We’ve all heard that age-old saying, “Content is king.” It’s true, content is king and corporate executives would be wise to remember that fact. Likewise, we all should know that a company newsletter, sent to customers, should be focused on the customers’ needs. But too much information, even customer-centric information, in a newsletter acts as a barrier to readership.
Very few customers will sit and read an entire company newsletter from top to bottom. Why? Because their time is valuable. As such, customers quickly scan your newsletter for information that is of interest to them. If you jam a bunch of articles into one newsletter, you complicate that process for them. The same is true for the content of the article. If the customer opens an article to find a 1,500-word expose, that customer will merely skim the article – or worse, never read it.
What can we as marketers and communications professionals learn from this? Stop putting too much content into our newsletters! At most a newsletter should contain only three to five articles. Article length should be kept to a minimum and only cover the necessary points or highlights. Write in the inverted pyramid style. If you find the article to be too lengthy, start editing from the bottom up. If the article is still too long, consider breaking the article into episodic parts to be published in next month’s newsletter.
There are many benefits of keeping newsletter and article length short. First, you will increase the “white space” of the newsletter. This lends to a cleaner layout, which in turn draws the reader’s eye to the text, increasing the likelihood of the article being read. Second, the reader will be able to read the newsletter quickly and will not have to block out twenty minutes of his day to read your publication. Finally, the reader will be less likely to unsubscribe from your hassle-free newsletter. Why? Newsletters that are a hassle to read eventually end up not being read. This eventually leads to deletion upon arrival which eventually leads to an unsubscribe request.
Content is king and very important but content should never be oppressive.