Create scannable content

Okay, so here are a few examples of creating more scannable content. Now hopefully you’ll be able to see after these examples what I mean and why. So here are a few examples of emails where the content is quite lengthy. There is quite a lot of text going on. So just imagine, right, this lands in your inbox. You get the email, ‘It’s been a while since we said hello from 1973’. Okay, fine. I get the email. ‘It’s been a while since we’ve been in touch.’ So, relevancy between here and the first line of the text. That’s great. ‘Hi Matt’ great using some personalization and I understand the reason that, you know, ‘we’re passionate and committed to helping businesses get better results with their email marketing.’ I understand why they’re having kind of like an unsubscribed message because it’s a good practice to keep your list nice and fresh.

However, I just think there’s a little bit too, it’s a bit too boring. It’s just a bit too plain and particularly as they say, you know, we’re ‘helping businesses get better results in their email marketing and we work with marketing teams to create and design high-performing email marketing programmes.’ And then you see this, you think, well, I’m not hiring you. So yeah, it doesn’t grab me. So, in terms of creating scannable content, if I kind of just look at that email, I mean, okay, the message comes across, but I, I’m a bit bored. So, this one here starts off really well. You’ve kind of got some nice kind of colours. I love the logo. It’s great. Nice and colourful, nice bold thing at the top. Let’s have a quick look actually, ‘Inspire change through user research.’ ‘How user research can transform.’ Okay, so relevancy between the subject line and the headings. That’s great. Oh, wait a minute, I’m reading a Google document. That is way too much text, that is way too much. They really need to condense this copy down. And particularly if you are sending somebody through to, you know, a web page to read more, you know, if you are doing that anyway and you’re not using the email to get the message across and you’re actually sending people somewhere to read more, then I would probably condense that down quite a lot. In fact, you could argue having the heading and maybe just stopping here at more inclusive, read more here. You know, just cut away at that text. No one’s going to read it. This bit looks pretty cool. I like the design of their emails. There are way too many calls to action going on. Watch the video, read these, read that. I mean, too much going on. Get involved. Join Slack. Yes, less is more. This one. Okay, so ‘A message of gratitude from our founders.’ ‘A note of gratitude.’ Okay, so consistency there. Oh, wait a minute. Again, document, it’s a Word document. Too much stuff going on.

Put this as a blog post on your website and use email as a channel and drive people through. Too much stuff going on. Comes back to creating scannable content. And just doesn’t make me think, doesn’t make me want to scan through all of this stuff now. Okay, fine. You could argue this brand has a super loyal customer base and they really do care and they really do read their emails. It happens. My hunch is that people are just going to scan that and just delete. ‘And as a humble gesture, we’d like to offer you 30% as a thank you’. I mean, write down here. Go in with the offer ‘A note of gratitude, have 30% on us’, you know, put that in the subject line, put that here. That will get people to read it. That will get people to open it. There’s something in it for them. There’s a reason why they want to open that email. Yeah, kind of loses the message. This one, well, I mean hopefully, you can see what’s going on here. There’s just way too much text, poorly formatted, it looks ugly. Yes, just too much stuff going on. Right, let’s look at some good ones. Okay, so this one, ‘Every chair is made with 99 recyclable plastic bottles’. Is that 99 or 99%? So, it’s the stuff that is a bit misleading and they don’t tell you. So, 99, every chair is made with 99. So, have they only got one type of chair or are there lots of different chairs and they’re all made with 99? Here we go 99 water bottles, 99 plus recycled water bottles ok. So ‘Feel good about what you’re putting outside.’ So, this email gets the message across and actually it’s not like they’re trying to sell you that chair, they’re just trying to sell you the message behind the chair. Like, if you care about the environment and you care about recycling, we’re the company for you. This is what we are doing. ‘Learn more’, ‘Recyclable’, ‘99 plastic bottles’, ‘Together, we can change.’ You know, they’re not selling you based on price, they’re not selling you a special offer, they’re selling you, they’re pulling at your heartstrings. They’re selling you based on how good they are for the environment. So, this is quite a good email. Nice and clear, not that much text going on. Nice and bold as you can see. Like, compare this to the previous email. Nice bold heading, a little bit of text, then ‘Learn more.’ They’re not trying to drive you right the way down the page with loads of copy and then learn more. You know, it is really shortened, to the point. Okay, so this one, a massive call to action here. ‘Ditch the itch’, a little bit of text, bold, nice image. So, this is a really well-done email. ‘Subscribe for free shipping and 20% off.’ One would think if you got this email, you’re already subscribed, so that’s a bit confusing. But on brand, nice colours, nice use of white space around all the sections here.

