The average person will take approximately three seconds to determine whether they will open an email or just mark it as spam. Within these three seconds, there are several important factors that contribute to this decision. Before an email is even opened, the first thing that people see from an email is the subject headline. Then imagery, visual layout, and color follow closely behind. All of these factors work with one another to develop an interest for the viewer to open and read on. This decision happens so quickly that if your newsletter is not intriguing enough in any of these aspects, it may lose the battle of spam versus open and will be sent straight to the trash.

The headline of a newsletter is very important because it is the first thing to be seen. You must give the reader a reason to open your email by drawing a connection of interest or curiousity. A great headline should be simple, catchy and direct. Large industrial terms should be avoided because if the viewer can’t understand the words in the headline, the chances of them opening to read more is slim to none.

Once your email survives the initial judgment of the headline, the overall layout and content of the newsletter is the next attention grabber. Your newsletter should include professional images that are relevant to your content while avoiding pictures that are blurry or pixelated. The Easy Life Furniture newsletter below is a great example of how professional photography can catch the viewers eye. The bold percentage off line above it gives the newsletter direct attention and delivers the message quickly. Audience do not need to hunt around the graphics to figure out the purpose of this email.

If the verbiage of your newsletter is on the heavier side, try to integrate the “read more” feature. This will allow you to give a little preview of your story without overwhelming the reader with too much visual text. The imagery and text should work together to create a visually pleasing layout to draw a sense of interest for viewers to continue reading. The newsletter below is an example of a clean layout with easy to read text. Their message is clear, direct, and gets straight to the point. The images around it also help to support and deliver the message in a timely matter.

Recent studies have also tested that newsletters sent between the times of 8PM and 12 Midnight, not only have a higher chance of being opened, but they draw more clicks and sales. In terms of the days of the week, newsletters sent on weekends also have a higher success rate than those sent on weekdays. This is largely due to the fact that most newsletters are created and sent during business hours. Sending your newsletter when there is less email traffic will increase the chances of having it opened. We currently like to use to keep track of our newsletter opens and subscriptions.

All of these areas should be considered when creating and sending out your newsletter. No matter how great of a story your e-newsletter has, if it doesn’t get opened, it won’t be read. So take the time to write a catchy headline and include some tasteful imagery. Take care to summarize when necessary and offer viewers the opportunity to read more if they are interested.