More and more email is being viewed on smart phones, and that means people are typically spending less time deciding if they want to even open the email.
The criteria for opening the email, of course, starts with who it is from.
What is most important right after that?
The subject line and whatever part of the body of the email will appear on their phone screen.
For this reason, the one email rule I believe you absolutely shouldn’t break is a subject line and first sentence that are no more than 75 characters.
Sure, each smart phone displays things differently, but my point is if you don’t grab the person’s attention quickly, you likely will miss the one chance you have.
When you are looking at what to put in the first 75 or fewer characters, I say don’t waste any space in the body of the email repeating what you put in the subject line. When you repeat the subject line, you’re wasting more than just space — you are wasting the person’s time.
What you do want to do is begin to engage the person and start sharing either a sense of urgency or a benefit.
I realize you can’t get all of that done in 75 characters, but you want to give them enough that encourages them to open the email to read the rest of it.
After you write an email, take a look at both the title and the first sentence or two and ask yourself if they are compelling enough for the person to want to open it?
The reason I’m big on this is because people use their smart phones to check email far differently than they check email when sitting at their desk. I’ll use myself as an example.
When I’m checking email on my iPhone, I’m looking for reasons to delete messages. I’m much more lenient on what I delete versus reading. When I’m at my desk, I’m more likely to read an email because of the larger screen and the preview screen I use on Outlook.
I don’t have studies to back up my theory about the 75 characters or less figure, but based on my own experience and watching others, I know that people use their smart phone to delete emails and their laptops to read emails. And more and more people are using their smart phone as their primary email screening tool.
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Copyright 2012, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog.
Great point. I think most of us want information that will help us or others.
I hit the delete button more times than not.
Keep messages fun, concise, and relevant.
This is great Mark, it would be fantastic to see someone do a case study on this particular topic regarding how likely people are to open an e-mail through different platforms. Furthermore, a study on what works best for each platform would be even better, it would provide perspective on how to reach prospective clients. Wonderful article Mark, looking forward to your next one.
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