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How Good Email Newsletter Design Can Improve Engagement

Don't overlook the power of a good email newsletter design. Learn how to leverage newsletter templates to improve click‑through rates.

Design goes a long way when it comes to email newsletters. The design of your email will impact not only if it gets read, but also how the reader engages with it. A beautifully designed email newsletter that is formatted correctly and easy to navigate will have a much higher chance of being read than a wordy, overcrowded email.

So before you click that send button and send out an email newsletter to your entire contact list, you need to ensure your email newsletter design looks good, and you can use email newsletter templates to help.

There are a few email newsletter design ideas that you can try as inspiration for your next email blast, which we'll be discussing in the article below. This article will cover why email design is essential, the best format for an email newsletter, and 6 email newsletter design ideas to try.

The design of your email newsletter can influence how your customers view your business and if they want to engage with you. So continue reading to get some design inspiration to keep your business at the top of your customer's minds.

Even if you have a beautifully designed email, if it doesn't load quickly you will lose users. Users will only wait 3 seconds, on average, for an email to load before clicking away.

How does email design impact readers?

The design of an email has a direct impact on how readers engage with it. Imagine opening up an organized email newsletter with a few simple paragraphs and a killer subject line that tells you exactly what you need to do.

Now, imagine opening up an email newsletter with small text, poor-quality images, and no subject line. Which one are you more likely to read? The first one, of course.

Poor email design makes people click away quickly. The second someone opens your email newsletter and sees that it's wordy and designed poorly, they will exit the screen. There are various bad newsletter mistakes you want to avoid, such as including spammy words, not being mobile-friendly, not adding preview text, and overall having poor-quality content.

A poorly written email newsletter will also not regard your target audience. It's important to write an email that contains dynamic content that is curated specifically for your target audience. Relevant content will entice your subscribers to read the entire email, engage with it, and perform the desired action.

The design of the newsletter should naturally navigate the reader throughout the email. Your reader should open the email and easily be able to follow the content. A poorly designed email will be confusing and not lead readers in the right direction.

Email design contributes significantly to the success of an email campaign. Good email design adds a visual appeal to your emails and makes your email campaigns more effective. An email campaign aims to attract customers to perform the desired action, whether that be subscribing to your email list, making a purchase, or writing a review.

Responsive email newsletter designs encourage more engagement, ultimately driving traffic to your store and increasing sales for your business.

Always ensure your email newsletter design is compatible across all devices. Nearly 55% of email opens happen on mobile phones or tablets.

What format is best for an email newsletter?

Newsletter formatting is one of the most essential parts of writing an email.

A successful email newsletter will contain both text and images. You don't want your email to be wordy, as that will overwhelm the reader and make them click away.

All you need is just a few lines of text that draw your readers in and entice them to keep reading. It's also crucial to include high-quality images relevant to your brand.

You can use an email template if you're unsure of the best format for an email newsletter. Pre-made templates are a great resource because they outline how your newsletter should be formatted, so all you have to do is write your business's information, and you'll be good to know. You can find expertly-designed, customizable email templates online that you can use to create the best newsletter layout for your emails.

With the right email template, you can turn your email clients into engaged customers who actually want to hear what you have to say. And you can find the best email templates online with Mailchimp.

Mailchimp offers various email templates that are fully customizable so you can personalize them to fit your marketing message. You can even code your own templates to express the best version of your brand in your own words. With these email templates, you can customize the style of the newsletter, the color scheme, images, format, and more, all with a few simple clicks of a button.

However, regardless of the template you use, every email newsletter should contain the following elements: a subject line, a header, a background, visuals, copy, a call-to-action, and a footer. You should aim to keep your text concise and to the point, but don't leave out any necessary information for your readers.

When writing your email newsletter, you'll want to follow the inverted pyramid of design. The first step in this pyramid is to grab the reader's attention with an enticing headline that pulls them in.

The next step is to build anticipation with interesting writing that keeps them engaged. The last step is to end with a call to action that clearly tells the reader what to do. The inverted pyramid of design can help you format your email newsletter in a way that will increase engagement and conversions.

Are there free newsletter templates?

Designing an email newsletter doesn't have to be expensive. In fact, there are many free templates that you can use.

You can find free templates online that include a basic outline for an email newsletter, so all you have to do is insert your company's information, a few images, and you'll be good to go. You can also find paid templates that may offer some more complex features depending on your company's needs.

6 email newsletter design ideas to try

So now that you know the importance of email newsletter design and how to properly format your email, let's go over some email newsletter design ideas.

There are various types of email newsletters you can send out depending on the purpose of your email. Not all email newsletters serve the same purpose, so choosing one that accurately reflects your brand's key message is essential.

Some common types of email newsletters that you can send include company highlights and reviews, blog post emails, welcome emails, and exclusive promotional emails.

These ideas can inspire your next newsletter so you have something new and exciting to send to your email clients. Here are some newsletter examples that you can try out:

Company highlights and news

Company highlights is a great newsletter design idea if you have something important to announce to your email clients or business partners.

