Are you ready to be loved by recipients?
It might be your CEO’s favorite email. Every policy wonk in D.C. sits by their inbox waiting for it to come. It’s the only newsletter I know of that has ever been covered — for formatting! — by The New York Times.
It’s Axios. And if you haven’t started stealing from it yet, started stealing from it now.
Here are four things to steal from — and one way to improve on — everybody’s favorite newsletter.
1. Report average reading time.
If your newsletter is short, you might boost readership by letting readers know.
This issue of Axios weighs in at 4.5 minutes. That would be a little long, if editors didn’t have a great formatting trick. (See No. 4.)
2. Run a short breaking news story.
This one’s one paragraph — one sentence — of 29 words long. Outwrite Axios: For clarity, chop your 29-word sentences in half.
3. Cover One Big Thing.
Email newsletter subscribers ding senders for underpromising and overdelivering. Give them less, and make it better.
Focus your newsletter on one story, and cover it well.
4. Pass the Palm Test.
Break your copy up with bullets, bold-faced lead-ins and links to make it look easier to read. The easier it looks, the more people will read it.
(And there’s your solution for the 4.5-minute newsletter.)
5. Pass the Skim Test.
Outwrite Axios: Can skimmers learn everything you want them to know about your topic — without reading the paragraphs? If so, you pass the Skim Test. If not, you need to keep working.
Axios breaks the newsletter up — but does not facilitate skimming — with emphasized words. Here’s what a skimmer would read:
Help skimmers get more from your message with a better strategy for emphasized words.
Are you ready to be loved by your recipients?
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