What do Newsletters and Decorative Pillows Have in Common? | By Juli Rathke

Last Updated: October 20, 2018By

Hey all! I just recently got a new bed and bedding and was super stoked to realize my old decorative pillows would fit the pattern/color palette for the new setup, so you guessed it … I threw them all on.  I typically get out of bed before my husband so the pillow arranging and bed-making is usually left up to him. What I’ve noticed is he keeps leaving at least 2-3 of the pillows on the floor when making the bed in the morning only to find my dogs nestled on them by 10am for their morning siesta.

And for those of you who tuned in because you are getting ready to write a newsletter for your business or are announcing an upcoming training to your database, don’t worry. This will all make perfect sense in a second.

Newsletter composition can be just as tricky as making your bed in the morning. How many pillows? = How much content? If you find you only send out 1 newsletter per month, chances are you are trying to stuff everything including the kitchen sink all into one email. The question is however, is this the most effective way to communicate with your audience?

When it comes to newsletters, 3 things should come to mind; content, audience, and frequency. Putting together the perfect content for just the right audience at just the right time is the WINNING TICKET to more qualified readers, higher click through rates (CTR’s) yielding higher call-to-action results.

Let’s break it down to the PHYSIOLOGY of the situation, shall we? Way back when I was studying exercise sciences, we studied short-term and long-term memory and cognitive abilities in the average adult, and the following makes perfect sense on how we actually digest and retain information when exposed to something for under a minute (the maximum time someone will read your newsletter.)

Short-term memory acts as a kind of “scratch-pad” for temporary recall of the information which is being processed at any point in time, and has been referred to as “the brain’s Post-it note”. It can be thought of as the ability to remember and process information at the same time. It holds a small amount of information (typically around 7 items or even less) in mind in an active, readily-available state for a short period of time (typically from 10 to 15 seconds, or sometimes up to a minute).

However, this information will quickly disappear forever unless we make a conscious effort to retain it, and short-term memory is a necessary step toward the next stage of retention, long-term memory. The transfer of information to long-term memory for more permanent storage can be facilitated or improved by mental repetition of the information or, even more effectively, by giving it a meaning and associating it with other previously acquired knowledge. Motivation is also a consideration, in that information relating to a subject of strong interest to a person, is more likely to be retained in long-term memory.” Read more..


I’ll say it again. Less is more when composing your newsletter but sending more frequently to your highly qualified audience will produce the best result.

  1. Content – Keep your content down to 3-5 bits of information per newsletter. With only 1 or 2 real call-to-actions. (buttons for clicking)
  2. Audience – Write your newsletter to a specific audience. Don’t lump your content together and send out to your entire list all the time. Break it down and make it personable and use your database functions often. People like to read their name when reading a newsletter.
  3. Frequency – If you do numbers 1 & 2 correctly, you can send a weekly newsletter no problem. Actually daily newsletters get the best open rates, but your content has to be SUPER VALUABLE to a highly qualified list. But don’t beat yourself up if you only get around to it once and awhile. Just remember content and audience are key.

Next time you receive a newsletter, apply these principles and ask yourself… What do I remember? How long did I read it? The event they were inviting me to was when??

OKAY – Back to the decorative pillows. It is obvious that the 9 pillows I have on the bed are making my husband’s brain a bit fuzzy, making him weak and unable to complete the task at hand. Of course, I want him to succeed at this so I thought it would likely be better for him if I downsize to about 5-7 pillows.  Nine pillows is fit for a queen and sometimes uninviting in the evening when you have to find a spot to store them in your state of exhaustion from the day. So just like the newsletters, less is more, and just right is just right …for goldilocks too.


King = 5-7 pillows

Queen/Full = 5 plus a roll pillow

Twin = 3 is nice

xo, Juli


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