Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Newsletter Formula

Though there is no one specific correct way to build an e-mail newsletter, there are things all e-mail newsletters should contain and basic ideas that should be included if you want to get the most out of the time you put into building your newsletter, collecting a mailing list and shipping it out.

This e-mail newsletter outline is a basic newsletter that you can expound on or trim down. What's most important is the general ideas of the types of things you should be looking to include. For those of you who find yourselves in that all too familiar territory of staring at a blank screen and thinking "Newsletter... okay, what now?", hopefully this outline will give you a good start on producing the newsletter you want.

So where do we start a successful e-mail newsletter? Well, how about with a page?
  • The first step is to find a good e-mail newsletter template. There are plenty of them around so just Google search and then spend some time looking through them until you find something you like. A two column template is a good idea because it will let you keep information rich articles separate from other resources like links, ads, calls to action, offers or whatever else you include in the 'sidebar'. If you know some html you can customize the template to fit your needs but, if not, don't worry. You should be able to find something that will work just fine for you.
  • Next we need to consider a banner. If you want you can just take the banner you use for your website and plop it into your newsletter. Or, if you have any skill with graphics or banner creation, you can create something specifically for you newsletter. Whatever you use as a banner just make sure it fits with the style of your website and is easily identifiable as your newsletter. If people can't tell where its from, they aren't likely going to read it and may even report it as spam.
  • Now we can move to the body of our e-mail newsletter. In the body of the newsletter you want to look to include some informational content. Think along the lines of articles you might use for your website. Three to five articles is usually a good rule here. Try to use catchy headlines and then a line or two that will draw the reader into wanting to read the article, followed by a link to access the full text. Its also a good idea to have a small image accompany the headline to give the newsletter a more professional look.
  • A good idea for what content to include in the body section is to start with something personal, maybe a message from the 'owner' or 'editor'. Here you can talk about all the exciting things going on on your site or better introduce yourself to your readers. Just try to let them feel they are getting to know you or your site better by being a newsletter subscriber.
  • Next follow with one to three general articles on whatever topic your website covers. Make sure to keep them interesting and informational just as you would with any content you posted to your site. Then finish with something your readers can use in their day to day lives, like a how to article or a recipe or something you are sharing with them just for being a newsletter subscriber. Fstarting an finishing with more personal types of items will help the newsletter subscriber feel like more of a part of a community than someone you are trying to sell to.
  • Now, moving to the sidebar, at the top of the sidebar it is a good idea to have links to all the useful pages on your site. Use buttons or some other type of small graphic with a short piece of text to let readers know where the link takes them and include links to your homepage, maybe your most recent article, any special offers you may include on your site and links to partner or affiliate sites or other useful resources for your readers. Its also a good idea to include a link to register for the newsletter here, in case one of your recipients forwards the e-mail to a friend who might want to register.
  • After the links you might want to include advertising space for others, ads for your own products, an inspirational quote or any other short bits of text that your readers might enjoy. Then, finish up with a small sidebar section where you can place special offers for newsletter recipients or any other type of sale or special or call to action you might presently be implementing.
  • Now you can either finish with a footer banner or just wrap it up and call it a done deal.
Hopefully, this will at the least be an idea of how to start thinking about constructing your e-mail newsletter and, from there, you can get creative and make your e-mail newsletter something you can really be proud to send to all those who find your site compelling enough to register.

Anissa Wardell is the founder of the The Publicists Assistant a publicity firm based in Utah. She enjoys helping new authors and passionate authors share their message. Anissa is the publicist for the upcoming film Don't Shoot! I'm the Guitar Man by Prodigy Motion Pictures.

ThePublicistsAssistant.com is a consulting and service PR firm for people that want to get famous in the media, without going broke. [http://ThePublicistsAssistant.com]

Wow Anissa! That was a fabulous post. Thank you so much. I myself learned a lot!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the info! Have often thought about starting a newsletter for my hubby but been too intimidated.