Email Newsletter Design Tips

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posted on: September 2, 2017

With email marketing software, like Mailchimp, it is incredibly easy to align your email newsletter design with your brand’s overall visual identity. With consistent brand experiences (both in content and visually), you extend your reach and communicate a stronger message to larger audiences.

Mailchimp uses a drag-and-drop functionality by default. If you’ve got an hour (or less) on the weekend, you can set up your newsletter to be an extension of your brand.

What You Will Need

Before you begin, it’s best practice to gather all the assets you need ahead of time, so that you are focused on entering and styling the content and not creating it. Here’s what you will need:

  • Logo sized to 600px wide or smaller
  • Your Brand Hex Colors: The newsletter should incorporate the same colors (and fonts) used on your website or blog.
  • Fonts: You can install custom fonts to your email newsletter, but the best practice is to use the standard web safe fonts suggested by Mailchimp. Consistent fonts ensure readability and formatting. Match heading and body fonts with similar typefaces. For example, if your headings are the serif font Didot, use a serif font for your newsletter titles; and if your body font is Proxima Nova, use a sans-serif font for the body of your newsletter.
  • Copy Content for the following sections
    • General Sign-Up Form
    • Opt-In Messages
    • Welcome Message
  • Images: If you want to include any images into the general sign-up forms or newsletter templates, then you need to prepare those ahead of time.

Step 1 | Styling Your Sign-Up Forms

If you do not have a list setup for email subscribers, you will want to set up one under LISTS. Under SIGN-UP FORMS, you will stylize your General Form to include your logo, fonts, and colors. You’ll only need to set the styles for one form, and it will apply to other forms.

Final Welcome Email: If you are offering a freebie as part of signing up for your newsletter, you can enter a link for readers download the freebie in the FINAL WELCOME EMAIL.

Pop-Up: If you want to add a pop-up to your site, Mailchimp allows you set up one for free. However, it is kind of clunky compared to some other alternatives, like Wise pops. Similar to how you would style your General Sign-up form, you would use your colors and fonts to the pop-up.

Step 2 | Setting Up Templates

Setting up mail templates will save you lots of time in the long run. When I set up email lists for clients, I create two templates – a static template for regular email campaigns and an RSS email template. In a very similar manner to how you styled your list. When setting up these templates, you might consider adding the following components:

  • Introduction: Depending on the template, you might have a static welcome message for each post.
  • Social Sharing or Social Follow: You’ll want to add a block of social sharing and social follow links, and it depends on your preference.
  • Call-to-Action to Products or Services: If you sell services or products, you should include messaging about these services. In my newsletters, I include a CTA about the Blog Newsletter Guide as well as my custom blog design services.
  • Preview + Test: How the forms will look before you commit to using them in a newsletter or RSS-feed.

Action Steps

Once you have both your list and templates setup, you can start setting up campaigns. If you have already begun collecting emails and sending campaigns. Go through your existing list and templates to make sure that they align with your brand’s overall visual identity.

Editor's Note

Some of the links included throughout this website are affiliate links, which means that Lindsay Humes LLC receives a small commission when certain items are purchased. These affiliate links provide a means for the site to earn revenue and generate free content for readers. For more details, read the privacy policy here.

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