Once you've been working for weeks on a newsletter or a campaign, it's hard to imagine what it's like to see it for the first time. But that's only way it's ever going to perform for you. Your email messages may compelling on your desk but in the stew of nagging assignments, endless negotiations, purchase receipts, event notices, and holiday cards occupying most of our inboxes, will yours be the delightful mushroom peaking out from behind the potatoes? To survive "inbox stew" your message has to be easy, clear, fun, entertaining, and rewarding.
Email Experience Blog: Inbox Stew: Grandma, Goods, Compadres and Confirmation. 2008-Feb-12, by Stephanie Miller of Return Path
Subscribers know intellectually the difference between personal, transactional and marketing messages, but it’s an emotional decision to open or delete when faced with inbox clutter. Subscribers view their inbox holistically—we are not only competing against others in our industry, and transactional messages for purchases and e-statements, but we are competing with grandma’s message, too. The classic example of defining your competitive marketplace by benefit and not by product is the statement that Amtrak is in the transportation business, not the train business. So too, we email marketers are not just in the retail or travel business, we are in the business of creating compelling and interesting subscriber experiences.