8 Useful Tips for Creating Effective & Attractive Email Newsletters

Email Newsletter Templates

A regular newsletter can be a powerful tool in the hands of a business. When done properly, it will help you keep in touch with customers, increase your sales, and even boost customer loyalty and brand awareness. Unfortunately, many companies approach their newsletter content in an almost random fashion, with little thought to the overall marketing strategy or continuity from one newsletter to the next.

An effective newsletter – that is, one that accomplishes the goals you have in mind – has several distinct characteristics, including:

Clean and appealing design

There is one word that should sum up your approach to your newsletter design: readability.

If the layout is confusing or sloppy, your readers are just going to move on. Likewise, if you’re using overpowering colors, animated elements, or other distracting design components you’re really shooing away your readers.

The design should be clean and consistent throughout. Try to stick to no more than two colors in your newsletter. Choose an appealing and professional font, using no more than two font styles in the newsletter. Apply principles of good color choice and screen readability, as well.

Clean and appealing design

Eye catching photos. Your photos need to be well done. They need to match the content of your newsletter, and they need to be attractive.

You may even consider bringing in a professional photographer for these, especially if you’re including product pictures or if you’re providing pictures of work that you’ve done for someone else. Avoid placing a background picture on your newsletter at all costs; it is simply distracting and will make the text of the newsletter harder to read.

A strong title and dynamic headlines

When someone receives a newsletter – whether it’s via email or in physical form – they spend less than five seconds deciding whether or not to read it further. The headline is the first thing that has the potential to draw them in. In the case of an email newsletter, many users won’t even open the email if the subject line isn’t interesting or strong enough. Make the headline catchy, succinct, interesting, and leaving the reader interested enough to look further. The headline should be comprised of no more than five words.

Strong Copywriting

A newsletter that’s difficult to understand or that’s riddled with spelling or grammatical mistakes will not accomplish your goals. Every line in your newsletter needs to be carefully crafted. Whether you’re talking about a “how-to” article in the newsletter or whether you’re talking about an advertisement blurb, every word must be chosen carefully. If you aren’t up to speed on how to create this kind of content, consider hiring someone to create it for you.

White space

A newsletter that is nothing but margin-to-margin text is simply difficult to read, at best. Leave some white space in between your various features, entries, pictures, and other components of your newsletter. White space is especially important in electronic newsletters, as your newsletter layout should in some ways mimic web layouts.

Useful features

A newsletter should have something that the reader can take away and put to use, even if they don’t buy something. That might be a “how-to,” or it might be information about a product or a problem. Give the reader something they can use immediately and you provide a benefit for having read the newsletter. This also helps to establish or increase your company’s authority.

Sparse advertising

Sales letters are a valid form of marketing. However, a newsletter is not a sales letter. They serve very different purposes. Your intention in producing a newsletter isn’t solely to convince the reader to buy something; in a sales letter, it is.

If someone opens your newsletter thinking they’re going to get something useful or informative and instead gets a pitch, they’re likely to not open your next newsletter and will probably unsubscribe, as well. You should have no more than one advertisement or link blurb for every two to three features in your newsletter.

A reason to share

Newsletters are meant to be shared. Providing an attractive newsletter with useful and relevant information will almost always result in a growing newsletter subscriber list.

Creating an effective newsletter is as much an art as it is a science. When you combine all of the right ingredients in the right fashion, you have a recipe for success. If you leave out an ingredient, or put in too much of one and not enough of another, the results won’t be nearly as positive.

Make sure your newsletters include all eight of these features, every time.

Image Credit: Apexproduction

Article by Andy Ramirez

Andy has written 1 articles.

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Comments on this entry are closed.

  • rajkumar August 29, 2012, 9:51 am

    good and clean design is must ………without dis ……it becomes difficult to understand ……….what you actually want to convey

  • Tom August 29, 2012, 12:42 pm

    I find it is best to just copy the stuff that the big guys do. I mean why try to work out something on your own, when you don’t have the time and reasorces to do it, when you can take something that is already working and use it.

    I find the tip about no more than 2 colors and fonts to be worth paying attention to. It looked good a decade ago to have colors and fonts, since not everyone could do it, but now it looks worn off and childish. Unless that is what you are targeting, you should stay away from micing too many styles

  • Jasmine August 29, 2012, 10:17 pm

    Good newsletter tips, Andy. I am sure these tips will help me tremendously in my next newsletter campaign… hopefully it will retain more readers and get more click through to my website!

    On another note, perhaps using a good email service such as Aweber or GetResponse will help tremendously because they give you professionally designed templates which will make your job much easier. GetResponse especially have great templates.

    Cheers!

  • Mr. White August 30, 2012, 5:07 am

    Newsletters can be a very important part of your online business. Thanks for sharing these points, Andy. You are correct. I like how you made 2 sections for “Clean and Appealing Design” – certainly one of the most important points of an online Newsletter. Great work!

  • Alicia August 30, 2012, 10:10 pm

    These are really excellent tips for creating effective newsletters. I like your tips, Andy!

  • Felicia August 31, 2012, 5:18 am

    I’ve never written up a newsletter before (and I am planning to do so in a few weeks), so this is post is exactly timely for me, and it’s very helpful and informative as well. Thanks for sharing!

  • ZK September 1, 2012, 2:52 am

    Email newsletters have been under played by bloggers….its time they value the medium

  • Becca@House Demolition Melbourne September 2, 2012, 8:27 am

    That is an awesome post. You have really layed out your points in great detail. Very easy to follow with good content. thanks for the share.

  • Anita Clark September 2, 2012, 7:06 pm

    If you do not catch the readers attention in the first couple of seconds they will move on. Good list of items that if done right can generate new leads and subscribers.

  • design agency london September 3, 2012, 2:44 am

    Quality content is the key to building a responsive email list

  • Sam November 10, 2012, 3:56 am

    hmmm……..now i should start with email newsletters as it may boost the traffic……
    And surely i’ll keep the above points in mind……..thanks……..:)