Massive call to action. And then a really nice, clear, on-brand, background. Nice clear image, but not to compromise the header section here where you’ve got the call to action right up at the top. You’ve got the image a little bit further down, so this works really well. Then you’ve got a little bit more text and then you’ve got ‘What’s inside?’. So, a little bit more information. They haven’t gone right at the top with all this kind of stuff. This is like if you scroll down to this point, you’re clearly interested and want to learn more. So, you’ve got the clear call to action here right at the top and then further down you’ve got a bit more of the stuff down here going on.

And then a little bit more. So, the one thing that you can take away from here is you know, you’ve got one message and one call to action. So, ‘Shop now’, ‘What’s inside?’ great, ‘Loved by pets, endorse by vets’, ‘Shop’ again. So, you’ve kind of got the one call to action. So even though you’ve kind of got these, kind of, backup things here, this kind of validating it because people love it and it’s endorsed by vets. You’ve got more information here to say this is why it’s so good and it’s all-natural. The one call to action, go to the shop. They’re not trying to send you to different areas. Like one of the previous emails where it’s like, join our Slack channel, do this, get this. They’re sending you to one place. So, this is a really well-created email and the flow of the content is, is really good.

So, another one here, ‘Vacation in a can’ that, you know, everybody loves a holiday. You know, you’ve got the nice sand here, you’ve got the sea ‘Vacation in a can’. Great really appeals to people. ‘The taste of Hawaii in a can’ amazing ‘Try Superfood Swirl’, ‘Check it out’, ‘Order now’. I would argue this email is a little bit too long and what they’re trying to do is kind of, so if you see like, this topic here, ‘Try this’, ‘Check it out’, great. Then they’re trying to sell me something else. Then they’re saying, listen to this. Then they’re saying sign up and then they’re saying learn more. And then there’s a few other ones here that they’re kind of sandwiched in at the bottom. Little bit too many calls to action, little bit too many things going on. A nicely designed email, but there’s too many calls to action.

I would probably go with this top bit here and then maybe a little bit more here on this product. And then call it a day. This is another email. This is also another email. This is another email. So rather than sending one email with about six different things in it, break that down. It’s a nicely designed email. But I would break this down into like three or four different emails. Don’t put it all in one and send this one email. No subject line though. ‘Taste of Hawaii.’ And then you’ve got ‘Vacation in a can’, ‘Taste of Hawaii in a can.’ I would probably put the ‘Taste of Hawaii in a can’ as the heading here because you’ve got Hawaii in the subject line. So, there’d be a nice kind of feed through from there to there. So last one, Airbnb ‘Take it outside.’ Lovely imagery there. I mean look at the use of white space. The logo is pretty small here. Very, very simplistic. All this white space around here, which draws your eye right into the centre. And then you’ve got the lovely imagery that makes you just want to go down and look they’re painting you a picture here. ‘Warm breezes, golden sunshine and nature in bloom.’ I mean who doesn’t want that?

‘Explore lakes’, ‘Explore tree houses’, ‘Explore cabins’, now here’s the thing. So, they’ve got a few different calls to action here. A few different things they’re trying to sell you. They’re basically selling you the one thing, which is the dream. Take it outside, here you go. But within that, they’ve kind of got these sub-things that they’re trying to sell you. So, the appeal is outside, but here you’ve got lakes, tree houses, cabins. Now that’s a good way to kind of have these micro calls to action based on the one message. So that actually works, nice simple email, really clean well thought out, structurally very simple. That works. So yeah, some good and bad. Looking at the emails, you really kind of want to break it down, really simplify it. Don’t put too much stuff in there and have a consistent flow of the content. You know, just this to me just doesn’t work. This on the other hand, is simple, clear, there’s text in there, there’s stuff in there, but it’s really, really simple and broke down with some really nice imagery. So, hopefully, that gives you a taste of what to do and what not to do.

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