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  • Is Your Inbox Full of Bacon?


    Posted on March 28, 2011 at 2:12 pm

    Bacon Inbox

    Each morning, I wake up and within minutes check my email. Any breaking news occur while I was asleep? What’s today’s deal from GroupOn? I subscribe to 20 dailies and yet I only read about 3 to 4 of them, simply deleting the rest. The emails which I have subscribed to are what is known as bacon (the legitimate cousin of unwanted spam). It’s not a problem for me to receive bacon, I asked for it! But it is a problem for the companies who are sending the bacon emails. There’s too many of them now that unless the sender or subject attracts me in a few seconds, their efforts are lost and I never read their email.

    A recent study reported the amount of bacon emails we receive has far surpassed the number of wanted emails. Perhaps this is because the cost to send one email is $0.0001, far less expensive than standard snail mail. In 2010 there were 27,397,260,274 bacon emails sent per day, which amounts to 7,300 emails sent annually to each person on the planet with an active email address. Of the bacon emails sent each day, 61% are deleted without even being read. That’s a lot of time wasted creating emails that the majority of your subscribers don’t even read. This infographic says it best, “Some bacon is good, too much will clog your arteries.”

    So what does this mean for your firm? It means you should follow a few best practices to prevent your emails from being overlooked:

    1. Start with a solid offer or idea. It has to be something your readers are interested in or it’s pointless. It can’t just be news–it has to be news they can use. This should resonate in the subject line as well as the rest of the email.
    2. Test the frequency and relevance. Every email vendor offers reporting metrics–pay attention to each campaign’s open rate, week-part (that is, which days of the week enjoy the highest open rates), day-part (which times of day have the highest open rates), and viewing platform (this will give you the most common email programs your audience uses (e.g. Outlook, Gmail) AND how many of your emails are opened via mobile) email applications. Adjust accordingly.
    3. The “from” and “subject” lines count the most. Studies show 70% of people base their decision to open an email on the “from” line and the other 30% decide based on the “subject” line. Rather than making the “subject” line the last thing you write, start with this. Setting your “from” language is something you likely did when you first hired your email vendor. Go back and revisit that now to make sure it’s accurate. Remember: when viewing email via a mobile device, there is even LESS space for both the “subject” and “from” lines.

    In a digital world, cutting through the clutter can be hard. Make the time to take the extra steps to ensure your next email doesn’t fall into the bacon trap.

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Lauren Travis

Lauren Travis

Account Executive