Why design is important
A well-designed email is essential to your success. A high-quality design will highlight your calls to action, prioritise your content and ensure you are instantly recognised in the inbox. All of this makes it easy for your subscribers to open, engage and click and so ensure your email campaign is a success. Read on for our best practice tips for making the most of your emails.
7 steps make sure your design is a success
An email newsletter template should be designed to be consistent but flexible. This allows you to use it over and over again sending different content each time and with minimal effort and maximum effect.
When working with your designer consider these points to make certain you get the most out of your design:
1. Keep it simple to focus attention and interactions
Designing for email is quite different than designing for the web, print or any other medium. Emails aren't like complex websites or graphic heavy posters; they should be nicely designed but somewhat basic. This makes it easy for your subscribers to read, interact with and respond to your content.2. Ensure your subscribers instantly recognise your brand
Your newsletter template should match existing branding and other online marketing material. This creates a seamless experience for your customers and also promotes trust, increasing the chances of engagement. The easiest way to make sure you stay true to your brand is to use the template banner to maximum effect. A well-designed banner will provide instant recognition in the inbox - and invite opens every time. River Medical's newsletter template is an excellent example of this (left to right: website and newsletter template).
3. Don't rely solely on images to convey your message
It is important to note the almost 50% of email recipients won't see images automatically. This is because the default in many email clients is to block images. Do use images in your emails; simply make sure your design of the email still makes sense when images are block. Think about which areas of the email could use live text instead of images and always supply alternative text for images. (The images below illustrate what an email with one large image looks like when images are turned off in an email.)
4. Prioritise content to make sure important information is seen first
Many subscribers will view your email only in the preview pane of their email client. Consider this when deciding where to put important information. Put your main message or call to action close to the top, however don't be tempted to cram everything in at the top. Instead, use this area to introduce content and persuade readers to read more or scroll down. An effective way to do this is to use a table of contents.
5. Organise your content to encourage multiple clicks
Your readers are most likely to scan your newsletter and not read every word. If you have lots of content the design should be broken up using section headings and sub headings. 3-4 sentence summaries for articles with a "Read More" link allows you to keep your email short while still allowing for multiple messages.
6. Make use of back pages for your newsletter
Design back page templates for your newsletter so you can place the full story of your article or embed rich media such as videos within your within a newsletter template. This microsite functionality is an automatic part of the Newsweaver system.
7. Ensure the design renders well across email clients
Identify the platforms your subscribers use to view your email, such as Outlook, Lotus Notes or Hotmail. Your designed template should be render-tested so that the design holds up in a variety of inboxes. This is one of the most important steps in creating your email. If you don’t know which email clients your recipients are using it is important to test your email thoroughly on all major clients. This will ensure all your efforts in design are viewed as intended.
About: Emerald Cultural Institute is an English language school for students and professionals, providing language courses, as well as professional development and cultural programs to groups and individuals of all ages, and has students from over 60 countries worldwide.
Challenge: Scarlett O’Hara, Marketing Manager, says the Institute needed to update their newsletter design following a general re-branding of their online and offline marketing tools and materials. The Institute also wanted to broaden their social network presence by implementing social sharing into their template. Another goal was to give their main call to action, the contact us form, better visibility in the design. They also wanted to create a flyer template to be used for one-message mailings to compliment their regularly published newsletter.
Solution:The Newsweaver design team worked with the Institute’s requests, designing layouts that incorporated the new branding guidelines, cleaner navigation and a scannable user-friendly layout. Social sharing was embedded in the template, including features such as Skype links, as well as Facebook and Twitter. The calls to action such as the contact form were placed prominently in the design to promote engagement.
Results: Scarlett says they have received great feedback from many of their business partners around the world regarding the new-look newsletter and flyer. Scarlett says adding social links into the redesign has really improved their social marketng presence and effectiveness. The newsletter has always had a B2B target audience, but Scarlett says as a direct result of including social networks in the template, there has been an increase in the number of agencies, who work directly with the students, liking the Institute's Facebook page. "This is a real boost to our presence because if an agency in a given country likes your Facebook page, students from that country will immediately take your offering and school more seriously. The social media tools on the newsletter are allowing this type of interaction to take place.“
“The Newsweaver design team were very helpful, making suggestions on how best to implement our requirements - assisting us with every detail of the new design.” - Scarlett O’Hara, Emerald Cultural Institute
While content is king - a poorly designed email template can mangle the message and defeat the goals.
The template is designed to be used over and over again to send your message. Therefore it is is essential that when you design your template you create one that will encourage opens and clicks. For example, it needs to provide instant recognition for your subscribers, is scannable - and makes it easy for your readers to engage and click.
This webinar will take you through best practice tips and ideas for creating a memorable and useful email newsletter template, along with a check list of what to look at before you sign off on the design, and what elements that should appear in every email you send.
In this webinar you will also learn:
- Template design tips
- Layouts that invite multiple clicks
- The important elements that should be in every email you send
- A five point check list before you sign off on your design
To register please Click Here
Using images within your articles can enhance engagement and increase readership.
The Image Editor is a great tool if you want to modify these images to make them fit even better within your articles.
Before you start using the Image Editor, make sure you have uploaded your image into the image library. You can access the library from within the content tab and the library sub-tab. Once here, you can add an image using the drop down menu.
When you’re in the library you will see all the images available to you. To edit your image, click on the thumbnail and the image will open in a pop-up window.
To begin using the Image Editor, click on the Edit this image link.
Inside the Image Editor you will have a number of tools available to you. If you hover your mouse over each icon, it will tell you what it does. Some of these include:
- Flip (vertically and horizontally)
- Colour Balance
- Red Eye reduction
Once you have edited yoru image, dont foget to save it.
See Example below of copping and flipping an image
For more information on using the Image Editor, Watch the Video