How to attract skim readers

Interesting post today by Michael Stelzner — How do you capture skim readers?

It got me thinking.

It’s said over and over that people don’t read much anymore because they’re so overwhelmed with information. They have only a short time to look at your newsletter, so they skim it.

So how do you get your message across? And how do you get them to read more?

The key is to include “hooks” that create interest. Each of these hooks must be relevant and interesting to the reader.

Hooks come in many forms, much as:

Headlines — Every headline should be interesting and engaging — not boring. It should pass the WIIFM test.

Subheads — These break up long blocks of text, giving you another opportunity to attract attention. The same rules apply for subheads that apply for headlines.

Pictures — Make these visually stunning or of a relevant subject. Avoid “stock” photos that could appear in any newsletter or magazine.  Use pictures of people — faces attract.

Captions — These are among the most-read elements on a page. Make them interesting and relevant.

Boxes and panels — These visual elements make text less daunting because there’s a shorter time-commitment needed to read them.

Introductions —  The first paragraph of a story is make or break. If it’s dull, uninteresting or lacks relevance, your reader will stop right there.