Write A Newsletter To
Get Site Visitors To Return (And More)!Article by Steve M Nash
How many visitors to your
site ever return?
Not as many as you would
like, I bet!
The thing is, it’s a lot
easier and less time-consuming to promote your site to people who have
*already* visited. So how do you do that? Well, you could:
Ask people to bookmark your site;
Get people to make your site their homepage (your site
had better be good!);
Make your site the next Yahoo! or Blogger or Hotmail
(ideal, but not too easy); or…
Publish an ezine or newsletter!
Yes, publish a newsletter
(and get people to subscribe)!
Writing a newsletter is the
BEST WAY
to stay in touch with site visitors and existing customers.
At the very least
you can remind them about your website on a regular basis. But, even better,
you get a chance to develop trust between your visitors and yourself.
And on the faceless
Internet, trust is everything!
As with your website, you
need to promote your newsletter and get people to sign-up. By all means
start with your friends and family, and then try these legitimate methods
(please don’t send unsolicited mail – SPAM wastes everyone’s time!):
You MUST promote your
newsletter on your own site
Put the newsletter sign-up form at the top left or top
right of as many of your pages as possible. Offer an incentive to sign-up,
sell the benefits of your newsletter (first notice of the next sale, for
instance, or chance to win something)
Use pop-up windows to encourage sign-ups. A little bit
controversial, this, but pop-ups *do* increase subscriber sign-ups!
You CAN announce your
newsletter to the world
Join various newsletter announcement mailing lists,
follow their announcement rules, and announce, announce, announce (There
are loads of these lists at http://www.topica.com .)
Visit the following website:
http://www.ezinelocater.com
Free Email Newsletter Directory
(More resources available in the full
version of this article – request your copy below.)
Okay, okay your newsletter
may be too humble for all this promotion, but at the very least make it easy to
sign-up on your website. Oh! One other way of promoting your newsletter:
You SHOULD make your
newsletter a great read!
This is possibly the most
important aspect of publishing a newsletter. Here are a few points to consider
– try and make sure you:
Add your personality;
Publish on the same date;
Stick to a similar format;
Re-read and reread to remove mistakes;
Encourage feedback;
Have clear objectives and *meet them*; and
Enjoy yourself.
Even do it yourself
Writing a newsletter is a
bit difficult not to do yourself, I admit.
What I mean is that you can
find many Perl/CGI scripts that allow you to run a newsletter, including subscribe and unsubscribe functions, from your own site. Subscribe
Me Lite, written by CGIScriptCenter,
is probably the best free resource to do this. And you can always do a
search at CGI Resources.
(And I use Aweber –
not free though.)
http://www.siteinteractive.com
– Subscribe Me Litehttp://www.cgi-resources.comhttp://responders.aweber.com
One last thing… don’t forget SPAM filters
To counter the un-relenting
spam that we all receive, spam-filters are everywhere.
What does this mean to you,
the budding newsletter publisher?
Well, it means that you
have to take great care now in what you write in your newsletter. If you don’t,
your publishing efforts will be wasted as the spam-filters will, wrongly, block
your newsletter. And few of your subscribers will read it.
So don’t forget the spam
filters when you write your newsletter! Do a check to see if you need to change
any part of it, first, before you send your mailing out.
You can do a spam-check
here http://spamcheck.sitesell.com/
Spam is a bigger and bigger problem nowadays. Recently Ralph Wilson, Paul
Myers, and other Net marketing gurus have written about the problems that spam 242t1913c
is causing honest, hard working Net marketers.
Actually, while spam is the fundamental root of our problems, the anti-spam
measures that large ISPs and important free e-mail hosts (like Hotmail and
Yahoo! Mail) undertake are what hurts legitimate Net marketers.
Much like tuna nets catch dolphins by mistake, their spam filters catch us.
So the SiteSell SpamCheck Tool is a quick way for honest marketers to make sure
that their e-mails are less likely to be considered spam by ISPs, by Yahoo!
Mail and Hotmail (which tosses you into their Junk folders) and even by
individual filters set up by an ever-growing number of recipients around the
world.

Writing a newsletter on
a regular basis is a great way to keep people returning to your website. There are many tools and resources
that show you how. And there are many sites that will publish your newsletter
for free (you can even find free content, for goodness sake).
