Tips to Design Newsletter Layouts

Newsletters still offer the best way to reach your audience directly and increase sales. But if you’ve never managed an email list before this can be an intimidating process.

Once you have a list you’ll need to send out emails that connect with subscribers and offer real value. This means great content and great design all wrapped up in a pretty bow.

  • Single-Column Layouts

Emails need to be designed smaller because email readers like Outlook have more restrictions than web browsers. This means your average newsletter is rarely larger than 600px wide, so it’s best to use a 1-column layout or at most a 2-column layout.

1. Create a header

No question, your newsletter needs a header. It’s the equivalent of a magazine, newspaper or website name. It sits at the very top of your newsletter and should include the newsletter title (if you have one), your company name and your logo.

Fortunately, there are online DIY tools to help you with your headers, such as Stencil or Pixlr. With these programs, you don’t need any graphic design experience to create and save graphics to your computer. Just create your header once, and use it again and again.

2. Let your logo dictate color scheme

Your newsletter needs a color scheme. Because your logo is part of your header, consider using its colors throughout your email newsletter as font colors, borders or other elements. After all, your logo’s colors should already be the color palette for your entire branding.

3. Stick to standard fonts

When selecting fonts for your newsletter, the top priority is legibility. Stick with basic fonts like Times New Roman, Helvetica or Arial. Refrain from using several different fonts in one newsletter: Too many fonts together gives a cluttered, disorganized look that can easily distract the reader. Pick one or, at the most, two fonts for your entire newsletter — and consider sticking with them for each newsletter you create.

4. Use subheadings

Your newsletter should have several different pieces of content that are broken up by subheadings. It should look a lot like a newspaper. The subheadings should be in one of the clear fonts that you selected. The size of the subheadings should be smaller than what’s used in your header, but larger than the text you use for articles.

5. Stack content

If you’re using a newsletter template through an email service provider like VerticalResponse, you’ll be able to add content easily. For a layout that looks good to readers and scrolls smoothly on mobile devices, stack your content.

6. Use pictures

A well-designed email is a good balance of text and images. When a recipient opens your email, images instantly grab his or her attention. By adding a few pictures, you pull in your reader and enhance the effectiveness of your message at the same time.

When you create your next newsletter, add pictures that are easy to snap with your digital camera. For example, take a picture of an employee that you plan to highlight or grab a shot of your newest product to include in the next edition.