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Choosing The Best Format for Your Email Newsletter

There are several different formats to choose from for your ezine. How do you choose? Below are four of the most common options you will come across.

Plain Text
It looks just how it sounds-- plain. The beauty of sending a text formatted ezine is that just about any email program or browser will be able to read it. While it seems odd in this day and age, there are still subscribers out there who cannot view HTML formatted emails.

HTML is really nice for ezines. It allows you to create a more dynamic publication. These days, just about all email applications can read HTML. If you are constructing an HTML ezine, you may want to create a template to work off of so that you do not have to reconstruct your ezine with every issue.

Research suggests that the majority of content-driven ezine subscribers prefer to receive ezines in HTML format. Most spam filters do automatically deduct a few points for sending in HTML; however, if your ezine content and composition is compliant with the rest of the filtering rules, HTML should not impede the delivery of your ezine.

Tip: Host any graphics for your ezine on a server and do not try to send them in the body of your email. This will save a whole lot of download time for your subscribers!
Tip: Getting all fancy with div tags in your design? Not in your email newsletter! There are many email programs that will not properly display CSS driven designs. If you are creating an HTML ezine, go old school with tables and basic formatting only.

RSS stands for 'Real Simple Syndication.'"Subscribers" sign up to receive your news feed, and when they launch their "News Aggregator" software, they are alerted to any new versions of your ezine.

We recommend using RSS as a supplemental delivery method, and not to rely on it as your sole delivery mechanism. While RSS has been around for longer than most people know, many users and potential subscribers still do not understand how feeds work. It is also more difficult to track users via RSS than through email.

There's really no reason that we can see to use a PDF format for your email newsletter. If it is essential that your document be in a PDF format, we recommend sending your ezine in either text or HTML and simply including a link to the PDF file on your site.

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