Last week I critiqued one of the worst emails I’ve ever received. Subscriber Martin wrote:
“I really enjoyed this 🙂
If you worried about whether your audience would mind you being critical of something, don’t.
This was really interesting. It would be interesting to hear your critique on less grossly bad pieces of work too.”
So today, I’m going to critique something better.
I’d say the best emails that arrive regularly in my inbox come from Ash Ambridge. Not because they’re technically the best, or the most persuasive, or anything like that.
You can read a recent email here. In Gmail, her emails arrive like this:
I have a few problems with this format. I generally read emails on my phone, and the first ten lines or so of the email are taken up with a logo and a wide banner image.
This image isn’t specific to the content; it appears on all of Ash’s emails. Frankly, I think it’s a waste of prime real estate space. I also read most emails on my phone, and the image seems to fix the width of the email. I have to keep scrolling left to right to left to right to left just to read the thing. It’s really annoying.
I’m not against pictures in emails. I happen not to use many, but an image of your face may be a good idea. But if you’re going to do this, put it at the bottom. Preferably in a way that doesn’t interfere with the email width on mobile devices.
Incidentally if you never check how your emails appear on mobile devices, you should. Also, check on a range of mobile devices. Just because your email appears fine on your 6” screen iPhone 10, doesn’t mean it’s going to appear fine on my steam-driven Sony Experia.
I also don’t think that linking to the blog post version of the email I’m about to read with a giant blue link is a sensible thing to do. What difference does it make whether I read the blog post, or the email? So why link to the blog post at all?
Having said that, I think the content is spectacular. Why? Because it challenges my current level of thinking about what I’m doing.
Ultimately, your goal is to upgrade your reader’s level of thinking about what you do. In the process of doing that you position yourself as a trusted expert. An authority who can guide the opinions of other people.
I’ll leave you on the idea from Ash’s email: what’s the single most important thing you can contribute today?
And as things stand, will you contribute it?
Will insecurities about your story or your work hold you back?