There are certain issues you have to contend with when developing your eZine. For beginners, these issues may pose some problems. One wrong move and you can potentially place your entire email campaign in jeopardy. You wouldn’t want that to happen, right?
Of paramount concern among these issues are those related to formatting. Creating an eZine is more than just putting together a group of words with any word processing program you can get your hands on. Creating an eZine requires skill, knowledge and proficiency on the right techniques to utilize for a better and more fruitful campaign.
Let us take a look at some of the challenges that await you, as well as answers to the most pressing questions about eZine development.
HTML Or Text?
You have an option to deliver your eZine in HTML or text formats. Which format to use? Now, that is the question.
Each of these file types have their own pros and cons.
HTML will allow you to beautify your eZine by adding pictures, hyperlinks, and lively texts. The problem with this format is that quite a number of email clients do not recognize it. The result? Your eZine may arrive as a piece with jumble, unintelligible characters due to the inability of the email client to recognize the content.
Plain text is the safer option. You are sure to deliver your eZine free from unwanted mishaps. But it will be, as the format denotes, plain, and people may find this boring.
I’d suggest plain text. Spice it up a little, however. The only way you can do this is by adding wit to make your eZine more engaging. Content will fuel your eZine, so your campaign will rely on the strength of the same.
Some eZines are terribly, terribly long that once the readers open the mail, they often decide not to read it. This should be avoided.
Keep your eZine as clear and concise as possible. If you have something to share, share it in a straightforward manner. Do not add unnecessary details. You wouldn’t want to waste your readers’ time, and you wouldn’t want to give them that impression.
In the event that length cannot be compromised, organize your eZine properly. This means adding a table of contents so that the readers will know what’s in store for them, and they can jump right into the parts they want to read.
Use dividers to separate the portions of your eZine. Your dividers should form thick lines so that they may stand out and remain attractive. See the example below:
Such is an example of an effective divider. There are other characters you can use which you can play with to come up with something unique. But whatever you do, do not use dollar signs ($) as repeating characters because that will simply grab the attention of spam filters.
Number of Characters
When formatting your digital newsletter in plain text, make sure that the characters for each line do not exceed 60. This is standard. Otherwise, your mail may expand the page and it will be difficult for your readers to read your eZine by scrolling from left to the farthest right.
You will want your eZine to fit the page readily available on their screen. The only way to ensure this is by keeping close watch on the number of characters per line.
You can do this manually, which is the traditional method. Or you can make use of eZine assistance programs that will automatically parse the characters in the appropriate format. The latter is an easier step, and it will save you a lot of time.