Marketing Email Pattern #2: Stair-Stepping
“Come take a walk with me. See the sights there are to see.
We’ll start with the most interesting and then, if you have time, I have more to show you.”
That’s what your stair-stepping email says.
This template gets your most vital content across to the biggest audience possible, and invite those with a bit more time to explore all you have to offer.
How to Create An Email That Stair-Steps
Before you begin, assemble a list of the content you want to share. You can share as many pieces of content as you like using this method, but we recommend capping it off around five. Any more, and you risk overwhelming subscribers, since you’ll weight some of the items more heavily than, say, in the pick-and-choose pattern.
And that’s how you’ll build your set of steps: using design to weight your items from the piece that’s most important for subscribers to see down to the one that’s least important.
- 1. When you determine what your most important piece of content is, put that on top of the email. Give it a rather large headline and perhaps a picture to attract attention. This is your top stair.
- 2. Underneath that (on your second step, so to speak), position your next most important piece of content, or perhaps a group of equally weighted pieces. You may want to give these headlines or pictures or both, but you’ll want to keep them somewhat smaller than the first.
- 3. Finally, your lesser piece of content makes up your bottom step: smallest of all, most likely without illustration, perhaps as a little paragraph above your signature or a postscript.
How can we be sure that this weighting and ordering of content makes a difference? Well, for one, it makes sense that content at the top is likely to attract attention first. Then, the more time someone’s spent reading, the more likely they are to skip the rest of the email.
Secondly, we have been doing split tests on our blog broadcasts and (sneak preview!) we’ve found that the further down a link is in an email, the fewer clicks it gets (no surprise there).
Once you’ve got your content in place, you’ll see that it resembles steps – from the most vital piece of content on down.
When we sent this newsletter to our customers, we were really very anxious for them to see the just-released message editor.
We were also excited for them to discover their new option to integrate their campaigns with Shopify.
Finally, if they weren’t already busy hooking up their accounts with these shiny new tools, we wanted to offer some marketing success stories to encourage and inspire them.
As you can see, the content here steps down from most exciting news that we definitely want subscribers to see (with the biggest font, biggest picture and subject line real estate), on down to a note in the postscript that we hope subscribers take note of, but they might not find nearly as valuable.
What Patterns Do You Use?
Thus far, we’ve discussed three marketing email patterns, all of which you can pick and choose from in your campaign.
But perhaps you use a pattern we haven’t mentioned. If you do, feel free to share what it is and your thoughts on why it works in the comments!Print This Post
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