You expect me to click on that?

If you like to include links to PDFs on your website and e-mail newsletters, I’ve got news for you.

I’m not clicking on your PDF link. It’s not that I don’t like PDFs or tools that let you embed documents on websites. I just don’t want to take the time to download the document and scroll through it to get to information I may not have really wanted or needed in the first place.

I see this all the time on church websites. There isn’t any information anywhere on the site that’s timely but there are some links to PDFs of church newsletters from three, four, five months ago. Is it really that hard to copy and paste the information from whatever program you are using to make your newsletter onto the website in a web-friendly format?

The same goes for e-mail newsletters. If I get an e-mail from you and all it says is “click on this link to read our latest newsletter” I’m probably not going to click on the link. I signed up for your e-newsletter so I could get news in my inbox, not on my desktop or web browser whenever the high-resolution, print-ready document gets around to finishing its download.

Maybe I sound like a lazy internetter saying this out loud, but I suspect having PDFs and embeddable documents on your web site or e-mail marketing are just a bad idea in general. Unless of course you have statistics showing otherwise. If you have the stats to back you, go for it. Just don’t add me to your mailing list.

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