10 Email Newsletter Design Best Practices for Max Engagement

Read time: 13 min
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10 Email Newsletter Design Best Practices for Max Engagement
Try Publicate For Free Today
Read time: 13 min

Let’s face it - there’s always something to say to your employees, customers, and prospective customers, right? But, in order to get your message seen and read, email newsletter design best practices are necessary to know.

We’re going to share the best email newsletter designs and email newsletter design inspiration to get you going with the right foot forward.

Guide Index
Digital email newsletter design
Picture from Unsplash

What is Newsletter Design?

Email newsletter design consists of exactly what you see when you open any email newsletter - the text components, as well as the visual and graphical elements.

Creative newsletter design includes images, body copy, video, branding, and also the small, yet very important details like the subject line. Combined, all of these critical components make up what your ready will see. And, ultimately, they are responsible for how your reader will feel.

Why is Newsletter Design Important?

If you’re going car shopping, there are going to be considerations on your list you have to check off. Along with the function of the car, the first thing you’ll notice is its form, or design. Just like car shopping goes, newsletter design is important for similar reasons.

The way your email newsletter is designed can make or break your readers’ actions, starting off with if they open the email to read its contents and ending with if they follow the call to action to take the next desired and intended step.

Text and visuals go hand in hand, much like how you want your car to have the right amount of horsepower, but also look aesthetically pleasing and be comfortable.

When you have a firm grasp of the newsletter design best practices, your email can rival that of a Ferrari - looks good, commands attention, and is very engaging.

With the infinite newsletter design options, the best practices (which we will get to) can be a lot to remember and overwhelming to execute. That’s why many professionals look to leverage email builders.

Email builders are equipped with an array of templates for any need that already handle all the best practices for you.

What are the Components of an Effective Email Design?

Now, you’re in the driver seat as the email newsletter design builder. Let’s talk about what components you’ll want to consider when designing:

1. Responsiveness

Perhaps one of the most important aspects of any digital communications these days is their ability to be viewed on any screen or device. Responsiveness is crucial because 81% of all emails were opened on mobile devices in 2020, and that number continues to grow each year.

2. Images and Multimedia

Images help to break up blocks of texts and direct the readers’ eyes to where you want them to go. Adding personalized and custom images are always a great way to grab attention. But, you can also always use royalty free images that some of the top email builders provide to you.

3. Branding

For professional emails to look professional, they should be consistent and reflect the brand image. This way, they are recognizable to the reader straight off the bat. Branding kits and saved styles help make this easy to implement.

4. White Space

You don’t want to overwhelm the reader with too much information at once. To avoid doing so, keep in mind some open white space. Pre-built email templates already take this into consideration.

These considerations are just a few from a long list. Email builders are the easiest way to make sure that you meet all the requirements because they are already structured with these components.

Person reading email on mobile device
Picture from Unsplash

What to Include in a Newsletter?

When you’re ready to build out your email newsletter, the options are seemingly endless. To help get you started, here are a few ideas of what you can include in yours:

1. Blog Posts

Are you running a blog on your website? Drive traffic to it by featuring your most recent or most popular blog post in your newsletter.

2. Industry News

Keep your employees up-to-date on industry happenings by sharing the latest and greatest news.

3. Company Updates

When employees and stakeholders are looped in about how the company is faring and what its goals are, they feel more motivated and invigorated. This is a great place to spread the word about new policies, business goals, accomplishments, and the like.

4. Events

Drive attendance to your upcoming events, be it digital or in-person, by sharing event-based newsletters.

No matter what your email newsletter is about, an email builder can help you design and send your email without the need for coders or graphic designers!

Email builders are equipped with a library of pre-built templates and drag-and-drop functionality to help you put together your email however you envision.

With access to a content library (for videos, images, files, and more), along with an image editor (for easy adjustments like resizing and cropping), you can build a professional email in no time.

For any email newsletter need, an email builder is the perfect tool to deliver the most engaging content every time!

How to Write a Newsletter?

With an email builder by your side, you’re never going to have to start off from a blank slate. However, you’ll still need to write the content and direct the reader with call-to-actions. When you’re behind the screen, remember these points:

1. Consider Your Goals

First things first, what is the purpose of the email newsletter you’re about to send? This will obviously dictate the content and flow.

2. Balance It Out

For informative emails, you still want them to be fun enough and engaging to read. To accomplish this, balance your email copy with images, GIFs, videos, and catchy headlines.

