If you’re planning to produce an ezine, prepare a template and be sure to include these important elements.
Publishing an ezine is a profitable and low-cost way to market your web site that you can start now. But, when it comes to putting together a quality ezine, you will find that it is a time consuming task.
Preparing a template helps cut down the time you spend on putting together your ezine. Whenever you are ready to publish another issue of your ezine, all you have to do is insert all of your content into your template.
So, what should you include in your template?
You can start by looking at the 7 critical elements of an ezine.
(1) Name Plate of your ezine
A name plate usually appears on the very top of an ezine. It informs the subscribers that they are reading an ezine (e-mailnewsletter) — and not some kind of spam mailings.
In your name plate, you should always have…
- The Name of your Ezine
- Publisher’s Full Name
- Your Web site address
- Current date
- Issue number etc.
Optionally, you can include the latest number of subscribers in your ezine.
Consider creating a tagline for your ezine. A tagline is a short sentence, typically 10 words or less, that complements your ezine name and speaks directly to your subscribers in one single swoop.
It gives your readers an idea what your ezine is all about *and* at the same time makes your ezine more memorable.
Here’s an example.
“Tools You Can Use”
Editor: June Yeap
“… Brings You Powerful Tools That Help
YOUR Business Grow…”
Issue 14 — March 7, 2002
(2) Table of Contents
Obviously, your table of content should appear at the top, somewhere after your name plate.
A table of contents makes it easy for the readers to look for what they want. They can jump to their chosen section quickly.
On the other hand, your table of content also servers as an immediate ‘attention catcher’.
Let your readers know what kind of interesting information they’ll find in your ezine up-front.
A carefully crafted table to content gives reasons for the readers to scroll down. And this ensures your ezine get read.
So, the next time you write your ezine, spend some time fine-tuning your table of content. Try to catch your readers’ attention by crafting your table of contents as headlines.
Dividers make your ezine look neat and tidy. Your subscribers will be able to find the section they want to read easily when all sections are separated by dividers.
Try to be consistent with your dividers throughout your ezine. Never use more than 2 types of divider.
When you use all types of dividers in your ezine, it gives the impression of untidiness, which often results in lowering of the quality of your ezine.
Keeping to just ONE design of divider is the best way to go.
(4) Easy Subscribe/Unsubscribe Notice
This typically appears at the end of your ezine.
By all means, make it easy for your subscribers to unsubscribe from your ezine.
If you’re currently using any of the third party mailing list providers, a direct unsubscribe link should already been included in each of your mailing.
If not, make sure that you provide clear instruction for your subscribers to stop receiving your ezine.
Some of your readers may forward your ezine to their circle of friends. So, you should always include info on how they can subscribe to your ezine.
(5) Your contact information
This is pretty obvious but I’m surprised when I couldn’t find the contact info of the ezine owner in some ezines!
For any reasons at all, make it easy for your readers to contact you by including your contact info. It could be an email address or a link to your contact form.
Optionally, some may want to include their home address and telephone number.
If you are listing your telephone number, do make sure that you include your time zone and available hours. Do not forget your International friends!
(6) Restate your relationship
To avoid being accused of spamming, always include a sent-only-to-subscribers notice in your ezine, preferably at the beginning of your ezine.
In just one short sentence, tell them how they got on to your list by giving a list of possible places where they could have signed up from. This is usually followed by instructions on how they can leave your mailing list.
Although this does not fully protect you from being reported for spamming by some nasty people on your list, it does help in some ways.
(7) ‘Please forward!’
Don’t you just love some word of mouth advertising? It doesn’t cost you a dime by the way.
All you have to do is put a notice somewhere in your ezine and ask for referrals. It can be as simple as ‘Please Forward!’ or something like ‘If you like our ezine, why not forward it with your friends? They’ll appreciate it.’.
Believe me, if your ezine has valuable content and your readers like it, they WILL pass it on. So, take the effort to produce a high quality ezine that works for its readers.
There you have it — the 7 basic elements that your ezine must have. If you don’t yet have any of the elements in your ezine, add it in now. A complete template is your first step to publishing a well designed ezine.
June Yeap is the webmaster of “Instant eBiz Saver Discount Vault” who helps e-biz owners boost their web profits through amazing discounts and cost cutter deals.