No, I didn't lie in my title: there are email newsletter design elements that help you achieve specific goals in your marketing strategy.
The subject line is one of them.
It might seem strange that I included the subject line as a design element.
But this is an enigma:
Defining the design of email newsletters
Go to the supermarket in search of a box of cereal.
You find this shiny box of cereals, crazy ingredients, rich in protein and taste, but there is something in the name .
It's called "PIGEON".
Would you buy it?Chances are you think twice.
Even if everyone is excited about it, even if it is taking the fitness world by storm, you can't surpass "PIGEON".
I understand, the connotations and images are wrong.Unless you are turning to a culture where pigeons are sacred.
The same applies to the subject of your email.If it's irrelevant or elicits wrong feelings, your subscribers will ignore it.
So, trust me on this (and the next 21 articles).
What is email newsletter design?
The design of your email newsletter includes a number of elements.
Some of these are:
- Your thematic line,
- The name of the sender,
- Your buttons,
- The background of your design,
- The layout of your newsletter, etc.
The list is long for newsletter design elements that affect your email performance.
For example, what design element is this?
Exactly.Its success depends on invisible elements:
- Branding is punctual,
- Focus message succeeds (i.e. promoting Mother's Day sales)
- Brand loyalty is achieved (eg. With freebies),
- Brand value is based on (forging maternal instincts) and so on
All of these play a different role in the design of the newsletter, depending on the purpose of the newsletter.
So, for the sake of clarity, I'm making a distinction based on goals: you're …
- … Are you looking to increase your open rates?
- … Are you going for click-through rate?
- … Explore ways to compose sales?
- … Looking to increase brand loyalty?Or maybe,
- … aiming to allow a smooth flow of information ?
Let's start the party.
Use email design elements to increase your open rates
Everyone has access to the same design elements as the newsletter.
So how can you get more out of the same tools?
1. Invest in the subject line and preview text
Let's say you want to send a newsletter about a 1+1 pizza offer. The subject line could be "Are you looking more and more?", But it could also be, "Are you going to eat it?"
Which of the two will ultimately take place depends entirely on your target audience.How will you find out which one will perform better?
A/B test it, honey.It's 2019.
But hey, if you really want to write the theme lines in the 2020 way, try this free AI theme line tester.
Our data scientists have done this to double-check the thematic lines in our newsletters.We liked it so much that we decided to share it with the world.Free.
Enter a subject line, your industry, and the size of your mailing list.
It will give you an estimate of the openings, if the Susans of competing companies in this world do better than this.
Better yet, get specific advice on how to preemptively overcome your competitors' themes.
Even your preview text is due to love
Preview text is the second chance to make the object work (otherwise) or the only right to the punchline.
You don't have to add one every time, but I don't see why you wouldn't.It's fun to always try to find a preview text.
Okay, now you're in. What's next?
2. Choose your sender name every time
It may not have occurred to you yet, but you may try different sender names depending on the email and your goal.
For example, let's say you want to set up a cart abandonment email.It is better to send it from the same sender of the "NEW IN" newsletters.This way, if "Jenna da Acme.com" updates subscribers on the latest items/products every week, receiving a cart recovery email from her will be more enjoyable for your subscribers.
As a result, it will be more likely to elicit a commitment on their part.
At Moosend, each of our marketing team members is responsible for a niche: customer happiness, marketing, settings and integrations, business ads, and so on.That's why you can send using your own names as senders.
In this way, we can leverage emails and writing styles to match the personality of the sender and establish this bond with each target audience.That way, everyone knows what to expect.
For example, when a subscriber sees "Iné from Moosend" they know that some mention will be made of the Susans and Kevins of this world, if not Rihanna, and even any member of the Kardashian family (yes, even Rob).
3. What does your reputation as a sender look like?
Sender reputation refers to the sender's history.
What you sent to your subscribers, whether it resonated with them or not, whether they found it to be of interest or value to them, all count towards your sender's reputation.
So, if you send a newsletter to a segmented list and your open rate is less than 10% (and you haven't flooded them with newsletters for the past week/month/or year), consider this a red flag.
Release everything you're doing and create a reengagement campaign right away.
4. Timing is everything.Or is it?
Let me understand well: there is no perfect model, suitable for all hours and every day, that works for every sector.
Even if there were, it would be cluttered with emails from every company.
