Managing the Double-Edged Sword of Teaser Emails

teaser emails

I want you to look at these two emails below and decide for yourself which one is better.

Barring the fact that anything to do with drugs gets people’s interest, there is more zing in the Priceonomics (on the left) email than SearchSOA. Now, let’s understand why.

  1. It is a teaser through and through.
  2. It is brief and gives you no inkling about what could be in the article as opposed to SearchSOA’s email, which gives away a little too much information.
  3. It uses an image (best way to get more brownie points).
  4. It has a single core message so you don’t have too many messages vying for your attention.
  5. And lastly but most importantly, it has a killer headline.
TeaserCrucialThe email should serve as a teaser for the content.
ConcisenessImportantKeep the email brief and avoid revealing too much.
Visual ElementEffectiveIncorporating images can enhance engagement.
Single Core MessageCriticalFocus on one core message to avoid distractions.
Killer HeadlineVitalA compelling headline is essential for attention.

Now, let us understand in detail how to send out awesome single email teasers like Priceonomics …

It All Starts with the Subject Line

A few days ago, I ordered a handbag for my sister from Vera Bradley. And now I am receiving email newsletters from them almost daily. Here are some of their email subject lines and I can’t make heads or tails out of most of them:

  • Here, There, Anywhere
  • Late-night craving? You are in for a treat!
  • Pretty as can be…

Your subject line can either make or break your email campaign. Too short and you come across as lazy; too long and you come across as boring; too revealing and you drive away the need to click; too mysterious and you come across as abstract; too funny and you come across as cheeky – there isn’t an easy way to master the art of writing great subject lines.

Managing the Double-Edged Sword of Teaser Emails

You can take cue from listicle websites like Makeuseof and Buzzfeed and learn how to write killer subject lines for teaser mails. Here are a few examples of headlines from these two sites:

  • 2 Chrome Extensions Are All You Need to Manage All Your Cloud Storage
  • 3D Printing Scams: How Con Men Leverage New Technology
  • Are You A Bagel Or A Doughnut?

All these headlines have a suspense value and are click-inducing. They are ‘there’ but not ‘completely there’; for instance, you know they are talking about Chrome Extensions but they leave you wondering which ones will help you manage cloud storage.

Managing the Double-Edged Sword of Teaser Emails

In case, they had used the headline “All You Need to Manage All Your Cloud Storage” you would think it was one of those articles that summed up cloud management strategies and not open it. But they knew the combination of quick Chrome extensions and cloud storage will work wonders, and they used it to their advantage. So don’t leave out the important parts from your subject line, even if it gets a bit longer.

Here’s another interesting read on subject lines.

Last but not the least, include teaser text that acts as the snippet of your email instead of using the regular text – Having trouble viewing this email? Click here to view in browser window. Many times, this text can’t be seen in the email but is visible just below your subject line in the email preview area, and it makes you look bad. Here’s an interesting article on pre-headers.

Subject Line ImpactCrucialA compelling subject line is vital for email success.
LengthBalancedAvoid extremes; too short may seem lazy, too long may bore.
TransparencyBalance NeededDon't reveal everything, but don't be too mysterious either.
Suspense ValueRecommendedUse subject lines that create curiosity and intrigue.
ExamplesLearn from ExpertsStudy subject lines from listicle websites like Makeuseof and Buzzfeed.
Inclusion of Key InfoEssentialInclude important elements even if it makes the subject line longer.
Teaser TextEffective AdditionUse teaser text below the subject line for further engagement.

Managing the Double-Edged Sword of Teaser Emails

Frequently Asked Questions

Which Email Example Demonstrates Effective Teaser Email Techniques?

In the comparison between the two emails, the Priceonomics email stands out as the more effective teaser email. Here’s why:

  1. Teaser Approach: The Priceonomics email is a true teaser. It provides minimal information about the article’s content, sparking curiosity. In contrast, the SearchSOA email gives away too much detail.
  2. Image Usage: Priceonomics includes an image in its email, which adds visual appeal and engages readers. Images are excellent attention-grabbers.
  3. Focused Message: The Priceonomics email conveys a single core message, reducing distractions and making it more likely for readers to take the desired action.
  4. Compelling Headline: The Priceonomics email features a killer headline, drawing readers in with an intriguing message.

