While there are literally thousands of layout possibilities for your monthly newsletter, this particular layout is to give some creative direction on a monthly newsletter that has product, service or organization news items. This can be replicated with most drag and drop email layout such as ours here at Critical Impact.
The top of your newsletter should include important branding and information. This includes your logo, the name of the newsletter and the date. The logo should not take up more than 20 to 25 percent of the header graphic. As emails are formatted for 600 px wide, the image should be as well. The height should be around 150 px.
As with all image files, it should be able to scale on mobile display using CSS.
To ensure that the newsletter gets a good read, think hard about your initial article. This should be the most valuable information of the whole newsletter and the title should also reflect this. Examples can be:
Write for clarity and be clear with language that reflects your company/organizations tone. If you are a financial institution, then a more formal approach is warranted. Likewise, if you are retail you might in a more or less casual style.
You get the idea. Would you enjoy or willing to keep reading what is written yourself? This brings us to…
You may not be able to get the whole article copy in your newsletter. Actually having more than two articles works better as not everyone will respond to articles equally. Write a short but summary paragraph about what you are wanting to cover. Include at the end of this a ‘Read More” link to a page on your site or blog that expands on that summary and can include as much copy as you need.
Designing page content also applies to your newsletter layout. You may have heard of the F layout where the eye scans the page in an F pattern but that is more fitting for where there is content that is very dense. Think of a news site.
Z design layout is for pages with simplicity and conscience and minimal copy. Your newsletter should be in this bucket and the content laid out with the Z design in mind.
Z design traces the readers eye path as they view and read your content. This path is left to right, top to bottom. As the eyes move, the viewing path forms in the shape imaginary “Z”.
Your graphics should be foremost small in terms of byte size. The total graphic size of the newsletter should not be larger than 1 MB with most graphic files being no larger than 150 KB. Be respectful of your subscriber’s data plans on mobile. Not everyone has a great plan and may turn graphics off.
This brings us to the important part of the ‘alt’ tag. If graphics are turned off does the newsletter still make sense? Did you give every single graphic a description or name to describe it? Even small social graphics can use one letter such as f for Facebook or Li for LinkedIn.
Finally make sure your graphics are unique, stunning and professional grade. If you do not have a graphic designer resource, there are great stock photo and icon imagery sites out there.
While the newsletter may not be all about your products, talk to your product or sales team to see what products might need a lift. You can then give a small ‘ad’ space for that product/service that sends them to a landing page specifically from that newsletter. Tracking the clicks will allow you to see if there is any correlating bump in sales.
Newsletters in their generic format can shine if you have the right content. Make sure your articles relate to your customers so that they will welcome you into their inbox month after month. If you are not taking care of the basics and undertaking due diligence in your newsletters, then you are not helping to grow your brand.
Until next time, keep those newsletters rolling!
More about how to customize a layout on our knowledge base is available here.
Author: Jim Gibbs, Senior Account Executive at Critical Impact
Jim Gibbs is Critical Impact’s Growth Channel team lead and has been selling and closing for a long time. Jim is known to be able to sell bottled water to fish.