The majority of businesses invest in multiple marketing strategies, many of which are online. While it’s easy to turn to social media, the humble newsletter can be a great, cost-effective tool that allows you to reach a wide audience.
Not all newsletters are created equal, and the purpose of your newsletter will vary depending on the type of business you run and the intent of your communication. In some cases, you’ll want to drive sales, while in others, you’ll engage with individuals to attract them to an ecosystem or lifestyle you offer.
A good marketing campaign will be targeted to its readers, so presenting content and offers that they find useful will bring its benefits. Using an email marketing service tool will help you focus on the unique characteristics of your subscriber base, but having the right content is key to your success.
There are a number of different factors you need to consider when designing the perfect newsletter template to market your business.
1. Compatibility with multiple devices
Sending emails is the most likely method of sending newsletters, and how the user receives that email is your top priority. Previously, email was reserved for computers with large, landscape-oriented screens, but the rise of smartphones and tablets has dramatically changed the landscape. It’s not uncommon these days for emails to be read on smaller, portrait-oriented devices, and developers have had to adapt their designs to meet a range of needs.
Designing your newsletter with a maximum width of no more than 600px should ensure that it remains viewable on all display types, avoiding any annoying horizontal scrolling experience. Although most devices can handle this resolution, the amount of vertical space presented on each screen will vary greatly, and although there is no guide to this, keeping key information at the top in the template will reduce the need for users to scroll.
You should also consider privacy settings that may prevent emails from downloading images or displaying widgets correctly. While many readers will have the option of downloading the full newsletter in their app or email program of choice, adding a link to view your content in a browser can help ensure that subscribers get the full experience you want.
It’s important to maintain your brand consistency, so sticking to a pre-determined color scheme is essential to ensure readers know the email is from you. Incorporate any logos or slogans and make headers clearly visible. People are more drawn to simplicity, so avoid using multiple text alignment styles, fonts, and colors. It’s recommended that you use no more than two or three typefaces, and they should stay consistent with those you use elsewhere in your brand, such as on your website and other marketing materials.
The body of the text should not be too long: remember that Internet users have not chosen to visit this page. So you need to present information that is easy to digest, both attractive and concise. For more information, you can direct users to pages on your site through the use of call-to-action buttons and other types of interactive widgets.
Closing your newsletter is just as important as the content you decide to feature. Giving readers knowledge of where to go next gives your content a purpose, and while you’ll have links to specific pages throughout, it’s equally important to provide readers with a more generic route to learn more about your business. Social media widgets and other ways to communicate with your brand – such as phone numbers, email addresses and a link to a “contact us” type page – should appear clearly in order to link your newsletter to your broader intentions.
3. Add visuals
Your main focus should be content, making sure it’s both relevant and easy to digest. This is your base layer which can then be enhanced with graphics to make it more visually appealing. Use photos of any products you’re trying to sell, and if you link to a certain article on your website, use its main header image in your newsletter to maintain consistency.
Avoid using too many distracting illustrations and keep graphics such as GIFs to a minimum.
Likewise, under-designing your newsletter could be detrimental. A plain wall of black text on a white background says nothing about your brand, let alone looks derogatory. Add small pops of color, even playing with contrasting colors to attract readers. Using only a small handful of fonts is great, but there’s nothing stopping you from messing with size or weight to clearly identify headings. If you must include large chunks of text, leave enough space around them with blank spaces.
4. Consistency, consistency, consistency
Several aspects have already highlighted the importance of consistency, and neglecting this simple design trick could have negative effects.
Maintaining brand consistency is a must, but you can even take steps to ensure that every newsletter looks and feels the same. Use similar grid layouts to ensure content fills the same section every time; repeating elements throughout your newsletter can help you achieve this. When in doubt, establish a basic newsletter that you can duplicate and adjust for each scenario. This way, the layout and layout has already been set up and you avoid having to redo the hard work.
5. Make your newsletter unique
Make your newsletter unique by giving the reader something they couldn’t find elsewhere. This can range from a simple insider story to personalized coupons and discount codes to drive more sales.
A good email marketing service provider will be able to filter different types of subscribers based on their interactions with your business, their demographics, and even the type of content they are interested in. Grouping similar customers together can help you provide readers with a more personalized experience. .
6. Make it scannable
Some users who are engaged with your brand may want to invest time to read every last word of your newsletters. Others will run out of time and a long email can be unattractive. Catering to each reader type will help you maintain interest, so don’t forget to make your newsletter scannable. This means subscribers can quickly scroll through content and get an idea of what you’re trying to communicate.
Ideally, each section will have a header, body text concise enough to make the reader want to know more, and a call-to-action button that brings them closer to a prospect, whether a sale or advertising revenue for your site.
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