Depending on what you do for a living, you might have an e-letter you’re in charge of. In which case, this blog post is for you.
You might be self-employed and running your own e-letter… a company person putting out a daily business correspondence to subscribers… or an author trying to keep your readers engaged.
There are plenty of people out there these days who are tasked with tackling this kind of project. And many of them (perhaps even you) already understand the importance of what we’re about to discuss.
But considering what I’ve seen of other individual and corporations’ e-letters – not to mention mistakes I’ve made myself – if you’re not a perfectionist pro in this regard, then keep reading.
At the very least, you’ll spare yourself embarrassment if you do.
For my part, I’ve been responsible for an e-letter or four over the years. Back when I was working for “the man,” for instance, there were a few different ones I was partially or almost entirely responsible for.
Depending on the specifications of my role at the time, I would collect information, write it out, find images and/or enter the data into a pre-formatted CSS template that I’d then have to tweak appropriately.
I never wrote code myself, just added HTML direction as needed. But what I would have to do was still involved enough, with a whole lot of pieces and/or words to manage.
This might sound silly if you’ve never been in charge of an e-letter yourself, but it can get a little intimidating. And it’s even more intimidating when it’s not your own.
I can tell you that, even now, I freak out much more when I’m ready to push the send or schedule button for a client than I am for my own weekly Genuine Writer report.
No matter how many times you try to read it over, you never know what stupid mistake you might make… a mistake you won’t know about until it’s too late.
Alas, I can’t give you any tips that guarantee an error-free e-letter existence. However, the one down below should save you some significant grief nonetheless.
The tip is simple.
Read over your e-letter at least twice before you send it out. And, when you do, make sure that one of those times is in a different format than the one you set it up in.
You could print it out if you want. Or you could simply send a test version to your email.
While the former is probably more efficient in allowing you to catch any unseemly mistakes, the latter is often sufficient as well.
Either way, your eyes get a new scene to stare at, which makes your brain have to pay closer attention.
When we’re writing or formatting an e-letter, we’re engaged with the same basic image for a half-hour, hour or more at a time. This means we become familiar with the words, the buttons and the arrangement.
Sometimes too familiar.
Switching things up by viewing what we’ve created as an email or on a piece of paper forces us to consider a new perspective. More than likely, the background will be different, the margins will be constricted or expanded, and there won’t be any program options we’re seeing out of the corner of our eyes to distract us ever so subtly – but distract us nonetheless.
Again, this new perspective probably won’t save us from every single e-letter error. We’re still bound to make a mistake or two.
But those mistakes will be fewer and further between, making us, our readers and anyone else involved in the process a whole lot happier in the end.