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Do Pretty Girls Read E-mail?

  |  June 21, 2010   |  Comments

Are we trying too hard with our e-mails? Should we be focusing them better on certain demographics?

A few nights ago, I was on a red-eye flight from San Francisco to New York. I usually fall asleep the second the doors close. But not this night. Instead, I was kept awake by six "beauty queens" who were on their way to New York City to become famous models. They spent five hours and 50 minutes with all the lights on, (and small compacts open just enough to reflect the overhead light into my eyes) fixing their hair and makeup and talking about the future. (I am not making this up).

Girl 1: So, um...do you think we will be prettier when we're famous models because we will have lots of people doing our hair and makeup and stuff?

Girl 2: Duuhh! No. Because we will be all wrinkly and they will have to work on that. We'll get lots of wrinkles fast because we will be out all night partying.

Girl 3: OMG You guyyyys. We don't need to worry about wrinkles. If you drink a gallon of water before you go to a bar your face gets puffy and the wrinkles don't stick.

Later on in the flight, they debated Botox.

Girl 1: So, should I get Botox?

Girl 2: Not if you eat meat.

Girl 3: Yeah, because, like, Botox and meat both come from a cow, and if you get Botox and eat a hamburger it is just too much dairy for your stomach to process and you will get cramps.

Girl 1: (Horrified) Whoa! OK. I will stop eating meat today.

Conversations like this continued for the entire flight and I started to question who in the world has a conversation like this? And then I started to look at their makeup brands, clothes, etc. and attempted to determine how much money they spend on all of these items. Then I began wondering if these pretty girls read e-mails or if that was just too much to ask of them.

I ended up deciding that these girls probably do read e-mails, but only if they feel they will help them with their life quest of becoming famous. That made me think - are we trying too hard with our e-mails? Maybe with every e-mail we create, we should ask ourselves...would a pretty girl read this? This includes:

  • Using direct, benefit-oriented subject lines (nothing too hard to figure out)

  • Building "pretty" e-mails that graphically, or with short text, point out benefits

  • Making sure links click to the offer on the top and bottom of the e-mail (so as to not overtax the pretty girl's finger)

  • Ensuring the landing page matches the design of the e-mail (so there is no confusion)

  • Following up if there was no response with a gentle reminder of the offer (in case she just hasn't gotten to that e-mail yet)

The "pretty girl theory" seems to make sense. It's in line with some recent research ExactTarget released showing that 58 percent of U.S. online consumers begin their day interacting with companies on e-mail, compared to 20 percent who start their day on search engines and 11 percent on Facebook.

Whether you decide to follow the "pretty girl" theory or not, rethinking when and how your e-mails present themselves provides a good opportunity to do some fine-tuning before the holiday retail season starts.


Jeanniey Mullen

Jeanniey Mullen is the vice president of marketing at NOOK by Barnes and Noble, focused on business growth and customer acquisition. 

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