Greens, beware of clutter

The Greens attempted to capitalise on Adam Bandt's recent performance at the press club to solicit donations from their followers.

Email Sent On
April 14, 2022
The Greens
Subject Line
“Google it, mate”
Readability Score

What drives negative sentiment?

The length of an email, perception of 'clutter' and false link expectations could drive negative sentiment for many users. 

The good: 

Readability: The simple language used in this email means more people can read it with ease, including many from linguistically diverse backgrounds and those with literacy or learning difficulties.

Alt-text: The screenshot image used in the email has a brief descriptive text explanation of the image; this small but essential image attribute means all readers, regardless of visual ability, can understand the content of your email.

Needs improvement:

Length: Remember your audience is busy and will not read the entire email. You don't need to pack everything into one email. During an election campaign, the email volume received by your audience will dramatically increase. Keep your emails under 200 words, ideally no more than 150.

Information hierarchy and purpose: Does this email intend to inform the reader about Adam Bandt's performance? Green's policies? Solicit donations? The email has multiple donation call to action elements, but the content switches between different subjects. A political campaign's time constraints and pressures are brutal. Help yourself by separating objectives and breaking down topics into separate shorter emails. You can save yourself a lot of effort by asking yourself:

  • Why am I sending this email?
  • What is the purpose of this email?
  • What would I want the reader to do after reading this email?

Perception of clutter: Ensure the information in an email is presented orderly and straightforward manner. The screenshot in this email appears out of place and links to the donation page.
If you want to provide a newspaper heading, remove the site's video thumbnail and functional elements, e.g. links and menu bars. Headline screenshots are often text, ensuring a clear difference between your screenshot and your email. Many political campaigners will opt for a skeuomorphic tear to convey a traditional newspaper headline. Outlines and drop shadow help in this instance. 

A link is a promise: Cultural norms dictate that when people see a play button, once pressed, a video will play. The screenshot in this email links to a Greens donation page. 
A link should set specific and accurate expectations about what readers will find on the other side of the selection. When a user selects the screenshot, they will be expecting to see a video. However, if they end up on the Greens donation page, this will be disappointing, frustrating, and erode trust.

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Alex Marsh

When Alex isn't watching netball he's reading campaign emails.  Political Inbox is a catalogue of emails compiled from the 2022 Australian federal election.