The newsletter formats described below are the most commonly used today. Newsletters can be produced in a variety of formats. Formats that consists of an executable file (like exe files in windows) seldom is used due to problems with size, possible virus warnings and incompatible operating systems. This leaves us with the choice of text, pdf and html newsletter formats.
This newsletter format is the oldest one but is still one of the most commonly used. Many individuals prefer to send their publications in this format as it normally will reach the recipient looking the same as when you sent it, on all platforms (Pc, Mac, Linux).
Text does not allow for inclusion of things like photos, video & logos.
Why use a text newsletter?
Sending an email (newsletter) in text format instead of word or html format will allow everyone on the internet to read it. No special software or utility will be needed.
However, to really make it work, consider the following.
- Make sure you use a mono spaced font. A font where the width of the letter i is the same as the letter w. The letters may look different in width, but if you use a mono spaced (instead of proportional) font, the space each character use, will be the same. This is necessary to be able to use row length row breaks and alignment.
- As said above the mono spaced font in your newsletter will allow you to format your newsletter to use for example 65 characters width. This is pretty much the standard number of characters used in a newsletter today.
- Also, remember that things like underline, bold, italic, left, center, right and justified are adjustments not allowed in pure text, as they require special formatting.
- Use white space to make reading easier. Allow for two or more empty lines between content that is different.
- Also, make sure your formatting includes some kind of planning. This will allow you to maintain a similar look for your newsletter in each issue and that makes reading easier for your subscribers.
Tools of the trade
Make sure you use the correct tool to write and format your newsletter. One of the most useful tools on the market is Ziney Pro, the Newsletter Text Editor of choice for many newsletter editors. This program (Windows) has a number of newsletter specific, built in functions, created to help you save time and work smarter. And with the very low price tag, it will pay for itself in no time! Read more about Ziney Pro, The Newsletter Text Editor here.
Spy on other newsletters
Subscribe to newsletters that have many subscribers. They will be of interest to you if nothing else for you to study their ways to format the content. Take notes on how they start their newsletter, table of index, menu and similar.
What type of information they include at the top and at the bottom of each issue.
This will help you decide and start formatting as well as make layout choices easier for you.
PDF is not a format you work with directly. The normal way to create a pdf file is to first write the content with some kind of editor and then save the content to a pdf file. The good part with the pdf format is that you can add pictures, urls, graphics and much more and still send it to anyone. The PDF format is normally viewed with acrobat read and it can be installed on all platforms.
As PDf supports more glam and glitter you stand much more to gain if you base your PDF newsletter on some kind of templates. The site Pro Ebook Templates has some quite nice ebook templates you can use for your newsletter!
The site will show you how to use a completely free editor when you use the templates and begin creating your own, hot, pdf based newsletters.
HTML is normally used for web pages and isn’t very easy to handle. A lot of people decides to use HTML as the only newsletter format and begins working with a very complicated template. Normally this ends in disaster and everything changes for something easier. If you’re going to use HTML, make sure you have a good tool for editing HTML. This normally means some kind if web creation tool. Using for example Word is not something I recommend (see Ziney Pro – The Newsletter Text Editor).
One other way of doing it is to use an Autoresponder service like Aweber for your newsletter. Using them will help you a lot as they can handle huge amounts of subscribers. They spend a lot of time making sure your emails reach their destiny and they have both text and html based newsletter options (using both at a time is recommended). Aweber provides you with a great number of high quality HTML newsletter templates you can use free of charge as they come with the account.
To start working with one of these newsletter formats, some free newsletter templates may get you started.
Here’s more detailed information about html newsletter templates that will help you clarify what it is, get free html templates and learn about the differet software tools you can use and how they stack up against each other.