3. Focus Your Call-to-Action

As much as possible, focus and limit your call-to-action so you’re not pushing your reader in too many directions and causing analysis paralysis. Be clear with your goals.

4. Include an Unsubscribe Option

While it’s always sad to see someone go, you still have to offer the option for a reader to unsubscribe to adhere to regulations.

What are Email Newsletter Design Best Practices?

At this point, you know how to structure your email newsletter, what to include, and how to get started writing it out. As you manage all of these to-do’s, there are some best practices that are beneficial to follow.

These best practices help you to maximize engagement and keep readers tuned in:

1. Keep It Simple

We’ve touched on this briefly, but don’t overdo it! Newsletters are meant to be inspirational, informative, entertaining, and enjoyable.

If you are to overload your readers with too much content, color, or copy, they’ll be quick to hit delete. Instead, balance your email newsletter design with copy, visuals, and clear call-to-action buttons. And, don’t forget to leave some white space!

2. Test Your Emails

If you choose to use an email builder that’s top-notch, the email templates will have been tested across devices and email providers. Even so, it’s always a good idea to test your own email once you’re ready to send to catch any errors and make sure the subject line appears how you want it to.

3. Don’t Skip the Subject Line

The subject line is the first thing your reader will see when your email newsletter hits their inbox. Even if you follow all the email newsletter design best practices, but you skip out on caring about the subject line, you may lose your reader before they even get started.

The most optimal subject lines are reflective of what the email contains. They are short, sweet, catchy, and to the point.

4. Use The Data

Email newsletter design and sending shouldn’t be guesswork. With access to analytics from email builders, you can see exactly how your newsletters perform.

These analytics grant you access to key performance indicators (KPIs) like open rates, click-through rates, and a heat map. If the numbers aren’t as high as you’d like, then you can make adjustments before sending your next communications to find what works best for your audience.

5. Consider the Layout

People tend to skim when they open newsletters. This means that they’ll see what’s first and often what’s last. But, it doesn’t mean the middle doesn’t matter! It just means that you’ll want to consider your content hierarchy and initiate design elements that help call out the big stuff.

For example, don’t shy away from breaking up topics with big headlines or images. Newsletter templates are built with hierarchy in mind, so you don’t have to start from nothing.

6. Use Personalization

It’s always good to make your readers feel special. Whether you can personalize your email newsletters with the use of names or leverage customer behavior and demographics to customize emails to their liking, you stand to gain higher engagement rates in return.

Segmenting your audience based on their preferences, purchase history, demographics, and the like can help here. If you’re writing to your employees for internal communications, you can always personalize by department or even role.

7. Make it Worthwhile

There’s no point in sending an email for no good reason. Before you sit down to lay out your content, remember the purpose of the email and include information that is valuable to the reader.

8. Design Your CTAs

When adding your call-to-action buttons, be sure they are visible and command attention. Use simple and direct language with strong action verbs, like “Buy now” “Read More” “Learn More” and “Sign Up.” Also, try to include a CTA near the top so it doesn’t get overlooked.

9. Be Consistent

There’s a middle ground between too often and not enough. Send your emails on a consistent schedule and change them up so as to not tire out your readers. The consistency and schedule will depend on your industry, goals, messaging, and audience.

When you spend time on your newsletter, the ultimate reward is that it performs well. But, when you’re already dealing with a lot on your plate, you don’t want to spend all your time thinking about email newsletter design best practices.

Email builders can do most of the heavy lifting. They provide you with hundreds of fully professional templates to choose from based on message purpose and need.

From there, the email template is already laid out for you. If you wish to customize further, you can always use the drag-and-drop functionality to move around the content blocks. With just the click of a button, you can add in images, multimedia, and adjust fonts, colors, and branding however you need to.

That’s right, email builders remove the need for coders and designers. They put the power in your hands to easily follow email design best practices and boost engagement without hassle.

When you are happy with your design you can export and send with your favorite email service provider like Gmail, Outlook and many more!

Final Words

With so much to say and so little time, the best email newsletters for maximum engagement can be achieved at a fraction of the time and cost using email builders.

They are by your side to make your job easier and improve your email newsletter engagement by naturally enforcing email newsletter design best practices.

You gain access to analytics, drag-and-drop design functions, endless templates, and everything you need at your fingertips to build and send engaging emails. Give it a try for yourself!