Thursday, February 24, 2011

Yakkity Yak - Let the Pictures Do the Talking

Talking Hands Tattoos from A+R Store via Peaceology
Spring E-newsletters and hard copy newsletters are in the making and I'd just like to take this opportunity to remind you that "less is more." That is, less typing and more pictures and maybe bigger fonts.

One of the chief drawbacks I see in newsletters and bulletins, is a tendency to be wordy. You definitely want to communicate what your small nonprofit is doing to serve your mission, but if you do it by going on and on and on, you'll just lose the readers you're trying to impress.

How Can I Make the Most of My Newsletter?

Here are some tips:
  • Use larger type, but don't go any bigger than 12pt for the body text - anything larger will inhibit comprehension.
  • Use more pictures, and make sure that the picture you use aren't just pretty, but tell the story of the article. A helpful guideline is to ask yourself if someone just looking at the pictures could get the gist of the story without reading it. Help this along by using short, descriptive captions.
  • Use enough "white space." Make sure that the white of the paper (or whatever color you're using) isn't completely covered by text and/or pictures. The reader needs some rest for their eyes.
  • Use active words and voice with descriptives that help the reader get a mind picture or a particular feeling.
  • Make things conversational and about what you're doing, as though you were telling a friend and not giving a lecture.
And one more thing - if you haven't investigated making a cell phone-readable version of your e-newsletter via texting, do consider it, particularly if you're trying to reach a Latino audience. Texting is also the perfect way to reach cell phone users with an opt-in campaign!

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