With the current COVID-19 pandemic, intertrac customers are sending newsletters more frequently and to larger audiences than usual. Our server has seen over six million messages go out in the past few days alone! We know you're working hard, and you need to quickly and effectively grab your readers' attention. Here are three ways to give a newsletter more impact so your readers focus on the important information inside.
#1 — Be concise
Readers have short attention spans. Remember the old journalism rule that readers only read the top 20% of most articles? Turns out that 20% rule still applies with electronic communications, except now it’s 20% of the entire web page (Nielsen Norman Group, 2008). Current recommendations are to try to keep a mailing to about 200 words or 20 lines of text.
#2 — Put the most important information up top
People tend to skim across and down when reading. On a printed page they tend to read in a Z sweep – left to right across the top, back to the left, and right again. But researchers found readers skim more like an F sweep on a web page. Putting the most important headline up top ensures readers see it first.
#3 — Space out your mailings
We all know news is changing unusually fast right now, and nobody can possibly keep up. Space out your mailings so readers can assimilate the information you’re sharing. Even better, try to send mailings at a regular day/time. That way readers know when to look for the next newsletter.
And if you’re worried a fact or figure will change before your readers get to it, use phrases like “to date” or “at this time” to establish the timeframe. Be confident that you can follow up with updated information in your next mailing.
One final word...
...always test your newsletter to make sure it displays correctly on different devices and in different mail providers. Keep up the great work!
(Have another minute? Click here to get more helpful newsletter tips.)