Whenever I hear the phrase, “Less Is More” I think of the great B.B. King. His approach to playing the blues was that the space between the notes was just as important as the notes themselves. This level of insight cemented his legacy as one of the genre’s most celebrated artists, but as many in our industry would point out, it also applies to email marketing.
Over the last few years, we have seen mobile overtake desktop as the preferred method for reading email. In fact 61.9% of email are opened on a mobile device. Responsive design for email is now a must rather than a bonus. Your email has to be easily readable on a small screen. If you’re not using a responsive design for email marketing, stop what you’re doing and invest the time and resources to do it. The investment will pay off in higher engagement.
Why is mobile-friendly design required for email?
A mobile-friendly design for emails is important for another reason—there’s a whole lot less real estate to craft your message on a mobile device. Sure, you can put just as much content as you would on a desktop and just have the user scroll and scroll and scroll to read it, but we all know from our own experience that the user probably isn’t going to do that. Readers want the email short and succinct.
We often get caught up in the notion that we need to have as much content in an email as possible or we’ll miss an opportunity. Research is now showing that the average attention span is just over eight seconds. That’s right, eight seconds(shorter than the attention span of a goldfish!). How much content is a user going to digest in eight seconds? If we’re basing it off of average reading times, you’re looking at 40-50 words.
This brings us back to the great B.B. King and his “Less Is More” approach. His music was incredible because he used silence as space around his notes to make them stand out. The notes were more powerful and moving because of it. This approach can be used with the same effect in our world of small screens and short attention spans. We should craft our emails in such a way that there is less content, but the content is important to the user and more consumable. The design and layout of the email also play an important part in this, so don’t neglect it.
Here are some tips to get you started:
Take the time to think through the most important message you want to communicate
Focus on that and resist the temptation to throw “a few more things” in there with it. If those “other things” are important, save them for a separate email. Less is definitely more when it comes to content.
Give a snippet of content
If you must include more content, consider teasing the material and letting the user click through to a landing page to read the rest. This also has the added benefit of being able to track who is interested enough to read the full content.
Take design and layout into consideration
Carefully consider how the design and layout will point the user to your message and make it easy for them to read. If it’s too cluttered, it will get eaten up like too many notes in a guitar solo.
A/B testing is the key
If you’re scared to dive in, do some A/B testing and monitor how things go. This functionality is now basic to most marketing automation systems. If you happen to be using a system that doesn’t allow for A/B testing, you can do it manually by splitting up your send list and sending a separate email to each split.
Bonus tip: the less is more approach also applies to the frequency in which we email our user base. Leave some space between the emails and they’ll stand out more.
That’s it! Jump in and try out the “less is more” approach to email marketing and while you’re at it, listen to some B.B. King.
At Pyxl, we have a team of experts ready to assist with your email marketing. Let’s start a conversation and discover how we can help you successfully reach your customers.
Updated: Apr 26, 2022