“I receive email for very different reasons than others in my life,” writes Kara Trivunovic at the Email Experience Council blog. “I subscribe to just about any email I can, because I like to see what people are doing. More specifically, how marketers are targeting their customers, leveraging data, addressing rendering challenges and motivating recipients to open, among many other things.”

The typical subscriber, however, doesn’t share the professional curiosity of an email marketer. To gain a recipient’s in-the-trenches perspective, Trivunovic decided to quiz her husband on his email likes and dislikes. She offers these guidelines for marketers based on what she learned:

Ongoing campaigns must deliver on subscriber expectations. “My hubby tells me that [he often] subscribes for something specific, but if the subsequent emails don’t grab him right away, he unsubscribes.”

Overly restrictive terms and conditions kill interest. That tantalizing offer becomes much less appealing when reams of fine print make it virtually unattainable. “[N]othing drives him more crazy than [receiving] a great subject line and headline about getting free nights at a great hotel,” she notes, “only to open the message to find that there isn’t a snowball’s chance he can go.”

If images don’t render, recipients might blame the sender, not the ISP. When AOL blocks images from Mandalay Bay, Trivunovic’s husband assumes the hotel—and not the ISP—is at fault.

Ask away. Don’t forget to ask real people what they think about your emails. Although the information you gain will be anecdotal, you might still catch something your testing has missed.

Source: Email Experience Council