How to Format Your Text Newsletter for Aweber

Today’s video is an answer to a question I recently received in email. The girl asked why my newsletters were cut off on the right hand side.

What she meant by that was why were my newsletters formatted to a specific width? I answer her question with the video below, but I also included text.

Watch the Video:


Why Do I Format Text Newsletters?

I format my newsletters to 58 characters per line (CPL) for two reasons:

(1) I realize subscribers use different email clients and I want them to consume each edition with the least amount of resistance – regardless of which email client they choose to read it with, and

(2) I am following the suggestions that Aweber makes. They specifically tell me to format my newsletters in a certain way.

Let me explain…

Aweber’s Plain Text Message Box

Figure 1: Recommended Width

Aweber's Plain text Message Box

Inside the blue portion of Aweber’s plain text message box, it says “recommended width” with an arrow pointing to the blue line. So Aweber is advising me not to let my newsletter cross over into the blue box; they suggest staying in the white area.

So, I make my newsletter wrap to 58 CPL so the text stays inside the white box. If a URL bleeds over into the blue, I don’t fret about it because I refuse to word wrap a URL.

Why Use 58 CPL?

I have tested several different widths of the newsletter and found that 60 CPL was too wide, 59 CPL was touch and go – sometimes it would go over the blue line and sometimes not, and 58 CPL gave me the results I wanted and this width worked with the suggestions Aweber provided to me.

Here’s How I Accomplish the 58 CPL

I use Evernote to produce my newsletter, so I’ll highlight the entire newsletter and copy it into my clipboard. Secondly, I’ll paste the text into a .

Figure 2: Pasted Text

Paste Text into Format Tool

I had this tool made specifically for my article marketing and newsletter formatting and it works quite well for both.

I place my cursor into the tool box and right click my mouse to choose paste. Once I paste my newsletter, I click the “Format Text” button at the bottom of the screen.

Figure 3: Format Text Button

Format Text Newsletter

The format tool outputs my finished 58 CPL newsletter into a new box. The background will be yellow at this point, which lets me know the formatting changes were applied.

Figure 4: 58 CPL Format

Newsletter Output, Yellow

Click the “Select All Text” button, right click inside the box, and choose copy. Then, I go over to my broadcast message in Aweber.

Figure 5: Select All Button

Select All Newsletter Text

Adding the Newsletter to Aweber

Once I select all the newsletter text and copy it to my clipboard, I add it to Aweber’s plain text message editor.

Figure 6: Paste Text in Aweber

Paste Newsletter Into Aweber

If you look at the blue recommended width line, you’ll see my text doesn’t cross over Aweber’s suggested width line, until you get down to the URLs.

Figure 7: URL Links

URL in Aweber

I don’t word wrap any URL, so I allow them to bleed over the blue line and Aweber doesn’t seem to have a problem with this.

My Gift to You

As a gift to you, I made a template of my newsletter.

I hope you enjoy it.

Your turn. How many CPL do you use when you format a text newsletter for Aweber? Leave a comment below and let me know!

Thanks for reading,
– Bonnie

P.S. Did you enjoy this message? If so, please share it with your friends so they can benefit from schmoozing. Then, if you want to get more messages like this one, connect with me via my social links below or hop aboard my notification list. I would like to keep in touch.

About Bonnie Gean

Bonnie is a full-time writer and marketer with over 20-years of experience as an entrepreneur. She loves helping people overcome the technical challenges associated with an online business. Need a step-by-step tutorial? Simply ASK her and she'll help you too.

Join the Discussion

  1. Hi Bonnie.
    I still have to set up an autoresponder using Aweber and was wondering if you have an affiliate iink? If I am going to buy it I would rather do it through your affiliate link so you get some payback for all your help. :)

    Best wishes,
    Ann recently posted…Dress A Girl Around The World – My First DressMy Profile

  2. Awesome Bonnie.
    You solved my long existed problem.
    Thank you very very much.

  3. George Newton says:

    Hey Bonnie,

    Thanks for that post but I need some help with it :)

    I did what you said but I don’t know why, but when the email is sent it lost every formating, it gets all lines together, no space between words…

    Is this happening only in my Aweber account?