With this type of newsletter, you'll want to include simple copy, a clearly defined call to action button, and a high-quality image. You can also have other announcements in your email, but it's best to stick to one main message to avoid confusing your subscribers with too much information.

Offers and discounts

If you want to advertise a promotion your business is offering, you'll want to send out offers and discounts in your email newsletter.

This type of newsletter is a great way to grab your reader's attention and encourage them to keep reading because they know they can get something out of it. The purpose of this newsletter is to get your readers to visit your website and take advantage of the discount you're providing, thus increasing sales for your business.

Blog posts

A blog-style email newsletter is another great design idea that you can try out.

With this newsletter, you'll link to a specific blog post on your company's website and include a short excerpt in the email. This will encourage the reader to click on the link to the post, which will bring them to your website, where they can find out more about your business. Make sure to also include some images in this email to grab their attention.

Exclusive promotions

If you have a subscriber list of loyal customers, you'll want to send them exclusive promotions from time to time. Exclusive promotions are a great way to let your customers know how much you appreciate them with a special gift just for them.

If you have a following on your social media pages, you can also encourage your followers to sign up for your emails to receive an exclusive promotion. Not only will this bring in new subscribers, but it will also drive traffic to your social media accounts.


Everyone loves free stuff, so what better way to engage with your audience than to host a giveaway?

Giveaways are a great design idea to generate buzz about your brand and attract new customers. You can promote the giveaway in your marketing campaigns and encourage people to sign up for them on your social media accounts.

Mentioning your social media accounts can increase your engagement because people will need to follow you to sign up for the giveaway. Giveaways are an excellent way to combine your email marketing strategy with social media to drive traffic to your company's website.

Curated content

The last thing you want to do with an email newsletter is to send the same email to every person in your contact list.

Your email clients want to feel special, so it's important to curate your content to appeal to each person in your contact list. You can include their name at the beginning of the email or reference something about them in the body of the email.

Relevant content is vital to engage with your customers and keep them hooked. The more relevant your content is, the more likely your subscribers will do what you're asking them.

Inverted pyramid of email design (top to bottom): grab attention, build anticipation, call to action

What should you include in an email newsletter?

There are certain essential elements that you should include in every newsletter, regardless of the design. It's crucial to follow these email best practices so your campaigns can increase engagement, convert prospects, drive sales, and boost website traffic. Including these elements ensures that your newsletter is organized, easy to follow, and conveys the main message.

These are the elements you should include in every email newsletter you send:

Branded header

The header is the first thing your email recipients will see when they open your email, so it's crucial to have a branded header.

Your branded header should include your company name and company logo so your readers can instantly recognize who sent the email. Your subscribers are more likely to open and read an email when they know who it's from, so make sure you include your company logo in every email newsletter you send.

Engaging headline

Subject lines and headlines are undeniably essential parts of an email newsletter. If you open your inbox and see an email with a boring subject line, you'll skip right over it. But if you open your inbox and see an email with a great subject line, you'll give it a chance. Then when you open the email and see an engaging headline, you'll end up reading the whole thing.

This is precisely why engaging headlines and subject lines are so important. Your headline will grab your reader's attention the instant they open your email and entice them to keep reading.

Good layout

Every successful email campaign has a good newsletter layout. No one wants to open an email that is unorganized and confusing.

Instead, your email should be simple and easy to follow. Newsletter templates often have layouts you can follow to ensure that your email is consistently formatted correctly.

It's also important that your email layout is also accessible on mobile devices. Most people check their emails on their mobile devices. So, if a reader can't open your newsletter on their mobile devices, they're not going to open it at all. Make sure your emails are mobile-friendly before hitting send.

Easily scannable

Although it's a dream for every person in your contact list to read your entire newsletter, that's unfortunately unlikely. Instead, most people will scan your newsletter and read one or two things. So, your newsletter must be easily scannable. Your readers should be able to quickly scan the content but still get the gist of it.

You should include keywords in your email body that your readers can quickly pick up on. Including keywords ensures that your readers will still understand what you're saying, despite not reading the entire newsletter. Make sure you also include proper spacing in your copy.

High-quality images

Every email newsletter you send should contain at least one high-quality. An email with all words and no photos is an email that will end up in the trash bin. Instead, aim to include eye-catching images in your email that reflect your brand well.

Graphics are a great way to get your reader's attention and add value to your writing. You can even get some of the key points across with an image. Just make sure to include alt text at the bottom of your pictures to improve accessibility for readers who cannot see them.

Call to action

The point of every email newsletter is to get your readers to perform the desired action. This desired action can be a host of different things.

Maybe you want your readers to write a good review for your business. Maybe you want them to follow your social media accounts. Regardless of your desired action, you need to include a clear call to action at the end of your email.

Your call to action should be direct, to the point, and explicitly tell the reader what you want them to do.

Email footer

Every newsletter should contain a footer. Your email footer should include general information about your company that you want your subscribers to know, such as your address, phone number, social links, and brand logo. The footer is the last thing your readers will see when they finish reading your email, so keep it short and straightforward.

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