If you are looking to start an email newsletter or re-fresh your existing e-newsletter campaign, you need a template. Using a template, enables you to build a consistent look with each edition. As you begin the process, you need to decide whether to build your template in-house or purchase a ready-made template. Each option has advantages and disadvantages.
Advantages of Creating Your Own Template
- More control over the design and features.
Any third-party template you use, even from top providers, will not be exactly what you want. You inevitably need to compromise a little on the look and features included.
- Transferring designs can be difficult
You may decide to move from one email service provider (ESP) to another. If you have used one ESP (such as Vertical Response or iContact) and decide to move your campaigns to another company, you may find it hard to move your design
Disadvantages of Creating Your Own Template
- Designing for multiple email systems is complicated.
If you have a very large subscriber list, your email to must work on many email platforms (aka email clients), from Outlook to Gmail. If you do not have a knowledgeable tech staff, this can be difficult task. Each email platform has its own protocol for displaying email elements.
- Each email client may have different SPAM Triggers.
The best ESPs have automatic flags to tell you when an email is likely to get rated as SPAM by the recipient’s email
- Managing bounce-backs is time consuming.
Nearly 30% of people changing their email every month. On a large list, you’ll get a lot of bounce backs. These systems will also identify the hard bounces so you can follow-up. If you have a large list, processing bounces can get very tedious.
- Not Handling “remove me from the list” request has consequences.
To adhere to the CAN-SPAM act, you must delete people that request removal. If you don’t do this, you are in violation. ESPs have systems to handle removal requests automatically.
Advantages of Buying Templates
Many ESPs have a deep library of free email newsletter templates. Of course, to use the free template, you must subscribe to their system. Monthly fees typically range from from $10 to $25. So, while the template is free, you do pay for the service. We think the top ESPs are a good buy with the range of features they offer.
To keep users happy, the ESP must design a system that works across a range of email platforms (Outlook, MS Exchange, Gmail, Ymail, etc.)
The best email service providers have robust technical systems in place to automatically process a hard bounce and requests for removal from the list.
Many email service providers include social media features in their email newsletter templates. You can easly include quick links to your LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter accounts.
Disadvantages of Buying Templates From an ESP
As mentioned above, no third-party design will be all things to all people. You will probably not find a design that provides exactly what you want.
Should you want to move from one ESP to another, you may need to adapt a new design with the new provider.
Our recommendation: Select a good email service provider and use their email newsletter templates.
Over the years our team has handled email newsletter design and delivery in-house and through third-party systems. Based on years in the trenches and the pace of changes in technology, we believe you are better off using a solid ESP. Visit this link, for our reviews and recommendations on email service providers. technology landscape, it is just much, much easier to use a solid ESP.