  4. I’m planning to build mail lists for some of my blogs and I just recently signed up with Aweber. I was wondering why is there are need to stay only on the white area in Aweber’s plain text message box and what will happen if I did otherwise. I Googled for an explanation and I was led to your site. I got more than I ask for. Thank you for sharing this article, the tool and the template, Bonnie. :)
    Macnafe recently posted…Free Books, Gift Cards, Tickets, Movie Streaming and More – 04/13/13 Hottest DealsMy Profile

  5. Bonnie, thank you so much. As for what I do, it’s this: I stop at the line Aweber has there, hit enter, and hope for the best. And, I’m still using the old html editor.

    You’re very generous and I’m adding your tutes to your folder on my hard drive.

    I have to tear my computer down, probably today or tomorrow and hope I have a slot for another memory stick. I put a new hard drive in here some months ago, but I wasn’t looking for memory. I did put more memory in my old decrepit Dell a few years ago. This is an HP, though. Thanks for all your help.

    I don’t mind going inside the machine and playing around with the hardware, but the other stuff befuddles me.
    Ruth Clark recently posted…What Are You Afraid Of?My Profile

  6. Excellent tutorial! I certainly will follow your tips and thank you more specifically on how to put and format newsletter in Aweber. I intend to do a newsletter once I get a bigger list:) Your link for the tool is greatly appreciated!
    Debra Moser recently posted…3 Secrets to Long Term Love!My Profile

  7. I’ve just started using Aweber for my list, it’s changed a bit since I last was in there setting up a client!
    I thought it auto-wrapped the text version?
    I did used to format my html mails too, I’ve got very lazy recently… Thanks for the link to your tool, it will come in very handy!
    Jan recently posted…How To Add A Pay With A Tweet Button To Your Posts [Video]My Profile

    • I’ve been using Aweber for 5 years and that autowrap function on the text version hasn’t worked properly, EVER. LOL

      I tried it the other day, and even though it wraps when you click the link – the text still goes over the blue line that Aweber suggests not going over. You have to love it – their own tool doesn’t do what they suggest you do.

  8. I use GetResponse and the tool within the program that wraps for me. You just hit “Wrap text” and it folds the lines within the white part. Dosen’t Aweber have that?
    Stella Scott recently posted…Fatty acids for your hair are necessary!My Profile

    • Yes, Aweber does that, but the line wrapping goes over the blue line where they suggest you don’t overlap. LOL

      So, I had to figure out a different way to handle my newsletters.

      In addition, the also works with articles being submitted to various publishers who require different CPL. So in this case, it’s still a great tool to offer you.

  9. Wow that is brilliant Bonnie Gean. Thank you so much for the information & the format tool. I will definitely use this when I do my next newsletter. I have Evernote as well but I don’t use it, but I will have to play with it a little bit more now.
    Kerry McNally recently posted…Five Steps To Back Up Your Digital LifeMy Profile

  10. Hi Bonnie

    I couldn’t get your video to play – it says “private”.

    Thanks for the tips and the gifts! Very generous of you.

    In the past, I typed my Aweber emails directly into Aweber, and hit the enter key when I got close to that blue line. It is probably not what I am supposed to do!

    Mary Kathan recently posted…Weekly Vlog UpdateMy Profile

  11. I’m just now starting to send out newsletters using Aweber. Thank you so much for these valuable tips!
    Nancy Kay recently posted…3 Reasons why Emotional Abuse is so DamagingMy Profile

  12. Bonnie Gean,
    This seems like a simple, straightforward “how to” and clear explanation of why to do things in this manner. I don’t currently do newsletters and have no concept of Aweber, it’s purpose, functions, or uses. However, I am mildly curious about it and may seed additional information in the future.

    Thank you,
    Kina Diaz DeLeon recently posted…Meditation: God CanMy Profile

  13. Tips on formatting are very helpful to know Bonnie – especially for those who are just starting in producing email newsletters.
    Ashley Porter recently posted…Achieve Success With Internet Marketing Affiliate ProgramsMy Profile

  14. Bonnie, fantastic article on using Aweber text newsletters! I’m a big Aweber user and I’m always looking for ways to streamline what I input and send to my subscribers. Thank you for sharing this today. Cool!
    Aletha McManama recently posted…Blogging + Marketing = Big Business ProfitsMy Profile

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