Best Practices for Email Marketing: Moving Your Readers Through the Five Stages

This is what you want to happen: Your email shows up in your recipient’s inbox. They are anticipating hearing from you and are so excited to open your email that they ignore all other emails to open yours first.

This is what really happens: You fight your way into the inbox. Then you work your way through the clutter to get noticed. And you struggle still to get your email opened.

Did you know your recipients are moving through five different stages of opening your email once your email is delivered to the inbox? And best practices for email marketing means you tackle each of the five stages and do the best you can at each, nudging that person along until they finally get to the fifth stage: opening and scrolling through your full email.

The five stages, as we’ve outlined as an email marketing vendor helping clients not only improve email deliverability (which happens before these five stages), all must be optimized according to best practices in email marketing to get results after getting into the inbox.

Below are the five stages and how your recipient moves through them:

1. From Name: “Do I know this person/company?” is the first thought as someone sees your email in their inbox
2. Subject Line: “Am I interested in this email?” is next
3. Preview Pane: “Is there something of interest that’s going to get me to open this email?” is stage 3
4. Opened Email (pre-scroll): “Hmmmm, do I want to keep reading?” and finally…
5. Full Email: “I want to know more.”

Every single stage must be dealt with. It’s no good having a catchy subject line if no one recognizes the From name. It’s no good having a compelling banner if it doesn’t render when images are blocked. And if you get them all the way to opening the email but they don’t like what they see there (whether it’s the offer or the graphics or…), then what’s the point of all the work you put into getting them to stage 4? Best practices in email marketing require that you deal with—and conquer—all five.

You’ve focused on email deliverability to get to the inbox. Now focus on getting that email noticed, opened and acted upon, to further improve your email marketing ROI. Need help? Contact us!

Published On: July 20th, 2010Categories: Email marketing best practices

About the Author: LaRock

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