Publish a newsletter and
get to know your site visitors – and then let them get to know you! Be
original, if you can, and do make sure your ezine gets past the spam-filters.
http://www.ezineuniversity.com/
How to Develop an E-Mail Newsletter
by
Dr. Ralph F. WilsonWeb Marketing Today,
Issue 45, June 1, 1998
Conserving contacts. How many people have
visited your site since it first opened it URL for business? 500? 1,500?
10,000? 100,000? 1,000,000? How many of those could you get in touch with today
if you wanted to? If you don’t have some way to communicate with visitors, you’ve
let them slip through your fingers. What a waste!
Out of site, out of mind. Once someone has
left your site — even if they bookmark your URL — they’re likely to forget
about you. That’s where a newsletter comes in. It regularly brings your
business to the front of their mind. Every time they hear from you, the chances
increase that they’ll remember to come back to your site.
Building trust. Your voice and manner in a
newsletter becomes familiar to your customers. Your ongoing conversations built
trust, and trust is at the heart of doing business on the Web. When your e-mail newsletter offers readers something of value time
after time, you and your business become like a trusted friend.
Collecting E-Mail Addresses
Now don’t misunderstand the harvest metaphor. I’m not talking about sucking
up millions of e-mail addresses with some giant spam-blaster machine. I’m
talking about patiently collecting the e-mail addresses of those who come to
your site.
The simplest way to collect the e-mail address is to invite people to
subscribe to your newsletter by typing their e-mail address into a simple form
and pressing the submit button. And simplest may be best. Should you ask for
their name, address, phone, fax, mother’s maiden name, and favorite ice cream
flavor? No. Of course, it’s tempting. But if you require them to, you’ll get many
fewer subscriptions. The purpose here is not to build a database of prospects, it is to build a long-term relationship with
prospects so that you become their preferred vendor. Don’t confuse the two.
I suggest making your privacy policy clear. State what you will and will not
do with the information you collect. If you need some guidance, take a look at
our privacy
policy (http://www.wilsonweb.com/clients/privacy-policy.htm) or the Direct Marketing
Association (http://www.the-dma.org/pan7/dmers7c1-policy.shtml). Protect
their privacy, but make every effort to get them to sign up for your
newsletter; we place a subscription form on nearly every page of our site.
You’ll also want to give people a chance to unsubscribe easily if a
“friend” subscribed them without their knowledge. When a person
subscribes to our newsletter, we immediately send a message telling him how to
unsubscribe if he wants to, assuring him that we do not want to send any
unsolicited mail. Many lists have a two-step verification process to subscribe.
We haven’t found that necessary, and it can be pretty daunting. You’re sure to
lose some subscribers who give up trying subscribe.
Keeping your e-mail list accurate isn’t easy. You’d be surprised how many
Internet newbies don’t know their e-mail address. We’ve set up our form so it
looks for the appropriate e-mail address format — initial letters, an @ sign, letters after a period at the end, and the
absence of certain symbols such as \ or / which are more appropriate to URLs
than e-mail addresses. If the visitor enters an obviously incorrect e-mail
address, the program gently informs him of his error and asks him to correct
it. This saves a lot of trouble unsubscribing incorrect addresses later.
Writing the Newsletter
Pompous doesn’t work very well on the Web. I’ve had to unlearn a lot of what
my English teachers taught me about formal sentences. If you can learn to write
like you talk, you’ll find that people actually enjoy reading it. Make your
newsletter chatty and informal. But chatty doesn’t mean airy. You need to say
something worth saying. You job is to add value to your readers’ lives, not
frustrate them until they ask, “Where’s the beef?”
What kind of content should you offer? A lot of this depends upon your
industry. What do your readers want to know? If you have a computer games
store, you’ll want to offer cheat codes. You’ll talk about graphics, and
describe new products. What major trends are affecting the industry? Examine
those. You could offer links to sites that provide more information.
Many newsletters include briefs on the latest news in the field. Be careful,
however, not to just snip out someone else’s story and place it in your
newsletter without permission. That’s immoral and illegal, not to mention
tacky. Always ask so you don’t make enemies or expose your business to a copyright
infringement suit.
How often should you publish a newsletter? Quarterly is a good goal at
first. Get out a calendar and mark the days you plan to send out your
newsletter, and then block out a couple of days prior to the deadline to
prepare each newsletter. As you learn how to produce a newsletter, increase the
frequency. I used to be amused that Mecklermedia’s Web Week (now Internet
World) came out every three weeks at first. Then it was every other week. Then every week. They started as their resources allowed and
worked gradually to their goal.
Before you publish, make sure you’ve updated your website to include any
features you’ve highlighted in your newsletter, because soon you’ll have
numbers of repeat visitors hitting your site.
