Newsletters can be a great promotional tool for your business, service or cause. Your format will be determined in part by your time and ability and in part by your audience. Many companies opt for email. It's quicker, cheaper and green! There are three main design venues for an emailed newsletter: HTML, plain text or a PDF version. Regardless of the venue, they all share the same formatting guidelines.
Playing with text fonts can be fun. However, if you choose an obscure font your email editor might read it strangely. There are over 13,000 free fonts on Abstract Fonts alone. Keep the font size 10 to 12 points. This makes it more uniform and easier for the majority of people to read. Special characters can often come across as blocks or other markings.
Problems With HTML and Graphics
Not every email program reads HTML and graphics. Some programs will translate the pretty HTML look into HTML code. Graphics add file space to the newsletter. Some email programs will add the graphics as attachments, which may cause many readers to be leery of opening a possible virus. However, if the newsletter is delivered as a PDF the graphics are a part of that document and would not be considered a separate attachment or a possible risk.
Using Your Space
Cramming all that information into a single newsletter and managing to keep the reader's attention is always a feat. Many newsletter editors use dividers consisting of a simple character repeating itself, like the asterisk. Limiting your line space may also provide a more finished look. Decide on a specific number of characters per line and stay with that.
Header and TOC
Include a header at the beginning of the newsletter. The header should include the newsletter title, the date and the issue number. If there is a website associated with the newsletter, include the URL here. After the heading, include a table of contents (TOC) so readers know what to expect in that issue.