The Email Savant Series: Creating Sticky Email Content

Mark Vogel

Written by Mark Vogel

February 2, 2018

If you feel you’re doing everything right in executing your email marketing strategy, but your audiences aren’t reading your messages and taking your calls-to-action, then it’s time to look at your content.

The term “sticky” has been used over the years to describe content that not only engages the user but holds their attention for longer periods of time. It was first coined in the book “Made to Stick” by Chip and Dan Heath. But how can we apply the concept of stickiness to our email marketing content?

Here’s some good news! In 2017, Litmus Email Analytics released a report that revealed that the average time spent reading an email is now 11.1 seconds, up 7% from 2011. The percentage of emails read for more than 18 seconds has also grown to 44.4% compared to 38.4% in 2011.

What’s behind this growth in email read time? Savvy marketers are implementing many of the following concepts to better engage their audiences. Those that don’t, probably aren’t seeing these numbers.

Here are some ideas to make your emails “sticky”:

Start with the Inbox

It goes without saying – if your audience isn’t opening your message, they aren’t going to engage with your content. Here are some ways to make your message “stick” when it arrives in their inbox:

Keep It Simple

The same advice for subject lines applies to your content. Your recipients don’t “read” emails – they scan them.

Make it Readable

Even if you follow many of these ideas for sticky content, it won’t help if they can’t read the message.

Be Engaging

Now that you’ve created an email that is short, simple and readable, here are ways to engage your audience to keep the message open and click through on your calls-to-action:

An unopened or unread email is an email that was never sent. You know you have awesome content to share! Just be sure to package that content in your email in a way that ensures it will be read and acted on.

Mark Vogel is president of Vogel Marketing Solutions LLC and serves as a lead email consultant for Nxtbook Media. He has more than 35 years of experience in the marketing world and has been actively engaged in email campaigns for more than 20 years. His email marketing clients include Fortune 500 companies, e-commerce retailers, non-profits, local businesses, and more. He can be reached at

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