1. Send your newsletter at regular intervals. For example, the second Tuesday each month or the first and third Friday each month. Your readers will appreciate that it is predictable.
2. Studies show that your heading should be less than 50 characters. Make it engaging so you can prompt readers to open the message.
3. Many e-mail users now read messages with preview panes. That means that the first few paragraphs of your newsletter should be engaging in order to convince the recipient to keep reading.
4. Use a table of contents to entice readers. Better yet, make the subjects clickable so it's easy to navigate the newsletter.
5. Include a good balance of useful content and sales copy. Ideally your newsletter should contain at least 70% content (articles, tips, how-to advice, etc.) and minimal sales copy.
6. Include an irresistible special offer, discount or promotion. These give readers a reason to open your messages and make a purchase.
7. Keep it simple. Computer users have short attention spans. Your newsletter should be easy to scan and read.
8. Engage readers. Ask readers to submit feedback, respond to a survey question, or enter a contest.
9. Give your newsletter personality. The tone of your newsletter should match that of your business.
10. Make sure you are compliant with the CAN-SPAM act by including a link to unsubscribe with every email you send. Visit the FTC website for the latest compliance laws: http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/conline/pubs/buspubs/canspam.shtm.
11. Include all of your contact information, including a physical address, website and phone number.
12. Don't ever use your home address. Invest in a post office box to give your business the level of professionalism it deserves.
13. Invite subscribers to forward to a friend.
14. Include regular columns. Make your newsletter predictable by including the same type of information in each edition.
15. Include a note from the company President. This adds a personal element that readers will appreciate.
16. Minimize the use of photos and images. Not everyone has high speed Internet access and images can make a newsletter difficult to download.
17. Have your newsletter edited for grammar and punctuation. One or two typos are forgivable, but too many and you will begin to lose credibility.
18. Use high-contrast colors that are easy to read. Dark letters on light backgrounds (black or blue on white) are the easiest to read.
19. Choose a font size that is also easy to read. There's nothing worse than straining to read a newsletter. Most people won't bother.
20. Ask recipients for feedback. Your newsletter can only get better if you listen to your readers.
21. Keep it simple. Long newsletters are tempting to write, but hard to read. If you have that much to say, consider breaking it up into multiple newsletters or publishing the extra information on a blog or other online venue.
22. Respect your mailing list. Don't send too many messages in between newsletters or you will risk exhausting your list and will end up with an avalanche of unsubscribe requests.
23. Give readers a reason to look forward to your newsletter. Think about it carefully. Why do they want to read it? How can you make it better? What newsletters do you love receiving and why? These answers will help you develop a phenomenal publication.
Stephanie Chandler may be contacted at http://StephanieChandler.com
Stephanie Chandler is an author of several books including "LEAP! 101 Ways to Grow Your Business" and “From Entrepreneur to Infopreneur.” She is also CEO of http://AuthorityPublishing.com, a custom publishing and marketing company, and http://BusinessInfoGuide.com, a directory of resources for entrepreneurs.