Your E-zine 13 - A Formatting Checklist
While sending out a text e-zine may seem like a piece of cake, there's more to it than you may think. *Good formatting* is the name of the game. Here's a handy checklist I use to make sure each of my issues is in great shape BEFORE I send it out. Please be my guest and use it for yourself!
More than that and your missive may come through looking messy to many subscribers. End each line with a hard return by pressing the "enter" key.
These features don't translate well in e-mail and can come out looking mighty strange on the other end. Instead, emphasize words or phrases with *asterisks,* "quotation marks," or ALL CAPS ... sparingly.
Use underscores (_____), asterisks (******), another nifty symbol ($$$$$, %%%%, @@@@), or a combination thereof () to help define each area and help your readers skim your issue more easily.
Some e-mail programs won't automatically hyperlink a URL in your text without this prefix. So don't take a chance - make it easy for your readers to click and link, especially to YOUR site!
Same idea here: Some e-mail programs won't automatically hyperlink an e-mail address in your text without it. Be sure to leave no space between the colon and the first character of the address.
The masthead, or "nameplate," typically features your e-zine name, your name, your e-mail address, your Web address, and the correct date, volume number, and issue number. Make it the FIRST thing your readers see.
Don't let them forget that they *asked* to receive this! Something like this right under your masthead will do: "You've received this e-zine because you subscribed to it! If you wish to unsubscribe, please scroll to the end for more information."
For example, if your TOC says your second feature in this issue is an article on Web site marketing, make sure it's right!
At the end of your content, before your contact info, post '(c)' immediately followed by the year and your name or your company's name. You should know that a copyright notice does not protect your ideas - instead, it protects the way you express them.
Keep track of all your ad swaps and purchases in one main document to make this easy to look up each time. I use an Excel spreadsheet, which works great for me.
Include subscribe instructions, because your e-zine will likely get passed on to others who'd like to sign up. The unsubscribe instructions are just BECAUSE - it's plain courtesy, and the law of the land. : )
By seeing your e-zine title, your recipients will know the e-mail is not spam. And by seeing the issue topic, they will know what's in store for this issue. Example: "Sara's Cash Flow Tips: Increase Your Income Today!"
Make sure it comes through reading well and looking great! (Check for any strange symbols that magically appear, odd breaks in the copy, inactive links, etc.) And this is a GREAT time to give it a final proofread.
(c) 2000-2003 Alexandria K. Brown. All rights reserved.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Alexandria K. Brown, "The E-zine Queen," is author of the award-winning manual, "Boost Business With Your Own E-zine." To learn more about her book and sign up for more FREE tips like these, visit her site at http://EzineQueenTutorial.com/
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