Newsletters: What works and what not

By | September 21, 2006

I personally am receiving a lot of newsletters, some of which I actually want to receive and some of which I don’t. But what makes a newsletter a good PR tool. When does a newsletter attract attention. Or even more important when does it provide positive attention.

When receiving an e-mail what do you do. Going to open it straight away? Perhaps you look who sent it or what the title is. Most of these things you will do without knowing it. Next time you receive an e-mail think about what made you open it.

From some experience with newsletters I know that most people will automatically delete any e-mail that does not look important or that’s from a sender they don’t know. So when writing a newsletter these are the first things to be aware of:

  • Can the reader see the e-mail is from my website
  • Does the title describe the content as well as raise the level of trust

Notice how this is only about the title and the sender. It’s important to raise interest in the content of the e-mail by just using the title and sender’s address. But that’s not all, if only it were.

Just like with any online content is king. But what does that actually mean! A lot of people will have different opinions, but mine is as follows:

  • The content of the e-mail is written for me,
    Which means that if you are writing for a general public don’t include difficult words specific to your niche. But the same is true for the opposite. Writing for you niche then use these specific words as it will raise people’s trust in your expertise.
  • Not to flashy,
    I know that I hate e-mails that look as if they were meant to be webpages. I think Clickz is a great example of how not to do it. They write for marketing people, but are just copying their webpages into the e-mail. Mind you if you are writing for a movie or music website you will automatically use more graphics and HTML in your newsletter then someone writing for a automobile website. Just try and balance it.
  • Don’t use online styles or pictures,
    Not everyone reads their e-mail whilst connected to the internet. So don’t use images in the e-mail that are not embedded in the e-mail, or your readers may never see them. Same holds true for the stylesheet, don’t link but embed.

I personally always try to take these pointers in mind when writing for a e-mail or a website for that matter. It would be a shame if you ended up on blacklists just because people report your e-mail as spam!

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