Now send out your newsletter to your subscribers using whatever e-mail list
program you’ve chosen. (See sidebar.) It’s
normal to get a lot of “delivery failure” messages after a mailing.
We find that every month about 5% of our subscribers are no longer found at
their old e-mail address. Part of publishing a newsletter is the tedium of
removing
What is a mailing list?
We ought to start at the beginning. A mailing list program allows you to
send out messages to everyone on the list of e-mail addresses. You send one
copy of the newsletter (with a password) to the mailing list, and it takes care
of distributing copies to each address on the list. Another form is a
discussion list, which allows members to send messages to each other. When a
member sends an e-mail message to the mailing list program, it echoes that
message with in a few minutes to every member on the list. When lists get
large, usually a moderator selected by the list owner screens messages before
they are sent out, to cut down on clutter and keep the quality of content high.
Businesses depend upon keeping in touch with customers, informing them of
sales and new products, as well as providing ongoing customer support after the
sale. Discussion lists can focus on bug fixes, user groups, technical support,
current issues, hobbyist interests, etc. Some businesses host discussion lists
that provide information about whole industries, putting their business the
“expert” role, and winning lots of publicity and business as a
result. Newsletters and discussion lists are the life-blood of Internet
businesses. The free mailing list programs bring this capability within the
range of any size business.
Typical features
All the lists we looked at included good tools to manage three types of
mailing lists: (1) newsletter or announcement, (2) open discussion lists, and
(3) moderated discussions. The latter allows a moderator to screen messages
from members before they are sent to the lists.
They also provide important features to make the listowner’s life easier. If
you’ve had a mailing list, you know that subscribe and unsubscribe requests
combined with bounced messages sent to obsolete addresses can eat up a lot of
time. Using several sophisticated techniques, these programs automatically
inactivate members whose messages bounce. Depending upon the type of bounce,
they’ll wait a few days or weeks before inactivating. When you consider that
this saves many human hours of thankless list pruning, this is a great feature.
How expensive is free?
I suppose I need to pause at the word “free” to observe that
nothing is completely free or these systems would soon collapse from economic
starvation. Each of the sites I studied was advertising supported. They
typically offer three types of ads:
Brief e-mail ads at the
end of messages. Every message that goes out on the list may contain a
brief 3-line ad from an advertiser, as well as a one-liner such as
“This list is powered by ….”. For
about $60 to $100 per year they’ll skip the advertising messages in the
e-mails. Topica.com has a completely opt-in approach to these e-mail ads,
and don’t charge if the list owner opts-out. They figure they can make a
profit if only 10% of the lists include advertising. Consider that the largest
of these sites have 150,000 to 200,000 lists and millions of users, that’s
a lot of messages and advertising potential.
Banner ads at the Member
and List home pages. Since most of these sites offer online archives
and messaging and other features, many of the members will be visiting the
site online.
Opt-in E-mail Lists.
Some of these sites, such as Topica.com, anticipate advertising also from
future opt-in e-mail lists that compiled from among willing members,
though this channel isn’t well developed as yet.
You’re exchanging “discrete” advertising for the opportunity to
share some tremendous services. No, it’s not free, but it seems like a fair
trade.
If the services are so good, why would any business want to develop their
own listservers and bulletin boards? Three reasons come to mind: (1) freedom
from any advertising whatsoever, (2) the desire to sell ad space themselves,
and (3) an unwillingness to “share” clients with the free sites who
may distract customers with other discussion and newsletter lists. Building
your own keeps the gate on the corral. Only larger companies can afford to
build or buy programs that can match these free services, though many smaller
businesses can purchase adequate programs if they need to.
eGroups (http://www.egroups.com)
My favorite of the
free lists I reviewed is eGroups. They’ve designed a list interface that is
quite easy to understand and navigate through, with a multitude of features to
accommodate various kinds of communication within the group. The mailing list
features work well, with both regular e-mail and digest options. In addition,
archives can be viewed at the group website — helpful if a member goes on
vacation or just wants to avoid e-mail overload. When the moderator checks in,
he or she is presented with a list of people who have applied to be members
(unless you select open membership), and a list of messages to either approve
and send to the group or reject (unless you allow free posting). It’s an
intuitive, well-designed system.
The extra features are attractive, too. The moderator can turn on or off a
list of member profiles, a member’s chatroom, a group calendar, a survey
feature, and an area where members can post files and photos for others to see.
