7 Design Tips for Email Newsletters
A recent press release from GraphicMail, a hosted email marketing solutions provider, listed seven tips for marketers to follow when designing their own email newsletters. Based on frequently asked questions to its in-house design team, here are GraphicMail's tips to help you design HTML email newsletters for maximum impact:
- Find the balance. There are four key elements in email design: graphics, layout, color and images. When creating your newsletter, find the balance between these components that works for you. Don’t try to cram the design full of graphic elements and colors. Rather, keep the layout clean with a few splashes of color and assorted images. Too much of any one element can be distracting. Generally, great images in combination with large, catchy headings work well.
- … and the perfect spot. Image placement is important. Place your best image at the top of the newsletter; it will be seen first and hopefully draw readers in.
- Cater to your audience. Consider the market you’re trying to reach when crafting newsletters. Different markets require different types of newsletters. For example, a business that's selling products requires more images, while a financial company will use more text. Keep this in mind when creating your email.
- Enhance what you’ve got. Fashion shoots aren't the only things that require some retouching. Often your images can benefit from some enhancement. Fancy, and often complex, computer programs are unnecessary to edit images. Online image editors are user friendly and, more importantly, free. Take advantage of them. Check out www.sumopaint.com, www.picnik.com or www.pixlr.com.
- There’s a difference between a newsletter and a website. HTML email newsletters aren't meant to duplicate your website. Emails should share the fundamental aspects of your site, such as brand logos and general themes, but not content. Newsletters and websites are two different modes of communication, but branding should always be consistent.
- Test, then test again. Always test emails before sending. Every email client renders your email differently. A good website to test how your email will appear in the inboxes of your customers is www.litmusapp.com.
- Prepare for blocked images. Most email recipients have their images blocked by default, meaning that they have to enable images before viewing your email in all its graphical glory. How sure are you that your emails pull recipients in when there are no images displayed? Provide alternative text for images. This means that when your images don’t load for some reason, a description of them will still be visible.