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Email Newsletters 4 Design Do s and Don ts

When you take the decision to send email newsletters, one of the first and most important parts of the process is perceptibly the design of the newsletter. Newsletter design is a contentious topic and the discussions about what makes for a good design, whether minimalism, whether to place more or less text, and how many images have to be placed are all subject to much debate. A large part of the design guidelines to follow when you make a newsletter involves finding a compromise point between your company’s vision and the recipients’ tolerance levels. Every corporation would like to put out all the information it can but no user is willing to spend more than a glance at a newsletter – unless deeply interested by a certain article. There are a few general points that one does need to keep in mind.

1. Graphic design: This is an aspect with a very wide scope. Graphic design should start with following company branding guidelines for the basic layout of the newsletter. After this, the amount of content and imagery must be weighed before the decision on which deserves more prominence is taken. In general, the mix of images and text should be weighted 70% in favor of imagery. This might have to change to a 50-50 measure if links are not created back to a website. Generally, email newsletters should have links that direct back to a base website for more content control as well as readability of the newsletter itself.

2. Content design: A lot of the content design of a newsletter should center on the style of writing and the general theme of the newsletter and your core business. It is very important to be topical in the choice of articles that you choose to show. A contemporary touch is always useful if you are dealing with young audiences. Writing style itself should revolve around being professional and crisp in presentation of content.

3. Links: Links are a crucial part of newsletters because the basic premise of a newsletter is purely to dole out snippets and not give complete news articles. This method is highly successful when it comes to also bring the number of page views back to your base website.

4. Technology: Technology in newsletters comes in the form of multimedia and complexities like videos. This is an important aspect because of the revolution in video on the internet necessitates that this should also start to permeate into the realm of email newsletters as well.

These general pointers should be able to take your newsletter to the next level; however, remember that all radical changes come with a cost. Using video is in fact an extremely costly proposition and if your budgets do not allow it, then this will be a show stopper for you. In this case, the way out would be to substitute video with more imagery and with just the right amount of text to hold the basic premise of the article.
About Author Curt Keller :

Henry Cass is a best practices activist and advocate for Benchmark Email ( ) a leading Web and permission-based service for sending newsletters.

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Article Added on Sunday, October 18, 2009
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