Effective Messaging
August, 2014

Hope you're enjoying the waning days of summer. Personally, I'm culturally exhausted. But I've loved every minute of our great summer season. I've seen two big musicals, some interesting drama, several great dance performances and tons of Tanglewood on the lawn.

This issue only has one article, but don't feel deprived. I published two articles elsewhere in the last month. Read them both for extra credit.

 "Out of the Limelight" in the August issue of Berkshire Magazine tells the story of what happens off stage to make a theater production work. If you like what you read, please comment here. And if you're in the Berkshires, get the print version. With a Berkshire zip code, your subscription is free.

"The Banana at Tanglewood" is a fun piece about how we mark our place on the legendary lawn at the Boston Symphony Orchestra's summer home. It's published in The Berkshire Edge, a new online publication by David Scribner, one of the Berkshire's most esteemed journalists. Scroll down to the comment section on the site to leave your feedback.

The lone article in this issue is about "read more" links. It's a topic I've been pondering for some time. Web Tips continues the discussion from last month about Web browsers--this time looking at privacy.

I'm on Facebook and Twitter. Follow me.

Facebook Logo     Twitter Bird
In This Issue
Read More Links - To jump or not to jump
Web Tips - Browser security
Back to School
"Read More" Links
How do you feel about "read more" links? There's a weighty question to ponder on a summer afternoon.  I've been thinking a lot about this question as I'm working with clients who are just starting their newsletters. There are pros and cons.  

On the plus side, "read more" links help keep newsletters short, which is especially good for people looking at them on mobile devices. Just the first paragraph of an article is included and then the reader is directed to another page for the full article. With Constant Contact that page can be located on your Web site or uploaded to the Constant Contact library as either a Word document or a .pdf.

Another plus is that the clicks are "tracked" so you can see which articles interest your readers and you can give them more of that.


On the minus side, people need to take one more action and click the link. They might just not bother, whereas if the whole article is right in front of them (and it's relatively short), people might actually read to the end.

My biggest objection is that you're asking readers to read the first paragraph twice. Why? Because you've put the full article on the jump page and they need to figure out where they left off reading from the original newsletter. This frustrates me and I figure others as well. I've done some research and haven't found a way around this.

And it's more work. You have to create the full article, put it where the reader will jump to and then put in the opening paragraph.

I have a hunch that preferences on this subject are determined by generation. Younger people don't mind links and prefer things to be really short. The older generation is OK with something a little longer and is less inclined to take the extra step of clicking. But after some effort, I've not found any evidence online that this is the case.

Love to have your thoughts on the topic. Please be in touch.
Web Tips


Last month's Web Tips about Internet browsers opened Pandora's box on the subject of privacy. Thanks to Gloria Gordon for suggesting Duckduckgo.com. In spite of it's totally dorky name, it's a real contender in the privacy-oriented browser wars even though it's not even mentioned in this article from MakeUseOf on the subject.

They review Tor, originally a United States Naval Research Laboratory project; Epic, which has a user interface similar to Google's Chrome; and The Pirate Browser. All three of these are pretty complicated. Reader comments on the article add the WhiteHat Aviator, which claims to be the Web's most secure and private browser. Duckduckgo is simple and easy to use. I used it for a search recently. Also, it has quite an interesting backstory that you can read here.

And Finally . . .

Shawenon Communications collaborates with small businesses, solopreneurs, professionals and not-for-profits to get their messages across in the written word.

We specialize in electronic communications, including e-zines and other forms of email marketing, Web sites and social media.  We also ghostwrite articles and other business communications. As a solution provider, we resell www.shawenon.com



First name
Susanna Opper
Shawenon Communications

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License.
Back to School 
Mauve SO headshot
The business world has a "back to school" of its own. The fall is a perfect time to get started on email marketing.

Cash in on my offer of a free hour's consulting for the first six customers who sign up before the end of the year. Remember I'm going to fill these slots fast this time.

Let me know how I can help you with Constant Contact.



Quick Links
Join Our Mailing List