Take it from me, a person who will subscribe to all the newsletters I meet, always check all my inboxes on all my email addresses.
So, I always choose what to read and what not. Regardless of the time or day it was sent to me.
I know I may not be the norm, but essentially, our goal as email operators should be to make users highly engaged by all our subscribers.How do we do it?
We add value to every action taken: one way is through our loyalty program, another is through gamification and another is to set up an automation to reward those who have clicked on a link or more than X campaigns in the last Y months .
By rewarding every subscriber who shows up for you, you are not only using positive reinforcement for them to continue, but you also encourage them to spread the word.In the end, you earn the most valuable of all types of marketing – word of mouth.
5. It's not you, it's them: circumstances
Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, sometimes it rains.
Even though you ran your A/B tests, you used Refine to create the best version of your theme line, things didn't go as planned.Happens.
There are certain periods of time in a year that could negatively affect the performance of your newsletter, precisely because you have not been fast enough, impressive enough or have not built such a strong relationship with your subscribers.
For example, Black Friday (in the US) or Singles' Day (in China) billions of emails are sent to subscribers.
Every company in your industry will compete for the attention of your target audience.
In these cases, there are two ways to do this: i) you schedule the campaign to be automatically sent back to those who haven't opened it within the first, say, 3 hours, orii) you travel back in time, until everyone has subscribed to your newsletter, only this time you've set up a built-in welcome email/drip campaign.
6. You, as an authority on the subject
For your newsletter to be a success, you or the sender must be an authority on the given topic.
Imagine this: Eric Ries (aka The Lean Startup) sends out a newsletter about the top 5 vacation destinations of his CMOs/CFOs, etc. How many would actually read that article?Maybe some.
What if he keeps it up and sends out one of these newsletters every now and then?I guess its open rates would plummet every time the subject line read something like Vogue.
What I'm coming up with is that, for every topic you write about, you have to establish your authority on the topic.
Otherwise, the subject line won't be better than a brick wall to stop all your subscribers tapping to read.Just like Vogue does.
7. Remains relevant
How are you ahead of the curve?Be sure to find out the trends first.Better yet, look for trends (instead of waiting for others to fill you up).
How do you do that?
Here are a couple of my favorite ways:
i) you've set up Google Alerts for the topics you're interested in.For example, "email marketing", "marketing automation" and "email marketing trends" are some of the alerts I set.I may or may not have set a warning or two on some of our competitors.
ii) Whenever you come across an interesting topic, say "neuroscientific marketing" write a short article about it.If this resonates with your audience (and SEO and Google traffic and approvals) you might as well update and expand it along the way.
If CTR is blocked, try these tips for designing email newsletters
1. Use visual hierarchy in your project
The goal is to direct the gaze of your openers wherever you want.To do this, you have to create a sort of visual hierarchy.How do you do that?
Assign different weights by zooming in or highlighting/creating space around the headers.
In this way, you will be able to draw attention to the elements that interest you most.
Garnish your title
The headline is, usually, the largest text on your newsletter or the most highlighted one.
As for copying, make sure it's punchy, intriguing, and promising.
Choose your fonts
Choose a font that reads well.
Try different color schemes and formatting.
Images, vectors, GIFs
When selecting images, vectors, and GIFs to include in your newsletter design, aim for brand alignment.
To achieve this, you can select everything according to your tastes and newsletter goals, and then apply the corresponding filters.
In this way, you will have a consistent result.
Some do's and don'ts
Be bold with colors.Don't be bold with colors.(A/B test it).
Try an image VS more than one.
Additional email newsletter tips:
- Try different styles regularly and try A/B for higher CTR.
- Don't stretch photos or upload blurry ones.
- Use filters, text, logos, or icons.
- Don't go too far with filters, text, logos, or icons.
- Try memes (A/B testing included).
- Match your filters to your brand.
- Do wah diddy diddy dum diddy do .
Add images or not. A/B try different styles and create a style that will become your iconic style.
Learn how to customize them to your brand.
Carry out your CTAs
To really make your CTAs stand out, you can try a number of things:
- Round VS rectangular CTA VS buttons without contours,
- Severe playful CTAs VS ("Discover" VS "I knew"),
- One VS Multiple CTAs (Note: Hierarchy based on CTA button size)
As for the color of the CTA, you can try both shades of the same color for uniformity and hierarchy, or apply the same color to all buttons (and play around with the size).
