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What does your email newsletter look like?

In today’s inbox was the monthly newsletter for an organization I belong to. In it was all kinds of great content: monthly meeting notes, events coming up, training opportunities, and more general goodness. They were using HTML email form to make things pretty and enticing, but it was neither pretty, nor enticing. Bless their hearts.

Here are some of the mistakes I saw:

  • I counted 18 different blocks of color and at least 3 different greens, 4 different yellows, 2 different pinks and at least one gray. That’s at least 10 different colors, not counting white or black.
  • They only used 2 different fonts, but the font sizes and weights varied enough that it looks like they are using more than 2 fonts.
  • One of the fonts they used is very decorative. Decorative is a fancy way of saying “hard to read”.
  • Most of the font sizes are so small that, on my laptop, I couldn’t read them.

So much great information and the actual design got in the way.

When you are preparing your email newsletters, keep in mind the following:

  • Less is more! Fewer colors, fewer fonts, fewer type sizes. This helps with readability.
  • Font sizes should be chosen so that they can be read on a netbook or tablet or 13″ notebook. Not sure if it’s big enough? Ask someone over 50 to read it without glasses.
  • Line-height should be big enough that the text doesn’t look all cramped up.
  • Font and background color contrast should be great enough that the font stand out.

Please don’t make it hard for your clients to read what you have to say!

What about you? What part of the DESIGN of an email newsletter do you dislike? Let us know so we don’t make those mistakes. Or, let us know about something you love so we can add it to our little bag of tricks.

2 Responses to What does your email newsletter look like?

  1. I like simple, clean looking newsletters. And ones that don’t look all sales-y with a million “click here now” type buttons. Ditto for websites.

    I usually stick to my general realm of colors (black, white, yellow/orange and gray – I’ve only recently added in a gray/blue since my decor has it and it’s only used as an accent to make things *pop*)… and usually no more than two fonts.

    And something should be said for organization. Putting in topics all over the place with no rhyme or reason feels chaotic. And busy people already have enough going on.

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