A post about email newsletters

I kid you not.

I had to post in my class blog for one of my modules on Blogs, Content Management Systems and Newsletters. I wanted to post that HEY LOOK I HAVE A BLOG LOOK AT HOW FANTASTIC IT IS KKTHXBYE. But for obvious reasons, I could not. So I settled on posting about email newsletters.

Since I’m so super busy with school now (x10000 assignments are gna be due. SAVE ME), I probably won’t have time to blog. So while I busy myself with assignments, here is a post where you can learn more about email newsletters (P.S. it’s what I posted in the class blog verbatim. Tried to be slightly formal but I’m sure you can still tell it’s me writing it haha oopsies~)


This week in class we learnt about newsletters, namely the functions and what makes up of a newsletter. It seems to me that most of what we learn is mainly applicable to traditional print newsletters. While it was mentioned that print newsletters are increasingly transplanted online, I do notice that most corporations design newsletters specifically for email. These email newsletters have their own set of design rules and guidelines.

I went on a little Googling trip and found many useful posts dedicated to creating good, eye-catching, attention-grabbing newsletters. Some focus on content and some focused on design. Here are five tips (unique to email newsletters) I found especially useful:

1. Use catchy email titles/ subject lines

How many of us are guilty of immediately deleting an email newsletter without even opening at it? Often I glance at the subject line and deem it beneath my interest and bin it. Hence the importance of a super awesome subject line. Of course it has to be relevant to your email content. You can’t have a subject line like “FREE CUPCAKES FOR YOU” and have the newsletter about furniture and nothing about cupcakes (HOW COULD YOU).

Examples of catchy subject lines

2. Two-way communication is possible!

Print newsletters were more or less one way communication channels. The organisation communicates what it has been doing/ has been involved in to the recipients. But the possibility of interactivity on email newsletters means that YOU SHOULD USE IT.

Here’s a Starbucks email newsletter, with the good features clearly pointed out for you!

What I want to highlight from the Starbucks case study is the “Clickable button” option. Not something you can do in print newsletters!

The email newsletters affords this interactivity, so when designing email newsletters, don’t waste the opportunity!

3. Include a link to view email as a webpage

I’m sure most of us are familiar with this:

Typical newsletter from FASS Club

The option to view in browser is apparently really important. I must confess however, that before writing this post, I’ve never used it. But it’s a handy thing to have I’m sure.

4. Text + Images = A better newsletter

The same rule we’ve learned about in class about complementary art applies for email newsletter as well. Images capture attention, speaks a thousand words… you get the idea. Bottom line: Good images = good.

Compare Newsletter 1 to Newsletter 2. Both about travel, but which would you rather read?

Newsletter 1
Newsletter 2

5. TEST. TEST. TEST.

Just like for our websites, email newsletters have to be tested on various email clients and browsers. What works for Gmail might look terrible on Hotmail.

And that’s all I have for you 😀

Do check out the links below for where I got my information, images and examples from!

 

Sources:

http://www.creativebloq.com/graphic-design/20-tips-great-newsletter-design-10121013

http://moz.com/blog/how-newsworthy-are-your-newsletters

http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2010/02/15/email-newsletters-guidelines-and-examples/

http://www.webdesignerdepot.com/2011/05/dos-and-donts-for-designing-email-newsletters/

Starbucks Email Newsletter case study: http://www.redcappi.com/blog/The-Components-of-a-Winning-Email-Campaign/73

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A post about email newsletters

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