Designing a Newsletter

Newsletters are generally published periodically, to give information and to keep the connect intact. The content of a newsletter will obviously depend on its readers. But, what is important is that newsletters should not only be informative, but also must add value for readers. Many businesses rely on email newsletters to build customer relationships and keep their companies top-of-mind with their audiences.

Firstly, the purpose of a newsletter must be clear. Newsletters are all about updating readers with the latest developments in an organisation, school, community or club. They are sent on a regular basis to inform readers about corporate news, promotions, employee news, new features, reunions, events and more. Print newsletters focus on text content and are designed to be a handy size – typically letterhead size. On, the other hand, email newsletters can vary in layout and size, but should be viewable from both the email message and in a browser. They also contain links to relevant content, and should be formatted consistently.

Always remember your content must match your branding. A well-executed newsletter is a powerful email tool with multiple benefits, which is why it’s crucial to ensure your newsletter design is visually appealing. If it looks good, it is more likely to click with readers.

To help you start, here are some points to make your newsletter visually appealing:

  • Create a masthead (header)

It’s the name of the newsletter like that of a magazine, newspaper or website. It forms the top band of your newsletter and should include the newsletter title (if you have one), your company name and your logo. The masthead or header unites the pages and makes your newsletter look professional. Also to be included are – the issue number, volume number and the year.

  • Choose your layout

Aim to strike a balance between text and images in your newsletter. Images should be chosen carefully as they contribute to your message. When a recipient opens your email, images instantly grab his or her attention. By adding a few pictures, you can pull in your reader and enhance the effectiveness of your message at the same time. Breaking up your text into columns can make it more legible – you could choose between two, three or four columns.

  • Cement your brand in the design

Creating a newsletter presents a good opportunity to cement your brand. By incorporating your company’s colors, logo, and typeface, you can increase brand recognition and improve the likelihood that your newsletter gets read. By visually signaling key points through colours and fonts, the designer of the newsletter is giving the audience key takeaways that are easy to remember. For instance, using a dark text against a light background ensures that the page is easily readable and not too cluttered.

  • Choose a colour scheme

Your newsletter needs a color scheme, and because the logo is part of your header, consider using its colors throughout your newsletter for headers, subheads, borders or other elements. After all, your logo’s colors should already be the color palette for your entire branding.

As far as fonts go, stick to standard fonts. When selecting fonts for your newsletter, top priority should be given to legibility. Stick with basic fonts like – Times New Roman, Helvetica or Arial. Refrain from using many different fonts in one newsletter: too many fonts give a cluttered, disorganised look that can easily distract the reader. Pick one or, at the most, two fonts and consider staying with them for future newsletters too.

  • Craft your message

Your newsletter should be instructive without being ‘preachy’. If your newsletter doesn’t inform your audience or provide useful updates, you will invoke the wrong reaction – more negative feelings than positive. Make sure your text is edited and that your articles are clear and easy to read. Event calendars and new product features are expected components of a newsletter. For print newsletters, the page count should be limited, so that fatigue does not set in. For e-newsletters, the unsubscribe process should be straightforward for your readers.

The content must be arranged in sections. Articles on a given page should have a unified theme. That way, readers can tell at a glance if it will interest them. Your newsletter should have several different pieces of content that are broken up by subheadings. It should look a lot like a newspaper. The subheads should be in one of the clear fonts that you selected. The size of the subheadings should be smaller than what’s used in your header, but larger than the text you use for articles.

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Shree Lahiri
Shree is the Senior Editor at Reputation Today and hopes to move from one focus area to another in the editions that will be released this year. Having worked in Corporate Communications teams, she has experience of advertising, public relations, investor and employee communications, after which she moved to the other side – journalism. She enjoys writing and believes the power of the pen is indeed mighty. Covering the entertainment beat and the media business, she has been involved in a wide range of activities that have thrown open storytelling opportunities.

She can be reached at: @shree_la on twitter

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