Newsletters are a key part of an email marketing strategy.
While you can and should create automated email sequences to nurture your leads and convert them into customers more efficiently, you should also send your email list recurring emails on a regular basis.
Whether you send these daily, weekly, or monthly, you should do so consistently so that your subscribers know what to expect.
But how should you design your newsletter for the best results?
There are so many different directions you can take for your newsletter design. It all depends on your brand and what your target customer is looking for.
To help you come up with your own engaging newsletters, we’ve gathered some fun and unique newsletter design inspiration and examples.
Table of Contents
1. What’s in an email newsletter?
2. What makes a newsletter design great?
3. Newsletter design inspiration and examples for your next email marketing campaign
4. Desired outcome
5. Design high-converting newsletters
What’s In An Email Newsletter?
First, let’s break down what elements you should include in your newsletter design.
The header is the first thing someone will see when they open your newsletter.
Because of this, it should be a memorable element that establishes your brand in one way or another.
For example, you can include your logo, your brand colors, your business name, or a combination of these elements.
Your header can also provide the reader with the main selling point of the newsletter. This gives your subscribers a reason to scroll down and keep reading.
For example, the Simons header above highlights the free shipping benefit when you make purchases of $75 or more. It also includes the brand’s name and logo.
YOUR FOOTER (WITH ALL THE RIGHT INFORMATION)
Every newsletter design should also come with a footer.
Your footer serves several purposes. First, it allows you to remain compliant with laws and regulations relevant with email marketing.
For example, several countries require you to provide a way for your subscribers to opt out of your email list. Because of this, all your emails should have an unsubscribe link at the bottom.
You also need to provide a business address. Although you don’t need to, you can also add a phone number and email address to allow subscribers to easily contact you if they need to do so.
Let’s take a look at Simon’s footer to see all these elements at play:
At the very bottom, you can see their business address, contact info, and unsubscribe link.
But notice that there are other elements present in the design. These include:
• Links to download their app on the App Store and Google Play store
• Links to all their social media platforms and their blog
• Four important elements of their brand (free shipping, free returns, customer service, and store locator)
• A link to their loyalty program
Because this is part of their footer, these elements will appear in every newsletter.
You can do the same in your footer. Include elements that you feel are relevant for every customer. These can be evergreen calls to action, brand elements, or fun elements that add personality to your emails.
You can also keep it simple and only include the minimum requirements in your footer.
Images are a great way to showcase your products and services in your newsletter. You can use copywriting to describe your products all you want, but images can really sell the dream.
There’s no specific number of images you should aim for in your newsletter. It all depends on the purpose of that specific newsletter and how many products you’re showcasing.
For example, you can send a newsletter that only focuses on one product. In this case, you can have one or two images.
But if your newsletter is a compilation of several products, you’ll probably need several images.
LINKS TO YOUR WEBSITE
Every newsletter should drive your customers to action.
Ideally, these actions should direct them somewhere on your website.
Whether it’s to read a new blog post, purchase a product, or sign up for a free trial, your newsletter should provide a link to allow your customers to take action.
Keep in mind that more links isn’t always better. If you give your customers too many options, they may get decision fatigue.
Instead, only add links that are relevant for the purpose of your newsletter.
What Makes A Newsletter Design Great?
You probably know a great newsletter design when you see one. Sometimes it’s hard to define why you like it or why it stands out as an amazing design.
Let’s break down what contributes to a great newsletter design.
CREATE AN INFOGRAPHIC-LIKE NEWSLETTER
Infographics are a highly effective content marketing tool to engage your audience. People remember 65% of what they see in a visual format. Infographics also improve reader comprehension by 50%.
When looking for inspiration for your newsletter, look at how infographics are designed.
Information is laid out clearly, important information stands out against the rest, and visuals help illustrate important concepts.
USE COMPLEMENTARY COLORS TO MAKE INFORMATION POP
Complementary colors are two colors that work well together, but also stand out from each other.
These colors can help you highlight the most important information in your newsletter. By using complementary colors instead of random colors that stand out from each other, you’ll also ensure your newsletter design still looks great.
You can use a color wheel to find exact complimentary colors.
MAKE YOUR NEWSLETTER ONLY AS LONG AS IT NEEDS TO BE
If your newsletter needs to be brief, then don’t be afraid to keep it brief.
You shouldn’t make your newsletter long just for the sake of it. Sometimes a shorter newsletter can be just as effective as a longer one.
Stick to what you want to convey. Here’s an example from Coco Village:
They wanted to advertise a back-to-school sale. And that’s it! The rest of the newsletter mentions their payment plan, but afterward, it’s only the footer.
PUT YOUR MONEY MAKERS IN FRONT OF YOUR READERS
You most likely have a few products or services that make more money than the rest of your offers.
In your newsletter design, make sure to highlight those moneymakers. If you’re going to mention more than one product or service in a single newsletter, the most high-converting ones should be at the forefront.
Your design should always make it easy for your customers to get from where they are to their favorite products as quickly as possible.
