4 Delicious Ingredients to Cook Up a Successful E-mail Newsletter Campaign, Part 3
This week, in the third of this four-part series on e-mail newsletters, I provide some tips on how to make your e-newsletters easy to read.
In part 1 of the series, from the Jan. 16 edition, I examined the importance of relevance and value in e-newsletters.
In part 2, from the Jan. 30 edition, I offered some tips on how e-mail newsletters can help establish and reinforce an organization’s brand.
Combine in a reader-friendly format
Even the best pizza is hard to eat if it’s not served in slices. You've worked hard to create valuable content, so make sure to put it in a format that’s easy to read. Here are four tips to keep in mind when including content in your e-mail newsletter:
1. Include a table of contents. When you include a TOC at the top of your e-newsletter, readers can scan the topics quickly and go directly to the areas of greatest interest. It’s like a list of “specialties of the house” on a menu.
2. Balance text and images. A good recipe looks as good as it tastes. Using images to support your topic is a good idea. But many people have images turned off in their e-mail clients as a security measure, so make sure your newsletter communicates equally well without them. Hint: To test, turn off images in your e-mail client, send yourself a sample and see what it looks like.
3. Leave plenty of white space. Too many ingredients can cover up the flavor of the meat. Resist the urge to fill every nook and cranny of your e-newsletter with content. White space allows the eyes to rest between various segments. With it, your readers can skim through your e-newsletter with ease.
4. Use small portions. A meal that’s too big to eat is intimidating. For a shorter e-newsletter, include teasers that drive readers back to your Web site for a deeper experience. This approach enables you to get valuable clickthrough reports that show the level of interest in the various topics.
In the fourth and final part of this series, which will appear in the Feb. 20 edition of All About eMail, I'll close with tips on how to engage your readers.
John Arnold is the author of "E-mail Marketing for Dummies," and director of Constant Contact University at the Waltham, Mass.-based e-mail marketing services firm. Reach John at firstname.lastname@example.org.