Before you send your newsletter off in a hurry, cross check it against this list.
- Is your mailing list updated? It’s awful to have great news to share with people and then have to spend two days updating your list. Get in the routine of adding, deleting, and editing names in your database. Put it on your calendar and do it monthly.
- Do you have enough perspective to be objective about how it looks and what it says? Put your newsletter together ahead of time, and then put it away for a day or so before looking at it again. You’ll find the separation from it will help to clarify your message.
- Is the layout clean and easy to follow? Is your artwork the focus or does it get lost in something that is over-designed?
- Is there at least one column that makes readers want to keep a copy or forward it?
- Have you added humor where appropriate?
- Did you include at least one thing that entices people to visit your Web site, attend your exhibition, or come to your studio? In other words, have you asked readers to take action?
- Did you adhere to the CAN SPAM law? The original law, attempting to reduce unwanted and offensive email, went into effect in January 2004. Among other things, it says you must 1) use a subject line that reflects the content of your email; 2) provide recipients an easy way to opt out or unsubscribe; and 3) include a legitimate postal address.Be sure to keep abreast of any new legislation that might affect you.
- Are all of your links working? The great thing about an email newsletter is that people can click through to your Web site or other recommended sites. But they can’t do it if your links are dead. Send a copy of your email to yourself before you send it to anyone else. Make sure it looks good and that the links are live. Don’t forget to add the http:// before each URL.
- Did you use spell check? Always use spell check before you send it to your editor. It’s common courtesy! And there is no excuse in today’s computer age to send out misspellings that a computer program could find instantly.
- Has somebody else edited it? I don’t care how good of a writer you think you are, it always helps to have someone look over the content of your newsletter. Have them check for misspellings, grammar, tense, repeated words, clarity, and facts. The more eyes, the better.
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