USE CHARTS AND GRAPHICS TO SHOW DATA IN A VISUAL WAY
If you want to showcase data in your newsletter, try to find a way to display it visually.
This will grab the attention of your subscribers much more than a few numbers lost in a block of text.
Look at infographics to see how they display data using charts and graphics. This is another way in which you can use infographics as inspiration for your newsletter design.
USE CONSISTENT BRANDING THROUGHOUT YOUR NEWSLETTER
Your newsletter design should fit with your brand.
This will help strengthen your brand presence for your audience, but it will also make you more memorable.
Why? When your subscribers open up your newsletter and see your design, they’ll instantly think of your brand.
They’ll recognize your branding when they come across your content on other platforms, too.
Keep your colors on brand, but do the same for your images and graphic elements.
Newsletter Design Inspiration And Examples For Your Next Email Marketing Campaign
Now it’s time to look at some real examples of newsletter designs to inspire your next campaign!
NEWSLETTER DESIGN WITH LOTS OF INFORMATION
Even though Heroku’s newsletter is info-heavy, its design still finds a way to make this info easy digestible for the reader.
Look at the color of the headers, or the graphics used instead of simple bullet points. The graphics lead the reader’s eyes towards the information and make it more fun to look at, even though there’s a lot of text to go through.
PandaDoc’s newsletter also has tons of info, but the text is broken down by a video and a graphic.
The design is quite simple. It shows that even when you have a lot of information, you don’t always need heavy design elements to make it look interesting and appealing.
Strava’s newsletter may be info-heavy, but its large, bold title catches the eye and sparks the curiosity of the reader.
They also bolded and highlighted an important part of their text to make sure skimmers would see it.
The bright call-to-action button stands out against the background, making it easy to find and click.
NEWSLETTERS THAT CELEBRATE
GoDaddy’s celebration newsletter design is simple but effective.
They use subtle color elements to highlight the title and make the images appear more dynamic.
Because this newsletter is meant as a thank you, it doesn’t have a sales-related call-to-action. However, it provides inspirational content the reader can click on if they want to dig deeper.
As soon as you see this newsletter, you know it’s from Airbnb. Their use of brand colors in the background and a subtle addition of their logo at the top makes this newsletter’s branding solid, but not loud and over-the-top, either.
They also added a graphic to make the newsletter more appealing. Notice that the call-to-action button stands out from the rest.
The Salty Donut bolds and highlights their thank you title to make it as obvious as possible. There’s a lot of text to read, but their title and video catch the eye and make readers more likely to continue reading.
Double’s monthly newsletter showcases several important elements, but still manages to find a way to keep it clean and appealing.
Their newsletter is designed exactly like their website, keeping their branding consistent.
While there’s a lot to look at in FSA Store’s newsletter, they keep most of the newsletter tame in color while highlighting the most important detail in pink. This pink is the same as on their logo, keeping the branding consistent.
The reader’s eye will automatically find the pink numbers and see how much they can earn in points.
Coinbase is a cryptocurrency platform, so they make use of their industry by making their monthly newsletter as visual as possible.
Instead of describing the market’s movement with words, they simply show the charts in their newsletter. Every coin also has a call-to-action button, which is great if readers see the chart and want to buy coins.
Postmates’ use of the ‘Enable cookies’ term is clever wordplay and makes more a visually interesting promotional newsletter.
Notice that even though they added a fun and clever element, they still left the most important information at the very top — the actual promotion.
A Kids Book About uses brand colors to highlight important elements in a larger block of text. They showcase how much readers can save, but also that they can get free shipping.
Throughout their easy-to-skim paragraphs, they also bold important information. This means subscribers can easily skim this newsletter and still grasp the important information.
Harney & Sons Fine Teas highlights their promotion at the top of this newsletter, but they also add curated products tailored to each subscriber’s shopping habits.
This is important to make the newsletter more relevant to each subscriber. By adding curated products based on a subscriber’s preferences, they’re more likely to get more conversions from this newsletter.
REAL ESTATE NEWSLETTERS
Zillow keeps it brief by highlighting important information about this home, but they also give a call-to-action button to offer a chance for subscribers to find out more.
They also add color to important figures in the middle of the newsletter to attract their readers’ attention.
Here’s another Zillow newsletter, but this time, it’s for their House Hunter’s guide.
Notice how simple they keep this newsletter, both in copy and design. But it’s still on brand and appealing to look at.
Open Agent highlights three important steps by coloring in the numbers and making them stand out from the rest of the newsletter.
They also bold their unique selling proposition at the top: “We make it easy to sell your property.”
It’s also quite effective at calling the reader to action. It uses questions to guess what the reader is thinking and provides them with the answer.
RETAIL AND ECOMMERCE NEWSLETTERS
Magic Spoon’s newsletter is a great example of how fun a newsletter design can be.
Of course, this fun aesthetic fits with their brand. Even though they use lots of colors, they still manage to make the important parts stand out. That’s through the use of complementary colors.
