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Norman Campbell
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How to create a really effective eNewsletter
 
There are many factors that make good eNewsletters but there are just two simple maxims: make it easy to use and inviting to read!



1. The main navigation bar
Just as every PC and Mac program has a main navigation bar include one to assist your readers to find their way easily round your eNewsletter.

Studies have shown that, on average, a navigation bar, with embedded links, gets over 25% of the total clicks in any one eNewsletter. Make it stand out, easy to understand and easy to use!
2. De-emphasise little-used
features
Research shows that search engines are used far less than the navigation bar. So, de-emphasise the search engine. Keep it in, as some users will want to use it, but don’t allow it to clutter the page.
3. Catch the eye
The main graphic device will either catch the reader’s eye or not. Good graphic design is just as important in eMail newsletters as it is in printed newsletters.
4. Minimise the copy
Line upon line of text can be real turn-off. I find that a short sound bite, with a link to a micro web site or the company’s website for the full article, is much more effective. Generous line spacing is another well-established graphic design feature – this creates both style and improves legibility.
5. Forward this eMail
Research has shown when this link is placed near the top left-hand side, it is more effective than at the very top, or at the very bottom of the eNewsletter.
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6. Personalisation
We’ve all moved on from a simple “Dear Norman” type of personalisation, but if the reader has used a “Register here” facility to confirm a particular product interest, then eNewsletters can link the reader directly to a landing page on the website containing more relevant detail.

Better still, using a sophisticated eMail distribution system, like our ePartner ASP software, the eNewsletter itself can contain personalised sections.

For example, a front page section could be called “Recommendations for you” which includes only products relevant to the reader’s stated interests.
7. Conclusion
Using these tips, unsubscribe rates will fall, and click-through rates will increase. Personalisation is the real key. You will need to collect this extra data and run a sophisticated eMail distribution system to use it effectively.

I have seen many personalised eNewsletter campaigns and have come to the conclusion that they work so much better than the generic, “one size fits all”.
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