When it comes to digital marketing, the tried-and-true email newsletter has proven to be a reliable communications tool for businesses of all sizes. Today, 41.5% of companies use email as a critical component within their marketing plans, and 81% of B2B marketers send email newsletters as part of their content strategy. Email is a proven marketing standard, and a newsletter is an easy way to communicate with customers, prospects, partners, or subscribers.
Despite the growing preference among consumers for receiving information via SMS and social media, email still reigns supreme, with 55% of consumers choosing to stay up-to-date with their favorite businesses via this channel. Email newsletters are one way to deliver engaging content through attractive designs while sharing valuable information with customers.
In this guide to engaging email newsletter design, we offer ten expert tips for designing engaging, creative, and thoughtful email newsletters to optimize engagement and elevate your brand.
How to Craft an Engaging Email Newsletter Design
Constructing an engaging email newsletter design requires a thoughtful blend of creativity, strategic know-how, and a basic understanding of best practices. Let's explore the world of email newsletter design and the elements that can make your campaigns stand out in a crowded inbox.
1. Newsletter layout and format: The Foundation
An email newsletter's layout and format serve as the foundational elements of your digital design. A clutter-free, well-structured format for newsletters helps improve readability and engagement with the content. The most crucial information in the newsletter should be at the top, with the lower body text neatly divided into sections using bullet points, headers, and sub-headers. We recommend a good amount of whitespace to improve readability and lend your newsletter a modern, minimalist feel.
The template newsletter uses a structured, clean format to highlight its content effectively, while eye-catching headings, colorful buttons, and well-spaced sections ensure a seamless reader experience.
2. Go Mobile or Go Home
Smartphones are everywhere and almost certainly in the hands of your email subscribers. Nearly half of all emails are opened each day on a mobile device, so ensuring compatibility is a must. Be sure your email newsletter is optimized for mobile with designed content, fonts, and CTA buttons that work effectively on a smaller screen for the best user experience.
To improve the reading experience on a mobile device, consider these design tips:
- Use a single-column layout to avoid the awkward side-scroll
- Keep the copy simple because no one likes to read a book on their tiny mobile screen
- Use standard fonts that are easily read on a hand-held device
- Keep colors limited and on-brand to avoid unnecessary eye strain
3. Typography Appeals to Readers
Fonts are essential in enhancing your email newsletter's visual appeal and readability. It’s best to stick to two or three fonts maximum – one for headlines, one for subheadings, and another for the body text. This approach ensures legibility and creates a sense of visual harmony.
When choosing fonts that readers will view online, experts recommend using a sans serif font like Arial, Helvetica, or Verdana. These fonts are the easiest to read and are most compatible with digital programs.
When designing an email newsletter for a desktop, it’s best to keep header text in the 22-24pt range and body copy between 14-16pt. Design your email using a responsive program, so the font size will adjust for a comfortable reading experience on mobile as well. We’d also recommend limiting the amount of text in your newsletter as much as possible so as not to overwhelm the reader. When you have a longer article to share, consider linking a teaser on your newsletter to the full article on your website.
4. What Your Colors Convey
Color psychology is a unique way to understand how colors can impact how someone feels. Did you know that your brand colors may have a certain emotional appeal to people? For example, research shows that black symbolizes power and status, green conveys wealth and relaxation, and yellow can make you feel optimistic or youthful.
It's essential to choose a color scheme for your email newsletter that resonates with your target audience psychologically. It’s also important to understand how your color choices could impact accessibility for those with vision impairments. However, you want the color scheme you choose for your emails to be consistent with your brand identity. This is important to ensure brand recognition and consistency.
The email template above is for a gaming audience. Notice how the use of color evokes a playful feeling and, alongside the layout, helps guide and engage the reader throughout. You can also see how the use of typography catches the reader’s interest.
5. Visual Perception is Everything
"A picture is worth a thousand words," even in email newsletters. Including relevant, high-quality images can enhance engagement levels and draw readers in. Make sure the images you choose thoughtfully reflect your brand identity and the message you are sharing. It’s also important that your email design is accessible and inclusive, staying consistent with your branding and themes. For example, the higher education template below uses images and icons to provide further context for the message and provides useful information about what the email is about with just a glance.
6. Capture Your Brand Through Tone and Copy
Beyond the look and feel of your newsletter, engaging copywriting is at the heart of your newsletter. Marketers should always strive for content that is not only valuable to the reader but interesting and personable. Use a tone that echoes your brand’s personality and write as though you’re speaking directly to the reader, making your content more relatable and human.
7. Call Readers to Action
Well-crafted call-to-action (CTA) buttons guide your readers toward taking a specific action and engaging them deeper. Be sure your CTAs stand out, are compelling, straightforward, and meet accessibility standards. This includes making clickable areas large enough to be easily tapped and providing labels for links that screen readers can read. The email template below is an excellent example of how a prominent, clear CTA button can capture attention and invite action.
8. Consistency is Key
Consistency is the key to growing ongoing readership, from colors and fonts to imagery and sending schedules. The best times and days of the week to send your email are determined by when your audience is most active. Try testing a variety of times and days to see if one is better than another. Being consistent helps your readers to recognize your newsletters, fostering trust and brand loyalty.
9. A Newsletter Can Be Personal
It might surprise you that we suggest personalizing email newsletters, but the results speak volumes about why. Personalization can substantially improve engagement rates, with open rates improved by as much as 50%. Leverage your subscriber data to tailor content, subject lines, or images to individual readers, making your newsletters more relevant and engaging.
BONUS: Use Email Newsletter Design Templates to Get Started
If you're overwhelmed by the idea of starting an email design from scratch, Beefree's email newsletter design templates are a quick and efficient solution. These templates provide a great starting point for designing engaging newsletters with proven structures and designs you can customize to suit your brand, or they can be used for newsletter design inspiration or newsletter format ideas.
An engaging email newsletter design blends style, content, and user experience. With Beefree, you can customize email newsletter designs to your heart's content, mixing your creativity with the best practices discussed in this article.
Why wait? Start designing today with Beefree, and let your newsletters do the talking.