Ezine Publishing

Should You Upgrade Your E-zine From Text to HTML?


A few years ago, when I first started seeing HTML e-zines in my inbox, I admit I was jealous. They were attractive, attention getting, snazzy. They made my text e-zines look boring.

But my mind fought the idea of upgrading my own. "My readers appreciate my e-zine for its content," I told myself. "They don't need some slick design to get their attention. They just want my information, straight up. Publishing in HTML won't make a difference."

I was wrong.

Well, I was right that my readers receive my e-zine for its content. After all, that's why they subscribed - for my concise, how-to articles.

But I was mistaken that a better "presentation" wouldn't make a difference.

After much deliberation, I decided to give HTML a whirl. I had my e-zine professionally designed in HTML, featuring my logo, colors, and photo.

First off, let's all agree that it's ridiculously easy to publish in text. That's a good thing.

If you're just beginning your e-zine and are a bit overwhelmed, text is a great place to start. You can then focus on developing great content and publishing on a regular basis, without worrying about HTML design and coding snafus.

Text also gives you complete freedom and flexibility - you can add new sections and delete others any time you feel like it, without having to redesign your entire e-zine.

But let's face it: There are hundreds of thousands of text e-zines out there that all look the same. I subscribe to 30+ text e-zines, and they all seem to lump together in my e-mail inbox.

The ones that catch my eye and make me read on - they're HTML.

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"Okay, okay," you say. "I know HTML e-zines look great. But do they get better results?"

I'll let these statistics answer that question:

  • HTML e-zines are read MORE OFTEN than plain text e-zines.


  • HTML e-zines have a higher CLICK-THROUGH rate. (That is, people are more likely to click on any links you provide to your site or sales offers.)


  • HTML e-zines reinforce your BRAND by carrying the same look as your Web site and other marketing materials with your logo, colors, etc.


  • HTML e-zines allow you to TRACK your readership by showing how many people on your list actually open each e-zine you send.

It's also nice if you can offer your readers a choice in what they want to receive. Why? While I got dozens of compliments and thank-yous after switching to HTML, I also got a few people asking if they could still receive my e-zine in TEXT! Go figure... ;

(c) 2003 Alexandria K. Brown

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 EzineQueenTutorial.com/


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