Another Magic Spoon example. This one is a lot more straightforward than the last. But notice that it still uses their bright, contrasting aesthetic to stand out in their subscribers’ inboxes.
On the opposite end of the eCommerce spectrum, we have Everlane. Their newsletter’s design style is much more subdued than Magic Spoon, but it still serves its purpose.
These colors fit with Everlane’s brand. In addition to keeping things simple, they use graphics like a small arrow to direct readers in the right direction.
The arrow replaces the use of a sentence like “Keep reading to find out more”.
SCHOOL AND EDUCATION NEWSLETTERS
Wharton has a big challenge with this newsletter. The school needs to convey a lot of information at once.
Notice how each section has its own distinct color. This makes the newsletter flow better. Subscribers can skim the text more easily, since it’s easy to distinguish one section from another.
Plus, call-to-action buttons alternate colors depending on which section they’re in to ensure they always stand out.
Code Academy takes a fun approach to the newsletter by creating a text conversation mockup.
This is a unique way to design a newsletter, but it’s simple and serves its purpose.
Notice how large and bright they made their call-to-action button at the bottom. It takes up a large portion of the newsletter to make sure the intent is obvious — they want readers to launch their skill path.
Arizona State University’s newsletter backdrop makes the simple white text box pop. They also break down their text with large numbered bullets and bolded text.
Each call-to-action link is bolded in Arizona State University’s recognizable dark red color.
HEALTH AND WELLNESS NEWSLETTERS
Fitbit’s newsletter packs a lot of statistics and information in this newsletter. But they do so in the style of an infographic.
How so? They do the following:
• Use contrasting colors to make the statistics stand out from one another
• Use graphic elements like circles and lines to make the numbers more dynamic and interesting
• Add obvious sharing buttons to allow subscribers to share their stats on social media
• This is a great example of how to make data interesting for subscribers.
Red against black always stands out. Peloton uses this color combination, in addition to black on white, to create a bold, crisp newsletter design.
In this newsletter, Ritual uses yellow and blue as complementary colors to create a bold yet simple newsletter design.
Ritual also uses graphics instead of bullet points to make their unique selling propositions at the bottom stand out.
Fun graphics, a 10% off code, and a clear unique value proposition — these are the perfect ingredients for a warm welcome, and Huppy pulls it off.
Here’s another example of a 10% off welcome coupon. Cozy Earth follows up their offer with four distinct benefits their brand offers, represented by simple graphic designs.
They also make it easy for subscribers to shop specific items by adding separate buttons at the bottom.
Thumbtack’s welcome newsletter is a great example of how you can represent progress in a visual way.
They add a green checkbox to items the subscriber has completed, with greyed-out numbers for those they have yet to do.
Thumbtack also provides custom content based on the subscriber’s behavior in this welcome newsletter by showing who they’ve already reached out to. Based on this information, they also provide more examples of pros they can contact.
CARE Australia is another great example of how to illustrate data. Their use of branded graphics to show their subscribers how their donations make a difference is simple yet effective.
They also use color blocks and images to showcase the rest of the data.
Battersea knows that their subscribers love animals. So they make the most of this by showcasing videos and images with animals in them to entice their subscribers to read on.
Act Blue uses a blend of fun summer colors, cute and simple graphics, and bolded text to create a fun, easily digestible newsletter for their subscribers.
Everlane keeps their simple, muted colors in this newsletter, but they add a splash of dark green to highlight an important piece of news at the bottom.
Girlfriend Collective uses several images to display their apparel, but notice that the models in the images all look very different from one another.
Not only does this make the images more dynamic, it also allows readers with several body types to identify with the people on the images.
Forever 21 shows how simple a fashion newsletter can be.
One bold image. A price tag. A simple yet easy-to-see call-to-action button. 13 words of copy. That’s it!
The reason it can be so simple yet effective is because the content is customized for each subscriber. Forever 21 emails subscribers who viewed specific products when the price for these items goes down.
At the time of Thanksgiving, Postmates knows that their subscribers will have pumpkin pie on their mind. They use this to their advantage by putting pumpkin pie at the forefront with a short but powerful 4-word headline.
The opposing design makes Hers’ newsletter visually interesting. At the top, the image is on the right while the text is on the left, but this is switched for the bottom portion.
Fun wordplay aside, Solo keeps their Easter promotional newsletter focused and to the point. There’s nothing to distract their subscribers from the call to action.
By using this newsletter design inspiration, you can create your own newsletters that not only look good, but deliver value and serve their purpose.
Effective design isn’t just visually appealing. It also strengthens your brand image and makes you more memorable for your subscribers.
Bold and clear design elements can also help you increase your conversion rate, since it’s easier to find where to take action.
Design High-Converting Newsletters
Newsletters and email marketing are a crucial part of digital marketing, but they require lots of work.
You can hand off not just your newsletter design, but your entire email marketing strategy and execution by partnering with Olifant Digital. Reach out to us today to get your free marketing plan and see how you can grow your business with us!