The current news trend is obvious… people are no longer relying on their morning newspaper or evening news show for information. Now, news is instant. People have a wealth of information right at their finger tips. And, the specific information they may be interested in is delivered right to their inboxes and cell phones.
The electronic newsletter (or e-newsletter) is one tool many churches and organizations are using to share information with their constituents. If you’ve already created an e-newsletter or are thinking about starting one, here are a few tips that might help you in the process.
Ten Tips for creating an e-newsletter:
1. Avoid frequent repetition. Keep content new and timely. People will stop reading if they are seeing the same information over and an over again.
2. Two screen limit. As a general rule, people reading e-newsletters will not scroll past two screens, so shorter is better.
3. Link. Link. Link. With the limited space of an email, use links to direct readers to additional information and people to contact.
4. Say it in fewer words. Web readers are scanners. Short headlines, sub-headlines, lists and short sentences allow readers to scan and quickly find the information they are looking for.
5. Be a resource. Know your audience and tailor content to meet their needs.
6. Be consistent. Send your e-newsletter out on the same day every week (or every month, depending on frequency). If people are relying on the e-newsletter for specific information or resources, they’ll want to know when it is going to arrive each time.
7. Use a template. If your e-newsletter has the same basic layout each time, then readers can more quickly find the information they are looking for. They’ll become accustomed to finding specific information and a specific spot.
8. Recruit an artist or designer. Find someone with an artistic eye or design skills in your congregation or organization and ask them to offer some design tips (color, fonts, etc) to make the e-newsletter easy to read.
9. Simple colors and background. You’ll certainly want to include your church or organization’s logo in the e-newsletter, but keep other graphics to a minimum. Reading on a computer screen (or phone) is more difficult on the eye than printed paper.
10. Always include an unsubscribe option.