The cocktail party email effect by Jordie van Rijn @jvanrijn

The Cocktail Party Email Effect

The inbox is like a crowded party with a lot of things happening at the same time. How do you make make it the best party possible and be sure you are not a background noise?

The challenge of the crowded party
One of the challenges in email marketing is to stand out in a crowded inbox. Once the email reaches the inbox, it has some stiff competition and the reader will only spend a split second to decide if your message will be read. Just like looking around in a party and deciding where to stand and with who you would like to talk.

Join the party
Sometimes we forget that our marketing messages are alone in the inbox party. A study by Merkle concludes that permission-based email accounts for 26% of the total time spent with email. The biggest competitors are work-mail (19%) and email of friends and family (43%). Fact is there is a lot of partying going on and we need some way to stand out in the inbox to get the recipients attention.

The cocktail party effect
When you are at a crowded party with a lot of people and a lot of noise, there are too many conversations to follow. Still, when talking with a friend in a crowded party, you can listen and understand what your friend says and can even simultaneously ignore what another nearby people are saying — This is called the cocktail-party effect. You are actually filtering the rest of the noise and focusing your attention on the interesting conversation. The same goes for the inbox. There are some senders who always get your attention.

 

The cocktail-email
As an email marketing professional, you want your email to get the attention needed. The cocktail-party effect creates a separate, high quality channel where attention is focused to one message. It would be ideal to let your email spin on the cocktail-party effect.

Be close to the recipient
One tip, for the cocktail party effect to work, you still need to be close to the recipient. People can filter out the rest of the noise but not from across the room. So try to think how you can be closer to your recipients and keep the interestability high during the whole relationship. Does your email marketing have the cocktail party effect?

Takeaway: Staying close (being relevant) and being interesting will help you take advantage of the “cocktail party” effect.

Meet the author:

Jordie van Rijn

Jordie van Rijn

Jordie is an independent email marketing consultant with his company eMailMonday. He specializes in email marketing and event-driven campaigns, helping brands to get the most from their email marketing efforts. Selecting emailtools at email vendor selection website is another.

Connect with: Jordie van Rijn

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  • Jay Chambers
    June 28, 2010 at 2:30 pm

    Hey Jordie – In your experience what helps you get heard in the inbox?

    For me: a friendly sendername eg: Jay from Jaymail, a strong subject line eg: 15 ways to ramp up click thru rates, then a good use of pre header text can help get spotted!

  • Jay Chambers
    June 28, 2010 at 2:30 pm

    Hey Jordie – In your experience what helps you get heard in the inbox?

    For me: a friendly sendername eg: Jay from Jaymail, a strong subject line eg: 15 ways to ramp up click thru rates, then a good use of pre header text can help get spotted!

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