Home

Feature Article:

Is Reciprocal Linking Dead?
Is reciprocal Linking dead? I just read an article at SitePro News that really rings my bell. It was written by Mike Banks Valentine. Obviously being a very successful webmaster, one must pay attention to his words and his most recent...
...Read More


Email Newsletter Format: HTML or Text

Additional Reading

An email newsletter is probably the most effective way to communicate with your target audience. One of the main considerations before you create and deliver an email newsletter is what format to use: HTML or Text.

Until a few years ago, some email programs couldn't handle HTML. Nowadays that is not an issue, since most email programs are HTML compatible: AOL versions 6 and higher, Internet Explorer versions 4 and higher, Microsoft Outlook and Outlook Express, Eudora, Yahoo Mail, and Hotmail all support HTML. HTML email newsletters can easily be managed and sent using services like Constant Contact or Vertical Response.

Using HTML for your newsletter can be a plus from a usability perspective. Studies conducted by usability guru Jakob Nielsen show that most people prefer HTML newsletters because their enhanced layout makes articles easier to read (provided that the design of the HTML newsletter is clean and simple). The same design guidelines recommended for web pages also apply to HTML email newsletters.

However, HTML newsletters are often confused with unwanted advertising, since HTML is the format of choice for marketers trying to sell their wares and services through email messages. For this reason, text email newsletters are still popular, since their plain, no frills look helps differentiate them from advertising.

Text is also the format of choice for those who use a free service (like Topica or Yahoo! Groups) to administer their mailing lists and deliver their email newsletters, since these free services usually don't support HTML. If you use text, remember that you won't be able to use formatting tags, such as bold or underline, and that you must create hyperlinks by adding the prefix http:// before the URL (or the prefix mailto: before the email address, if you want to create an email link).

The approach I prefer is a hybrid between HTML and text. I compose my email messages in HTML, but using only text. HTML allows me to use simple formatting tags like bold, underline and italics, and a nice, screen-friendly font. I use a lot of white space to facilitate scanning, and include only a summary of each article, with a link to the full article (which is hosted on my website), since most users don't like to read long articles in the body of email messages.

My email newsletters, therefore, are similar to the table of contents of a magazine, in the sense that they give readers a broad overview of the current edition's content, and tell them where to find it if they are inclined to read further.

This hybrid format is never mistaken for advertising, is easy to read and scan, and loads fast. Furthermore, by offering links to the full articles, your users will be encouraged to visit your website, where they can have access to more information and learn about your products and services.

Mario Sanchez is a Miami based freelance writer who focuses on Internet marketing and web design topics. He publishes The Internet Digest ( http://www.theinternetdigest.net ), a growing collection of web design and Internet marketing articles, tips and resources. You can freely reprint his weekly articles in your website, ezine, or ebook.

 

More Reading:


Web Hosting To Switch or to Stay

Having Your Personal Portfolio On The Internet Will Help You Infiltrate The Workforce And Get Your Identity Out There

Boost your Application Development

Choosing a Web Host Based On Price Dont

Keywords The First Step To Recognition

 
Web Hosting Shared or Dedicated Which Should You Choose

Website Theft Part 2 of 3 How do I know if my website material has been stolen and what do I do if it has

The Secret Benefit Of Accessibility Part 1 Increased Usability

How Web Design Can Affect Search Engine Rankings

RSS Feeds Have Revolutionized the Internet


The Secret Benefit Of Accessibility Part 1: Increased Usability
Web accessibility has so many benefits that I really do wonder why such a large number of websites have such diabolically bad accessibility. One of the main benefits is increased usability, which according to usability guru, Jakob Nielson, can...
...Read More

Can They Use Your Website In A TV Broadcast About Scams?
When you designed your website, you probably dreamt about how wonderful it would be if one day a popular TV program featured it, and you would become famous overnight, and make lots of $$$. Well, practice shows that your dream for your...
...Read More

The Importance of Links
Link: {(noun) - lin[ng]k} 1 : a connecting structure: 2 : something analogous to a link of chain: as a : a connecting element or factor b : a unit in a communication system c : an identifier attached to an element (as an index term) in a system...
...Read More

Top 10 Web Design Mistakes
As a webmaster, you want to keep your visitors content so theyíll come back again. Below you will find ten common mistakes made by webmasters that may deter people from returning. 1) Poor Color Choice There's one important thing to keep in mind...
...Read More

Cheap Web Hosting - When Cheaper is Better
Anyone who has ever shopped for web hosting knows that you can spend anywhere from nothing up to several hundred dollars to host your web site. So whatís the difference? Well often times if youíre talking about typical shared web hosting in the...
...Read More