Creating a newsletter?
An email newsletter can be a useful means of strengthening ties with particular target audiences. To create a successful newsletter, try to keep the following tips and editing guidelines in mind:
- Decide on your exact target audience carefully and think about your readers’ needs. Think about what a reader might like to know: upcoming guest lectures, activities, research results, publications, etc.
- Only launch an email newsletter if you can offer a sufficiently varied and useful selection of news items to your subscribers.
- Don’t overload your newsletter with information. Pique your readers’ interest and direct them to relevant pages on your website. This way, your email newsletter can play an important role in promoting your website.
- Only send your external newsletter to subscribers who explicitly opted in to it. The collection and storage of personal data must be carried out in accordance with the privacy guidelines.
- Newsletter templates always include an unsubscribe button and information about who to contact to edit or remove personal data.
- Use the digital house-style template for newsletters – it contains all the unsubscribe and contact buttons you need.
- We don’t recommend you use external mailing programs (e.g. MailChimp), because you yourself will then be responsible for ensuring that data is collected according to European privacy guidelines. You will need to sign a processing agreement with the company, inform your subscribers and ask for their permission (opt-in) to pass their data on to this provider. Do you use MailChimp? Make sure you read their information on GDPR carefully.
Editing the newsletter
- Limit every newsletter to 6 or 7 items.
- Make sure the news items are concise, to the point and appealing. Provide links to further information.
- Editing an email newsletter requires the same attention to detail as editing printed materials.
- Think about what your target audience needs or wants to read instead of what you want to share.
- The visual aspect is very important. Each news item should be accompanied by a good picture.
- Avoid using ‘spam’ language. Don’t use the word ‘free’ too much, don’t put everything in capital letters, don’t use too many colours in your text, don’t use exclamation marks, and avoid words like ‘credit’, ‘viagra’, ‘drugs’ and ‘porn’. Read all of the ICT Department’s anti-spam tips on Pintra (Dutch).
- Newsletters should be published using the house-style template available. The university’s email program Centua enables the storage of email addresses, editing, the unsubscribe functionality, reporting, and so on.
- The template that is offered in the mailsystem Centua is streamlined, mobile friendly and Centua allows you to manage, edit and evaluate your newsletters all by yourself.