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Creating emails that get read by skim-readers

Updated: Jun 21, 2023

Did you know that, on average, only 37 - 200 words of your email campaigns are read by your email audience?

So how do you prevent your subscribers from skim-reading your emails?

Picture of a person skim-reading a book while thinking about email

This question plagues many email marketers because so much time is spent curating content, designing the perfect email, and monitoring email results.

According to a Nielsen Norman Group eye-tracking study, the email recipients they tested consume email as follows:

๐Ÿ‘€ ๐—ฆ๐—ธ๐—ถ๐—บ๐—บ๐—ฒ๐—ฑ - 69% of the readers

๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป ๐—ง๐—ต๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐—ผ๐˜‚๐—ด๐—ต๐—น๐˜† ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐—ฎ๐—ฑ - 19% of the readers

๐Ÿ’ช๐Ÿป ๐—ฅ๐—ฒ๐—ฎ๐—ฑ ๐—ฎ๐—น๐—น ๐—ฐ๐—ผ๐—ป๐˜๐—ฒ๐—ป๐˜ - 6% of the readers

๐Ÿ‘ป ๐—š๐—น๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ฐ๐—ฒ๐—ฑ ๐—ฎ๐˜ ๐—ถ๐˜ ๐—ฏ๐˜‚๐˜ ๐—ฑ๐—ถ๐—ฑ ๐—ป๐—ผ๐˜ ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐—ฎ๐—ฑ ๐—ฎ๐˜ ๐—ฎ๐—น๐—น - 6% of the readers

These stats are scary! You have such a short time to capture a reader's interest before you've lost them.

Here are some quick-fire tips, that may seem obvious, but continue to be effective in keeping your reader engaged. Keep these in mind, especially when creating emails that get read by skim-readers:

๐Ÿ’ก ๐—•๐—ฒ ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐—น๐—ฒ๐˜ƒ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐˜ - Segment your database and serve members of your audience with content suited to them. This is the best way to ensure readership. Dynamic content sections can do this while saving you time and effort (these adapt the content to who your reader is and what segment they belong to).

๐Ÿ’ก ๐—ž๐—ฒ๐—ฒ๐—ฝ ๐—ถ๐˜ ๐˜€๐—ต๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐˜ โ€“ Interest in the content of an email diminishes as the email extends below the fold, so cut the copy and keep the most important points of the message near the top.

๐Ÿ’ก ๐—”๐—น๐—ถ๐—ด๐—ป ๐˜๐—ผ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐—น๐—ฒ๐—ณ๐˜ โ€“ Readers of left-to-right languages (like English) are accustomed to scanning from the top-left first. Keep this in mind when designing two or more column layouts for your emails.

Design can be critical in your content process. I'm popping links below to three great resources you can use to design your emails for skim readers:

Do you consider this when you create email campaigns?

Before you go! Email design means nothing if you don't have a database! Learn the fastest ways to grow your email list today by clicking here or on the image below ๐Ÿ‘‡

Free email database growth playbook

Want more tips like these? Get our expert email guide today! Click here to find out more

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