How To Make A Newsletter. Read All my Tips Before You Send Email Newsletter

By: Vitaly Gritsenko

Is this really that important to know how to make a newsletter correctly? Can't I just learn as I go?
Why? What is the big deal with this? Why can't I just slap something together? After all, they are ALREADY in my list.
I will tell you why:
Almost 95% of your emails will end up going to one of these big providers:
Gmail", Hotmail" (MSN), "Yahoo" and AOL.
They have entire DEPARTMENTS full of staff working 9 to 5 every day just to cut SPAM into their system and they can block you at several levels like block your individual message, all messages from you or your entire email server and if they do, you are basically dead in the water since you cannot send any messages and are only left with tiny 5% of your list.
Just think about this perspective for a minute.
Now do you think that learning how to make a newsletter the right way is worth your time? I myself made almost all of the mistakes I will be talking about here. I almost lost all my subscribers that took me years to assemble. I don't want you to repeat these mistakes. So please learn each one of them carefully.
I bet you have a gut feeling of what I am talking about, because you are using email yourself. It is disappointing that a lot of people just don't know how to make a newsletter and repeat the same mistakes over and over again. Your junk mail folder is a testament to those. Finding a really good newsletter is a bit harder, but I know you saw a few of those examples as well. Let me cover widespread mistakes one by one.
* Always, I mean ALWAYS provide a way to easily unsubscribe from your newsletter. Some even put it at the top of each message... This might be an overkill, but it must be plainly visible and must work. Never hide your unsubscribe text in a tiny, puny Grey on white text that is barely visible. It might not go well with your clients. Most of big Internet providers realize, that you will always have at least some people complaining about your message. They forgot who you are, or they are just generally pissed off and suddenly your message comes in to top the pot of anger and they react... It is OK with them, as long as it is not a huge movement, but if you know how to make a newsletter, it comes almost automatically.
* Your From: header and your name MUST always be the same. A lot of people will remember your name in the back of their mind and read your post. Some even put you in the contact list, which is like a clean bill of health for the local SPAM doctor so if you start to change your return address, you will reset the SPAM filters (they especially don't like that) and your clients will not take that as a good sign.
* I would highly recommend to avoid HTML. I know, I know. Jumpy flash widgets look cool... to YOU. For your client, it's just annoying. Remember yourself when you get screaming colours that make your eyes sore. If you are so inclined, write a plain text message and include a link to a copy of this message with full flash and JavaScript on your web site. If users will want to, they will read it there. You can even put it in the beginning of the newsletter. This alone will give you a lot of benefits such as:
* Your emails will be very small and your sending will work very fast.
* Your SPAM In box is filled with examples of those HTML messages that are trying to grab your attention. The only thing they are grabbing is a place in your SPAM box. Notice how your eyes are trained to filter out those unnatural patterns in a split of a second. You don't want that happening to your message, right?
* You will get much more of SPAM filters love, because they give much higher score to messages that contain a lot of HTML formatting.
* Your clients will definitely appreciate it, since it is also easier for them to read.
* ALL email clients can read plain text messages. Even if your clients are Neanderthals that use Pine on UNIX (Yes, I know what that means, I am a geek. If you don't know what it is, you are SO lucky).
* By default, mail clients will remove flash, JavaScript and images completely, so you will end up with something totally unpredictable (if at all readable).
A simple, short plain-text message with a link for more information has a much better chance with your clients. Moreover, a well written plain-text message will more likely get through almost all SPAM filters. Of course, if it is absolutely unavoidable, use HTML with moderation. If you know how to make a newsletter, with experience, you will know how to use HTML in moderation, but before that, my warmest advise to you, use plain text.
* Your articles must NOT be boring, unless of course you want to provide comfortable sleeping conditions for your clients. Otherwise you will sometimes get responses like that:
This is a sure sign, that somebody's head just hit the keyboard. It is pushing some random buttons and sending it to you. You do not want this kind of response from your users. When you try and try again, the experience will come and you will know how to make a newsletter almost automatically.

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Learn how to make a newsletter from Vitaly Gritsenko, a prominent software designer that built his email marketing software for more than 10 years.

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