Components of a Good Newsletter

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Newsletters are useful for business people, website managers, organizations, families and individuals. It is a summary of latest news, upcoming events and information about products and services the sender believes his recipients will be interested in reading. You can create a printed newsletter in a word processing or graphic layout program, or compose and email an online newsletter to your contacts. Take your time when writing and formatting the newsletter so your contacts will find it valuable.

Clean Design

  • The design of a newsletter is key to its readability. If your newsletter's design is sloppy or confusing, your readers won't be enticed to read more. Unattractive colors and flashing elements (in the case of an online newsletter) will take away from the design and turn off your readers. Instead, stick to a very clean and consistent design with no more than two colors and no more than two conservative font styles. Study color theory and color "harmony" (which colors pair well together)---see Resources for more information.

    Make sure the photos you choose for the newsletter are descriptive of your content and eye-catching. Format the newsletter into columns, similar to what you'd read in a newspaper. Adding a background picture behind the text is distracting---just stick to plain white or light gray.

Strong Name and Headline

  • The title and headline of your newsletter is key to its success. The title is the overall name of the newsletter---it appears at the top of each newsletter release (or subject line for an online newsletter). A catchy newsletter title will help people recognize the communication quickly. For instance, cat lovers might look forward to a newsletter about felines titled "The Cat's Meow."

    The main headline changes with each issue---it should summarize the main point of that issue in no more than four or five words.

White Space

  • A little white space in a newsletter goes a long way. Filling every inch of a newsletter negatively affects the readability of your newsletter text---if you leave some white space between your entries and the various pictures in your newsletter, it will reduce clutter and give your reader's eyes a rest.

Spotlights and Features

  • Whenever you break the monotony of a newsletter it helps keep the reader interested in your content. One element that will help keep your content interesting is a spotlight or feature break. This is a small box or section that looks slightly different from the rest of the newsletter (such as a blue background instead of the white or different text) and highlights a special news item, person or product. The spotlight section will draw the reader's attention quickly and could inspire him to look at the other standard sections as well.

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