Should You Host Your Atomic Newsletter On Your Website?

I’m a big lover of crafting article style emails, but there’s always a little concern in the back of my mind that I am sending emails that are too long for people to read.

I am also concerned that they may not be getting through the filters companies like Yahoo, Google, Hotmail, and AOL use.

So far I believe everything is fine as far as getting through filters are concerned, but it’s always there, niggling away in the back of my mind.

The other issue that could affect the deliverability of an email is the amount of links that you have apparently.

Again, I haven’t seen anything to suggest that is a real issue. I get emails through from Substack and Medium that have multiple links all pointing to different destinations, so I won’t worry about that too much… yet.

However…

I have been doing a lot of thinking recently about emails and email deliverability.

The reasons for this are:

  1. I recently watched a video from Neil Patel who showed that emails with a word count of over 250 were more likely to not be opened. More on this shortly.

  2. I have started to incorporate my own Atomic Style newsletter that I send three days a week (although I forgot to send it yesterday! Opps!).

Neil Patel is a legendary marketer who runs a marketing agency dealing with multiple companies.

According to Neil himself, his email list has 1,588,639 people on it (at the time of recording the video).

In the video he talks about an experiment he did recently where he ran multiple AB split tests testing out the word lengths of emails.

The emails he sent out as part of the experiment were:

  1. 99 words or less.
  2. 100 to 249 words.
  3. 250 to 459 words.
  4. 500 to 999 words.
  5. 1,000 or more words.

To ensure that he got accurate results, Neil repeated the experiment six times. Only one link was included in these emails.

Here are his results according to his video on YouTube here:

  1. 99 words or less – 2nd best 2.72%
  2. 100 to 249 words – best open rate at 3.84%
  3. 250 to 459 words – 3rd best 2.53%
  4. 500 to 999 words – 4th best 0.92%
  5. 1,000 or more words – 5th best 0.69%

Neil didn’t stop there, he ran the experiment again this time he used the email lists of 26 companies in various industries.

The email lists used had to have a minimum of 100,000 people and have an overall open rate of no less than 20%. 

An open rate of 20% or higher means that the email lists are considered ‘responsive’ making them good for testing email word count.

Neil’s findings from using those lists were:

  1. 99 words or less – 3rd best 1.98%
  2. 100 to 249 words – best open rate at 3.57%
  3. 250 to 459 words – 2nd best 2.01%
  4. 500 to 999 words – 5th best 0.59%
  5. 1,000 or more words – 4th best 0.86%

Apart from the 3rd and 2nd positions swapping, the findings are pretty much a mirror of the experiment he ran on his own email list.

I cannot say why the emails with higher word counts were not being opened as much as the ones with fewer words because until you open an email, you cannot tell how long it is.

I can only conclude that either…

  1. Some of the longer emails are not getting through inbox filters….

    Or…

  2. People with little time to spare or don’t want to read longer emails quickly learned that they were receiving emails with a large word count and stopped opening them after two or three.

Another factor could be email titles/headlines. 

I don’t know what titles Neil used with his emails, but they are what people see first and so if the title or an email is dull and doesn’t catch people’s attention or curiosity, they are not going to want to open it and read more.

One of the roles of an email marketer is to condition the people on email lists. You train them to expect certain types of emails on specific days.

And so after seeing Neil’s recent findings, I am wondering if most people prefer to receive short emails and read longer content on websites only.

Should you use only one link?

The other concern I have is I am seeing a lot of email marketers, and I am talking about the big guys such as Neil Patel, who talk about how they send text-only emails that consist of just one link.

That means no pictures and no multiple links… the complete opposite to an Atomic Newsletter.

So this got me thinking…

Should you publish your Atomic Newsletter on your website?

Instead of sending the Atomic Newsletter out as an email, you now send a quick email informing that the day’s newsletter is now available to read with just one link that points to the newsletter page. There’s an example of this kind of email further down.

I quite like the sound of this for these reasons:

  1. Your email has a greater chance of getting through the filters email inbox services use to remove spam and dodgy emails.

  2. You are sending people to your website where they can access more of your content because of point #3 below…

  3. You can include as many images, links, and product adverts on your page as you want meaning you can send people to more of your own content.

  4. And finally, and I know this goes against the ethos of Atomic Newsletters, you can use as many words as you wish.

I do like the freedom you have when publishing content as a web page. 

I know that you can do exactly the same in emails. Today, email providers offer a lot of tools and templates to craft stunning looking emails. 

You can build long emails with multiple images, include videos, and pepper them with as many links and buttons as you want… 

But if doing so is harming the deliverability of your email, is it not wise to stop with the big emails and publish them as an article on a web page instead?

The other factor to think about which Neil might have uncovered in his experiment is that it appears that people across multiple industries do not want to read word-heavy and long emails.

Emails to many people are probably seen as nothing more than ‘messages’ that they want to read quickly. Similar to the SMS messages on your phone. 

People don’t want to read word-heavy SMS messages, they want to glance at them and go back to what they were doing.

Email inboxes are simply mail boxes full of messages and many people may prefer to do their ‘real’ reading outside of that environment on a website or platform like Substack or Medium.

So the question is, should emails be nothing more than… 

‘Hey, 

I hope you are having a great day. 

I just wanted to shoot you a quick message to let you know that today’s newsletter is now live, and you can read it here: 

The Freedom Lifestyle Newsletter

Have a great day.

Andi’

It takes no more effort to put your email/Atomic Newsletter online, and if it means that more people are going to read your emails then it is definitely worth it.

The other bonus is that search engines such as Google like websites that regularly publish new content and if you allow new people to ‘find’ that content, you are giving them more content to consume which reinforces your position and can lead to new customers or clients.

I think this could be worth experimenting with.

Until next time.

Have a great day.

Andi

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