Q:I’d like to begin sending out an online newsletter. What do I need to do to get started?
A:E-newsletters are one of many facets in our increasingly virtual world. A nutrition e-newsletter can provide clients with information such as nutrition tips, recipes, office hours, or contact information. They also enable you to further develop and solidify your relationships with clients.


Getting Started
To successfully create an e-newsletter, in addition to generating content, you need
a template so each newsletter has the same layout and organization plus a list of subscribers to whom
the newsletter will be sent. You can hire someone to help you with these components or you can do it yourself.
Many Web designers offer services where they create a template and fill it with information you supply to them. They will send out the e-newsletter for you at a specified time and
manage your subscriber list. Although this is the least time consuming, it also is the most expensive.
You also can choose to hire a company that specializes in newsletters. Yvette Quantz, RDN, CSSD, LDN, creator and founder of Customized Nutrition Newsletters + Design Services, provides solutions for private practice dietitians and health-related businesses. “We have an extensive database of nutrition-related articles and recipes,” she says. “Every month, our clients can access the database to customize their newsletter by selecting the articles and recipes appropriate for their target audience.” Customers also can choose to include their own content and put it into the newsletter template Quantz creates specifically for them.
Numerous online services can help create an e-newsletter for a fee. Two of the most popular are MailChimp ( and Constant Contact ( ). Both will maintain a list of recipients, help you design a template, send out your e-newsletters, and provide statistical data once the e-newsletters have been sent. For both, you
provide the content.

Tips for Success
Whichever method you choose, the goal is to have recipients open your e-newsletter and keep the number of unsubscribers to a minimum.
Bonnie Taub-Dix, RDN, author of Read It Before You Eat It and creator of the Better Than Dieting Newsletter, says to make an e-newsletter successful, you want to “give a taste of a story you have written or a story you would like to share and then provide a link so that you
can attract visitors to your website or blog. Do not give away the whole story.”
People frequently are crunched for time, so it’s important to keep e-newsletters short and sweet with a clickable title. Pictures also are essential, as Taub-Dix explains: “By creating a
mini Pinterest [page], you will spark the interest of readers.
Too much text will get overlooked.”
Quantz’s tips for success include making your e-newsletter 80% educational and 20% promotional in order to provide valuable content to readers and make them want to hear from
you. She also warns, “Don’t overdo it. Find a system that works for you. Many marketing professionals recommend one to two times a month for maximum impact.”
Of course, every business and marketing strategy will be different, but you want to create a long-term relationship with your readers without inundating their inbox.


By Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN


Post a Comment