Six More Tips for Even More Inbox Attention (Part 2 of a 2-Part series)

Every email craves attention, but you need to catch your subscriber’s eye quickly. Fail and she or he will move on to the next message, press the delete button, or (argh!) put your message in the junk folder.

Last issue, we revealed how your sign-up process and send times help your emails get that critical inbox recognition and attention. But the email itself also needs to look the part.


  1. Make your sender name unique and recognizable, and don’t be afraid to test alternatives. Good options include the organization or brand name, a newsletter title, or the subscriber’s account manager.
  2. Ensure the subject line gives people a reason to explore further, but deliver on the promise. If you raise expectations which the actual email fails to match, you train subscribers to ignore your future messages. Test attention grabbers like symbols, but beware of novelty effects that wear off quickly.
  3. The top left of your email is the part people typically see first, particularly in previews or on small screens. Put in a logo, slogan or other brand-friendly design element people will recognize. Use a short line of (preheader) text to communicate the email’s value/offer/content quickly.
  4. Don’t bury the critical offer or content below giant, meaningless images or rows of “share this on Facebook/Twitter” icons.
  5. Make it easy to skim, scan, or browse down through the email, for example using clear headlines, highlighting, bullets, short paragraphs, and helpful imagery.
  6. Test the impact of trying something different. If your past emails didn’t excite subscribers, will their eyes glaze over automatically when they see your next one? Would a more humorous or aggressive subject line make a difference?

Finally, of course, don’t lose focus on the value of the content or offer you deliver. The more subscribers can benefit from your emails, the more inclined they are to look out for them in the inbox!

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