What do people see when they look at your organization's newsletter? Despite our fervent wishes, people don't eagerly consume each word, nor do they even read your content in the order it's presented.
Rather, according to Jakob Nielsen's eyetracking study, people tend to read horizontally across the upper part of the content area, then move down the page in a shorter horizontal movement, then finally swipe their eyes across a vertical area on the left-hand side of the page. In essence, here's the dominant reading pattern:
- Once again, we learn that users don't read on the web; they scan the text. We should design our newsletters for scannability, rather than readability.
- Put your most important information at the top of the page. Don't bury your content OR your call to action, deeper down.
- Put action words early in your headlines.