For years I’ve learned from Jakob Nielson and he never stops providing incredibly valuable data, tips, and ideas for improving usability and interaction. He continues to provide new and excellent information, but this quote from his most recent post is a reminder, that sometimes things never change and we should keep in mind the fundamental things that make people want to hear from us and read what we have to offer. This is content marketing at it’s core.
Over the decade since our first newsletter usability study, users have continued to cite the same reasons for subscribing to newsletters despite overflowing inboxes:
- Informative… As one user said, “Keep me informed about things that I wouldn’t otherwise research. Remind me of things I would otherwise forget. Teach me new things I’d otherwise pass over.”
- Effortless… The newsletter comes to you, with no need for further action once you’ve signed up.
- Easy to ignore… If you’re not interested in a newsletter issue, just don’t open it and it’ll soon scroll off the front page of your email program. Or, if you want to read something later, simply let it sit in the inbox until you’re ready.
- Timely… Email is a fast medium.
- Act as a reminder… Newsletters are the main way of driving users to return to a website because they remind them of things to do.
- Increased productivity… Business-related newsletters help people do their jobs better.
- Social… Email is extremely easy to share, and newsletters provide tidbits that make for good small talk in both social and business situations.