October 24, 2007

Having Trouble Viewing This Message?

by DJ Waldow,

You've probably heard that all of the cool kids: Windows Live (Hotmail), AIM Mail (AOL), Yahoo! Mail (Yahoo!), and Gmail are turning off images by default. To avoid a costly detour by this potential roadblock you could include the old standby "If you are having trouble viewing.." message in your emails. However, does this messaging really help your bottom line? As a consumer, I bet you don't even see those words anymore. You've subconsciously trained yourself to read right over it at the speed of light. Some phrases - like the ones in my Gmail inbox... 

trouble viewing

...have become so overused that eventually, they go overlooked and "unread," wasting valuable email real estate. I see the words: problems, trouble, online, web version, click here, viewing, and email being used too often in ineffective ways, such as:

  1. If you are having trouble viewing this email, view it online.
  2. Problems viewing this email? Click here to view a web version.
  3. If you are having trouble viewing this email, click here.
  4. Problems viewing this email? Click Here.

If you think you're a culprit, instead of restating the obvious, I challenge the you to be like Apple of the late 1990's and "Think Different." What would happen if you put a "call-to-action" as your first line in addition to the online version (gasp). Dare to be different...add some spice! For example...

  1. View our entire collection now or the simply check out the online version
  2. What are you waiting for? View all offers now.
  3. Short on time? Go straight to the source.

As we always stress at Bronto: Test, Test, and then Test again. You may be surprised at the results. Just beware, after making this change your next problem maybe your subscribers are too busy buying a featured product than reading your message! Not a bad problem to have...

DJ Waldow
Account Manager at Bronto

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Comments

Hey DJ,

Every once in a while I read something that makes me drop my jaw and think "WOW I never thought of that, what a GREAT idea"

You just gave me one of those! I'm definitely going to test this out.

Thanks!

Kelly

Kelly -

This idea was actually inspired when I was speaking with a client, reviewing their account. We noticed a very high click through rate on a link that was "below the fold" (near the bottom of their message). In fact, next to the main call-to-action, it was the most clicked link. We discussed moving the link up to the top. The more we spoke, the more it became clear that "the top" really meant the header.

Let me know how your testing goes.

dj at bronto

DJ-

Thanks for the idea. I like to cook for the family when I have time and creating emails is no different than thinking up good recipes- introducing a little new spice is always a good idea!

*Was this posting too spicy or too cheesy?*

;)

- Nate

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