Lists, headlines & blurbs, single stories most valuable
The most valued email newsletters in the Nielsen Norman Group’s latest round of usability studies used these formats:
1. Headlines with short blurbs. This was, by far, the most favored format.
If you have more than 5 topics or articles, consider:
- A concise headline
- Blurbs ranging from 1 line to 2-4 sentences to even a few brief paragraphs
- Link to the full story for more information
If your email newsletter also covers more than 2 printed pages, add a table of contents.
2. Bulleted lists of information such as upcoming events, discounts and specials.
3. Single-story newsletters, such as daily meditations, articles, recipes, promotions, promotion, recipes or events. Include the full story if you use this approach.
Make them short and focused.
Note that all of these formats are short and focused. Subscribers considered newsletters with too much information or diverse content overwhelming and cluttered.
Note: Include no more than two full-length stories in your email newsletter. Keep them tight.
What format do you use for your email newsletter? What format makes the most sense?
How can you reach nonreaders with email?
Just 24% of email recipients fully read email newsletters on mobile devices. The rest skim — or just glance at — their messages.
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You’ll learn how to get the word out to email recipients with our simple test, boost readership by choosing the right template for your email newsletter, and avoid getting your headline cut off on mobile email apps.
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Source: Kim Flaherty, Amy Schade, and Jakob Nielsen; Marketing Email and Newsletter Design to Increase Conversion and Loyalty, 6th Edition; Nielsen Norman Group, 2017