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Social Media

How to create an engaging newsletter

September 21, 2010
Filed under Service Providers

Dave ValentineNewsletters are a cost-effective way to engage with your target market. Because your subscribers have opted in by providing you with their e-mail address, they are interested in hearing from you. Keep their interest by creating newsletters they will want to read.

When preparing a newsletter, consider the subject line, which is critical for getting your newsletter noticed amongst all of the other e-mails your subscriber has in their inbox. Your subject line should be 50 characters or less, which is all of the space typically available in a subject line. The subject line needs to be relevant to the actual content of the newsletter. If your subject line advertises an upcoming sales event, then the primary message of the newsletter should be about the event. Consider wording the subject line to create a sense of urgency using phrasing such as “limited time only” or “buy now.”

Create your newsletter with a balance of text and images. Most e-mail service providers turn images off by default and newsletters heavy with images are also susceptible to being caught in spam filters. Use an image to attract attention to your message and then deliver the message in text. Include a call to action in your message. If images on your newsletter are blocked, a text call to action will still be visible.

When adding images to a newsletter, use alt tags to the greatest advantage. Alt tags provide visible text that will appear over blocked images. Use an alt tag to describe the image. If the image is advertising a sale, be sure to mention the savings in the alt tag. The goal is to entice the subscriber to read your newsletter and understand your message even if they can’t see or don’t enable your images.

People have short attention spans so keep your newsletters short. The e-mail is usually scanned without reading entire sentences and usually viewed from left to right and top to bottom. More than 50 percent of the readers won’t scroll down, so always design your e-mail with the fold mark (the area of the page that is visible without scroll down) in mind. Include at least one call to action above the fold. Readers will click all over an e-mail – even on areas that are non-clickable so make sure to add relevant links back to your Web site.

Understanding these basic strategies will help you successfully deliver your message to your subscribers.

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