Want people to read your newsletters?

February 20, 2015
Denver, CO

This may offend some of you, but it’s for your own good. I get a lot of newsletters, both from people I know personally and from experts in the fields I follow.

Some of the newsletters I get are instant opens (or save for later) and others are instant deletes. The newsletters that get opened or saved for later have three very important things in common.

First, they’re mobile-friendly. I read most of my email and especially newsletters on my iPhone, and I’m not the only one. 66% of emails are now opened on a smartphone or tablet. (Source)

If I have to zoom in and scroll side-to-side to read your newsletter, it gets deleted.

If it has too many images and takes too long to open, it gets deleted.

The second thing that good newsletters have in common is they’re short. I received a newsletter this morning, which was the inspiration for this newsletter. If I printed that newsletter, it would be at least 8 pages! It had a bunch of sections and images. It was probably 2 or 3 thousand words! Do I have the time or patience to read that on my phone? NO!

Good newsletters are a page or two at the most, with lots of short paragraphs. It’s far better to send short newsletters more frequently than long newsletters every month or quarter. If you have that much to say, say it more often and in smaller chunks.

Finally, the newsletters I read have valuable information that helps improve my life or business. They’re not a sales letter that leaves me with more questions than answers.

I get a newsletter from an expert on referral generation. He sends out something every day and each one is short, but lacks any substantive information. He describes a problem, but then you have to sign up for something or buy something to figure out how to solve it. He’s on the verge of losing me as a follower because of his over-promotion and lack of valuable information.

Next time you write your newsletter, please follow these best practices because I really do care about you and would love to read your valuable information. But if it doesn’t work on my iPhone, it’s too long or over-promoting, you’re gonna get deleted and eventually unsubscribed.

2 replies
  1. Laura
    Laura says:

    Great points. I can’t stand when I have scroll back and forth on my screen to read an email. It’s one of my nerd pet peeves. But another huge thing for me is subject lines. If your subject line gives me an interesting fact/statistic off the bat, I’m in. If it’s informing me of something time sensitive, it’s opened. If it’s clever or witty, you got me. And if it tells me there will be puppies in the email, you have my business! But really, subject line is super important and can make or break your open rates.


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