2. New Familiar VS Format
Depending on the personality of your brand and what it stands for (innovative VS traditional) you might reflect that using a standardized layout or breaking the mold every few newsletters.
If you decide to opt for the latter, you will be able to gather more information about what your subscribers prefer.
3. Choice of layout
Use white space (or not)
To draw attention to an element of your design you can add clutter around it or create white space around it.
Depending on your brand's aesthetic on the extravaganza-minima continuum, you can use an inclined layout with wider margins and padding, or opt for a background pattern that matches your artwork.
As for the design overview of your newsletter, consider aligning all well-defined sections so that you get a symmetrical presentation.
Otherwise, choosing a variety of alignment choices can create visual disturbances, and subscribers may not engage further.
4. Mobile responsiveness is not optional (at least in 2019)
To make sure your email newsletter design looks great on all devices, check out what your responsive design looks like.
On Moosend, you can easily choose mobile responsiveness by checking a box on our customizable templates.
If you design your own from scratch, you can always control how it looks without having to leave our platform.
The rule of thumb, however, is that single-column newsletter projects are safer to be responsive.
Conversely, multiple columns in your newsletter may require some smartphone users to swipe left and right to read everything.
Improve your sales with 7 tips for designing newsletters
Your sales team can finally take a break with the best email newsletter design hacks:
1. Add a countdown
How do you get an email newsletter design to make you money?
Create a sense of urgency by using a very useful tool: a countdown!Before the 12 clock, your subscribers will turn into customers!
Try the feature for free here: designer.moosend.com (no sign-up required).
2. Expiration date: use it or lose it
For each advertised offer/discount/benefit/product or service, always include a deadline.
See how Fulcrum Tech used "Save Me a Place!"As a CTA to connote urgency: By allowing subscribers a specific period of time to enter into an agreement, you are inviting them to consider the deal on the spot.
If they forget?
Don't worry, for a special offer reminder the automation will take care of the rest and remind everyone who viewed the offer to claim it while there is still time.
3. Prove your worth with competitive pricing
Save your subscribers the trouble of visiting each of your competitors' pages.
Offer them the lowest price/price match guarantee.
In this way, you build trust with your subscribers who can always count on you to find the best price.
Another, less flexible or dynamic way of doing this is to send subscribers a list of prices reduced compared to those of the competition, even with direct links on their sites.
4. Start them young: discounts for students
There's no quick way for your customers' hearts, but being there for them is definitely key.
When do customers need you most?When they can't afford you (but still love you).
Most of the time, your most price-sensitive audience is students.
By giving them student discounts, you allow your brand to become part of their daily lives.
As they grow, your brand can grow with them.
For older audiences, you can partner with "Afterpay" or other similar services.
What Afterpay does is that it allows customers to buy an item now and pay for it in equal installments.
5. Optimize the length of your email
Depending on the industry you're in, the length of your email may create or stop conversions.
First, you need to make sure there's one focus message in your newsletter (and maybe two or three secondary ones).
Then, you need to show this hierarchy using different size structures, background colors, and CTA button sizes.
The larger the structure, the more important the deal.
Keep things scannable, short and sweet or long and detailed.How will you find out?Yes, A/B testing.
Try a couple of different versions in a few months and see what works best with your audience.
This is one of my favorite examples: J Money (also known as Mr Budgets is sexy) sends regular updates on catching his dream dream goal, as well as a number of interesting topics.Here's what his latest newsletter looks like (cropped version):
I've tried this for Moosend users a few times with A/B testing.
It didn't fly, so here's what our latest newsletter looks like: Here's another one from this subscription company called Cratejoy:
6. Landing page responsiveness
No, not optional yet.Click here to read the section again if you've browsed it.
7. Establish a uniform appearance
Don't lose customers from the point they click a link to the point where they leave your page.What?
First, make sure you don't overestimate your offers in your newsletter.You don't want to fill your subscribers with disappointment when you visit your landing page/website.
Secondly, surprise them with a popup that gives them an extra 10% discount if they take a specific action (for example, refer a friend, complete their user profile, etc.).
Third, spread your bestsellers in search results instead of listing them in order of popularity.Essentially, you'll keep website visitors engaged and excited for longer!
Finally, make sure your newsletter design is aligned with that of your landing page so visitors aren't alienated or suspicious.
Instead, a familiar website design will inspire them to feel at home and browse/shop.
