Keeping Emails Tasty

What do a Twitter post, a Vine snippet, a Facebook update, and a QR code have in common? They have all condensed something bigger— an experience, an ad, or an idea—into its most succinct and compact essence.

This concentrated way of communicating larger themes has itself become a meme – “snackable content.” It’s popped up in marketing blogs, a SWSX presentation http://schedule.sxsw.com/2012/events/event_IAP11059  and even a recent Mashable article http://mashable.com/2013/04/29/snackable-content-buzzword/

There may be no medium more suited for digital nosh than email. As a former food editor and writer, this made me think about the best kinds of snacks and their email equivalents.

Appetizer
Before the main course, whets the appetite for the meal

The Afternoon Snack
An energy boost. Nutritious & healthy, but at its best also entertaining. Doesn’t spoil the appetite for dinner

Amuse Bouche
This is usually a special offering before a meal, a gift from the chef or host. Meant for sharing, it’s a delicacy intended  to “surprise and delight”

Tapas
Explore with something unusual or unexpected—get daring, creative

Hors D’oeuvre
Festive, party food- sometimes themed, sometimes creative. Stand-alone snacks when consumed in quantity

Things to remember-

Serve it well and attractively- just as a restaurant uses tiny plates and a cocktail reception waiter passes an enticing tray of nibbles, your “snackable” email message needs to be served well. Keep it bite-sized and well-presented.

Make it finger-friendly – Just as some appetizers are called finger foods, some emails are opened on mobile devices. Make links and content finger-friendly with buttons that are easy for fingers (and thumbs) to handle.

Don’t overdo it- remember that you are offering a morsel. A tidbit. A taste. Keep your recipient hungry.

Suzanne’s previous career as a food editor and writer tempts her to find food references in every aspect of daily life (including email).

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