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A professionally created e-newsletter will allow you to stay in the forefront of your client's mind and help achieve your marketing goals.

Creating effective e-newsletters is an art, and if you know how to design and write them effectively, this method of communication can more easily open doors and close sales! The battle for the e-mail reader's time and attention is intense. You have to grab and persuasively hold current and potential customers' attention. That's why you want your e-newsletters to stand out from the jumble of e-mails flooding your clients' or prospects' inboxes. Many people merely scan their inbox and delete what they perceive is junk without even opening the message.

Here are some tips on how to create a successful e-newsletter and enlarge your database of devoted readers and clients.

  • Masthead. Make sure your newsletter contains a descriptive heading, tagline, volume and issue number, date, and link to the associated website.
  • Subject line. Your e-mails' subject line must be professional and stand out from the crowd. Avoid junk mail popular wording, such as the words "free", "zero cost", or "special discounts".
  • Personalization. Messages should be personalized with your recipient’s name in the salutation (Dear …)
  • Introduction to the content. The table of contents should be contained within the first few lines of the e-newsletter or in the margin. You need to give your readers an anchor or reference from which they can evaluate and explore your newsletter, and an opportunity to go to a specific place of interest. Make sure that there is also a link to get them back to the beginning of the message.
  • Tone of your e-newsletter. Use a friendly yet professional tone to build a relationship with your readers.
  • The design and formatting of the e-mail should be simple yet attractive and even interactive. The range of colours, fonts and design should make the reader feel at home.
  • Content. The content should be unique and of value to your recipients. Above all it should be informative; it doesn't necessarily have to be entertaining.
  • Grab your reader’s attention. Be compelling. Get to the point immediately. Focus on the recipient. Start with the conclusion and then back it up with the details.
  • Endorsements. If possible, include related comments or endorsements from highly regarded members of related industries.
  • Proofreading. Take time to proof read and spell check. Have someone else read your copy to ensure all is in order. Nothing says "unprofessional" more than misspellings.
  • Links and anchors. Before sending the newsletter out, make sure all the links and anchors work.
  • Be professional. Adhere to the laws of netiquette. For example: refrain from exaggerated descriptions, strong wording, or inappropriate humour.
  • Permission, privacy and copyright. Provide a simple subscription link so people can sign up for your newsletter and pass it on to others who may want to subscribe. The privacy statement and copyright should be clearly visible.
  • Archived issues. Provide a link to your Web site where readers can view previous issues of your e-newsletter or revisit information they found valuable.
  • Opt-out choice. Don't forget to give your subscribers an easy opt-out mechanism. People like to feel that they are sticking around because they want to!

E-mail newsletters can forge a positive or negative relationship, so use your powers wisely. The most important point in commercial messaging is the recipients' interest level. What is usually considered SPAM may be the right kind of message simply sent to the wrong recipient. Make sure you send your e-newsletter to an opt-in database and provide an easy way to opt out.

In today's fast-paced world where information is more powerful if it is instantaneous, targeted and quickly disseminated, e-newsletters fill the bill. This method of reaching your clients or prospects is reliable—your e-newsletter is delivered quickly, usually within seconds or minutes, and saves production time and money.

The times have changed and now opt-in e-newsletters are at the forefront of e-mail marketing efforts. Take advantage of this and watch your marketing results grow!

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