Could your email newsletters be hurting your business? According to Litmus, approximately 51 percent of users unsubscribe from newsletters that they don’t find visually appealing.
When it comes to email marketing, there are two paths to marketers focus on: 1) getting to the inbox and 2) engaging with users. If you’re newsletter template isn’t seeing the engagement you’ve hoped for, changes are you have some room for design improvement.
Here are our top seven tips to help you get your newsletter working for you and driving more sales.
1. Email Templates and Branding
When it comes to creating email templates, there are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind:
- Ensure all emails and newsletters are branded with your logo, brand colors, contact information
- Design or select newsletter templates that are single column and are no more than 600px wide
- Select or design templates that are built using responsive design
- Keep a consistent newsletter design — this will help subscribers to become familiar with it and even look forward to it
Want to improve the trust factor and give your newsletter a little extra credibility? Instead of using a generic or ‘no-reply’ email address, use an email address from a person associated with your company.
2. Fonts, Colors, and Images
Believe it or not, the fonts you choose in your newsletter design can have a huge impact on how your newsletter’s perceived. Here are a couple of email newsletter design font tips:
- To keep display consistent across various web browsers and email clients, use web safe fonts
- Limit the number of different fonts you use and keep things simple for readability
- Avoid creating a newsletter that is cluttered and uncoordinated in appearance because of your font choices
- Try to use the fonts that are part of your brand style guide to present a consistent brand look and feel
It’s tough to figure out the right balance of images versus copy to use in email newsletters. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:
- Don’t use a background image unless it’s really necessary
- Ensure that your email looks good and still works without images (for text versions)
- Use alt text to describe any images you use so that even if the user has images disabled, it will still make sense to them
- Avoid hiding key information or CTAs in images
Images can truly help readers connect with content and focus, so choose images that are crisp and clear and support the topics you are presenting.
Color’s an important aspect of any email newsletter design because it helps with brand recognition, can create a mood/reaction, and plays a role in influencing purchase behavior.
Limit your color choices for your newsletter and consider using brighter colors for CTAs or information you want to draw the user’s eye towards.
3. Keep Text Short
When you’ve got website visitors, your goal is usually to keep them on the site and engaged with content. With an email newsletter, it’s the opposite. Your ultimate goal is to get them to leave your newsletter and head for your website.
To help retain their interest and push users to your website to find out more, keep your emails short. Studies show that newsletters that are about 200 words in length have the best click-through rates.
Wonder what length to use with your subscribers? Conduct test and adjust your newsletter content length to what gets the best engagement with your target audience.
Even with short text, there are a few tips you can use to make your copy more engaging and effective:
- Start off with a great headline
- Avoid sounding too ‘salesy‘ —- keep promotion speak to 10 percent of your total copy
- Include interesting content that is informative or entertaining — not only will this engage users, it will increase the odds of having your newsletter shared
4. Make It Scannable
Now don’t take offense, but even after all that work you put into the content, most users won’t read all of it…so make it scannable.
Layout your newsletter so that your content is in section and put your most important contact in the prime spaces. You can also use headers, subheaders, and bullet points to users glean a quick understanding and move through to your CTAs.
5. Design HTML Plain Text
While traditional text versions are good practice, they don’t always look good. To combat that, consider creating a plain text HTML version. With this option you can:
- Be more flexible with your design
- Design links that stand out and look good
- Obtain better tracking and reporting on user engagement
Not only will HTML plain text emails look better, but you’ll quickly discover that they perform better too!
6. Nail the CTA Design
When it comes down to it, how well your newsletter performs is dependt on how many clicks it gets (as click-through rates are the top and most focused on metric). To improve your click-throughs, create well designed calls-to-action.
Make sure your CTAs are clearly visible, stand out (both in color and potentially font), and are displayed multiple times in your email.
7. Test Your Email
Before you send any marketing emails or newsletters, run them through an email deliverability tool.
Email deliverability tools, like those offered in the MailMonitor suite of tools, will allow you spot issues and fix them before you send your email…increase your probability to land in the inbox of your target audience.
To discover how the MailMonitor suite of tools can help your business master email deliverability and improve your newsletter engagement metrics, contact us and request a demo!Schedule a Demo