Newsletters are a great way to stay in touch with your customers and prospects; they can create a new relationship or maintain an existing one.

When sending a regular newsletter to your subscribers, always make sure that it’s sent on the same day, at the same time. Your punctuality and your consistency speak volumes about your brand and about your commitment to your subscribers. Your subscribers will come to “expect” your e-mail to arrive in their inbox on the same day at the same time.

As for frequency, I recommend at least a quarterly mailing since e-mail address turnover is so high these days. I saw a statistic from Google that said e-mail addresses turnover at an annual rate of 31%! So if you don’t mail to your list once a quarter, your list will start to decay.

Frequency is a function of how important or relevant the content is for the reader. To be sent weekly means that the reader is making almost daily decisions about your content. For example, a stock picking newsletter might fit a weekly distribution; this also means that it ages quickly and has a short shelf life. In my opinion, a monthly distribution is fine for most businesses,

The big debate in the e-mail marketing community is should it use HTML or plain text? HTML is colorful and eye catching but oddly enough spam filters for many e-mail readers like MS Outlook, Gmail, etc will disable the images. This means that all your readers see is the text unless they go to the trouble to open the images.

Keep your fonts simple and readable. There is nothing more frustrating than having to decipher an overly ornate font. Be kind to the readers with “over forty eyes” —give them a font that is big enough that they don’t have to run to get their reading glasses. Also, single columns are best since eye tracking studies show that a single column is easier to scan.

Finally, people don’t read much these days. Most people prefer to scan newsletter headlines and seldom finish articles. So remember not to beat around the bush and be sure to make your point right away before they hit the delete key.

John Bradley Jackson
© Copyright 2008 All rights reserved.

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