See also other tips for designing email newsletters !
How can email design attract loyal customers?
To maximize brand loyalty from your customers and collect them in your brand's best interest, here are some newsletter design elements that help out:
1. Your consistency is your identity
Brand loyalty is built through a consistent and ever-evolving brand.
From the logo to your choice of colors, the fonts you use, the copy (writing style and brand personality) or the way you treat seasonality (winter holidays, Easter, etc.) In designing your email newsletter, everything counts for this commitment to your brand and your customers.
What many people get wrong about brand elements is that they go for identical instead of consistent.
As the years go by, your branding elements shouldn't stay the same; instead, they should evolve but at the same time maintain the essential DNA of the original brand.
2. Update your loyalty program
But where do email newsletters come from?
You can create a tiered loyalty program from scratch or upgrade what you already have.
Then, by integrating your website with Moosend's tracking code, you can monitor customer behavior and take action automatically.
In this way, you can set up Marketing Automation to track users' purchases/views/clicks and as soon as they reach the set minimum (e.g. "User has made 3 purchases in the last 2 months") to trigger an automation informing them that they qualify for a loyalty program update/free gift/etc.
3. Approval of a favorite star
A newsletter can help communicate a recent/new supporter more effectively .
While consumers may not pay attention when watching ads on TV or YouTube, they will surely knowingly read a newsletter (yes, provided they open it).
By discovering the underlying shoppers in your audience, you'll be able to choose the right promoter for your brand and then collect sales and loyalty.
Another idea is to communicate a national or special awareness day to raise awareness and celebrate with your subscribers:
4. Sender's authority on the subject
Your unquestionable authority on a topic is what subscribers will keep their eyes peeled for your emails.
So, in addition to increasing open rates as stated above, establishing your authority will also help strengthen brand loyalty.
Start building your omnichannel marketing with email design elements
Why do you need your email design elements to collect omnichannel marketing?
In fact, you'd be a fool not to, since a) it doesn't cost you anything and b) it tricks subscribers into taking actions in the middle or bottom of the funnel.
Here are some ways you can get more out of the design elements of your email newsletter:
1. Take advantage of header and footer
Every decent newsletter is filled with legal or other information that users might need, but this is done so concisely that it doesn't compromise the user experience.
Here are some ways to use the header and footer.
Your header goes here
One of the most common and popular is to include your brand logo in the header.Some brands also mention their product categories, student discounts, and free shipping (if available).
For me, a good newsletter (as far as branding is concerned) is very similar to the runway: will anyone who sees a snapshot know that this was your brand?Then you did a good job.
Brand consistency is achieved through the use of brand colors and color palette.
It's also established through your brand's personality and the copy and images you use to meet your readers.
Finally, the aesthetics of your brand is expressed through the images you create, the originality and authenticity of your content, the use of the right font, and so on.
Find your footer
Here subscribers will normally find the Unsubscribe button.
To guide users' eyes lower.Do you see social media buttons?
Significantly larger size than the fonts used around them, followed by the company's official hashtag (which should come in handy, if you click on these buttons).
Also, I love the way the use of pink lends itself to highlighting the Unsubscribe button, but only subtly.
In the examples below, I've included some footers that don't stand out much, but merge, but use text formatting (bold, underlined, italic) to distinguish them: Below is a footer of a Topshop newsletter:
2. Get sales from your email newsletter images
Add direct links to each product image, word, or CTA button in your newsletter design.
Ideally, match the visual elements of your newsletter with those of your landing page.
That way, when subscribers click on your links, they'll be sure they've landed on the right page.
For example, a newsletter section that promotes 30% sitewide discount should lead to a landing page that says "30% off site-wide" and reflect the same branding and colors used in the newsletter.
Funny story, a few minutes ago, I received this in my inbox: Clicking on the link, I was redirected to their eshop that featured this banner:
3. Turn your newsletter into a social media promotion
Help your subscribers follow you on social media more easily: Choose social media buttons and set their URLs.
Tip: To convert more subscribers into followers, include the benefits of being friends on social media, such as i) new offers, ii) giveaways, iii) contests, and so on.
Is there a formula for designing email newsletters?
A formula for newsletter design?For your industry?And is that your business?Matching the personality of your brand?
You're not looking for a formula, honey, you're just getting lazy.
Just read this post, let's go to #work.