A main use of a newsletter is to distribute information to your readers about your site including product announcements, site updates, news and more. For business or affiliate web sites the newsletter becomes a tool to remind your visitors about your site in order to bring them back or make a sale. Returning visitors are more focused on what your site has to offer. Also, the more your visitors come back, the more chance they will have to make a purchase. With this in mind consider designing your site with an easy provision for the visitors to sign up for or leave a newsletter mailing list. You must also have provisions to easily send to your entire mailing list.

Email Broadcast Services and Software

What to Look For

You can let a third party mailing service handle the processing of your mail or you can purchase software to do it. A good web service company will manage the mailing list for subscription, unsubcription, bounced email and for archiving previous issues of your news letter. Many the third party mailing service providers send an email requiring you potential subscribers to confirm the subscription. This is known as double opt-in and helps stop any accusation of spamming.

Archiving previous of a newsletter helps in the promotion of the newsletter, as visitors are more willing and convinced if they know what information they are going to get from your newsletter. As the subscriber already knows what he is opting-in for, the attrition rate falls down dramatically.

Some of the disadvantages of paying a service to help you can be added cost, added advertisements, or lack of total control. You can get over these problems if your web service provider provides a mailing list service. Some of the good web hosts and web service providers have very good automated solutions for handling subscriptions, unsubcriptions and request for confirmation without much hassle on your side. These pay services are usually advertisement free. Depending on the automation process you can have a better degree of control over the mailing list like adding, deleting or blocking certain subscribers and the ability to change the confirmation method and message.

Newsletter Content

Your newsletter should contain information useful to the reader. It is a good idea not to send a newsletter if you don’t have much data. Newsletters that don’t contain anything useful to the readers are likely to annoy recipients instead of encouraging them to become customers.

Avoid Spam Filters

Extra care should be taken to see to it that subscribers’ ISPs, email service providers or his or her own email software does not block your newsletter.

The main reasons email newsletters are blocked are:

  1. Offensive material or words that trip spam filters
  2. Words like FREE that spam filters are activated by
  3. Some software (like Hotmail) blocks mail that is not directly addressed to the recipient
  4. Sending emails from an ISP that is known to allow spam

Format of Your Newsletter

Text, HTML or Both

The format of the newsletter helps define its acceptability by the reader. The newsletter can be sent as a plain text document or in an HTML format. The HTML format lets you add color, graphics and fonts. For large lists, HTML emails can cost more due to increased bandwidth cost, but it is often worth the extra money. Better email marketing software allows email to be sent in both text and HTML format. This is ideal because not all email clients allow HTML emails to be displayed. By using a service that provides both, you can get the best of both worlds.

Conclusion

Having a newsletter on your site can increase traffic and sales. Some sites make more money from their newsletters than their web sites themselves. Using the right email software or service provider can make the task as streamlined and efficient as possible.