1. Design Scannable Newsletters
According to studies by usability expert, Jakob Nielsen, about 50 percent of readers skimmed or partly read the newsletters. Only 23 percent of readers read the newsletters all the way through. The remaining 27 percent were never opened. Make the text easy to scan by:
- using short paragraphs
- using bullet points
- including plenty of white spacing between topics
- highlighting topics with uppercase or bold text in HTML newsletters
2. Insert Line Breaks
Improve the readability of your newsletter by formatting it with hard line breaks at 60/65/70 characters per line.
3. Include Newsletter Title In The Subject Field
Include your newsletter title at the beginning of the subject field. This will help the reader differentiate your newsletter from junk emails. It will also allow them to filter your newsletter into a separate folder with the use of filters.
4. Make Your Subject Field Sell!
Advertise the most enticing story of each issue in the subject field. You literally have seconds to grab the readers attention, so make it count.
5. Include A Table Of Content
If the newsletter is long, include a table of contents at the top. This will allow readers to scan the topics to see if anything in the newsletter catches their interest.
6. Fix Long Links
Long hyperlinks may be broken when you format text emails, you may want to ensure you use short links or use a redirect to avoid potential issues.
7. Avoid Spam Filters That Flag The Certain Words
Do not use words that you think may cause an issue with spam filters. Use alternative wording instead.
8. Avoid Spam Filters That Flag Chain Letters
Some spam filters are flagging emails that asks readers to forward the newsletter on as chain letters.
Avoid using the word “forward” and any of the following words in the same sentence, “all, anyone, every, friends, many, others, people.” Instead of “forward,” try using “pass,” “share,” or “send.”
9. Reduce Remove Request Emails
There are two methods to reducing the number of remove email requests from your subscribers:
- Include a removal notice at the top and bottom of the email.
- Place the bottom removal request at the very bottom of the email, rather than a few paragraphs from the bottom.
10. Design User-Friendly HTML Newsletters
Format your newsletter to mobile friendly or at least readable on small screens.
11. Create HTML Friendly Newsletters
Gmail, AOL, etc, protect users by eliminating potential security hazards. Avoid these tags in your newsletter HTML:
- External Style Sheets
- Frames and IFrames
- Meta Refresh
In addition, the following HTML tags are the only ones supported by AOL email clients:
- Big: Big
- Body: Body
- Bold: B
- Break: BR
- Center: Center
- Font: Font
- Header: H1, H2, H3
- Hyperlink: A
- Italics: I
- Paragraph: P
- Small: Small
- Strong: Strong
- Subscript: Sub
- Underline: U
12. Include Text Version of HTML Email
Include a link to a text version of your newsletter hosted on your website or newsletter systems site.
13. Spell Check Your Content
All modern editors include spell check so this should not be an issue, however, grammer is a whole ‘nother topic.
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