As we luxuriate in iPad apps and the visual feast that is Tumblr, what’s the status of the humble email newsletter, you ask?  It’s alive!!

What the best email newsletters look like: Smashing Magazine’s The Smashing Email Newsletter (check out this awesome archived issue) inspires us.

I subscribe to very few email newsletters as I find most of them suffer from these problems.

            * Broken image links

            * Too salesy

            * If selling something, not clear on the benefits being offered

            * My all time favorite: Lame or non-existent email subject line

There is an art to creating an effective email newsletter. It’s very like blogging; you have to find a voice and offer something different to your audience. I like how Jason Falls does his Navigator newsletters; they succeed in offering a unique voice, and he does not bombard you with emails; sometimes I don’t receive one for a week or two at a time, and surely that is because he only sends it when he has something interesting to say (he usually does, but doesn’t flood your inbox, which is great).

Read this insightful checklist on how to create a great email newsletter: Four Ways That the Best Newsletters Are a Little Like Blogs.