I had a colleague recently mention that she spent part of each day unsubscribing to email communications that she gets. Her goal was to unsubscribe from 5 e-newsletters every day. Ouch!!
But it's a real problem. She's not the first person to talk about email inbox overload. And we all see it each time we send out a newsletter and a few more people unsubscribe. Little by little, our subscriptions dwindle.
So how many readers are we losing every day because of email inbox overload? Or because our newsletters aren't a "value add"? And what makes an e-newsletter one that you want to read?
Is it that it keeps you up-to-date with what an organization is doing? Or is that not enough? Does there need to be some "news you can use" to make you keep reading instead of unsubscribing?
I have my own thoughts. I think a good e-newsletter should be:
- Short. That's why mine only gives the first paragraph of a story and then links people back to my website for the full story. That said, I fully admit that my last issue was waaaaaay too long, but that's only because we'd been on a three-month hiatus while I was on maternity leave, so there was a lot of news to share.
- Visually attractive. I think I do okay here, though I'm not too proud to admit we could do better. At least I've done a good job at keeping a color scheme with three primary colors used and in including pictures.
- Useful: There has to be something in it for the reader, and in most cases, just being informative isn't enough. Maybe you provide an events calendar. Or maybe you provide a "top 10 list" each time with hints on what people can do to improve their business.