You have two seconds

Here’s something scary from the Litmus Blog, reporting on a large set of data looking at what happens to sent emails: New Email Metrics: Two seconds to make an impression:

On average, 51.1% of readers spend less than 2 seconds looking at your email.

That’s 51.1% of those who opened your email. Inside of two seconds, they’ve given up on whatever you had for them.

Count to two slowly. That’s all the time they had for you.

What does this tell us? Nothing new, really. Just make sure the content of your email is compelling, enticing, and obvious — in a way that a viewer can take in within two seconds.

No sweat, huh?

Thanks to Be Relevant! for the tip.


Comments

6 responses to “You have two seconds”

  1. 2 seconds….no problem. Charitable organizations are just trying to make the world a little bit of a better place.
    I hope it works out better for them on whatever planet they choose to live on.
    Hope they get that 2 second investment back…

  2. 2 seconds….no problem. Charitable organizations are just trying to make the world a little bit of a better place.
    I hope it works out better for them on whatever planet they choose to live on.
    Hope they get that 2 second investment back…

  3. Jeff,
    The 2-second stat nails the importance of the “from” line, “subject” line and first one or two sentences of the email.
    It also highlights that messages must demonstrate VALUE and RELEVANCE to the reader.
    Just because a charity sent it doesn’t automatically fill the message with value and relevance. Just because it comes from a nonprofit doesn’t magically grant us more time in the day to make a decision. And just because it comes from a nonprofit doesn’t mean people are lousy or selfish if they don’t read it.
    The sender has the obligation to make it worthwhile. This is the challenge for many people who work at nonprofits … their deep love for their mission can blind them. It’s very difficult for them to see what’s relevant and important to the reader.
    It takes a lot more than, “Here we are. We do this. Send us money.” Saying it’s a good cause isn’t enough. And needing more info than that doesn’t make the donors bad people.
    Charities are asking readers to invest their valuable time to read a message. And then asking for their money. The charity needs to first invest a LOT MORE TIME crafting a relevant message that adds value.
    I’m done ranting. Thanks for the post!

  4. Jeff,
    The 2-second stat nails the importance of the “from” line, “subject” line and first one or two sentences of the email.
    It also highlights that messages must demonstrate VALUE and RELEVANCE to the reader.
    Just because a charity sent it doesn’t automatically fill the message with value and relevance. Just because it comes from a nonprofit doesn’t magically grant us more time in the day to make a decision. And just because it comes from a nonprofit doesn’t mean people are lousy or selfish if they don’t read it.
    The sender has the obligation to make it worthwhile. This is the challenge for many people who work at nonprofits … their deep love for their mission can blind them. It’s very difficult for them to see what’s relevant and important to the reader.
    It takes a lot more than, “Here we are. We do this. Send us money.” Saying it’s a good cause isn’t enough. And needing more info than that doesn’t make the donors bad people.
    Charities are asking readers to invest their valuable time to read a message. And then asking for their money. The charity needs to first invest a LOT MORE TIME crafting a relevant message that adds value.
    I’m done ranting. Thanks for the post!

  5. Karen’s right of course. The “subject” line (headline) is crucial to open rate. Hopefully the recipient is already interested in receiving email from your organization.
    Donor centric copy-writing is a vital skill for any nonprofit development professional to have. It determines whether your emails get opened, whether your annual appeals get read, whether a smile crosses your donor’s face when they read your thank you letter … or they toss it in with their tax receipts after scanning the first paragraph.

  6. Karen’s right of course. The “subject” line (headline) is crucial to open rate. Hopefully the recipient is already interested in receiving email from your organization.
    Donor centric copy-writing is a vital skill for any nonprofit development professional to have. It determines whether your emails get opened, whether your annual appeals get read, whether a smile crosses your donor’s face when they read your thank you letter … or they toss it in with their tax receipts after scanning the first paragraph.

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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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Jeff BrooksJeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 35 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com. More.


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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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Jeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 30 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com.

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