There’s also a rather flexible flat-file database that can be configured to
contain a searchable FAQ, a list of parts, a list of companies and contacts, an
annotated list of movies or books, etc. The only weakness I see is the
inability of the moderator to prevent members from posting files to the 20 MB
shared area, in case this space needs to be dedicated to business information,
software patches, instructional course information, etc.
eGroups is alone at present in allowing the user to
select between ASCII and HTML e-mail preferences. While this allows the user
some choice in e-mail, eGroups gets the ability to charge its advertisers to
send banner ads at the bottom of HTML e-mail.
But in spite of all its attractive features, eGroups has a serious flaw:
businesses can’t subscribe members using the business’s own HTML form;
subscribers must either send their own e-mail message or subscribe at the
website. I had set up a list designed to carefully screen members in order to
conduct a high level discussion, and had designed a 15-field form on my site to
obtain that information. But eGroups misread the headers on e-mail from this
form and subscribed my e-mail server to the list rather than the person who
filled out the form. Oops. eGroups explain the
program’s failure to accept standard e-mail messages as an attempt to prevent
people from spamming the list with unwilling subscribers. I think this severely
limits serious business use of eGroups, and I hope they’ll change their mind.
But for many purposes, however, eGroups will work quite well by placing the
eGroups supplied form on your site. It’s my personal favorite of those I
reviewed — even though I won’t be able to use it because of this flaw.
ONEList (http://www.onelist.com)
ONEList is the leader
in free mailing list field, with the longest track record, the highest Web
traffic, and claims of 165,000 lists. Media Metrix recently ranked ONEList as
the 22nd largest Web Service, and number 230 of the Top 500 most-visited Web
sites in April 1999, with a reach more than twice that of its closest competitor.
They have worked hard to develop a sturdy infrastructure that is able to
deliver e-mail to list members within seconds, and handle very large lists,
numbering in the tens of thousands of members.
From a functional standpoint, ONEList excels in welcoming Web communities.
Potential community members can subscribe at the ONEList site as well as via
e-mail message from the user. Businesses can visitors using their own
subscription forms. Within the list space, members can read posts online, view
other members’ profiles, and share documents with each other in a 5 MB shared
file space. In contrast to eGroups, this space can be restricted from members
if the moderator chooses. Multiple moderators can be selected, and given
various privileges. Users that post from two e-mail addresses can set up a
second alias so the list can accept messages from both. In addition to a survey
that shows both a graph and text report of results, ONEList includes a unique
calendar system that can automatically e-mail reminders to list members on
specific dates.
I didn’t like ONEList’s interface as well as some others. And ONEList’s
in-your-face blue and orange color clash made me feel somewhat uncomfortable at
the site. From a functional standpoint, though, ONEList is a top notch program
that can serve business purposes well.
Topica (http://www.topica.com)
Topica is the newcomer
among free e-mail lists. Their philosophy is “opt-in”. If you don’t
want ads on your e-mail messages, there is no charge to opt-out. Nor are there
any restrictions at all on maximum message size; eGroups and ONEList allow up
to 500K, and ListBot Gold up to 250K in size. Topica
offers an attractive and easy-to-use interface for users and moderators with
one drawback. Since the interface requires frames, WebTV members won’t be able
to use it easily. Both ONEList and Topica allow the moderator to ban members so
they cannot resubscribe, a handy feature to rid
yourself of obnoxious members — until you realize how easy it is to obtain one
more free e-mail address.
At present Topica is concentrating on its e-mail features, and does not
offer shared space, calendars, and the like. It does, however, allow businesses
to subscribe people from their own forms, and provides an abundance of features
for managing e-mail lists. PC Magazine selected Topica among its list of
“100 Top Websites.”
ListBot (http://www.listbot.com)
ListBot, owned by MSN
LinkShare, is one of the oldest free e-mail lists, designed especially for
businesses. It offers many list management features common to the other lists,
except that members are not able to select a digest feature. The major
difference between ListBot and the rest is the form that it requires
prospective list members to fill out. Listowners can decide which fields to
place on the form and require of members, and includes a number of choices of
demographic and interests data. If you need an easy way to collect data as
people subscribe, here’s the tool. But there’s a downside. The data collection
form includes no privacy policy link or statement, de rigueur in these
days when both the EU and the FTC are concerned about data collection policies.
ListBot is designed to administer a single list and does not allow multiple
moderators, customizable message trailers, etc.
