Despite social media, messengers and chat apps, email continues to be one of the primary means of online communication. The number of global email users is estimated to reach 4.6 billion in 2025!
This is one of the reasons that email marketing is considered an integral part of the digital marketing strategy. And if you’re sending email newsletters to your audience, too, you have all the chances to grow the number of your customers. Though, in order to capture your subscribers’ attention, you need to have a compelling email newsletter design.
So, in this article, we will discuss why you should pay more attention to your email newsletter design and look through 10 best practices to inspire you and help you to create more unique designs!
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What is Email Marketing
Email marketing is a form of marketing that uses email to promote the products and services offered by your company. This digital marketing strategy allows you to inform those included in your email lists about the availability of new products, sales, and other special offers. Moreover, besides being an informative technique that periodically reminds your customer segment about your brand, well-organized email marketing campaigns help build strong customer-brand relationships and generate more leads for your website.
Furthermore, email marketing is considered one of the best-performing digital marketing strategies. Despite the emergence of different techolongies with their respective opportunities, marketers keep going back to email marketing. The reason behind this is quite obvious: each dollar spent on email marketing generates $40 in ROI!
Why is Email Newsletter Design Important
However, bombarding your subscribers with unattractive and not well-thought-out emails won’t help you increase your conversions. Moreover, many subscribers may ignore your emails and probably unsubscribe. This definitely is the last thing you need for your business. For this exact reason using well-designed newsletter templates is extremely important.
Remember that you are writing these emails to your potential customers, so you should use content and designs they would like and consider interesting. Try to strategically incorporate several email design elements which are close to your recipients’ preferences as much as possible. Your email newsletter design should be aesthetically pleasing, consistent with your branding and appealing to your subscribers.
Email Newsletter Design Best Practices
Now let’s dig into the matter and observe 10 excellent newsletter design practices. These tips can help you increase your email marketing ROI and attract more of your target audience.
1. Create an Appealing Header
The header is the first thing your audience will see when opening your email, so it’s essential to make it appealing. If it’s visually not so attractive, chances are people will ignore the email even without reading the content.
Remember that the header should have an appealing design but be simple and to the point. It should show, in a short way, what the email will be about so that your users know why they need to read your content.
2. Use the Layout Smartly
Make sure that your layout is organized. Every element of your content should be in place. Do not make your emails too cluttered with texts or images. Keep it simple and relevant to the topic of your email. Unorganized emails will increase the abandonment rate and won’t even stimulate your recipients to read the content or visit your website.
To avoid this undesired ending, you should use the layout smartly and create organized newsletter templates. You probably send similar types of emails, like special offers or some informative blogs, so it’s better to create newsletter templates so as not to spend much time designing a new email.
Everything in the email newsletter design should be balanced: text, imagery, and white space. Don’t forget to add some space to let your design breathe; otherwise, it will seem too cluttered.
For instance, look at the newsletter example below. The creators used a proper contrast of colours, which is also quite minimalistic in this case. The information and the clickable buttons are placed in the middle of the layout to draw the viewers’ attention to the product and the actions they want them to take.
3. Add Call-to-Action Buttons
CTAs are one of the most important buttons for your conversion. By adding these buttons, you can convince your recipients to take different actions, from following you on social media to shopping on your website. Furthermore, according to a Campaign Monitor study, you can increase your click-through rates by 28% by replacing simple text links with Call-to-Action buttons.
Keep in mind that Call-to-Action buttons should be visible and attention-grabbing. For instance, in the example above, we can see how strategically the CTAs are placed. Moreover, it is worth noting that, in this case, the picture is clickable, too. So, the viewers will find themselves on this brand’s website even after accidentally clicking on the image.
4. Personalise Your Emails
Try to send personalised emails to your audience. Customised emails create a more humanised and personal connection between your brand and your target audience. If you opened your mailbox and came across an email more or less tailored to your needs, you would be more inclined to open it, right?
So, put your first-hand individual experience into business thinking. Personalised emails will help increase your retention rate, leading to higher conversion rates. Personalised emails may include newsletters that inform your subscribers about the new arrivals that may interest them based on their previous purchases or viewed items or a particular email wishing them a happy birthday. Let’s agree that receiving such an email would make most people feel special. You can even add a little bit of spice by giving them a birthday discount. Just like in the example, you can find below:
On this note, it is essential to mention that sending a birthday email is a wise investment. Experian Data found that birthday emails have 481% higher conversion rates than direct email marketing campaigns. These kinds of numbers and contrasts shouldn’t be taken for granted. So, if you were lost and had trouble figuring out where to start, this fact should put you on the right track.
