Further to my articles on the value of email newsletters and common email newsletter mistakes, Javier Marti from Trendirama.com wrote a comment requesting an example of an effective newsletter design.
Whilst I cannot preach the gospel when it comes to good newsletter design, I can use examples of the newsletters I send to newsletter subscribers at Just Chat and highlight some key design tips.
1. Include your site’s branding
Your reader probably subscribes to many other newsletters besides yours so make it clear from the outset who is sending this one.
Include your site’s branding – use your logo, use your site colours, use familiar graphical elements and write in the style your users would associate with your site.
Ensure that your reader will know immediately who your newsletter is from before they even start reading.
2. Keep the design minimal
You are sending your subscribers a newsletter – not a full blown webpage! By all means use HTML (always offer a text only alternative), but keep design elements simple.
Ensure you break up chunks of text with titles and sub headings, and include small graphical elements to keep the newsletter easy on the eye.
The easier your newsletter looks to read, the more likely it will be!
3. Include links to your site
When talking about specific features or areas of your site, include links for the reader to click! Remember, web users are lazy – if you don’t provide a link for them it is unlikely they will take a look at what you are telling them about!
4. Keep advertising to a minimum
Your subscribers want to know about you and your site – they didn’t subscribe to your newsletter to be bombarded with nothing more than ads.
It’s OK to include one or two subtle ads but ensure they are not distracting, and are not the basis of your newsletter’s content.
5. Keep it consistent
Once you have decided on a general newsletter design, stick with it. Your readers will get used to your newsletter’s template – it will become familiar to them and ensure they are sure the newsletter is from your site.
By all means, tweak the newsletter and address any problem areas but try to stick with the same overall design. Store it as a template and use it for future mailings.
Example of an email newsletter
All Just Chat newsletters are sent via Constant Contact who provide a number of templates which can be used and customised.
I have used our November newsletter as an example to accompany this article.
Screenshot of Just Chat newsletter (click for full HTML view)
This article has only described what I consider to be the top five most important newsletter design tips. I have deliberately not covered the content aspect of email newsletters – I will write an article on this in the future.
Do you agree with the tips I have included in this article? What aspects of newsletter design do you think I have missed? Please leave any comments you have below.