Thursday, October 28, 2010


It's that little button we all hate, but have to include with any email communications.


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.
What about you? What makes you keep reading or come back for more? What triggers the "unsubscribe"? I'd love to learn...