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And the winner is Pizza Express – find out why!

5 June, 2011

Ok so I admit, my survey was limited, around 12 hours and it only took into account 6 well-known brands! Nevertheless a very simple, easy thing to be learnt!

Take a look at this screen shot from my IPhone this weekend.

Look closely at each emails third line (the pre header / 1st line of content). Go on take a real close look now.

The pre header is such an opportunity, and can either make the user open the email or ignore / delete the email.

  • easyJet and have gone with the standard – “To display this email in a browser click here.”
  • have show you how to unsubscribe.
  • Debenhams have clarified it was then sending you the email.
  • Groupon have gone with “white list” our email address.
  • BUT Pizza Express have gone with a punchy offer!

Which email would you open? Ok, yes, brand is a massive factor, seconded by the subject line, but see what I mean? The 3rd line is an opportunity not to be missed!

With smartphone phone sales up 85% year on year. It’s a well-known fact that people check their email on the move, and it’s the moment they receive that email that you need to make sure they don’t ignore or trash it. You need to give the user EVERY reason in the world to open that email.

It’s highlighted more when you look at the cross section of smart phones being used around the Europe, amazingly 20.3% are IPhones! (Pre-headers are shown on most smartphones not just the IPhone)

Infographic courtesty of comScore DataMine

It’s clear to see that you would be silly not to make use of the pre-header as most smartphones use them. The Pizza Express email has a clear offer and gives more temptation into opening the email funnelling more users into that wanted click-through and engagement channel.

Average click-through rates and average open rates are important as they give us a benchmark to work towards, and also can help us understand our audience better. Do you know how many people open your emails? Do you know how many people then click-through (i.e. click a link)? Do you not think you should know the answers to these questions, let me tell you, you NEED to know the answers, so you can increase the percentages!

I thought it would be helpful to take a look at a recent report issued by They analysed over 500 million email messages sent through their platform over 12 months from 1st January – 31st December 2010. All the emails are from small-medium sized UK companies and have been sent to subscribed UK recipients.

Across all industries the average results for the UK were:-

  • Open Rate: 18.21%
  • Click-through rate: 3.29%
  • Unsubscribe rate: 0.22%

Here is the breakdown!

Some interesting figures, if you thought that 80% of your email list read your emails, you would be very wrong!

Whilst posting this I did a quick bit of research on Google regarding Pizza Express and was amazed to see Pizza Express have recently reported a 62.5% open rate that’s over double the 28.19% UK restaurant open average. That is outstanding and I think there is a lot to learn from their campaigns.

Points to take away:-

  • Use Pre Headers (1st line of content)
  • Take interest in big brand emails and learn from them (warning – most get it wrong, so learn from their mistakes!)
  • Remember users check emails on mobiles, make them mobile friendly
  • Analyse your own campaigns, know what your click rates and open rates are

For more info on creating and sending emails that convert check out my FREE

Tricks to Get People to Read Your Emails offer advice with e-shots and e-newsletters and also offer a fully functional platform to manage, send and report your email campaigns. Feel free to get in touch.

Do you send out email campaigns / e-newsletters? What are your thoughts and experiences? Do you know how many people read your emails? Did you assume that everyone does? I’d love to know so please comment below.

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