7 Tips for Irresistible Email Newsletter Design

Many brands create email newsletters as a way to build and maintain a great relationship with their audience. Essentially, newsletters are a recruitment tool for new readers and drive old readers back to websites. Still, many brands are lacking in the email newsletter design department. Even worse, many brands don’t bother with one at all, and having a newsletter makes all the difference in marketing ROI.

Almost three-quarters (73%) of marketers rate email marketing as ‘excellent’ or ‘good’ when it comes to ROI. This is up from 66% in 2015, according to the 2016 Econsultancy Email Marketing Census. In email, more readership equals more revenue. According to the Relevancy Group, over 41% of publishers use email marketing to drive more than 1/4th of their total revenue. This is why your brand should not only create a newsletter but also develop something readers will look forward to receiving in their inbox. Here are seven tips to get readers searching their inboxes for your newsletters:

  1. Create subject lines that drive open rates – A good subject line determines whether or not your newsletter will be delivered, read, clicked, ignored, or marked as spam. Getting in the habit of A/B split testing your subject lines will allow you to figure out what resonates with your audience. Many ESPs are capable of sending different variations to a sample size and then selecting a winner, with the highest performing subject line being sent to the remainder of the list. (See more resources on subject lines.)
  2. Include shareable content with engaging headlines – Nothing is more engaging than your most valuable content being shared by your subscribers. Including forwarding links and social media sharing options within the body of your newsletter encourages subscribers to share things with their network. Simply adding these links increases your potential to create monetization opportunities based off of your  site traffic.
  3. Utilize multiple calls to action – Making your calls to action easy to find gives your subscribers multiple opportunities to connect. And let’s face it: everyone likes free stuff. If you’re a publishing or media company, it might be an offer to gain early or exclusive access to new featured content. If you’re in lead generation, you can provide a link to your latest downloadable content at the top of the newsletter. Whether it is an eBook, cheat sheet, email series, video, blog content or coupon/discount code, your newsletter template design should be an invitation for subscribers to click on what the subscriber finds most valuable.
  4. Don’t neglect mobile optimization – As we increasingly move towards more emails being opened on the go, the case for responsive templates grows stronger. In 2011, 27% of emails were being opened on mobile devices; today almost 55% of emails are being viewed on mobile. If your newsletter isn’t mobile-friendly, there is a good chance it will never be read. It’s important to utilize buttons instead of links for improved touch screen clickability. Because it’s harder for users to click a link with their thumbs, recipients may be frustrated if they constantly have to zoom in to follow the call-to-action. It’s important to use a responsive template that provides for easy adaptability on all screen sizes. Remember to perform render testing on both the mobile and desktop versions of your emails to ensure everything is viewable. (P.S. We just blogged about not forgetting this crucial step for automated emails.)
  5. Create a frequency and stick to it – As a frequent email reader, nothing is worse than signing up for a newsletter and not receiving any communication until four months later. Ummm… hello! I don’t remember who you are or why I signed up. Personally, I will unsubscribe from these brands faster than a racehorse at the Kentucky Derby. Immediately make a connection with new subscribers while your brand is still fresh in their minds and stick to the commitment. If you wait too long to send a newsletter, you risk being irrelevant, and this can impact the long-term viability of your list.
  6. Repurpose your best content – Even if subscribers look forward to your newsletters, they may be too busy to read it all at once. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel with each send. Each month we send our top performing blog content to our newsletter subscribers because we know not everyone is opted in to all of our lists. This also means we acknowledge that our weekly subscribers might miss a weekly blog email and will click on it later. In doing so, we create our own method of retargeting.
  7. Automate your newsletter process – The best publishers know the value of automation, yet only 20% of publishers fully automate the assembly and execution of email campaigns. PostUp clients who utilize our RSS integration save time and overhead, allowing their marketing team to focus on what matters most to their business. By using RSS feeds to build email newsletters, our clients can quickly create a new email newsletter, leading to more engagement, page views, and ROI.

What tips have helped you build engaging email newsletters? Let us know in the comment section below!

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