Do the reading test!
Most of your readers will scan your message. Literally, reading word for word is rare. Does it make sense to send then a periodical newsletter? Of course!
It’s your job to make your contacts aware of the content that you’re sending. Therefore it is equally important that you realise that what you send to your contacts, should actually stick. A newsletter is more than just a header and a footer, interspersed with a series of dull paragraphs. If you follow our vision, that it is time for the reading test!
Newspapers that we used to know no longer exist. Because of the competition with new media they have evolved. They’ve brought more colour into their pages, used bigger titles, and spread quotes all over the page. In short, newspapers of today have become visual experiences. And that experience is linked to a visual hierarchy.
And how do you know if your digital newsletter has a good visual hierarchy? Do the reading test …
Step 1: Remove all hindering elements
Clean up the desktop of your computer. Close all open documents and make sure that the only thing you can see is your newsletter.
Step 2: Close your eyes
It is important to empty your head.
Step 3: Open your eyes and name the first thing you see
You could insert a fourth step by telling what you noticed secondly. Were both elements the most important parts of the message you want to share with your contacts? Were both elements clearly visible and prominent? And was it clear which action you should take? If so, you can send your message to your audience.
Did you answer “no” to any of the previous questions? Were you staring at a grey wall and it wasn’t clear what exactly you should read, let alone understand and remember? Rearrange the order of your elements. Work with other and bigger titles. Do something with quotes. Look for better graphic materials and repeat the reading test until you succeed.
Include your neighbour
En als ze op kantoor denken dat je een beetje raar doet, vertel dan even waarmee je bezig bent. Of beter nog, laat hen even de test doen. En je zal snel merken dat alles in de bladspiegel van je nieuwsbrief niet zo maar als doodnormaal en duidelijk beschouwd mag worden.