The Inbox Experience: 4 Areas of Focus
The inbox can be a crowded place. Those who sign up to receive promotional messages rarely do so for just a single brand. This can result in battle for attention among the rank and file within the inbox. While most brands put a lot of thought and effort into crafting subject lines and preheader content, this work is often “checking off boxes” rather than designing an experience within the context of the environment.
Let’s take a moment to consider the audience and their objectives. The inbox experience is often relegated to a triage process, where recipients are making split-second value judgements that determine whether the message is read, saved for later, deleted or flagged as spam. They are searching for value and relevance, but often do not take the time to carefully consider or internalize content. It’s the marketer’s objective to close the gap between the words within the inbox and the value they convey.
By leveraging the real estate available and focusing on the experience within the context of a crowded inbox, marketers can be more effective in driving opens and clicks.
There are four key aspects of email content and the email program that contribute to this experience:
- The from/friendly from
- The subject line
- The preheader summary
- Messaging frequency/inbox exposure
In this post, I’ll provide recommendations to optimize each aspect that contributes to the inbox experience.
An Introduction to the Inbox and One-Line Storytelling
Before diving into the individual elements that comprise the inbox experience, let’s establish some additional context. Below is a snapshot of the inbox of my promotional email account. I love email offers (and receiving a broad range of content to review) but don’t want it interfering with personal emails from friends and family.
As a Senior Email Strategist with Return Path, Casey specializes in driving increased engagement and boosting deliverability. Casey has a healthy fixation with helping marketers realize the potential of their email programs by addressing human needs, building better relationships, and ultimately driving improved results for the business. Her nine years of experience and obsession with evolving the email space helped land her a spot on ExpertSender’s list of “25 Email Geeks to Help You Get Your Geek On.”