About a year ago I attended a seminar hosted by Constant Contact and this simple principle of keeping it simple stood out to me more than anything else. The presenter shared that if you think you have simplified your newsletter enough, you are about halfway there. I think that's great advice. Think about the emails that you generally send and read. They're not very long are they? When we see long emails, we likely either "put them off for later" or just ignore them all together. We want to get the point of the message and move on.
When launching our newsletter for Online Church we said we wanted a very short and simple newsletter. We also wanted to promote everything we did on that one short newsletter.
The problem became that while we promoted everything in one short email newsletter, our readers also read nothing and responded to nothing. It was cluttered and there was too much information and too many calls to action.
We have since changed our methodology to 1 message and 1 message only in an email newsletter. Whether that's a new message series, new website feature, or a video highlight; there is only 1 simple message being communicated with 1 simple call to action in each email sent.
While our title change doubled our reader rate, our simplifying doubled our click through rate. At the beginning of our newsletter we had very few readers click any of the many links incorporated into the email. After shifting to this very simple methodology, our clicks increased significantly (and continue to).
So I give you the same advice that I heard about a year ago. Begin simplifying your email message and once you think you're email is simple enough, you're probably only about halfway there.
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