This website uses cookies to improve the user experience. By using our website you consent to all cookies in accordance with our cookie policies included in our privacy policy.

12 Email Newsletter Design Tips

Boost your email marketing results with visually appealing email design.

If you’re struggling to improve your email marketing results, it could be due to unappealing email newsletter design. To really ramp up your email marketing strategy and jumpstart your results, you first need to consider design.

Take these 12 email newsletter design tips into account when creating your next email. Putting together an informative and visually appealing email is the best way to increase your open rate and clicks, as well as subscriber retention.

10:30 Beginner
Video Transcript

Experiencing poor email marketing results? Don’t worry. In this video we’ll dive into 12 email newsletter design tips that will improve your visibility, encourage interaction and keep your readers yearning for more.

Hello world! My name is Mike Ploger and I’m here with Visme which empowers everyone to create beautiful and engaging presentations, infographics and other visual content. 

Now more and more companies are beginning to heavily market through social media channels. But why? 

According to MarketingSherpa, 72% of people prefer to receive promotional information via email while just 17% prefer social media. Through email, there’s such a huge opportunity for outreach. 

Think about it, not everybody has a Facebook, Twitter or Instagram but I doubt you can’t think of one person who doesn’t have an email. Well, at least not one person who’s not currently thinking about what homework they have tonight.

So there’s a huge opportunity in email marketing but it has to be done properly. Let the others continue to turn to social media while you take the next steps to marketing via email the right way. 

Not only is it what the majority prefers, but it’s now less competitive than ever. So, if you’re looking for some ideas, look no further. 

Over the next few minutes, I’ll take you through 12 simple design tips that will boost your sales and customer interaction all through your company’s email marketing strategy. Let’s get started. 

Email Newsletter Design Tip #1: Design for Mobile Devices

For the first time ever, more people own smartphones than a laptop or a desktop computer. And on that same token, people are spending an absurd amount of time on their mobile devices. 

Considering a mobile-first approach is a great place to start when redesigning your email newsletters. 

You can find several mobile optimized templates on Visme’s website and with these you will see single column designs and bigger fonts to ensure people can view your message even on the smallest of screens. 

There’s also an innovative way to take advantage of the single column designs which I’ll get to you shortly.

Email Newsletter Design Tip #2: Use a Clean and Organized Layout

You don’t want to overcrowd your page with unnecessary distractions. Keep it clean and simple. Only using what you feel you really need. 

If you’re having trouble, put your thoughts on paper first. A first draft sketch will help you discover what elements matter the most reducing overall clutter. 

Viewers will be pleased to find a more orderly design leading them directly to what they wanted to see in the first place. 

Email Newsletter Design Tip #3: Keep Text Short and Sweet

Now, we all receive those emails and newsletters with text on top of text, on top of text. Personally, with my short attention span, I might read one line before unsubscribing. 

People want to be able to scan a newsletter and find information relevant to them quickly. Stay away from sending the same information over and over again and ensure whatever information you’re pushing is consistently relevant. 

Think about it, if you’re pushing the same information over and over again, a reader will anticipate that and before long, stop clicking. 

J.Crew found a way to build suspense in this email when we’ve read the short and concise title before having to scroll to the bottom and clicking the promoted sale. This is another genius way to use that single column design that I mentioned earlier.

Email Newsletter Design Tip #4: Create Visual Hierarchy

There are twelve visual hierarchy principles that everyone should know. And if you don’t, well check out our video where we dove into each principle individually. 

Essentially, you want to create a sense of importance with elements like colors, sizes and shapes. You want to direct your readers’ attention through the use of these visuals. 

The most effective designs will utilize visual hierarchy properly, typically leading their readers into a call to action. Another point that we’ll discuss here shortly. 

If you want to get an idea of what’s important in your image, use a squint test. In other words, partially blur your image. 

Here, Mailchimp is directing their viewer at their logo and information in the white box. Through the squint test, you can see that the information at the bottom of the image is almost faded out, making it virtually unimportant. 

If you try the squint test on your own product and one of the most important details of your design is obscure, change the size or color of your text. Make it stand out as it should.

Email Newsletter Design Tip #5: Embrace White Space

In my second tip I mentioned only utilizing elements in your design that are completely necessary. Well, if you only have one or two important elements, that’s okay. Leaving a healthy amount of white space allows a viewer to easily absorb the elements in a design. 

Look at it as, less is more. By strategically designing with white space, you’re emphasizing the importance of the content in your image. 

Apple is the industry leader when it comes to utilizing white space. With so much white space around their phone cases, all the reader focuses on are the cases themselves. The effect makes the product looks sleek and desirable.

