06 April 2009

Getting Input

The first place to test your newsletter is with associates and colleagues. What do they think about your ideas? The target you're aiming at is simply, anyone who will benefit from the information you have. Not only are people in a specific profession hungry for news, but there are people in all sorts of hobbies seeking specialized knowledge. Everyone is interested in making or saving money. Extremely successful topics are new trends where people can't get enough information. Manufacturers, advertisers and entrepreneurs are all searching for the new to exploit. Depending on the subject you choose, tap into those potential subscribers.

Design Considerations

The title at the top of the newsletter is the most visual aspect of the publication. It reflects the content and it reflects you. The best name for your newsletter is the same as your domain [U.R.L.] name.

Make up a few titles of your own:
- How do they compare with the titles of other newsletters?
- Which rings true for your enterprise?

Check at the library to be sure your title is original and doesn't duplicate other publications currently on the market. The title is your trademark [logo]. Since your newsletter is vitally important as a means to generate on-going income, it would be worthwhile to have it designated a ISSN- absolutely free- which is the electronic equivalent of an ISBN for a hard copy document. Not only does this legally protect your news-letter with the Library of Congress, it also ads a very professional touch!

You can download the PDF form at Library of Congress International The logo can be very simple.

Another aspect of the title at the top of the publication is the date and the issue number. These should be considered in the original design. Start out with one color and keep it as homespun and fresh as the news you'll publish. Avoid fancy type styles or those that are hard to read. And don't go overboard with a clever or cute design. Something simple and clear is what you're after, so an elaborate logo may look out of place. Since a newsletter has timely information, the date of the issue should be easy to find. A superb example of a content rich, topic-centric newsletter, with an ultra-crisp layout:

This man knows how to put a consistently excellent quality e-zine out! Any graphics should be kept minimal and simple, but don't be afraid to use subheads- as well as liberal use of bullets- to break up the copy. A few words capitalized or in a larger or darker print help the reader identify the information, and make it easier to read and understand. Keep enough white space to encourage reading, but fill the pages to make the subscriber feel the newsletter fulfills its promises.

What To Include

Consider a copy format that is divided by types of information. For example, you can have a section labeled profiles, another on upcoming events. Perhaps you have a calendar of shows, conventions, or seminars that would concern readers. There might be sections on various industry policies or unwritten rules. Past events and history are always good fillers. And don't forget humor. Although your newsletter is serious, potent information; no field of endeavor is without its light side. Don't lock yourself into a format you can't always fulfill. Rather, have these sections available for you to use or not as each issue is written. And always include subscription information. Your own news-letter is the best way to sell more. Also, if your e-zine is going to be e-mailed out resist the temptation to use html; straight-text only. That is- if you want a 100% consistency, 100% of the time; regardless of the reader's e-mail client.

Last But Not Least

Do not let your lines extend past 60 characters. Use a guideline, such as this, and hit enter after each line {turn word wrap OFF}: