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7 Newsletter Design Mistakes You Should Avoid at all Costs

7 Newsletter Design Mistakes You Should Avoid at all Costs

Email marketing is incredibly effective, which explains why more than 80% of business to business and business to consumer firms use it. Email newsletter design has a major impact on your click-through rates and conversion rates. Some design choices affect the rate messages are opened, while others cause people to delete the message and block you as spam. Here are seven newsletter design mistakes you should avoid at all costs.

Not Considering the Mobile User

Most people are reading emails on a mobile device, not a personal computer. Your emails have to be designed to fit their needs, literally. The subject lines need to be short enough to not wrap around to the next line. The text needs to be large enough to be easily read on a small screen. Put white space between small paragraphs. Graphics should be minimal, and where they are used, keep the literal size and file size as small as possible while still making the picture attractive. Be mindful of your readers’ bandwidth, because if the message takes too long to load, they’ll delete it. Your clickable links and call to action buttons need to be obvious and large enough to be accessed on smaller screens.

Sending an Overly Long Message

Another mistake is sending out messages that are just too long. Remember how much you hate scrolling through lines of text. One major email marketing firm found that 20 lines of text have the highest click-through-rate. If there’s an article you want them to read, use the marketing email to convince them to visit your website where the long article is located. The marketing message in this case is teaser text followed by a link to the rest of the story. When you have a call to action, choose a basic, bold button that clearly communicates why someone should click it instead of dedicating a paragraph trying to convince them of the same.

Forgetting about Your Branding

You cannot forget your branding in your marketing emails. It could be the color scheme of your email marketing message template. It should include putting your logo and company name on every email you send out to reinforce brand awareness. Use images of your products, people, and business to improve your authenticity. Use consistent tone and language in your messages, as well. Once you have a successful email marketing template, avoid the temptation to change it. It is part of your brand now.

Choosing the Wrong Fonts

There are several ways your font choice could kill your conversion rate. The first would be selecting a hard-to-read font. It doesn’t matter how much your digital artist likes it – if customers struggle to read it, they’ll stop and delete it. If it is hard to read on a computer screen, it will be horrible on a mobile screen, killing the odds anyone on a mobile device reads it. That’s aside from the technical errors that can arise from non-standard fonts. No one is going to download unusual fonts so they can read your email, while messed up characters drive them to delete the messages.

Another mistake is using multiple fonts in the same message. In general, use no more than two different fonts in any email you send out. Use bolding, italics, or color changes instead of a wacky font.

Too Many Images

Too many images will clutter up the email, and that will frustrate your users. For mobile users, it will cause them to delete the message because it takes too long to download. Non-value-added images also annoy users because it feels like a waste of time. Only use a few, relevant images in your marketing emails. Studies have found that the highest click through rate is achieved with three or fewer images. And remember that pictures of your team, maps to your business, and images of your products count.

Using the Wrong Images

One mistake in email marketing is to ignore the value of images at capturing someone’s attention and keeping them reading beyond the perhaps two seconds before they delete it. The other mistake is choosing the wrong images. You need to post eye-catching images to capture their attention, and that are also related to your message.

Creating a Cluttered Look

Regardless of the product or service you are trying to promote, you need to have a clean, professional newsletter. Some tools, such as SendinBlue, will help you with newsletter creation, even with limited design experience. These tools allow you to properly place images among the text so that they don’t look cluttered or confusing when viewed by your customers. Don’t forget to organize the message to put the most important things first, because few people will scroll down through a message to get to the point.

Note that a cluttered look is more than just the placement of text and images. For example, only use two or three colors in the whole message, ideally only colors related to your brand.

If you want to maximize the click through rate of your email marketing content, avoid these major mistakes in your outgoing emails. You’ll maximize the ROI of your digital marketing budget and avoid landing in the spam bucket.


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by Harvey Carr // Harvey Carr is a contributor to Businessing Magazine.

Opinions expressed by contributors are their own.