Newsletters are one of the most important ways of keeping in contact with your supporters.
This is the way that your latest ideas, special offers and new forecasts for various ideas are distributed to your subscribers, but before you can send out a newsletter, you need subscribers to send to. How are you going to get your subscribers? Well, for a start you need to get visitors to your website. The second thing is that you need to have an easy means for people to subscribe to your newsletter.
Let us look at what you really need from the person who is going to receive your newsletter. They know what they are signing up for so you don’t need to ask them their interests. Do you need their name? Not really although it’s nice to be able to address them directly by name. It’s not essential; however, you need their permission to send them an e-mail so you need a double check that the e-mail they ask you to send the newsletter to is really their e-mail. The one thing you do need is the e-mail address. If you tell them you will only email once a week make sure you only email once a week. Sending them an email is a privilege that they have granted you, and if you abuse it, they will withdraw that privilege.
When deciding on where to place the newsletter signup make sure it is above the fold and where the eye will fall. If it is in the hotspot of the page you are half way there. Make sure you do all the legal disclaimers about not selling info and keep your word. Give a brief explanation as to what the newsletter will contain. This means that people will know what they are signing up for.
Ask for the least amount of info and put a subscribe button there.
Once you have subscribers you need to decide how you want to lay your newsletter out. Do you want it to reflect the same format as your website? Alternatively, are you sending out something with interesting articles similar to a magazine or a travel site?
Either way you need to date stamp it in some way. Then you need to make sure you have bold headlines and subs that will be easy to read and thus can be speed read.
People often don’t have a lot of time when reading their emails so with the headlines and subs they quickly pick out what is of interest to them and read further. Keep your sentences and paragraphs short. This keeps the flow and makes for easier reading.
Give your readers the choice as to whether or not they want to read it in Html or in plain text. If it is magazine style you need it in Html for it to be effective.
The next item is the software you are going to use. There are several to choose from like Mail Chimp and Campaign Monitor. Mail chimp has a free plan for you to start with. Campaign monitor charges 1 c per email plus a fee of $5. Personally, I would draw up my newsletter and then put the design into one of the available delivery servers probably mail chimp.