As one who has used Majordomo as my list manager for about four years too
long, these feature-rich free mailing list programs are like a breath of fresh
air, and offer features to both the moderator and participants will appreciate.
Starting Your Own Newsletter or Ezine
by Christopher Heng, thesitewizard.com
There are some good reasons for running a newsletter or mailing list:
You want to disseminate
information to your readers.
You want to make product
announcements or announcements about updates to your site.
Such newsletters are useful both to you (as a web designer) and to your
readers: you get a chance to reach your audience with your information, and
your audience gets the information they wanted (which was why they subscribed
in the first place). There’s also a side benefit: some of your readers will
return to your site to check out the new stuff mentioned in your newsletter.
Running an Electronic Newsletter or Ezine
There are basically two indispensable things in running a newsletter:
a way for visitors to your
site to sign up or leave the mailing list;
a
way for you to post to the entire mailing list.
Using a Third Party Service
The easiest way to run a newsletter is to let a third party mailing list
service handle the dirty work, freeing you to concentrate on your content.
There are both commercial and free mailing list
hosting services available. You can find a list of free mailing list hosts from
thefreecountry.com’s Free Mailing List Hosts page. I have
also reviewed a few of these services in the past, including the following
reviews:
Review
of Topica
http://www.thesitewizard.com/archive/topica.shtml
Review of Yahoo! Groups
http://www.thesitewizard.com/reviews/yahoogroups.shtml
The advantages of using a third party service (whether commercial or free)
are:
Hands-free – you don’t have
to bother about managing the list itself. Things like bounced mail,
subscriptions and unsubscribes are handled by them. Some of the services
also archive the old issues of your newsletters automatically.
Confirmation of subscription
– all the mailing list hosting services that I know of actually send your
subscribers an email requiring them to confirm before they are added to
the list. Although you may think this is a hassle that may cost you some
subscribers (such as those that can’t be bothered to reply to the
confirmation request), it is actually useful because it will help prevent
cases where a person’s email is used to subscribe to a list without his
permission. At least, you won’t be accused of spamming anyone.
Publicity – A not-so-obvious
advantage comes from the publicity the third party service may give to
your list. Some mailing list hosts, most notably the free ones, display a
list of ezines or newsletters people can subscribe to on their website. I
have actually got new visitors to my site (and new subscribers) coming
from people browsing such sites. They saw my newsletter listed there,
checked out my site and subscribed to the ezine.
No additional software needed
– you do not need Smartlist, Majordomo, Listserv, or CGI access. All you
need is to sign up.
If you use a third party mailing list service, you may encounter the
following disadvantages:
Cost. The commercial mailing
list hosts are somewhat like web hosts, charging either a monthly/yearly
fee or charging according to the number of messages you send, bandwidth
you use, number of subscribers, etc.
Advertising. If you use a
free mailing list hosting provider, your subscribers may be subject to
third party advertising. They often automatically inject an advertisement
into your newsletter or ezine each time an issue is sent out. This
advertisement is understandable of course, since the service has to
recover its costs some how.
Control. You do not have
total control of your list when you rely on a third party mailing list
host. This is especially the case with the free mailing list hosting
providers. There was one time when I wanted to concatenate two mailing
lists using a free mailing list host (now no longer operating) but found that
there was no real way of doing it without forcing all the subscribers of
one of the lists to reconfirm their subscription again, even though they
had already confirmed their subscription when they first subscribed to the
original newsletter.
Reliability. You are
dependent on the reliability of your mailing list host.
Using Your Web Host’s Mailing List Software
Another way to run your mailing list is to use the services provided by your
web host. Most web hosts provide you with the facility to run your own mailing
list. Some provide fairly sophisticated automated systems that can archive past
issues of your ezines, send requests for confirmations, handle subscriptions
and unsubscribes without your intervention, etc.
Using your host’s mailing list software has the advantage that it is free
(or rather, you have already paid for it as part of your web hosting package)
and is (usually) ad-free (ie, no advertisements are inserted). Depending on the
software your host uses, you also have quite good control over the list: you
can add subscribers, remove them, block certain subscribers, change the
confirmation messages, etc. In addition, the automated system also frees you
from the chore of manually adding and removing subscribers.
The disadvantage is that many web hosts impose a limit to the number of
subscribers you can have in your list. This is to prevent their mailing servers
from becoming overloaded from messages emanating from your list.
