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In the time I have been in email marketing I have seen literally thousands of email campaigns pass along in email clients, from shameful to brilliant and from questionable to thought provoking. After seeing so many of them you get sort of a hunch what could be wrong or right with one within a few seconds after viewing one (with images on, in this case). But I never view a message once: always take a second or even third look, to see if first impression will stay or will change. The rare, medium or well done points to how ‘digestable’ an email is: does it view and read easy, does the message actually come across to the viewer? If a message is in the rare category, it is not necessarily a bad thing: it could mean people have put in effort to make it worth reading instead of glancing, which could mean no fancy graphics and more text as content, but that text is presented in a good manner. Well done in this comparison doesn’t (have to) mean it’s a great message: just that you can digest the content in a matter of seconds, so to speak.

To put my thoughts into perspective, here’s an example of the last category: well done. It’s a recent message from Ralph Lauren showing new Spring collection pieces:

As you can see, almost all of the message space is taken up by two pictures to lure in the audience to click through to the product. No pricing, no order now buttons: just shop and visit – the bar is low for entry. Not much to read and a low impact on one’s time: well done, fast food. Is this a bad thing? In this case it certainly is not: the faster and clearer the message is brought across the better, a viewer will feel it hasn’t taken too much of their time.

Now that it is clear what I mean with well done, let’s take a look at the other side of the email spectrum: a rare message, one that is not easily digestible. This one is a reminder for a webinar, with images taking a back seat to the text:

There are only 4 images here: two logos, an example of stats and the register now button. There’s quite some text here, but is that a bad thing? In this case I think it’s not, because the text is informative and tells you why you should register for the webinar: it tells you what you will learn from it for example and that is quite important to convey in a message. A different product to sell than Ralph Lauren’s example above, but it’s just as important that the message comes across. The Ralph Lauren email will roughly take a few seconds to take in and land (unless you’re on a slow wireless connection) while the above example will probably take half a minute to a full minute. Quite a difference in time, so the value for the reader should be clear as soon as possible. One big plus for the ‘rare’ email is that the register now button is top left: one surefire way to get as many people registered for the webinar as possible, compared to just putting a text link at the bottom of all the textual information.

To summarize, it depends on your message whether you as a sender will send a rare, medium or well done email: not all brands, products and topics can be covered and presented by imagery. However a good balance between text and imagery is needed to make it worthwile for the reader to read it in full and most importantly get your message across.

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82 emails since November 7th.  61 emails in December and it aint over yet. Would love to know that the complaint and/or engagement rate is.  At one point, I was getting 3 day….would love to know your thoughts.

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I was able to read a pretty fascinating study today by my good friends over eRoi.  The study is called The Current State of Social, Mobile and Email Integration and in it you will find the results of a survey they did earlier in the spring about how marketers are prioritizing social and mobile and what they are doing about integrating it with email.

One of the things that fascinates me and makes me chuckle a bit is that the survey indicates that the number one social media metric measured is the increase/decrease in friends/followers which tells me that all they want is eyeballs as well as equating social media to a popularity contest.  One metric that no on is tracking in social media is engagement amongst brand and customers.  It’s almost as if companies are looking at social media as another advertisement channel and that is the very reason why I almost never follow brands on FB or Twitter.  Without giving too much of this great study away, I also find it super fascinating that 63% of the people said that they are not measuring the prevalence of mobile devices for their email subscribers.  That to me is crazy since I truly believe that a good portion of subscribers triage their email on a mobile device and decide to back later if interested.  Why would you not want to measure and then adapt your program to mobile. To me…you don’t know what you don’t know and there are plenty of tools out there than assist in this.  Its all about subscriber intelligence and the more you know about what/how they are doing, the better your program can be in terms of providing relevant content in the form that your subscribe wants to consume it.

This is a must read for all you digital media nuts.  You can download it here.

Enjoy.

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Looks like Comcast subscribers to DSW’s email program have had some issues getting to their site.

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Effective April 6th, The Email Zoo will shut down for good.  It has been a great ride, but I am sick and tired of running this blog and it has to go.

Thanks for the memories folks.

Long Live The Email Zoo.

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