“Printers! Use Your Newsletters to Showcase the Best in Functionality and Design”
Publications tend to choose a format and stick with it. They lock in their grids, headers, colors, type choices and design elements, and then they hunker down.
“Sameness” signals to readers that a publication is professional, solid and trustworthy.
Daily newspapers, for example, hang onto outdated layouts because their brand is so tied to their look. If they are sold from crowded newsstands, publications rely on their distinct look to help them be recognized in a nano-second.
How about email newsletters?
Do they need to retain a certain look so the recipient will recognize the brand or trust the sender?
No, not based on what I’ve seen in client campaigns.
From my experience, your “From” address and subject line will get your email opened. After that, there needs to be a few recognizable elements that carry through from month to month.
It’s not necessary to have the same template with the same sections until the end of time.
Printers and publishers should showcase the best in design and functionality with their newsletters. Be a design leader and influence customers with your own fresh inspiration, whether in print or digital!
How often should you redesign?
I try to introduce major design changes for my clients every 6 months.
Six months! How can that be?
Readers get tired of looking at your newsletters. They can’t keep track of which of your emails they’ve read and which they haven’t. So, unless they are enamored of your raw content and the influence of your authors, they will abandon your emails after about 10 opens unless something different happens.
I call it “newsletter fatigue.”
Here are 7 ways to freshen the look of your email newsletter while maintaining enough continuity and branding so your readers won’t be confused:
- Build a flat template that looks good on phones and tablets. Use Litmus (https://litmus.com/blog/) or a similar service to test how responsive designs will look on various devices.
- Choose a new, eye-popping accent color for buttons, offers, and design elements.
- Entice readers with compelling summaries if you’re going to link to full articles.
- Make sure you’re using current social buttons.
- Remove distracting backgrounds.
- Can the canned art and shoot your own natural looking photos that are right-sized for fast loading.
- Simplify everything!
Finally, be sure you’re tracking your opens, click throughs and conversions so you can start seeing the difference a fresh look will make!
Sandy Hubbard consults with printers and publishers who are in extreme growth mode. She favors email newsletters as a highly effective tool in integrated marketing programs. You can find Sandy each Wednesday at 4 pm ET on Twitter, assisting Deborah Corn with Print Media Centr’s popular #PrintChat.