What Role Does the Subject Line Play in Teaser Emails?

The subject line is a critical element in teaser emails. It can make or break your email campaign. Effective subject lines strike a balance between being too short or too long, too revealing or too mysterious. They should create curiosity and encourage recipients to open the email.

Consider subject lines that provide a hint of what’s inside without giving away all the details. For inspiration, look at listicle websites like Makeuseof and Buzzfeed, which excel in crafting click-inducing headlines.

Managing the Double-Edged Sword of Teaser Emails

Why Should You Avoid Using Free Stock Photos in Teaser Emails?

While free stock photos might seem like a convenient option, they can make your email appear dull and unoriginal. Custom images have a more significant impact on your audience. They add a unique touch to your emails, making them stand out.

With accessible tools like Piktochart and Canva, creating customized images is quick and straightforward. Don’t settle for generic stock photos when you can easily create eye-catching visuals that resonate with your audience.

How Should You Approach the Body Copy in Teaser Emails?

The body copy of a teaser email plays a crucial role in maintaining reader engagement. Here are some key points to consider:

  • Keep it concise: Aim for a brief body copy, ideally below 100 words. Shorter texts maintain readers’ interest and encourage them to continue reading.
  • Generate curiosity: Your body copy should not reveal the entire content of your article. Instead, create a summary or teaser that sparks curiosity and leaves readers wanting more.
  • Maintain consistency: Ensure that your body copy aligns with the headline and doesn’t give away too much information too soon. Keep the suspense intact.

Why Is a Single Call to Action Important in Teaser Emails?

A single call to action (CTA) in a teaser email is essential because it keeps the focus on the desired action. Teaser emails are meant to engage readers and prompt them to take a specific step, such as clicking through to a landing page.

Having multiple CTAs can dilute your message and confuse readers. A clear, single CTA directs readers toward the intended action, making it more likely for them to follow through.

Are Teaser Emails Suitable for All Types of Content?

Teaser emails are effective when there’s a natural occasion for them. They work best when you have something new, exciting, or surprising to share. For instance, if you’re offering daily discounts on an eCommerce website, a straightforward email with the discount details is more appropriate than a vague teaser.

Teaser emails are most useful when you want to build anticipation or curiosity around specific content or announcements. Ensure there’s a genuine reason for using this approach to maximize its impact.

What Are Some Additional Tips for Crafting Successful Teaser Emails?

  • Know Your Audience: Understand your target audience’s preferences and interests. Tailor your teaser content to resonate with their needs and expectations.
  • Test and Refine: Experiment with different subject lines, visuals, and messaging to see what works best for your audience. Continuously refine your approach based on data-driven insights.
  • Avoid Overuse: Reserve teaser emails for occasions where they genuinely add value. Overusing teasers can dilute their impact and lead to reader fatigue.
  • Measure Results: Track the performance of your teaser emails, including open rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates. Use this data to assess the effectiveness of your campaigns and make improvements.
  • Stay Consistent: Maintain a consistent email design and branding to build recognition and trust among your subscribers.

Over to You

So, I just described what I think is the best way to handle the double-edged sword of teaser emails.

Did I miss out on any important aspects of creating or managing them? What are your views and experiences with teaser emails? Have you used them before and more importantly, have they worked for you? I hope to hear from you with your opinions and views in the comments.

Sword Photo via Shutterstock

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Pratik Dholakiya Pratik Dholakiya is the founder of Growfusely, a content marketing agency specializing in content and data-driven SEO. As a passionate SEO and content marketer, he shares his thoughts and knowledge in publications like Search Engine Land, Search Engine Journal, Entrepreneur Magazine, Fast Company, The Next Web, YourStory, and Inc42, to name a few.