Practical Tips for Designing HTML & Plain Text Newsletters

By: Carla Ballatan

If you’re completely unfamiliar with how e-newsletters are designed and what benefits they bring, you might wonder why people put so much attention into laying out the design and the details of e-newsletters. You might think that all that matters is that the information we want written there is present. In the contrary, this article shall explain to you why HOW the lay out of your e-newsletter is as important as the information you wish to impart to your readers.

Lots of newsletters appear on the internet. The basic types of newsletters are in HTML or plain text. Good newsletters explain themselves clearly and are very focused making them well-written information sources. Lately, HTML newsletters are increasingly taking the place of plain text newsletters in the e-mail. These types of newsletters tend to have a few graphics, hyperlinks and more complicated layouts than those of plain text newsletters, which don’t have any links or complex layout and rely more on good writing and organization.

If you make online newsletters, keep in mind these newsletters are likely to be seen on computer screens. Users, have little patience on long, poorly organized and hard-to-read newsletters. They want to get to the important stuff right away. For an effective newsletter that would peak your target’s interests, here are some basic design tips for you:

For HTML newsletter-makers, basically, keep your writing plain, simple and immediately hits the target.

Avoid the use of incredible jargons that would only confuse the readers and lose their interest.

Learn to use links extensively by providing it in context, for example, give an article’s short summary and then link them to the complete versions. Don’t provide links in a bunch at the beginning or end of the newsletter - use them like in a typical web page would.

After a descriptive article for your HTML newsletter, follow up an easy to use and hyperlinked table of contents. Be sure that these would lead to anchors in the articles contained in the newsletter or will launch a browser, especially if the newsletter doesn’t actually contain the articles mentioned in the table of contents. Make sure that the summaries of longer articles contained in your newsletter are not computer generated – meaning, they should have to be written by humans. These would add to the summary’s element of being meaningful.

Explain main points, following a short explanation in bulleted lists. This would make your newsletter easy to scan. The table of contents could also be a bulleted list.

Use hierarchical elements for accessibility and visual reasons. Take advantage of what HTML offers in terms of document hierarchy.

For plain text newsletter makers, since plain text newsletters don’t have the style and structure facilities found in HTML, emphasis could be made by maximizing the use spacing, capitalization and symbols. These accents might just get your target browsers interested. Do not run the article text and table contents’ text together like one long document.

Use a good subject line that will tell what’s in the newsletter right away, especially if the newsletter is to be e-mailed. Use dashed and bulleted list in order to emphasize what follows.

Since the text newsletters are harder to scan, make them simple by including at least two or three subjects or items only. If you need to say more, make additional newsletters for other items or subject matters.

With all these points mentionedFree Reprint Articles, it can now be said that an appealing interface also brings more benefits to everyday simple things such as e-newsletters. They’re pretty basic but can compound the response you’re already getting from your so-so designed newsletters. Try following these simple guidelines in laying out your newsletters and then you can watch your reader numbers go up.

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