

If you would like to learn more tips on how to grow your IT business, why not attend our webinar on 19 September 2016: “Strategic Marketing Tactics to Grow Your Business and How Outsourcing Your NOC Can Help

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