The monthly enewsletter from gardening cataloguer Bakker does so many things right:
* It provides a brief table of contents just below the logo and a link to key website pages on the upper right.
* It has a healthy balance of text and photos, and the photos themselves are lovely--bright without being garish or headache inducing.
* It also has a good balance of sales copy and editorial content. The June issue, for instance, offers deals on secateurs and several types of plants, information on several new offerings, and articles on summer pruning and garden-tool maintenance, all of which link back to the website.
* The selling copy, though brief, features product benefits. With a highly visual product like flowers, it's tempting to let the images do the selling, enhanced with a few insubstantial adjectives. But Bakker also points out which flowers are especially good for cutting, or are highly scented, or require little care. And the copy for the Hawaiian Palm is practically a cliffhanger: "It has a wonderful green colour, and as an added bonus it produces magnificent yellow flowers in the winter months. Sadly this plant is now in danger of extinction, but the good news is that you can now play a part in its conservation." And there it ends, save for a link to click for more information.
* The June edition includes a quick poll: "I read the newsletter for: a) the Bakker products; b) the information and tips; c) both" and lets you see the results to date. This is a wonderful way not only of making recipients feel that you value their opinion--and by extension, their custom--but also of gaining some quick information. Happily for Bakker, and not at all surprisingly, when I last checked, 73 percent of the poll respondents answered "both".--SC