Running Your Own Mailing List Script (CGI / PHP / ASP /etc)
There are also numerous free mailing list CGI scripts as well as PHP scripts
that allow you to run a mailing list from your website even if your host does
not provide mailing list facility for your account. For example, you can find
some on the thefreecountry.com’s Free Mailing List CGI Scripts page at http://www.thefreecountry.com/perlscripts/mailinglists.shtml
Owing to the nature of such software, the CGI scripts often require your
users to subscribe and unsubscribe only using the web interface. Some scripts
support the double opt-in of the mailing list providers: they automatically
send an email to the subscriber with a special URL that they must click on to
confirm their subscription; others simply send subscribers a message with
information on how to unsubscribe and the like. You will often have to handle
the bounced mail yourself by manually deleting the subscriber from your list
when you received bounced messages.
Running Your Own Newsletter from your Email Software
Sometimes, if your mailing list is small, it may be possible to use your
email software to manage your list. Some email software have
sophisticated mailing list management facilities. Others are designed with
mailing lists in mind.
The advantage of this method is obvious: you are not dependent on your web
host nor do you have to pay a third party mailing list host to handle your
list.
The disadvantages of this are:
If you are not on a
permanent internet connection, you will have to frequently connect to the
Internet to receive the subscription requests and unsubscribes, so that
your email software can process these in a timely fashion. No longer can
you be reticent about collecting your mail on busy days. In fact, you
really should process subscription requests within a few hours of their
being sent, otherwise some people might forget they have sent those
requests and not confirm your confirmation notice (or complain about spam
to your ISP).
You have to manually delete
subscribers for bounced messages.
Depending on the size of
your list and the type of your connection (eg, whether it is a dial-up
line or broadband), you may have to spend hours connected to the Internet
each time you send an issue of your ezine or newsletter: your email
software has to send your newsletter to every email address in your list.
If your list is large, you may wind up spending hours just sending an issue.
What to Write?
What should you put in your mailing list or newsletter? That’s really up to
you, of course.
Some people hold discussion lists (where even subscribers can contribute to
the list). Others use it as a place to make product announcements. For example,
my Logtime
mailing list was designed for users of the software to
receive notification everytime a new version is released. Another use
for the newsletter is what I do with the thefreecountry.com’s
newsletter: subscribers receive periodic issues telling them of new free
webmaster and programmer resources that I find, prior to my posting them onto thefreecountry.com. Or
you could send articles to your subscribers, like what I do with thesitewizardT
newsletter.
Incidentally, I would suggest that your newsletter contain things useful to
your readers rather than just one long string of advertisements. My personal
policy is to not to send out an issue if I don’t have anything significant to
say rather than to send out a useless issue.
Formatting Your Newsletter
You can publish your newsletter using HTML or send it out in plain text.
Sending your newsletter in the HTML format allows you to format your
newsletter with fonts, colours and even embed pictures. However not everyone
appreciates HTML email, and some even filter out all HTML mail on the grounds
that such email are most likely to be spam. HTML messages tend to be larger
than plain text messages too, so if you’re paying your mailing list provider
according to bandwidth used, you may want to factor that into your
calculations.
If, however, you choose to send your newsletters in plain text, here are
some tips to help you get the maximum effect from your newsletter:
Most newsletter publishers
advise that you should write your plain-text messages with a maximum of 65
characters to a line. If you write more than 65 characters to a line, some
of your subscribers’ email software will wrap the line at the 66th
character, resulting in your hard work appearing mangled.
Put space between each
paragraph.
You can emphasize a
particular word by enclosing it in asterisks: eg, *recommended*.
Although you might think
that you can underline things using the hyphen or underscore character,
remember that some of your users may be using fixed pitched fonts while
others may be using variable pitched fonts. This means that the length of
your lines will vary according to the type of fonts they use. If you
insist on using hyphens, use it to separate one section from another
rather than as the underline character. Again, keep those lines within 65
characters.
When you put links in your
newsletter, just put the unadorned link without any HTML tags, like the
following:
http://www.thesitewizard.com/
Most modern email software and web email interfaces will automatically make
that into a clickable link. AOL’s email client does not however. The latter
require that you write an HTML link for it to be clickable.
When you give email
addresses, prefix it with a “mailto:” tag, like the following:
mailto:subscribe@thesitewizard.com
Again, this will be rendered as a clickable link by most modern email software.
Get Started!
You probably have enough tips to start you off on your own newsletter here.
The rest of the stuff pretty much depends on what you want to do with your
newsletter.
Happy writing!
Copyright 2000-2002 by Christopher Heng. All rights
reserved.
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