email marketing articles > The attention gap

The attention gap

Fight the gravitational pull of the trash folder

In the struggle for inbox attention it’s easy to overlook one important question — "what happens next?". In the majority of cases the answer is "nothing". No click, no visit and no sale. It can take many emails before you get a response.

What went wrong? Was your email not beautiful enough? Well perhaps, but the simple truth is:

The recipient didn’t feel there was a good reason to respond.

"You mean thought?"

No, I’ll stick with felt. Think about when you’re checking your inbox… do you really make a full evaluation based on logic?

Given the gravitational attraction of the trash folder it makes sense to grab attention quickly. I agree but with a note of caution. It’s no good just grabbing attention — holding onto and then making use of that attention is what counts.

Beyond the headlines and good looks

A great headline and beautiful email are certainly instrumental in making the right first impression. But then what? Now we get to the crunch… the reason for your email in the first place – the message.

This is the most critical moment for your email — keeping the recipient engaged and turning that attention into action. How long does this moment last? Every second spent reading your email.

Mind the attention gap

All too often, between attention grabbing headlines and pushy calls to action, there’s an attention gap where readers are lost. What you say and how you say it is the bridge. And it can be a real tightrope. You’ll lose readers if you:

  • Fail to engage them with content they find valuable
  • Overwhelm them by cramming-in too much
  • Bog them down in slow-paced and dull copy.
  • Split their attention with too many disparate topics
  • Deliver error-strewn or confusing copy

Think emotionally

To get responses from your emails, recipients need to feel that clicking through or contacting you is worth their time. Absolutely, that means clear communication of facts, but more than just persuasion, the content must be engaging.

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