Published on February 15th, 2012 | by Janine Popick0
How to Reel in Your Readers with a Table of Contents
As small business owners, we work hard to send out relevant and timely email newsletters to our subscribers with compelling subject lines. Did you know that typical subscribers spend just 51 seconds reading the average newsletter?
And, according to our friends at Marketing Sherpa, 69% of at-work email users usually view emails in their preview panes so you gotta hook ‘em with your most important content right up front. That means the pressure is on, to not only provide great content, but also make it easy to access from the crowded inbox.
I’ll walk you through a few of my favorite fast and easy tactics to make your e-newsletter catch customers’ attention; hook, line and sinker!
Cast Your Bait – When a reader opens your newsletter you have 5-7 seconds to command their attention so ensure you have a table of contents in the upper right, left or top portion of your message. This will make it easy for your reader to quickly scan the contents and decide if they want to read something.
We use the TOC (table of contents) below in our weekly VR Buzz newsletter.
Drop Anchor - Employ one of our favorite tactics by anchor linking your table of contents to the desired content in the newsletter, allowing your reader to jump straight to what they want to read without all that annoying scrolling. And in doing this, you can also lead them down through your content and hope that other compelling information will grab their attention too. You can also anchor link pre-header text to drive readers down through your content.
Reel Them In - The real secret to success is to make it easy on your readers. Provide them with great content that they need and desire and half your work is done. Then provide it in short chunks or bulleted lists that are easy to scan. Also, remember to place your most important, interesting or desired content at the top. In old school terms, “above the fold.” Many readers won’t scroll, so it’s often better to use short copy vs. long. If you have lots to say, you may be better off breaking your content into a series to run in multiple newsletters.
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