OK...so you've heard it before, yeah yeah...serialize articles and it will draw people back again and again. But how many of us actually do it within our newsletters? This week at Inbox/Outbox London in his presentation, my good friend Dela Quist of Alchemy Worx brought this up as a great way to increase readership.
So why does it work? Well think about it... Who saw all the The Matrix movies? Lord of the Rings Trilogy? Spiderman 1, 2 and 3? (hey - I've got teenagers!). People can't help it - they get involved and need to know what happens. I watched the movie Jumper with my 15 year old daughter on the weekend and at the end you could see that they had written the ending perfectly to allow a sequel. Why? Sequals are an easy way to bring in an audience...
Thinking about the popular soaps which are around, the phrase which people use when referring to them is 'hooked on it'. I have a friend (no, it's not me!) who is 'hooked' on the Australian soap, Neighbours. They insist on discussing it with me even though I don't watch it (their logic being because I am Australian I must watch it). She is 'hooked' and keeps coming back again and again - it's powerful stuff.
Serialization is not only applicable to retention newsletters though. You can also use it with your promotional emails. One way of doing this is by offering tokens or vouchers in each email and the reader having to collect a number of them in order to redeem a special offer or prize. In the UK, Eurostar sometimes offers very cheap fares upon collection of a number of tokens which are published in one of the leading newspapers. This can be very easily applied to marketing emails.
Another very easy drawcard to implement is to promote what the next issue is going to contain. This is what the soaps do. Have you ever noticed that immediately after the show has finished, they start promoting the next show? Again, a very easy, yet powerful marketing tactic.
Anyhow, I'm convinced. I've decided I'm going to take action and start planning for serialized content in both the newsletters which I am Editor of.
After all - if it's so easy, how hard can it be?