For anyone sending newsletters, there are generally speaking three things we want our recipients to do after the email lands in their inbox: open it, read it and click on our call-to-action, thereby generating a new lead. The best way to encourage your recipients to read your emails are an attractive subject line, followed by a newsletter that’s well-designed. Remember that your readers spend an average of 51 seconds reading your email once they have opened it, so you need to catch their attention and hold it: they start reading your email for the design, they keep reading till the end for the content.
This post is all about how to design your newsletter properly. We’ve gathered our best tips on how to put together a design that is eye catching and will make your audience want to read your emails.
Make your design stand out
The design of your newsletter has to make a good first impression on your audience. Remember who are your readers. You can go with bright and flashy colors if your audience are teenagers. Though, you might want to use a more neutral and light background if you’re targetting their parents.
But whoever are your readers, you want to distinguish yourself from the 120 and more newsletters and commercial solicitations reaching their inboxes everyday. Show off your logo on the header. Use a background color that will comply with your brand identity. Or dive into the world of neuromarketing: colors, contrasts and shades can evoke particular emotions and feelings. Use that to improve your engagement rate or to tweak your message.
And, when coming to your template, think mobile. Today, more than 50% of the emails opened are read via a mobile device. You don’t want to lose those recipients because of an uncompatible design.
Images can have a great effect when used appropriately. We recommend you to carefully consider the amount of pictures you use inyour newsletters. As a rule of thumb, we recommend following a 60/40 ratio with your text and images, respectively. Why? Because image only emails are bad practices, associated with spamming activity (it is more complicated to scan the wording of a jpeg file to spot spam content). As an email sender, you don’t want to considered as a spammer. Futhermore, depending of the device your email is read on, an image-only newsletter might not be displayed properly.
Though, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t make use of pictures in your newsletter at all. As long as you follow the 60/40 rule, the combination of text and images will be at an ideal ration to catch the attention of your readers without being considered as a suspicious message. Pictures will be the first thing that catches the attention of your readers, so placing them in the first half of your newsletter will guarantee that your readers will see them.
Try inserting an image below your header and/or below your first block of text.You can keep smaller images to illustrate less important content. In general though, be sure that your images are relevant and consistent with your written content. They shoud reflect your business. So take time to make them look great (invest some time reshaping/redesigning them, if needed). Nothing is worst than a poor image associated with great content. Why? Because judge a book by its cover. So make your content appealing!
After the images, your headlines are what your readers will see. Remember that readers spend just 51 seconds on average scanning and reading through your newsletter. So, once again, you need to catch their eye. Choose powerful (but still readable) fonts. Have a concise and appealing wording.
To make it as easy as possible for your audience to read your newsletter, split it up in several different parts, one of them being obviously more important than the others (usually, the one with the big picture on the first half of your message). Once again, keep the wording short and readable. You want to generate leads and clicks to your website or your landing pages, so put long descriptions and further information for these pages and not in your newsletter.. Instead, get straight to the point in your email and make readers want to click on your links to learn more. A block of text shouldn’t exceed 1,000 characters, so choose your words wisely!
This is what it all comes down to. Your newsletter is meant to inform your readers, but above all, it has to generate leads to your website. So you need to put a lot of thought into your call to action. It could be a classic button (in that case, remember the psychology of colors), a be clickable image (in that case, make sure that everybody understand that they can click them) or a link at the end of a block of text (“Learn more”, “Discover how”, “Let’s get started!”). Either way, make it clear for your readers that they will get something significant by clicking on them, should it be great content, promo offers or reward for subscribing.
In the end
Great! Your readers have spent more time reading your message. But the road doesn’t end here. Try to generate more interaction with your readers, either via social networks (with clear sharing buttons) or even via email. The more your readers will answer to your newsletter in a casual way, the better your deliverability will be.
Be sure that you have a clear unsubscribe link or button on each of your newsletters. You want people willingly unsubscribing to your messages - people who are obviously not interested in what you have to offer - rather than them marking your emails as spam.
You now have the keys to creating a great newsletter! If you’re new in the emailing game, don’t be afraid to test and learn by doing. Soon, your messages will reach a wider audience!