Newsletters are a perfect vehicle to promote your new product, service or group. They create a sense of community, can reach a wide audience and provide useful information.
So, you have a good idea, service or a great new product to launch in your newsletter. But, how do you design
a good newsletter? What are the key elements to a good newsletter layout and "look"? It is one thing to have tons of great information, but how do you assemble, refine and organize all of it, and make it appealing to your audience? Read on and find out how to avoid the pitfalls and frustrations, and come out with a polished newsletter to promote you and your business.
Ask yourself a question: does everyone who visits your store or website remember you a day, week or a month later? Do they think of you first when it comes time to pull out the wallet, and buy? If you said "no", you are not alone. Customers and prospects are inundated with information and choices every day, and it's easy to lose track of your
information. Newsletters provide a smart way to stay connected to your customers. Consider these points before diving in:
- Who are you designing your newsletter for? First and foremost, a newsletter has to contain relevant and interesting content that your audience wants to read.
- What size of newsletter do you want to design and print? What fits in your budget?
- From a design and layout aspect, a good newsletter creates curiosity, highlights important details, is easy to read and follow, and flows naturally from one article to the next.
Consistency in Your Newsletter Design
Consistency is critical in newsletter design. A haphazard design element, changing color schemes, or a rotating overall newsletter look does not convey creativity, but rather confusion and indecision. Your customers will gain comfort from knowing that specific columns or sections of your newsletter will repeat themselves, or be in the same spot when they turn the page.
- Stay with a design that matches up well with your other branding initiatives (website, product sheets and logos)
- Put repeating elements like page numbers or titles in the same spot on each page of a multi-page document; make it easy to navigate
- Keep the same font for your headlines
- Stick with the same graphical elements at the header (top of the page) on each page
Why Less is More
When you receive a newsletter that is jammed with visual content, your tolerance for actually deciphering what it all means drains away very quickly. It's just too much work. So while you may have a lot of important information to pass along, remember to distill it down to only what is truly valuable and necessary. Let's look at a few ways to trim the excess, and achieve an organized newsletter design:
- Remember to simplify. Distill your newsletter down to its essential elements, such as a single product release, a recap of a tradeshow, or information on a seminar. This does not mean it has to be bare or boring.
- Don't clutter every page with images, text, graphics and "small print". White space is a good thing, and gives sense and order to your valuable content.
- "Bookend" your newsletter with your brand and logo on the first and last page. Open with your brand, and leave with your brand as the last thing your customer sees.
- Guide your readers to focus on what is important- special offers, new products, key benefits, dates and pricing. Direct attention to key points with columns, bullet-points, numbered sections and graphical "guides". These may include arrows or blocks of information broken up by colored areas.
Contrast and Compare
Strong and intentional contrast will make your newsletter design appear crisp and well thought-out. Careful contrast brings interest to the page and spotlights what is essential. On a page that lacks clear contrast, the reader is unsure of where to look first or what is most important.
Creating the right level of contrast can be as easy as a font change or background color adjustment. But the key is to make it stand out and look intentional
as much as possible. This is not the time to be subtle. Here are a few tips to consider:
- Experiment with large and small elements of the same category, such as big/small photos, big/small fonts or type faces, white space and color.
- Use open space wisely. The further apart the design elements are, the greater the contrast. This may be blocks of color or a distinct pattern.
- Use type contrasts such as bold, italics or large and small type mixes.
- Try an easy test: put up your design, take a step back, and squint at it. Pay close attention to what stands out. Take note, and if need be, go back and alter it.
Important Considerations for Mailing Newsletters
Newsletters are an effective direct mail vehicle, and this adds another element to your design. Be sure to use your free space wisely, and make sure there is room for all the necessary U.S. Postal Service regulations, such as bar-coding, addressing and permit information. To find out more, see our Mailing Services Guide
Using these design tips will help you reach your readers with effective newsletters to help grow your business or organization.