The Most Important 85 Characters in Your Email

Want to know a secret? People aren't looking for a reason to open your email, they are looking for a reason to hit DELETE. So, how do you get them to open?

Best practices would say to focus on subject line optimization. Which is a great place to start. But you can Google the best way to write a good subject line and find plenty of help on that.

I want to share with you what I'm experimenting with-- the first 85 characters in the email body which just so happens to show up in most inboxes and desktop notifications.

You can tell that most marketers are totally ignoring this. Their first 85 characters goes something like this, "Make sure you add myEmail@MyDomain.com to your whitelist...." or, "If you are having trouble viewing this email, click here...."

According to best practices, these are spot on-- but here is where it might make sense to challenge these best practices by testing something else.

What if you can use those 85 characters to extend your subject line, or better yet, make a compelling value proposition statement that encourages folks to open?

Check out some of these:

Which ones would you want to/need to open?

I have a bad habit of using myself as a focus group of one, but I have to admit, I usually scan my inbox and often look at nothing but the first 85 characters of the email to see if it is worth my time to go any further. I do this with personal emails, work emails, and emails I've subscribed to receive.

I'd love to hear your feedback based on experimenting with this concept. Post a comment, or send me a message on Twitter (@DigitalDonor) with your results.