As mentioned above, personalised newsletter examples may also include recommendations. Imagine opening an email informing you about the available sales and recommending some items that suit your taste. This kind of approach saves your recipients’ time and once again makes them feel special. This is a great way to show your professionalism and boost customer loyalty. Take a look at the newsletter example below for some inspiration.
5. Add High-Quality Visuals
Imagine opening an email and seeing several paragraphs of text without any visual content. It would be incredibly dull, and you wouldn’t even want to read it. Imagine you send this kind of email to your subscribers; they won’t be so excited to read your content, either. That won’t be serving your purpose, right?
So, try to give your audience some visual treats. And don’t stick to one kind of imagery, flavour your emails with different engaging images, videos, GIFs, or animations. Remember that the human brain processes images faster than text. Use visuals to direct the reader’s eyes from one part of your newsletter to another and ensure they read all the content you sent.
Also, don’t forget to use high-quality and relevant imagery. Otherwise, it may ruin all your efforts and have the opposite effect on the subscribers.
See a couple of brilliant examples below:
6. Make it Consistent with Your Branding
If you want to be more recognized and leave a lasting impression on your customers, you need to have a consistent image across all your marketing channels. And that includes your email newsletter.
So make sure to use colours, fonts, logos, icons and other brand design elements to increase your brand recognition. It’s not necessary to use all of these at once. But making sure that all your designs have a unique style and recognizable patterns that can be easily associated with your brand is vital in making your brand memorable.
7. Make Your Design Responsive
Then you need to make sure that your email newsletter design is responsive. Responsive design is one of your website’s most critical design elements. The indispensability of this design element doesn’t diminish when it comes to newsletter templates or general emails aimed to market your brand. A responsive design enables your recipients to read your emails conveniently, no matter what kind of device is at hand. Making your emails fit any screen will improve your recipients’ user experience and, of course, your retention rate.
8. Keep it Simple and on Point
This is an essential point for any kind of design: keep it simple. If you add a lot of text or visuals or make your newsletter too long, people won’t pay attention to your content. Simpler, minimalistic and relevant designs are easier to digest and more likely to increase user engagement. Don’t make it too cluttered with unnecessary information.
So, remember that it’s important to value people’s time. Give your recipients the necessary information, and skip the details. This will help to reduce the unsubscription rate.
9. Have an "Unsubscribe" Button
I would like to mention another essential design element, and that element is the “Unsubscribe” button. Remember that email marketing is effective only if you provide your recipients with content that more or less fits in with their interests. However, people change with time, and so do their preferences and needs. So, over time, your content may become irrelevant to some of your audience.
Thus, considering the above-mentioned circumstances, it is vital to give your recipients a chance to leave on a positive note rather than get annoyed and disappointed by your company/brand. So, don’t forget to add a visible unsubscribe button to your newsletter template.
P.S. Don’t forget that besides being a critical email design element, this is also a legal requirement. According to the law, you should inform your recipients how not to receive emails from your company in the future. So, having this button is not an optional design addition.
10. Test and Optimise Your Email Newsletter Design
This one is not a direct tip on how to make your newsletter design better, but it’s still crucial. In order to stay relevant to your audience and increase user engagement, you need to constantly analyze and learn from your past campaigns.
Did you reach your goals with your past emails? How did your subscribers like your design? Did your user engagement increase? Make sure to regularly ask yourself these questions and find the answers to them. Depending on the results, you may need to change one or two design elements, the text, or the main message.
Also, follow the trends, analyze your audience’s preferences and update your newsletter templates from time to time to stay relevant to your target audience.
Bonus Tip: Create a Catchy Subject Line
Besides the design of your email newsletter, don’t forget to pay attention to the text, more importantly, to the subject line. The subject line of your email is the first thing your recipients see. So, it sets their first impression and makes them either ignore your email or click and open it. It’s very important to create a catchy subject line that triggers your recipients’ interest, otherwise, no one will see the unique email designs you created.
To write a good subject line, try to grab your reader’s attention and provide them with a summary of what they will see once they open the email. Just try to avoid words such as “free,” “help,” or “reminder” since, according to a MailChimp report, they affect the open rates negatively. For some ideas, see the newsletter examples below:
Email marketing is one of the most efficient digital marketing strategies. However, you should remember that it’s not about sending texts to your potential customer via email. It’s about convincing that your product or service is worth buying. Therefore, it is essential to ensure that your emails are on point and eye-catching. Follow our 10 excellent email newsletter design best practices to increase your conversion and retention rates.
A solid social media strategy, value propositions, consistent high value content, awesome lead magnets, landing pages, free incentives and always evaluating new methods.
Clean design with clear CTA’s and a fully mobile responsive layout.