The red bubble. The 3-digit reminder of procrastination. The never-ending cycle. That’s right: e-mail. Everyone with an email account and a smartphone has experienced this horrid, constant reminder. For me, and probably most, it is very rare that I actually take the time to read all of these emails. However, there are a couple of emails and businesses that always seem to catch my eye when they send an update. What are these businesses doing right that hundreds of others are doing so wrong?

At first glance, it is hard to determine what companies are doing to grab and maintain the attention of their readers. Julia McCoy helps break this down in her article ’20 Email Marketing Tips to Boost Engagement’. Julia explains that only about 20% of emails are actually opened. This means that the emails that are read need to be valuable and significant to the reader. In order to do so, Julia suggests exploiting her 20 tips. To make this a little easier, here are my top 5 favorites:

5. Don’t Email Just for Emails Sake. Make sure the information you send is important and valuable to the consumer in order to keep them from becoming disinterested.

1. Be More Personal. Readers enjoy having one-on-one interaction. Singling out your audience will make them feel as if they are cared about and encourage them to open your mail.

4. Enrich Your Reader’s Lives. This tip relates to tip 5. Readers enjoy reading about things that will help them in some way, rather than selling them a product or service.

18. Nudge a Little. Develop a sense of urgency among your audience. Spell out the benefits of an offer and then limit the time they have to react. Limiting the time  of an offer causes consumers to make a decision.

11. Be Short and Sweet. Readers don’t want to spend their evening reading emails (that’s why someone invented the ‘mark all as read’ button). Keeping it short and sweet will save both of you time and will mean more to the reader.


A business that always catches my attention from its email marketing campaign is PacSun. By creating a rewards program, PacSun has attached value to its emails. Offering limited time offers, free shipping, and a variety of promotional email campaigns has encouraged me to read all of PacSun’s emails regardless if the email contains a deal or not (most do, however). PacSun also follows a majority of Julia’s tips and has great success doing so. PacSun does a lot of things well, but its effective email marketing campaign is one of its best.

What companies stand out to you when reading your email?



3 thoughts on “The Notification Worth Reading: Tips to Having Your Emails Read

  1. I love how you only took the 5 most important tips out of the 20, it really helps to narrow down which ones are the most beneficial. Perfect example with PacSun, I love how active they are with their email campaign, they are always emailing me with new stuff and releases. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

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