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In the last issue of the A-Z of Newsletters I suggested that if you need help writing your newsletter, you might think about engaging the services of a copywriter. The other thing you can do is ask someone else for ideas and inspiration. In this issue I'm really grateful to Alice Elliott of Alice Designs who sent me her ideas. I hope you find it useful.
If you'd like to contribute to a future issue of the A-Z of Newsletter, click here to send me your letter and your suggestion.
On-screen communication, such as email newsletters, is so versatile. It takes up less room than paper, is interactive for immediate access to other information and has easy email access to a wider audience. Email newsletters are less expensive to send than conventional postage, can command a quicker response take-up and can be effectively tracked for marketing purposes. There are also design differences for you to think about.
What Are the Design Differences Between Online and Offline?
Number of pages - you can create a template for an email newsletter, just as you would for a paper newsletter, for corporate identity and recognition, but the number of pages is not restricted. Printed newsletters ideally need to be in groups of four.
Page size - you may need some careful editing to fit your content within the page area of an email newsletter, while printed newsletters can ‘squeeze’ in extra information wherever necessary.
Links - email newsletters can offer ‘taster-paragraphs’ with interactive links to the rest of the article on a separate page. Printed newsletters need to show the whole article.
Columns - these provide visual interest and regulate reading methods. Narrow columns stimulate quick reading for news items while wider columns provide for more leisurely perusals.
In addition to all this, did you know that screen and paper design use different kinds of colours? Computers use a combination of red, green and blue light (RGB), whereas printing on paper uses ink in four colours - cyan, magenta, yellow and black (CMYK) - in various intensities to create all the colours. Think carefully about these differences when you're planning a newsletter. Will you just publish online, or do you want to be able to print it as well?
For more advice and ideas on design, contact Alice at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Databases - you have one of these, don't you? Somewhere that you store information on who your clients are, what they buy from you, how they heard about you; and who your prospects are and when you next need to contact them. A database doesn't need to be a complicated piece of software - if you already publish a newsletter, why not use your mailing list as a database, to store useful information in?
Doing Newsletters - on 6 December I'm running a workshop and clinic on How Not to Do Newsletters at Grove in Oxfordshire. The morning workshop will look at how to plan your newsletter, what to write and who to send it to - everything you need to know to produce a really effective newsletter - all for just £47. If you'd like some one-to-one help with your newsletter, stay on for the clinic after lunch, when you can ask your specific questions. If you'd like more details about this exciting workshop, click here and I'll send them to you.
What will E be for? Click here to send me your suggestions for the next issue of the A-Z of Newsletters, which will be published on 9 October.