How to Create Newsletters Online

by eHow Internet Editor

Online newsletters, also known as e-Zines, can help sell your products or services, improve your customer's impression of you and your business and develop you as an "expert" in your field. Some business owners choose to design their own newsletters and handle their own subscriber data base. Others prefer getting assistance from a professional newsletter subscription service. The main goal is to create newsletters online people will want to read.

Determine how much you can afford to spend to create and send an online newsletter. There are a few free software programs such as Topica.com, but they can limit your design choices and the number of subscribers allowed. There are also some free newsletter services, such as Yahoo.com, but ads (theirs, not yours) are placed inside your newsletter.

Consider software programs that have monthly fees and no ads. Most will allow you to test drive their program for a month or two and the fee is usually small until you get more than 50-100 subscribers. While cost should be a consideration, the main advantage to a paid software program is that subscribers are able to sign up, then receive a confirmation email to which they must reply before being added to your list. This "double opt-in" method makes sure people really do want to receive your newsletter and this kind of professionalism can help keep you off the spammers list of shame.

Vow to not send out a newsletter unless you have a remarkable sale to announce or content your readers won't find on your website, or anyone else's for that matter. This is called the "relevancy factor" and could be the difference between a subscriber base that flourishes and one that flounders.

Use photos or clip art to accompany every article. While the graphics don't need to be big, they do need to be clear and appropriate to the article's topic.

Write the articles yourself or pull a few from free article directories. Your entire newsletter should run no more than 1,000 words, so if you've decided to have four articles, limit each to 250 words. Review your entire newsletter before sending to make sure everything makes sense and be sure to use spell check.

Measure your readers' response to each newsletter. Another advantage to using a paid newsletter program is they do this for you. They can chart how many people opened your email, how many people clicked which links in your newsletter and how many people referred the newsletter on to a friend. Statistics can fluctuate from season to season, but if you see your numbers steadily going down, you need to revamp your design or content or both.

Tip

  • check If you publish consistently, the readers will come. Once the word gets out you publish a good "zine" each and every month, without fail, and once you get a couple of years publishing under your belt, you will become the online newsletter diva of your topic and other businesses will want to pay to advertise in your publication.