Email Newsletter Design Tip #6: Frame Content with Headers/Footers

The header of an image is the first opportunity for you to grab a reader’s attention and make a first impression. Those two to three inches can either peak someone’s curiosity or possibly entice them to move on. 

So how can you utilize that space? Lush added a relaxing yet attention grabbing slogan and then brilliantly added their social media icons. If the viewer is interested, they’ll remember those icons and click to see more. 

You can also add those icons in your footer as well as Lush did here but most newsletters will use that further to add the unsubscribe button as you have to in compliance with CAN-SPAM Act. 

Email Newsletter Design Tip #7: Set the Mood with Color

When choosing a color scheme for your newsletter, don’t just pick a color because it’s your favorite. Colors are much more than that. Research shows how each color can elicit feelings and emotions in viewers. 

Blue is a color of trust, peace and loyalty. Orange is associated with creativity and fun. Black signifies luxury. Do your own research and choose colors that complement and reinforce your brand’s identity. 

You can find more information in Visme’s blog post all about color psychology. Then once you nail down your colors, it’s time to choose your font. 

Email Newsletter Design Tip #8: Simplify Font Choices

Now we’ve all fallen victim to scrolling through the hundreds of font choices available for far too long. There’s Courier and Impact and Papyrus and Chalkboard and Stencil and so much more. 

This classification by David Kadavy breaks down the fifthteen different fonts that you will ever need. 

Some are Humanist based on old calligraphic scripts. Others are Geometric which are more modern fonts like Rockwell or Futura. A Realist font is your Helvetica or your Arial lying somewhere in the middle. 

And a font on paper is not the same as it is on screen. Some fonts don’t display well through pixels. Take note of this guide and keep it handy for all your future newsletters.

Email Newsletter Design Tip #9: Use Stunning Images

As I’m sure you’ve heard, a picture can be worth a thousand words. So if this is the case, why not replace text with a well thought out picture. An image can get a message across and make a big statement but be careful that your image is not too large. 

A picture should never take up more than 30% of a newsletter, or else the viewer might label it as spam. In this example, the product is center-staged but it’s accompanied by a background image that leads the viewer to ponder the possibilities of adventure by purchasing the shoes. 

Again, we see the call to action button. Are you starting to notice a trend?

Email Newsletter Design Tip #10: Embed Videos/GIFs

GIFs are everywhere nowadays. From text to social media, they’re now making their way into emails. However, as much as we love to send them to friends, in an email, they must be used properly. 

Take advantage of the opportunity to create a sales or product announcement. ModCloth created their own GIF featuring different types of articles of clothing that complete that white polka dot dress. 

Using a GIF is a great opportunity for you to show off your creativity as a company. GIFs also take up much less space than videos and are more interesting than static images of texts.

Email Newsletter Design Tip #11: Inform with Infographics

An infographic in a newsletter can help a viewer digest your information easier and quicker than ever before. Not to mention, it’s also a much more enjoyable reading experience. 

PlateJoy created a timeline infographic that takes a reader through a year long journey with relevant information and a clean and easy to follow infographic. It even leads straight into that call to action button there at the end. 

And if you don’t know how to create an infographic, that’s what Visme is all about. Check out our website to see how you can get started with your own infographic today. 

Email Newsletter Design Tip #12: Create a Compelling Call to Action 

Our twelfth and final tip is one I’ve made reference to all throughout the video. Make sure you create a compelling call to action in your newsletter. 

Email marketing can reinforce brand awareness but there’s a much bigger opportunity to engage your readers. Add that link taking your reader to your shop or even to a new page to learn more. 

If you don’t guide your reader to that final step, all the work that you’ve done implementing the steps that we have discussed will be for nothing. Believe it or not, 70% of email marketers don’t implement this button. 

Adobe used the inverted pyramid to direct the reader straight into their call to action button. 

Inverted pyramids are design structures that draw a reader in and push them directly to a focal point on the page. Essentially, they placed a subtle arrow saying, ‘click here’ right on their call to action button. 

Okay! We’ve now filled your brains with 12 tips to help you market more successfully. Don’t worry if you can’t use all 12 of the email marketing design tips that we’ve discussed in this video. After all, it is difficult to utilize white space while also plugging in impactful image. 

Try to find that happy medium. The good thing is, with email marketing, people want to see your content and what you’re up to. They’ve subscribed to you. Don’t forget that. 

As I mentioned, make sure you visit Visme’s website for tips and templates. For now, good luck with your next design adventure. I’m Mike Ploger with Visme, helping you Make Information Beautiful.