But if we take a step back and consider what they are and how they work, we'll see that beneath all that free, lurks an ugly cost producing, time consuming and wasteful ogre.
Here are 5 important facts about free newsletter templates you should consider when chasing them to save time and money.
1. The Format. A template is nothing more than a collection of things, formatted, written and/or setup and then saved in some kind of file format. The file format will ultimately decide what tools are needed to use the template. If you grab a template made in html, any html compatible tool can be used to change and use it. But if you get a template in word format, pdf, photoshop or similar, you end up needing the software package that use that format. In some cases third party software may be used but normally not as good as if you had the original software. This will cost you time and money as you may have to purchase a new software and learn it to be able to use your new free templates. The final blow is that when you use a special file format and send this out to subscribers, you push the requirement of having special software onto them.
2. Your means of distribution. Some formats work better when distributed in a certain way. You have to consider this and decide if you would like to send an email (or print) your newsletter with the content directly inside your email. If not, then your newsletter will need to be sent as an attachment to your email. This increases the risk for antivirus software catching and blocking your email and some email solutions more or less refuse to let attachments pass.
3. Handling and formatting time. The more complex format you use, the more complex software is normally needed. The more complex format you use, the more details you can and most likely want to use. This will make the time you spend on formatting increase enormously. I'm not saying that formatting is of no importance but the content is what's most important so focus on that and reducing formatting time will most likely improve your reader satisfaction. Grabbing cool looking, flashy free templates often results in time losses when formatting.
4. Free is free for a reason. Often what you get will be outdated templates. Templates with strange color combinations or just templates that are so complex, no one want's them.
5. Free can be free! When you have a good grip on what you want, what format, how to distribute your newsletter and how all the tools work, you're in a much better position. Looking for free newsletter templates when you have resolved all these problems and questions will be much easier and you may just end up saving that time and money you were looking for!
The conclusion is that you should take some time and sit down. Make up a plan for your newsletter including why you want it, who your readers are, what type of content you will include, what software/format you will use and how you will distribute it.
Investigate and look for answers if you have doubts and once all of this is done, go for your free newsletter templates.
Kenth "The Designer" Nasstrom, Sweden
Learn more about Newsletter creation, formatting and using templates or download free templates by visiting the Newsletter&Ezine Information site.
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