Alvin Toffler’s bestselling 1970 book Future Shock, said this: “Information overload occurs when the amount of input to a system exceeds its processing capacity. Decision makers have fairly limited cognitive processing capacity. Consequently, when information overload occurs, it is likely that a reduction in decision quality will occur.”
45 years after Future Shock, on an average day, the average person is still overloaded with information. In fact, the average person receives 147 email messages per day. According to an analysis by Baydin, 71% of them get deleted.
This is an average. Still, that’s a lot of information to process.
What makes a communication better than average?
Well, it’s one that your member opens, reads, and does something with as a result – including changing members’ perception of the value of your organization.
Readership studies offer dozens of ways to cut through the clutter and win the battle for readership.
Your goal is to convey vital information to your most important members. If you want more members to recognize, open and do something with your information, then heed the advice of the American Readership Institute, McKenzie Global Institute, Mark Magnacca and others who advocate many of the “Eight Steps” to compete in your members’ inbox.
Once you learn the “Eight Steps”, you can review and work on every kind of communications you write to get a better response.
If you want an outside set of eyes to review your materials, consider a communications audit, or a staff writing workshop to give you and your staff a fresh look at what your members see, complete with suggestions for positive change.