How to Create an Email Newsletter: 9 Design Tips

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Email newsletters are an effective marketing tool.

Simply put, this is because they put your business directly into your clients’ inbox.

Talk about direct marketing.

That being said, there are some businesses that do email newsletters better than others.

It all comes down to design. Combining layout, content and color scheme in an authentic way can mean an email that really connects with your readers.

Today, we’ll be taking a look at how to create an email newsletter with the design elements that set it apart from the competition.

1. Base Your Color Scheme Around Your Logo

This is a design fundamental: users react to consistency.

You should do everything you can to use colors and design elements in a uniform way, across all your media.

Email newsletters are no exception. Use a color picker to make sure your theme matches your logo. Then incorporate these exact colors into your newsletter’s color scheme.

Use your business logo’s color palette for fonts, borders and design elements, to create a complete business image.

This is a great first design step for winning the confidence of your readers.

2. Multimedia

The days of videos, soundbites, and other rich media being “optional extras” for a newsletter are a thing of the past.

Embedded YouTube videos have been shown to have a marked impact on click-through rates for newsletters. Industry relevant media helps to create a complete, professional image of your business.

3. Don’t Skimp on the Header

The layout is the foundation your newsletter design is built on.

And your header is the first part of that design a user will encounter.

It’s so important to get it right. Important elements to include are:

  • Company Name
  • Newsletter Title
  • Logo

4. …Or the Footer

Footers don’t get the praise they deserve.

This is the part of a website or newsletter that stays in the background, waiting for users who need contact information. Or a share button. Or even an unsubscribe button.

Make sure you take care of your subscribers by including all your information in a clear, easy-to-find footer.

5. Break up Your Text

Now that we’ve talked about the header and footer, let’s talk about the stuff in the middle.

Content is the heart of your newsletter. Yes, the importance of a well-deserved header and footer has been stressed, but it’s all about balance.

Big blocks of copy work in the same way: users feel “full” when they have to read through dozens of paragraphs without anything in between.

Two ways you should consider breaking up your content are:

  • Separating news into points, and creating separate posts for each point.
  • Breaking up every second or third paragraph with a relevant picture.

6. Keep It Concise

Breaking up your content is a good start, but there’s something even more fundamental to keep in mind:

Nobody likes a rambler.

Now, this might not sound like a design element, but believe us when we say that aimless writing can seriously mess up your design.

Or at least ruin all the hard work you put in creating a great design. You need to find a good balance between creating rewarding content for your reader, and sales content that brings you sales.

Your safest bet is to keep your content scannable and close off your content with calls to action.

On the topic of keeping content scannable, remember to focus.

Modern readers are savvy, they can tell when you’re writing just to fill up space. You need to keep your content brief, and you need to keep it focused.

Newsletters make this mistake every day. By including literally every single piece of content possible in their industry, they drown their readers in content instead of being an authority on a smaller niche.

You may have the best of intentions by doing this, but it’s working against you. Make sure, before launching your newsletter, that you know who your target market is, and what you want to say to them.

Keeping this in mind, tailor your content, and get to the point.

7. Don’t Be Afraid to Experiment

One of the best pieces of advice you could ever get for design is not to do everything you’re told.

The answer to “how to create an email newsletter” that’s worth your time is actually unique.

Original ideas for design elements can come up organically as your readership grows.

Strike it lucky with a viral social media post? Why not nod to it in your newsletter design for a month?

Find a newsletter widget you think looks fun? There’s nothing wrong with trying it out for a month. You can even reach out to your readers for their impressions after you run it.

There’s a lot of room for originality here. Try something new on for size. And remember to keep track of your analytics right after you make the change to see the numbers as a result.

8. Steal?

Okay, don’t actually steal someone else’s hard work. We’re not advocating that.

But there is a lot to be said for finding inspiration in other newsletters or websites. And there are a lot of great ones out there.

Like any other creative project, there are bound to be other people who’ve done the exact thing you want to do.

Find new and authentic ways to recreate that, and you can take your design to new heights.

9. Run It by Team Members

Many hands make light work.

Try any new newsletter designs on an internal test group, before committing to them. Even a design you’ve all agreed on beforehand might not be exactly what you want when the final product is ready.

Plan your newsletter release with enough time to do proper beta testing. Run it on various devices and clients, to get a full picture of how it runs. All of this can only help you to refine your design.

How to Create an Email Newsletter Design that Works

From content to color scheme, your newsletter needs to look professional if you want readers to treat it that way.

Use multimedia and picture breaks to improve the way your email reads. Streamline your copy, and remember to get the whole package looked over in a test group, before finalizing it.

And remember, the answer to the question “How to create an email newsletter people actually want to read?” can usually be broken down by content and design.

Stop by our blog for more design best practices to bring out the best in your project.

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