Email newsletter landing pages are not a best practice

Last week, I disagreed with a colleague who loves landing pages for email newsletters. Yes, they make what arrives in subscribers’ inboxes look shorter. And yes, they are an absolute must for detailed and complex articles.

But no, they should not be a standard practice, let alone a best practice, for three reasons:

1. they can result in unnecessarily long content

2. most people do not click to them

3. some publishers use them to lure people to undesired destinations

Anything I read on my computer needs to be short. Books and long articles I prefer to read lying on my couch, which is why I predict e-books will never take off, a subject for a later blog. Besides, I’m busy and there’s a limit to how much of my work day I can spend learning.

As an email newsletter content specialist, a big part of my job is to limit length, by clarifying ideas and chopping unnecessary words. Focused thinking and tight editing mean I don’t usually need landing pages.

While specific rates vary with the research, the consensus is that most people do not click through to longer articles. With detailed or complex topics, the option should be available. But I assume most readers won’t continue and keep all the main points in the newsletter.

Another growing complaint of mine is that too many publishers are using the newsletter content as a teaser, luring people to click only to discover they’ve landed on paid content, an ad or something else they don’t want. These bait-and-switch artists make serious readers even less likely to click on legitimate links.

From the look of my inbox, I’m outnumbered on this issue. Does that mean I’m ahead of the curve? Or have I missed something?

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2 Responses

  1. I agree with you Barb. Coincidentally, I got an auto-response email this morning to an event I signed up for with a link that led me to another event in Vancouver! I only clicked on it to confirm that it was the event I signed up for before sending it to others. Because I was led somewhere else, I decided not to forward it to anyone. My revenge:)

  2. I agree: my advice to clients is to deliver what they need to deliver in the email itself, as people generally don’t have time to “click here to read the rest of the story.”

    The bait-and-switch artists may get a few more click-throughs, but they lose in the long run, as subscribers get annoyed by the tactic and un-subscribe “in revenge,” to take a phrase from Maria’s reply 🙂

    As for being outnumbered, I wouldn’t say you’re ahead of the curve, you’re simply on a different track, with me right beside ya!

    Off to read what annoys you…

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