Long and Short Emails
Through the years in keeping with its rising popularity, emails have become longer and media-rich. Text competes with graphics, charts and links for our attention. Design plays an important role as the content payload. As consumption has moved from desktop to mobile, emails have had to be redesigned to ensure they look good on the mobile. Since email is priced based on volume (number of emails sent), the tendency is to send longer and longer emails in the hope that something ‘clicks’ with the recipient. As inboxes have become crowded, open rates have fallen. But the RoI on email has not. For many media and ecommerce platforms, emails remain the most important channel for sourcing incoming traffic.
Netcore has also grown with the rising popularity of email. We send 11 billion emails a month and are amongst the top 5 email service providers globally. A lot of attention goes into email design and deliverability to ensure opens and clicks.
A few months ago, I started thinking about what innovation was possible around email. My colleague, Chaitanya, who leads the email business at Netcore, identified the key email marketing trends for 2021 in our MartechBrain conversation. Among them: the rise of AMP (interactive emails) and interestingly, the return to simple emails.
The question that I had started thinking about a few months ago was: What would it take for every email sent by a brand to be opened? My answer was short and simple emails. High signal, no noise. A single message. I also created MyToday, a content platform to try this out. It was like going back to the long-forgotten early days of email. Short and simple. I needed a new word to describe this type of email. I came up with “micron” – micro newsletters (or micro nudges). Could microns be the next big leap for email?
The content microns that I started getting were very helpful. Just the news I needed to know. And some variety – quotes, health tip, a dash of philosophy, Hindi word, and so on. These were all daily channels – one new micron which could be consumed in 15-30 seconds. Short and simple. Only signal, no noise. No distractions. I noticed that my open and read rate on these microns was very high. Many other newsletters would get ignored because I was too busy at the time they came and so would keep for them for later reading – which ever came. Microns by contrast were an instant and easy read. This opened up a new line of thinking about emails and microns.