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The hidden killer of email success
👉 don't overlook this easily-fixed mistake
There's a part of every email you send that has a huge impact on its success, but is overlooked time and time again in email marketing "best practices".
We rightly pay attention to subject lines - they're what get our emails opened.
But there's a world of difference between opening an email and actually reading it. And very often the reading stops at the first paragraph because, well, it's often deathly dull.
And if that happens, it kills the effectiveness of your email stone dead.
Think of the way you read emails yourself. You probably open emails if the subject line is intriguing enough or you know that the sender usually sends useful stuff.
But that open doesn't guarantee you'll read the whole email.
If you're anything like most people you'll quickly scan the first few sentences of the email to see if it looks interesting and if not, you'll bounce back to your inbox.
So the first paragraph or so of any email is vital. It needs to hook your attention without giving away the punchline so that you read on to find out more.
That hook could be to open an interesting story. Or to share a scary statistic. Or to ask a question.
Did you see what I did in the first paragraph of this email?
I told you there was a part of every email that has a huge impact on its success but was overlooked time and time again in email marketing "best practices".
That hopefully did two things.
Firstly it hinted that what I was about to reveal would be valuable - because it had a huge impact on the success of your emails.
But it also told you that it was new information, something you didn't already know because it was overlooked in email marketing best practices.
Valuable information that you don't already know is kind of irresistible to most of us. So we read on.
Of course, the rest of the email has to deliver on that promise. The information has to be genuinely valuable. And it has to be something.new - otherwise you're going to feel cheated.
But if you can get that hook right in the first paragraph or so your readers are going to consume the whole email.
Which means you'll get your message across and they stand a good chance of taking whatever call to action you have at the end of your email.
It doesn't take a lot of work to make a decent job of this. You just have to realise you need to do it (the purpose of this email) and then remember every time you write one.
A good way to do that is to have a little email template you re-use when you write your emails with a placeholder at the start saying [hook] or similar. My template then goes on to say [transition], [valuable content] and [call to action] for a nurture email.
But any reminder that gets you to pay attention to those vital first few sentences is good.
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