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5 C's for a killer email content block

Over the past few years the build-up of email content blocks has changed a lot. And rightfully so. The increased use of mobile devices has forced us to adapt the reading experience to smaller screens. Desktop inboxes have become overcrowded, leading to rigorous filtering behavior. And in the not so distant future emails will be read on wearable devices such as smartwatches.

Taking all this into consideration, can we still define solid ground rules to create effective content blocks? Yes, we can. Let us introduce you to the 5 C's that help you create content with a capital C.

The 5 C's provide you with an excellent checklist to measure the quality, readability and interactivity of your content. In a previous post we already explained how good content is a commodity and great content is a scarcity. By embedding the 5 C's in every single content block, you can now consistently build great content.

So bring on those 5 C's already!

Evaluate your content by asking yourself these vital questions. What is the message you want to get across? Is it newsworthy? Is it relevant for your audience? Does it add value? In other words: are you delivering content that your readers may not expect, but definitely want to read?

Long text is a no-go in emails. To avoid overelaborating, start by writing down your message. Then rewrite it as shortly as possible. Have you gotten to the point where you cannot leave out another word? Then you're probably good.

Tip: if you take being concise seriously, limit your content blocks to 3 lines of text.

Say what you want to say. 90% marketing talk and 10% content is not a good balance. Let the content do the marketing for you.

Be witty, funny, clever, unique, bold, fierce,... whatever fits your brand. But above all: stand out. Leading brands have leading opinions.

What do you want me to do after reading this content? And let's make a bold statement here: 'read more' is not a strong call to action. And 'getting people to your website' is a goal, it's also not a call to action. CTA's should change the type of interaction that a reader has with your brand.

An example: let's say you want to promote a whitepaper. Your email contains a quote from it, and on your landing page you have a description of the document with a 'download' button. Why not put a ‘direct download' button in your email, right next to your ‘read more' button.


Make sure your email content blocks live up to the 5 C's. The response you get will be worth it...

Posted on
Oct 17, 2014