4 Tips To Make Your Newsletter More Readable

Email, it was supposed to die out with the growth of social media right? Apparently, that is not the case. In fact, according to inc.com, “nearly 68 percent of teens and 73 percent of millennials said they prefer to receive communication from a business via email…” Email is still widely used and very popular, especially for professional communications.

Is Email Effective?

So, is email marketing – like sending newsletters – still effective? Absolutely!

 “Email remains a significantly more effective way to acquire customers than social media – nearly 40 times that of Facebook and Twitter combined.”

-McKinsey & Company

The New York Times even titled one of their articles, ‘For Email Newsletters, a Death Greatly Exaggerated.’ Email isn’t dead, it is alive and email newsletters are effective… as long as you do it right.

The Why and the How

Creating your email newsletter the right way comes down to one big thing – readability. If you can’t read it quickly, there is no point in sending it. Here are some of the reasons why readability is so important and tips on how to make your email newsletters more readable:

1. A Quick and Easy Read

The biggest benefit to good readability in a newsletter is that it can be read quickly. People do not have a lot of time to read an entire newsletter to find information, they are busy and a quick and easy to read email newsletter will improve readability and the effectiveness of the newsletter.

A quick read saves time and it increases the chances that someone will read the message. Here are some tips for creating a quick and easy newsletter that is readable:

  • Use shorter words and shorter sentences

Text for the general public should be around a grade 8 reading level.

  • Use Tools like Readable.io and Spell Check

These tools will help you create clear and easy to read newsletters.

2. Be Understood

Good readability basically translates to a good understanding. Being understood means there is a better chance that your readers will agree with and act on what you are sending. Here are some tips on how to write a more understandable newsletter:

  • Write Great Content

The biggest adversary against understandable content is long, tedious, and boring text. Write something that will make your readers excited and anxious to act. According to Salesforce.com, you should, “Figure out what you want your newsletter to achieve and then write clear, concise, and compelling content to make that happen. Your newsletter content should be just as high quality as your best blog posts.”

  • Less is More

Email newsletters are skimmed, not read line by line, so make sure you write short, sweet, and clear sentences. Remember less is more when it comes to newsletter readability.

  • Create one Big and Easy Call to Action

Make sure your readers understand your call to action. You send an email newsletter for a reason - if your readers do not understand that reason then your newsletter will fail.

3. Utilize Design for Easy Reading and Interest

  • Bullets

Use lists and bullets to create distinct sections of text and a hierarchy. This will make your newsletter text easier to read because there are pauses with white space for the eye to rest.

  • Graphics

A newsletter should look and read like a professional marketing piece. Use things like white space, margins, great photos, and interesting graphics to draw readers in and keep them reading. Remember, you need to have permission to use photos online. Google Images and your own images are examples of photos that are free for commercial use.

  • Headings

Using bolded text and headings is another way to separate content and create readability.

4. Avoid Being Sent to the SPAM Folder

Your newsletter readability is greatly inhibited when it is automatically sent to the SPAM folder. Avoid this tragedy with some of the following tips:

  • HTML Code

Using Microsoft Word is great for so much of the written word. But if you try to copy text from Word and put it into an email, it won’t work well. You may want to consider using a professional coder to avoid being sent to the SPAM folder.

  • Write Like a Real Person and not a Spammer

We have all received SPAM email before – avoid being a spammer by not sounding like a spammer. Avoid things like:

  • Colored fonts
  • Using the word ‘Free’ too often
  • !!!!!

The best way to avoid the SPAM folder is by sending worthwhile, interesting, engaging, and readable content. Get help if you need to, but make sure your email newsletters are worthwhile.

  • Do not be Misleading or Tricky

A lot of spammers will try to fool you into thinking you have an ongoing communication by using subject lines with “Re:” or Fwd:” Don’t be misleading.

  • Use a Trustworthy Field Name

Before opening an email you take a look at who sent it to you. You can avoid getting sent to the SPAM folder by using trustworthy field names like “newsletter@”. If you use a trustworthy field name, you better deliver some worthwhile and trustworthy content.

Readability – the Key to Effective Newsletters

Email is still alive and kicking! In fact, it is thriving and you can benefit from that by sending email newsletters that deliver clear and readable information.

The purpose of an email newsletter is to develop a conversation and a trustworthy connection with your readers. Don’t let them down with unreadable content. Follow the above tips to send readable and effective newsletters that work.

Check Your Readability!

See what you can learn about your content today.

Try It Now »

Dave Child

Dave is the founder of Readable.io, and has been building websites since the early 90s. He's one of those fortunate people who gets to do what he loves for a living.



Readable.io Premium!

Premium Subscribers get access to a whole host of specialist readability tools, including text, URL and file scoring, from as little as $5 per month!

Go Premium Today

  • Unlimited Text Readability
  • File (Word Docs, PDFs, etc) Scoring
  • Bulk Text Readability
  • Bulk URL Readability
  • Readability API

"I use readable.io's bulk processing tools to help maintain the quality and readability of my website"

Matthew Skilton, Appointment Reminder