How to Design a Newsletter People Want to Read

Email marketing is a great way to connect with your audience. And when you bake newsletters into your content plan, it’s an easy way to create a connection with the folks on your list.

But while you know that the content inside your newsletter is important —  like having the right CTAs and copy to match — did you know that having a clean, professional design is mission-critical, too?

Yes, you need to write email newsletters people want to read, but you need to design them too.

Design a newsletter that extends your brand

Did you know that most email service providers allow you to change the fonts and font color inside of your emails? Plain text is okay to use, but we recommend exploring all the customization features your email provider has to offer. 

Why? Because this is a quick and easy way to extend your brand. All forms of communication should be on-brand, of course. But branded emails can do a lot for your stats.

An attractive, on-brand design ensures that your audience will instantly recognize your emails. And when you’re a brand they love, this customization can help them stop their scroll and read the words you’ve carefully crafted. That leads to stronger click-through rates (CTRs) because your subscribers are actually sticking around to read the content inside. 

That’s why newsletters need so much more than a catchy subject line. Yes, you need people to open the email, but you also need to entice them to stay and read what’s inside. And branded newsletters are a great, eye-catching way to do so. 

What does an outstanding email newsletter look like? Ask yourself some critical questions.

Is it simple?

When it comes to email design, you want to keep things as concise and simple as possible. You don’t have a lot of room to work with, and even with options like font customization, design features are limited — especially in terms of layout. 

When things are left simple, the content inside the email is much easier to read. And when you’re writing and putting your newsletters together, it’s much easier to organize the information so that it flows well and helps your audience know what action you want them to take next. 

Is it easy to read?

Much like anything else you design, emails should be skimmable and easy to read. The bottom line of email marketing (and newsletters specifically) is to relay important information to your audience — whether that’s a warm welcome to the list or a blog announcement.

But they can’t take it in if they can’t read it. Yes, design is important, but the most important thing is that it’s clear and easily understood by your audience. Focus on clarity more than pulling out all the (visual) stops. 

You can break up text and make it easier to read by adding headings, subheadings, or bullet points for better organization. Have important lines of text? Use the bold or italic versions of your font choice to make it stand out. Little tweaks like these can make a huge difference.

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How to Design a Newsletter People Want to Read
Design a Newsletter People Want to Read

Is it accessible?

Another important aspect of designing newsletters is making sure that you’ve optimized all the accessibility features. Meaning, if you add images, make sure there’s alt text that describes the image, and include any text the image has. 

You should also be mindful of the colors you use — always keep color-contrasting rules in mind. Light colors on light backgrounds are difficult to read. But light backgrounds with dark text easily stand out. 

And try not to place important information inside of a graphic unless you’re including it elsewhere. If an image doesn’t load, then your audience has no way of knowing what you want to say. Always be sure to include it in the live text!

Make your newsletters pop with customized graphics 

Sometimes you want to break out of the routine email design and create something beyond what your email service provider can offer — especially if you have an important announcement like a sale or new launch. 

Adding graphics to your emails is a great way to do that. You can add extra brand elements, like icons and hand-drawn lines, to further extend your brand visuals. 

If you do this, just remember to keep everything simple and easy to read — and don’t forget to add the alt text!

Need some extra help to get it all done? Our membership has you covered. As a member, you get access to thousands of amazing stock photos, videos, and graphic templates — including graphics designed specifically for email marketing!

Email Newsletter Templates

Ready to level up your emails?