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How to Build an Awesome Email Newsletter

  • The best emails place content first, design second.
  • Lots of white space and short text ensure that your emails get read.
  •  Single-column, responsive email designs perform better than complex grid-based newsletters.

Email marketing is one of the highest-ROI forms of marketing, but only if it’s done well. If you’ve ever unsubscribed from an eyesore of an email newsletter, you understand why. So, how can you create an email marketing campaign that people will be excited to receive? Here are some things to keep in mind.

Make it single-column

Email newsletters with multiple columns and complicated grids are not only hard to design, but also, they don’t tend to look good on mobile, and that’s where most of your audience is reading your emails. Design all content in a single column. If you use grids, make them no more than two items across and ensure that your design is responsive for your mobile readers.

Include high-res images

Any email design program worth its salt will allow you to add your own images. Select high-quality photos or illustrations to give your email visual interest, but don’t overdo it. A strong header image is usually sufficient. When illustrating smaller items in the email, keep the images small so that you don’t obliterate people’s inboxes.

Use a white background

Emails with colored backgrounds are so 1997. Not only do these designs harm legibility, but they’re also old-fashioned and off-putting. Using a white background gives your email designs a modern, fresh look — and it makes your high-res images pop as well.

Limit your CTA buttons

As a rule of thumb, you should have no more than one call-to-action (CTA) in your email campaign. If done carefully, you can have a second, but definitely not more than two. Space out your CTA buttons with plenty of white space and a high-contrast color.

Keep your text short

No one wants to read a book in their email. Keep your email copy short — no more than 300 to 500 words. Many marketers find that brief, letter-like text works better than the typical “newsletter” format with multiple paragraphs and grids. If you must have multiple sections, keep them short and surrounded by white space so that readers can easily skim the content.

Make your fonts big

Teeny-tiny text is nearly impossible to read, especially for readers who are viewing their email on their phone — which is most of them. Use fonts that are clearly legible and slightly larger than standard emails, and you’ll likely see higher read rates and clickthroughs.

Wrapping Up

Email design is an art form that requires a careful balance of text and visuals. In general, you should avoid dense designs that look cluttered or hard to read, and make every effort to streamline and space out your email’s design. Remember, you need to accommodate both readers who are on their small screens and those who are viewing your email on a big desktop screen. That means thatyour email should be ultra-responsive and brief so that your audience gets the best experience no matter where they’re reading it.

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