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Technology / Email newsletters

How to create a newsletter template

A commenter on my how to get ideas for your newsletter article asked for formatting advice, so here are ten tips on how to create a newsletter template.

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1. Use the same subject headings

Examples include ‘News’, ‘People’, ‘Out and About’, ‘Coming Soon’, ‘Latest Offer’, ‘Hot Tips’, ‘Support Notes’, ‘DIY’ and ‘Customer Reviews’ – the list is up to you. Using standardised headings gives you a series of topics to pursue for each newsletter and allows you to follow a train of thought over several editions.

2. Create a newsletter template

Create a newsletter template in your word processor with your subject headings listed. For each new edition, save the document as a new file and populate each of the headings with your latest material.

3. Decide on your style

Are you going to call your company ‘Us/We/Our/My’, ie. or are you going to refer to yourselves as ‘The Company’? This has a big impact on how others will perceive you.

4. Stay loose – just tell the story

Stay calm and just say what needs to be said. You don’t have to try for anything extravagent. Over time, you’ll get better at it. Style is very individual – so let yours come through.

"Don’t wander around – stick to one topic per paragraph and make sure each paragraphs sticks to its topic."

5. Use simple sentences

Don’t try to be over-fancy unless you’re very comfortable with writing. Use active voice, I wrote the newsletter, rather than passive voice, the newsletter was written by me. Keep the sentences short and to the point.

Want more articles like this? Check out the email newsletters section.

6. Use simple words

Don’t fall for thinking that you need to use big words to sound professional. People generally prefer a direct approach that is easy to read.

7. Stick to the point

Don’t wander around – stick to one topic per paragraph and make sure each paragraphs sticks to its topic.

8. Get it checked

You won’t be up for a literature award, but make sure your spelling and grammar is perfect. If you’re not confident on this score, ask a professional proofreader to check it for you.

9. Illustrate your stories with pictures

Think about some of the other designed materials you have – posters, labels, brochures, flyers – anything can be useful eye candy. If you haven’t got a mug shot get one done professionally. Try to get nice shots of yourself in action if you can. It’s worth the effort and you can re-use these pictures in other publicity.

10. Get your clients involved

Ask your favourite clients to write something short or ask them if they’re happy to be interviewed about their relationship with you.

Do you have any other tips on how to create a newsletter template? If so, post a comment and let us know.

Click here to read my previous article on how to get ideas for your newsletter.

Jess Tyler

is passionate about helping innovators find their voice and about helping clever organisations to create their own marketing rules.

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