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Quick Tips for Creating a Successful eNewsletter

We’ve all experienced terrible eNewsletters in our email inboxes. Despite the sender’s best intentions, some eNewsletters have you scrolling down to find the “Unsubscribe” button before the images have even loaded. When you’re trying to give your readers information, it is important that you deliver it to them in a way that appeals to them. If you think about the reasons that you click the “Unsubscribe” button, they will probably be very similar to the reasons that your users will unsubscribe as well. So here are a few tips on avoiding irrelevance, boredom, and unappealing visuals in eNewsletters.


Here are some good elements:


Underlying Grid

This shows the inter-workings of the eNewsletter. Having an obvious underlying grid helps keep organization and moves the reader more efficiently through the eNewsletter. To show the necessity of the underlying grid, imagine a webpage where there is no method to the madness. On this imaginary site, content overlaps, links are jumbled, and there is no method to the madness. Can you imagine how jarring, confusing, and irritating that would be to the viewer? Put yourself in your viewer’s position when considering the layout of your eNewsletter. Create something that is organized into a clean grid, and everything else can easily be built on top of it.


Color Scheme:

The goal for an eNewsletter is for the reader to actually read it. If there is a jarring color scheme, the reader will have a hard time staying focused. Your organization may have guidelines for your color scheme, so always be sure to check before you choose colors. If you do have the freedom to chose, try and pick colors that work well together to create a visually calm atmostphere. If you’re looking for ideas, Adobe Color CC is an awesome, interactive site where you can build your own color scheme.


Consistency & Cohesive Elements:

Having cohesive elements in your eNewsletter keeps the reader from getting distracted. This tip comes down to consistency. If you make your first header in Times New Roman 18pt, be sure that all of your other headers are formatted in the same way. But this does not apply to to only one eNewsletter. If you are continuing to send out eNewsletters, be consistent in your formatting. The same goes for colors, layout, and so many other elements. When all of your elements are cohesive and work together, you gain and maintain credibility, and your readers learn to know what to expect from you.



In the world of eNewsletters, organization is key. Keep the most important information at the top, and always be sure to accentuate (bold, underline, italicize) certain points that are most important. When you’re deciding what news is prominent, think of the way that a newspaper is categorized and laid out. Naturally, the most important news is on the front page. Show your most important information in a similar way: draw attention to it! Again, this can be done by placement (at the top of an eNewsletter), or visuals (bolding or italicizing) to show your reader what they should read first!


And here are some bad elements – things you want to avoid:

Too much text:

Too much text can seem intimidating. And more often than not, a reader will skip over a section because they think they don’t have the time to read the entire thing. Try and avoid this by only giving them crucial information. Nobody wants to read an entire wall of text, so try and trim information down to what is absolutely relevant. If you need to and have the means, you can always refer them back to a website for more information on a certain subject. Just try your best to keep it short and sweet since one of the major benefits of eNewsletters is convenience.


Clip Art:

Clip art has a time and place, and that is rarely in a professional environment. If you want to add images, look into stock imagery to add to your eNewsletter. Remember to only use it if it enhances your project as a whole. If you are in the market for professional stock imagery, our team has found great success using iStock.


Stretched Images:

When you stretch or otherwise distort images, you compromise them. Faces become warped, and the images lose their quality. Hold down the SHIFT key while you change the size of an image to keep the same ratio. If you need an image to fit in certain dimensions, consider cropping it instead of stretching it.





Spelling Errors:

Similar to most of the other “bad” elements, spelling errors should be avoided to keep your reader from getting distracted. You also want them to always feel that they are receiving their information from a reputable source, so always run a spell-check before you hit “send”!

These few tips will help you begin to create a professional, organized, and enjoyable eNewsletter to send to your viewers! Do you have any other tried-and-true tips? Share them in the comments below!

Savannah is a Graphic Design Professor at Gila Community College, and is passionate about using design to better the world around her. She believes in researched design, and is a major proponent of paper before pixel. In her spare time, she enjoys painting, designing for small businesses and non-profits, and attempting any DIY she finds on Pinterest.

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