"People have limited attention to spare," writes Mark Brownlow at Email Marketing Reports. "They focus on those messages perceived as deserving that attention: messages that are clearly important, personal or something they want and expect." There are, however, a number of barriers that stand between your email campaigns and your subscribers' all-important attention.

To help you remove attention barriers from your email campaigns, Brownlow offers advice like this:

Create an immediate impression of value. Avoid a standard "You've been subscribed" message on your confirmation page. Instead, fuel anticipation by touting an exclusive, email-only discount that will arrive shortly. You might even include a sample screenshot of the offer so subscribers will know what to look for.

Don't allow long periods to lapse between messages. If you send less than one email per month, you risk greater problems than losing a subscriber's rapt attention. "Once the gap between emails grows to a few months, people will start forgetting they even signed up," he notes. "Your problem moves beyond one of recognition to permission issues."

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