This post in <50 words: If you have been a subscriber, receiving posts via email, the format is changing from full text blog posts to partial blog posts with links to click to read the full post on the web.
Other blogs, like the KaiNexus blog and many others I subscribe to, send an email with the post title and enough of an excerpt that helps you decide if you wan to click through to the website to read the whole thing.
I've always tried to be reader-centric. I know it's sometimes easier to read a post in email. You don't have to click or tap. You can read posts offline or while on a plane.
But, over the past few years, my blog doesn't always translate well into different email software, including Microsoft Outlook. There have been times when multimedia content or other content that works well in any web browser “breaks” someone's email reader. I've had people unsubscribe as a result. It's become impossible to try to anticipate what works or will no longer work well in all of the email platforms and operating systems.
Also, sending out full posts through the RSS feed (which drives the automated emails you receive with the posts) makes it easier for unscrupulous people to “scrape” the RSS feed and re-post content on other websites… which doesn't affect the reader, but is annoying to me.
I'd like to keep my focus on creating content… and that means what works well on the web.
Earlier today, I surveyed email subscribers and a vast majority (95% or so… an actual landslide, not an “alternative fact” landslide) said it would be OK to replace “full text” emails with “summary” (or partial text) emails.
So, I'm going to experiment, starting tomorrow, with emails that send out the:
- Blog Post(s) Title
- The first 55 words of the post, to give you a sense about the content.
I hope you'll be willing to click to read, here on the web (or a mobile browser, which is 30% of you now, by the way).
I got a number of really nice replies from people, including some ideas about Kaizen-ing the emails. I would use the phrase “Lean it out,” because it's maybe more appropriate in this context than it would be in a workplace.
Two readers suggested that I do well-crafted post summaries… so posts now start with “This post in <50 words:” and my summary – not just the first 50 words that naturally appeared.
The old emails did have a lot of stuff that got in the way of the main point – the post(s):
In the new emails, I took out some stuff that got in the way:
- Removed the banner ad about my book
- Simplified the logo and made it smaller
- There's less text before getting to the post
It should look like more like this:
To read the post, you can click the post title and there will be a link or button that shows you where to click to read the rest of the post.
The detail of that looks like this… when I have a post (or at most two) daily:
As with all changes, I'll follow a Plan-Do-Study-Adjust cycle.
I've planned (I talked this over with my blog consultant and got some voice of the customer feedback)
I'm doing (running a test of this new email format)
I'll study (asking for your feedback and see what % of people are clicking through to read)
and I'll adjust, if necessary.
As always, thanks for reading. As always, let me know what you think.
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