In 1969 the group The Guess Who recorded a song entitled “No Time,” I wonder if they knew when they recorded it they would be writing an anthem for a generation.  In a world filled with so much information, noise and choices it always feels as if there is “no time.”

 As an email marketer, finding a way to make newsletters effective in a world where the average customer is running through life at the speed of light can be challenging. So, how do you get someone to stop and spend a little of their time reading an email newsletter? To begin with, be brief. Sure you have lots to say, but you don’t need to do it all in one email. Your newsletter is not the next great American novel. It is a short synopsis, a teaser or an invitation to learn more.

Make scanning easy

Break up your content with succinct headlines and sub-heads. Divide even short content into even smaller bites which can be read at a glance. Imagine that all the reader is going to do is skim the page. Your headers should tell a story and the content in between should fill in the details.

Focus on one topic

People are going to read this on the fly. These days almost 50 percent of all email is opened on a mobile device so if you want people to read it, you need to get to the point quickly. If you have lots to say, link to a longer article on your blog. People who are really interested will make the jump. If you want to keep the communication in email format, consider sending a second email later with follow up information, more on the same topic or a related topic.

Split your lists

Instead of trying to put something for everyone in the newsletter, split your lists by interest. Customers, prospects and referral sources don’t always need to know the same things, so create separate customized communication for each audience. Also, if you sell multiple products build separate mailing lists. People who have already purchased our web design services don’t need to see promotions on web design, however, they might be interested in social media or content writing.

We always see better open and click-through rates on our smaller,better targeted campaigns because the content is more relevant. It is easier to write compelling content with an intriguing subject line when you have a specific group of readers in mind. One important note, this won’t work if 90 percent of your audience is on multiple lists. So spend some time cleaning up your lists before you try this approach.

Just a minute

If you have built a following for your newsletter, people already know what to expect. If you are trying to increase your readers, one way to attract their attention is telling them how little time they will need to invest. Sample text on sign up forms might include:

  • Marketing in a minute
  • Spend 90 seconds to save $90  
  • We know your time is valuable

That’s it for today. If you want to learn more about making your email program successful you can download our latest how-to guide.