A Dilemma - Terse or Conversational eNewsletters?

There are some aspects of writing and setting up enewsletters that can challenge producers. For example -- studies we have seen indicate that about 19% of those who open a letter read it thoroughly. In a way this is good because it means that the publishers are getting into the minds of a large number of those who get the letters.

But we are eternally dissatisfied. We always want to do better. So, do we shorten our letters and make them more terse to have greater impact on the 81% who only scan the letters? If we do this do we sacrifice the personal tone of the letter that can make readers feel like they know the writer?

To further complicate this matter, a recent study reported that the feeling of personal relationship with the writer of the enewsletters is a strong reason for recipients to keep reading each new issue.

Well, the answer lies in making the copy of the main message as easy to assimilate as possible. That means short paragraphs, explanatory subheads and more bullet point text in lieu of solid text pragraphs.

It also means that there should be a very brief recap of the main message somewhere at the beginning of the letter. Then, if those who open the letter go no farther, they still get the gist of the message.

You see, we keep thinking ... we keep thinking ... we keep thinking. And I doubt that we will ever get to the point of smug satisfaction with our work.

Prescott "Pete" Lustig
Senior Marketing Strategist