Are you ruining the experience?
Picture this: you're sitting in bed, cozy under your blankets, with your Kindle propped up, engrossed in what could very possibly be your new favorite book (words you don't throw around lightly). You're in the middle of a particularly page-turning chapter, and suddenly you're greeted with this message:
"Want more? The rest is available in hardback at your local retailer!"
Can you imagine having to get out of your PJs and drive over to your nearest bookstore, pick up the book, and find where you left off? You'd either be really pissed or just say forget it. That experience of soaking up really great content would be ruined.
That's kind of what you're doing to your reader when you force them to click over to your site from the feed or an email.
Now, I totally get why people do it. For years, I had my
feed set to excerpts only, too. I also sent just blog post excerpts to my email list, with no other content. "I'm a web designer!" I said, "People need to click over to my site to see my work!"
Here's the thing: if your content is good, people will visit your site willingly, not grudgingly. And they will appreciate you more if you don't interrupt their reading experience.
Of course, there are exceptions, and it's up to you to determine what works best for your readers. I personally only include an excerpt of my blog post because at that point, my email is
already long enough with the content I write before it. The purpose of my emails is not to share blog posts. (Of course, you can hit reply and let me know I'm totally wrong if you'd rather see the post in full here — I'm always listening.)
We often do things because someone told us at one point that one way was better than another, and we don't really question it after that. I think post excerpts definitely fall under this category. It's a small detail that's easy to adjust once and forget about, though it greatly impacts how your readers consume your content. So today I encourage you to give it a few minutes of consideration and make sure you have a purpose behind it if it's something you'd like to continue doing.
For bonus points: if you're on WordPress, you can use the WordPress SEO plugin to add text after your post in a feed! I use mine to direct readers back to my blog for more posts and to my signup page for email opt-ins. It's a great way to encourage readers to click over to your site without interrupting their reading experience.