People don't read every e-mail they receive. Learn what e-mail people read, and get your newsletter read by more subscribers.
A newsletter study conducted by Jacob Nielsen of useit.com shows that:
- 11% were read thoroughly
- 57% were skimmed
- 22% were never read
- 10% were saved for later reading (and most likely not opened again)
It sounds like it would be hard to be one of the 11%. Fortunately, a few simple things make the difference.
Keep It Simple
Jacob's study shows that shorter newsletters are more likely read. People don't want to spend all day reading e-mail. Therefore, they read newsletters only if it won't take long. So, make your newsletter brief and get to the point right away, or at least make it easy to skim. Many Internet marketing gurus tell you to write about your personal things, like vacations and family anniversalies, in order to get intiminate with readers. That technique worked five years ago, but today you should tell readers only what they need to know.
Don't Send them Too Offten
Jacob Nilsen also found out that readers most frequent complaint was about newsletters that arrived too often. I'd think "too offten" in term of "taking too much readres' time." According to Jakob's study, Dictionary.com's "Word of the Day" is the most read newsletter. It is sent every day, but it's still read. That's because the newsletter is short. It's only definition of a word and a few usage examples. It doesn't take too much readers' time, so people read it every day. For a-few-hundred-word newsletter, don't send it more offten than once a week.
Additionally, some e-zine publishers send 2 e-mail messages for each issue, actual article AND new-issue-is-online anouncement. Publishers are trying to reach subscribers behind the spam filters. But, this process irritates subscribers. Just send one of them.
© October, 2004