What makes a newsletter worthy of a subscriber’s attention? Is it tempting subject lines, sales incentives, and zippy copy? Perhaps, but if you want to avoid the dreaded trash folder, you’ll need to get savvy about your newsletter design.
The truth is, only about 18% of email newsletters across all industries dodge the trash bin.
In this guide, we’re discussing why you need to rethink your newsletter’s visual presentation to garner better results. With a strategic approach to your design, aesthetic newsletter templates, and this roundup of design tips, you’re on your way to crafting emails that engage readers.
Ready to revitalize your newsletter campaign with flavor and zest that keeps your audience subscribed and engaged? Let’s jump right in.
Start with Newsletter Templates
Building a house isn’t done by improvisation, but by working from a blueprint. The same goes for designing a newsletter. Rather than grasping at straws to build something from scratch, newsletter templates are professionally designed and ready to customize.
To get started, browse our wide selection of newsletter templates. Find a few you like and jump into the editor to customize the template with your branding, copy, and logo. Plan on sending more than one newsletter? Save time by customizing the same template with unique content for each newsletter.
Before we dive into the design aspects, let’s talk about what makes a good newsletter.
Know the Basics of a Good Newsletter
While content varies across industries and niches, there are a few critical components of a successful newsletter.
- Know your audience and your goals. A newsletter is an excellent way to nurture your audience and offer them the best content and incentives. Clarify their expectations, your offerings, and your ultimate goal — whether that’s to build a subscriber list, generate sales, or promote new products.
- Keep it short and sweet. Your newsletter is your chance to strengthen communication with readers, so keep your messaging concise and digestible to keep them interested.
- Add some flair. Your company has a personality, and your newsletter is a great platform to flex it and get a little more personal with readers.
- Include high-quality media. Like a blog post, web page, or whitepaper, media moves a message along. Include relevant images, infographics, and media in your newsletter to enhance user engagement and readability.
- Leave breadcrumbs. People subscribe to your newsletter for a reason: they want to receive content from your business. With that in mind, leave breadcrumbs in each email to keep them invested and eager to receive the next newsletter. This could be a hint to the content in your follow-up newsletter, an upcoming sale, a new product launch, or breaking news with your company.
- Make it visually digestible. Organization is vital to an effective newsletter, which is why we’re delving further into this topic next!
Organize Content with a Clear Hierarchy
Make your newsletter visually appealing and readable by segregating content by headers, subheaders, body text, and aesthetic font combinations.
There are several elements to cover here, so let’s cover each component from top to bottom.
A header is the first thing people see in your newsletter, so you’ll want it to stand out. The header is the top of the newsletter and includes your business or website name, title, and company logo.
Make your header clear and larger than the rest of the newsletter to identify your brand immediately.
Elements to include are your logo, newsletter title (if applicable), slogan, and branding colors and fonts.
Every newsletter contains various bits of content and information, which you’ll organize by subheadings.
Subheadings are smaller than the header but larger than the body text. Their primary purpose is to organize content into bite-sized, scannable sections.
The body of your newsletter is the main content you’re serving up to your readers. Body text falls under the subheadings and expands on the subject you introduced in the subheading.
It’s smart to choose typography that’s simple and easy to read. Some of the most common body font types are Arial, Times New Roman, Helvetica, Georgia, and Courier.
A Word On Font Pairings…
Typography isn’t just pretty words; it’s a psychological experience that impacts how readers perceive your content. Nail it, and readers will walk away with a positive feeling toward your brand. Fumble, and you might see an uptick in unsubscribers.
When it comes to choosing body and subheading fonts, choose clear fonts that pair well together.
For example, a minimal, sans serif body font like Raleway stylishly complements a detailed subheader font like Libre Baskerville or Playfair Display.
When in doubt, stick to one font for a streamlined design. Or play around within a specific font family.
Let’s use the Open Sans font family, for example. We could use Open Sans Extra Bold 800 for the header, Semi-bold 600 italic for the subheadings, and Light 300 for the body font.
There’s just enough variation between each font type to be textured, but enough similarity to be consistent.
The footer lives way down at the bottom of your newsletter, but it shouldn’t be overlooked. Despite its low position on the newsletter hierarchy, this space is a chance to provide resources and links supporting your brand. Use the footer to share your social media profiles, copyright details, website, and contact info.
Focus on a Color Scheme
Color psychology is big in branding. Why? Because colors evoke feelings and emotions that resonate with readers. While your favorite color might be red, does its fiery intensity embody your brand?
Color is influential, so how can you leverage it to evoke specific emotions in your newsletter design? As it goes with many things in life, less is more.
95% of the world’s biggest brands stick to one or two colors in their logos. However many colors your logo has, we’re going to use it to guide you while creating a color scheme for your newsletter.
- Start with your company logo. If you’re unclear about the exact HTML code for your logo colors, use a color detector tool. Use these colors in the newsletter’s header, fonts, borders, and design elements. This design strategy will ensure your newsletter has a fluid color scheme stamped by your company’s branding.
- Incorporate seasonal or special occasion colors. Even if your branding colors are blue and yellow, you’ll want to take a small departure for holidays like Christmas or Valentine’s Day to match the seasonal trends. Keep your logo in the newsletter, but adapt your color scheme as holidays and special occasions arise.
- Consider industry trends. While you have free rein to choose your company branding, your industry plays a role here, too. For instance, an auto detailer might choose bold colors like red and black, while a landscaping company would likely opt for earthy shades of green.
You have the power to shape the emotion and aesthetic of your newsletter, so use color wisely.
Include High-Quality Media
A professionally designed newsletter combines text and media to balance the message in a digestible way. But don’t worry, you don’t need to go picture-crazy or add GIFs at every opportunity.
Instead, place carefully selected media like pictures, videos, and infographics to lure your reader in and make your message more impactful.
High-quality product images, stock photos, infographics, and videos balance and diversify your newsletter to keep readers stimulated until they reach the footer.
Test Your Design Before Sending
You’ve created a stunning newsletter design that’s ready to journey into your subscribers’ inboxes, but don’t put the cart before the horse.
First, you need to test your design. Check your design on multiple displays to ensure it’s responsive across all screens and print formats. Why? Because that stylistic font might not translate well to small phone screens. Or your logo size might need adjusting to look good on a tablet or iPad. Or maybe that color doesn’t quite pop on a flyer like you thought it would.
The point being, a test run lets you finalize your design choices and snip any loose threads before you send it out.
Time To Hit the Send Button!
Alright, your newsletter is ready to rock! As you can see, creating a professionally designed newsletter doesn’t have to be convoluted.
Remember to keep the layout organized, the content focused, and the theme consistent. Use the tips outlined in this guide to design a clean, concise, results-driven newsletter that grabs your readers and leaves them wanting more from your company.
Ready to get started? Browse our newsletter templates and start designing today!