While content is king, creating an effective email newsletter is about more than just writing. To encourage your readers to open your emails, there are some technical best practices to consider that can help improve your results.
Five practical email newsletter tips for better deliverability and readability:
1. Keep it short. An email newsletter shouldn't contain the full article, especially if you include multiple articles in your newsletter. You want your readers to be able to easily scan the newsletter for articles that interest them. Provide them with easily absorbed fragments of information in the form of headlines and short article introductory paragraphs that link to the full article on your website.
2. Include a table of contents. A simple way to improve the scanability of your email newsletter is to place a table of contents at the top of the newsletter. The table of contents should include article titles and anchors linking to the articles' introductory paragraphs further down in the newsletter.
3. Provide your newsletter in HTML and plain text versions. While HTML is the version you'd prefer everyone to see because it's more visually attractive, not everyone will be able to view it because of firewalls and filters. If you don't have a plain text version of your newsletter, those who can't view HTML won't be able to see your newsletter at all.
4. Use a minimum of graphics. Emails with a large number of graphic images are often marked as spam and never reach the reader. Also, the majority of email clients turn off images by default so readers won't even see the graphics unless they turn them on. Keeping the pictures to a compelling few combined with your relevant content is best, as long as the email design isn't dependent on them.
5. Test test test. Email clients are not created equal. What looks great in one doesn't always look great in another. Send tests of your email to the major email clients - Outlook, Yahoo, Gmail and Hotmail - to review your email in the various settings and prevent any blunders.
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