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Mistake #4: Too Much Content
I come from a printing background. My family had a printing company and I’m still involved in the print business. Here at Firespring, we have a division of our company that does offset printing.
Back in the day, maybe 10 years ago, nearly every nonprofit organization that our print division worked with created some type of a physical newsletter they mailed out. And it seemed like there was always a last-minute rush to fill empty space in that newsletter before it was scheduled to go to print. Every organization’s goal was to load that piece up with content and take up every available spot, maximizing the opportunity to communicate with constituents.
Fast forward to 2015. Today, many organizations have gone to e-newsletters, which is great—they’re very cost-effective. But if you ever have someone working on your email newsletter and they utter anything like, “hey, I need to fill up some empty space in this newsletter,” please set them straight. Nobody wants bloated content in an email newsletter.
In fact, here’s a good rule of thumb: When you write the first draft of an email newsletter, cut it in half—and then maybe cut it in half again. That’s probably the proper amount of information to send. Think about this for a moment: When you open an email in your inbox, how does it make you feel to see a really long message that you have to scroll down—a long ways—to read? It can be overwhelming, right? Maybe you don’t have time at the moment because you’re busy or you’re simply not interested enough to wade through all that content. Either way, long e-newsletters can be a turn-off and set the wrong tone for your organization.
Focus on sending email messages that are very straightforward and to the point without all the bloat. This will make your newsletters much more powerful.