Email Newsletter Design: 3 Smart Ways to Reset Your Marketing Results

Revamping your email newsletter design can be a smart way to drive traffic to your website and market your small business. Email marketing has a 38-to-1 average return on investment, according to Litmus, meaning businesses see 38 dollars in return for every dollar invested.

By understanding design principles, marketing best practices, and resources, you can ensure that your newsletters make the most impact. A few straightforward tweaks to your design can make your newsletters more memorable, even if you aren’t a professional graphic designer.

What design principles and marketing factors do you need to consider to make sure your newsletters are having the most influence? Let’s take a closer look.

1. Calls to action

Every email you send should include a purpose. It should invite your readers to take action by including a formal call to action, commonly abbreviated by marketers as a CTA. Ask yourself a series of questions when you’re creating an email to ensure it includes one clear call to action:

  1. What do I want a newsletter subscriber to do?
  2. How will they know what to do?
  3. How do they do it?

A call-to-action button should include some value for the reader, not just for your business. By clicking on a call-to-action button, your customer should be able to immediately access something valuable like an exclusive 10 percent off coupon, a free e-book download, or a free sample. A call-to-action button should be visually clear and include enticing language like “click here” to invite the reader to take action. Here’s an example of a simple, but effective, CTA design: CTA Design Example

Many newsletter platforms such as Constant Contact offer support for built-in call-to-action buttons within the body of the email newsletter.

2. Update email templates

Have you ever opened an email from a friend or colleague and felt like you were staring at a giant wall of text? Your email newsletter subscribers should never feel that way. Email templates can keep the design of your newsletter fresh and accessible, even if you don’t know how to write HTML code. Several best practices for using the built-in templates offered in Constant Contact or another email sending platform include:

  • Select single-column design templates for better readability
  • Select 600 pixels as a standard template width
  • Keep mobile users in mind (most emails are read on smartphones)
  • Use simple fonts like Georgia, Verdana, and Arial
  • Use brand-relevant, simple color schemes

The most important thing to keep in mind as you experiment with email templates is that you can never test too much. Most newsletter platforms offer a built-in testing feature to preview an email newsletter on several smartphone sizes before hitting “send.” Use this feature and then ask a friend or coworker to preview your copy and design, which is a necessary safeguard against errors and typos.

3. Email subscribers more often

How often should you email your subscribers? Probably more often than you think. According to SeventhSense data, many companies increase revenue by sending shorter emails more frequently — six times per week, even in the insurance industry. Revamp your email newsletter design to include more frequent, punchier communications with beautiful design.

Updating your email newsletter strategy doesn’t need to be complex. A few straightforward tweaks can make a huge difference for your readers. If you’re feeling inspired to dig deeper into the world of marketing experiments, learn how to A/B test your website.


Jasmine Henry

Jasmine is a freelance technology writer, with interests in UX, mobile optimization, and web design trends. She's also a Project Management Professional with an academic background in Informatics and Analytics.

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