People are often checking their email, personal or work, while doing a variety of other tasks. How hard is it be to keep your readers’ attention over their morning coffee? According to Jakob Nielsen’s research at campaignmonitor.com:
“…the average time allocated to a newsletter after opening it was only 51 seconds. ‘Reading’ is not even the right word, since participants fully read only 19 percent of newsletters. The predominant user behavior was scanning. Often, users didn’t even scan the entire newsletter: 35 percent of the time, participants only skimmed a small part of the newsletter or glanced at the content.”
This means that if your email is too lengthy, takes too long to get to the point or just isn’t engaging, it will not be read.
If you’re worried about competing for the attention of your reader?
Here’s how to keep your newsletter short, sweet and reader-friendly:
What is the Purpose of your Newsletter?
The right length of any content you create for your organization is dependent upon why you are addressing your audience. Whether you’re getting the word out about a sale you’re having, advertising for an event or just sending updates about your industry, you must illustrate the purpose of your newsletter in a way that is precise and easily accessible. In addition to details that are obviously important (date and time of events, location and costs) make your newsletter more effective by answering potential questions your reader might have. In other words, how can you say everything you need to say about the purpose of your newsletter while being helpful and informative?
Break It Up
If your reader only scans your newsletter, will they still get meaningful information about your organization? Breaking your newsletter up into sections will not only make it easier to read, it will make it scan-friendly.
Make Sure It’s Useful
Your newsletter should be informative and educational while leaving the reader wanting more. It might be tempting to copy and paste an entire article you think it’s relevant to your newsletter, but this will only make your newsletter less reader-friendly. Instead, use poignant snippets of interesting articles, bullet points and call to actions like “Read More.” This will ensure that your newsletter is compelling and a guide to more relevant topics.
The information you are providing might be appealing to you, but will all of it be interesting to your reader? We know that readers are scanning your newsletter, so headlines help your reader identify the information that they find most interesting, and skip the rest. Without headlines, your reader might abandon the newsletter all together because they can’t find information relevant to them.
Want to share a newsletter that is engaging to your audience? Don’t waste your time writing long content that won’t be read. It’s not in the interest of you or your readers to write a long winded newsletter! Follow these tips to keep your newsletter reader-friendly and you’ll be on the right track.