Creating and distributing your newsletter online, or e-newsletter, is essentially the act of “e-blasting”.  Acquiring the list in the first place is a few blogs in itself, fortunately one your can reference here.  The first thing you have to consider when making an e-newsletter with your awesome mailing list is the following:

  • Your e-newsletter is going to be viewed from ALL sorts of devices – cell phones to tablets to Outlook to proprietary email consoles and the Aols and Yahoos in between.  You need something reliable to make sure you newsletter is rendered online the way you want it.

How Can We Do That?

The first thing we can do is rely on a third-party that does nothing but newsletters to ensure the newsletter is going to be sent out how we expect it.  The top guys in this industry include Mail Chimp, iContact, and Constant Contact but there are certainly dozens of others.  The biggest differentiators that I’ve historically seen in the past are the templates they let you use, the metrics you can see that tell you how the newsletter performed, and the flexibility on your newsletter validity should you start getting marked heavily for spam.

Since this blog is titled “Beautiful and Impressive” let’s focus first on the aesthetic nature of these third party newsletters:

A wide range of templates but overall fairly basic.  I looked for “Retail/Shopping” because they seemed like they’d be the most visually appealing.

constant contact templates
Constant Contact
iContact Templates
mailchimp template

Generally, the templates included with these services certainly have a wide range of templates to choose from, just don’t have the modern “IT” factor that we see so much with newer websites.  So if we can find a decent e-newsletter platform like these ones to send out the emails, how can we find a template elsewhere while integrating it into one of these third party distribution sites?  Glad you asked.

Getting Your Own Template

One great resource for getting your own templates is Theme Forest.  Though it may cost you close to $20 dollars in some instances, but the difference in quality will be extremely obvious.  Let’s say we have MailChimp, and we want to make sure the template was created with MailChimp in mind…

mailchimp select

From there you’ll have a bunch of templates from developers that know you’ll be able to upload the theme with ease.  From here, you can search from “highest rated” and starting getting a feel for what’s out there.  When you click on one of them, make sure you check them out in “Live Demo”.  You’ll start seeing right away the difference in design.

So You Found One You Like

The biggest caveat about this approach (and DON’T freak out right away!) is that SOME minimal HTML is most likely required.  It will be VERY well organized, self explanatory, and has a ton of comments throughout the HTML file to let you know exactly what changes will affect what.  Don’t be discouraged here – the difference in the result and the satisfaction of doing it yourself is not only gratifying but is also worthwhile – once you finish it once, it is done almost indefinitely. modern_template In some situations, if it is compatible, the third party e-newsletter service will be aware of how the newsletter is formatted and let you take the What-You-See-Is-What-You-Get approach, effectively removing the need to edit the HTML yourself.  I mean, look at this Agensi e-newsletter theme to the right; the modern aspect is very present.

If the HTML portion of an e-newsletter is a bit overbearing but you know you love the theme itself, you can find all sorts of amateur to professional web developers to do some HTML work for you to get it where you need it to be either through perhaps Thumbtack or eLance.  Maybe even a couple Fiverr gigs will suffice.

Have any other questions about how to get your new beautiful e-newsletter rolling?  Send us an email and we’ll chat.