How to Design a Newsletter for Your Blog?
A few months ago we were allowed to send blog newsletters to our dear subscribers and customers. And that moment I realized we faced the problem — we did not know anything about it. How can we design email templates? But the main dilemma arose when it came to the content.
Should we simply share our news? What structure to stick to…
We thoroughly surveyed our inboxes, the latest research on this topic and even consulted lead marketers and our friends to find out what people love to read when opening email digest.
We want to share some details from the research with you.
Strategy to create a newsletter
When you decide to send out newsletters, no matter if they are about your blog or music, etc, you should think about the strategy to make the right steps.
The reason you reach out
Always have an idea why you contact the readers. You want to share the news or you want to summarize some latest events. You should build the whole campaign based on this very reason.
Define the target audience
In order to please your subscribers with only relevant information, you will need to segmentize your database according to their needs, interests, and preferences. Any modern ESP will do it for you.
Are you going to send out monthly newsletters or you want to contact your audience every single day? Depends on the kind of information you are going to share and the type of your company.
For example, CNN sends news digest every day. If they do this less often, people will not be aware of what is happening in the world.
But it would irritate to receive space or design news digest every day.
It is utterly important to know how often you want to share your “news”. Your subscribers should be used to reading your thoughts every Monday or every other Sunday.
Note: send your email digest on a regular basis.
The materials you want to share
Please, be advised that it does not really matter what you want to say or what you have to say. You should know what information your customers are interested in. Share only relevant information.
Why is it so important? According to the recent research by Radicati Group Inc, 269 billion emails were sent per day in 2017 with only 3.5 billion people use the Internet. Oh my God, how many emails we get in our inboxes every day. No wonder, so many people unsubscribe or what is even worse report the sender as spam.
The design of any newsletter depends on the target audience and the content.
How to structure and design an email digest newsletter
Now that we are done with the strategy, we can come to the email digest structure and design, as they are also an essential part which can either endear or displease your customers.
As we have mentioned above, these elements depend on the content.
Types of digest emails:
- for blogs;
- for events;
- for books releases;
- for music;
- for website upcoming features;
- for displaying your achievements;
- for a digest of digests 🙂
The most popular email digest type is the newsletter for the blog.
How to create a newsletter for your blog
Start with the template you are going to use for your blog email newsletters.
All templates comprise a header, a body of the email and a footer. Do not forget to add the links to your socials.
A banner image
What is your blog about? The design or space air crafting?
Find a matching image for your banner as it will set the tone for the whole email.
I love the way the Pencil Case did it. As long as their blog images are big and bright enough, they selected a restrained picture for the banner and placed the text over it.
When a friend of mine forwarded the following message to me, I was shocked and amazed simultaneously. This banner grabbed my attention. Funny, weird… But it perfectly harmonized with the content of the digest.
I rushed to subscribe for Austin Kleon’s blog newsletter.
A short introduction
Include just a few words why you think your subscribers may like and need the information you are offering.
Instead of an introduction, you may apply a greeting word from the editor. He or she may explain why has chosen this group of articles. Also, this will give the recipients the feeling they are reading worth materials.
Article preview images
To enliven the design of your emails, you can choose the shape of the images you use.
Personally, I love the rectangle-shaped preview pictures. They are traditional.
But the round images look way more cheerful.
Make sure to display a little text preview with concise description to get people interested.
It is essentially important to add the CTA buttons and the links to the blog right to every article you share in the email digest.
How to add the CTA buttons with Stripo
Add one more block to the structure, where you want to place the button. Then give the button a name. Select any color you like. And certainly, wrap up the link in the button.
Note: the “full-width button” option adjusts the button to the full width for mobile devices. You can find this option in the “adaptability” sector.
Extra images to entertain the readers
When seeing more than 4 images, of the same shape and size, per page, your customers may get bored, no matter how interesting or useful your information is.
Which is why we recommend adding an extra image or a promo between the articles’ previews.
Images vs plain text
Again, it depends on the total conception of your company, on the content and on your regular emails. You should probably stick to your normal design.
The Last Week company used its plain text. They just added links and the author’s name. As simple as that. But looks very classy.
Quora is always very restrained, but their digests are extremely useful and pretty readable. You will not get lost in the number of the articles of questions they suggest that we read.
To every article they add the “Read more” button. This is very convenient.
And the next blog email newsletter example is not the best one, as the links are written in black as the rest of the text and there is no instruction on how to read the full article. Probably, you should click on the images or the titles… who knows. This is pretty inconvenient.
Facilitate your customers’ navigation — be concerned about people’s comfort.
What I love about the CampaignMonitor is that they add the very “read on” button and color the links. This way they give us choice.
Links to the socials
Of course, at the bottom of the most newsletters, we include the links to our website and the socials. But here, you should let people share every article or at least the whole blog digest email with their friends. Give your readers this opportunity.
Test the message
Of course, you have to make the template fully responsive.
It is essentially important not only to write the text and choose the proper images. But you need to see the complete “picture” of the email. Your text may seem beautiful to you, but it may disharmonize the images. Or the images you have chosen do not fit the general design of the standard template. Which is why it is really useful to compose the email, let it rest till the next morning. Then you should take a look at it again, ask your colleagues for their honest opinions.
And only then you should test.
Make sure you test everything you send out. We do it with Litmus. You may choose another tool. But you need to make sure that all your clients will see the emails correctly, no matter if they open the newsletters on the mobile or desktop devices.
Your ESP will provide you with statistics on how many times the message has been opened and how many clicks your email digests receive.
Same as with the promotional newsletters, your customers may unsubscribe.
The normal unsubscribe rating is less than 2%. But you may try to decrease this number.
The most popular type of the digest emails are the newsletters for the blog.
Traditionally, you need to stick to the company colors.
Once again, check if all the links really take the customers to the proper website pages.
When creating and designing a blog email newsletter
- Define the reason why you are reaching the subscribers out;
- Find your strategy and stick to it;
- Segmentize the recipients;
- Send only relevant and compelling information;
- Keep the message’s size within its norms;
- Stick to the design recommendations;
- Add only a few words or just one single sentence to describe the article in the digest. Create a shade of intrigue. Do not write full texts in the digest emails. Make people want to go to your website to keep reading the post;
- Test! Always test before sending.
Digest emails are one more brick in the bridge between you and your customers. Which is why you should pay very close attention to the content, and thoroughly design a newsletter for the blog.
I hope that our fully responsive templates will help you and significantly save your time.
Besides, Stripo editor enables you to set different font sizes for the desktop and mobile devices. Useful features for those who add much text in the emails.
Create once and use often!