How to Design an Effective Email Newsletter

An email newsletter is a great way to provide value to your followers.

Many companies create email newsletters for a variety of reasons. Newsletters are a great way to curate content from your website or from around the web and provide it in an easy to digest format for your followers. People appreciate the effort companies put into creating newsletters. It’s a great way to provide additional value to followers, fostering loyalty and more spending.

Software company, SEOmoz, has created one of the best email newsletters in the SEO world. Each month they send out their version of the top 10 articles from around the web. The posts included in the newsletter are relevant to the SEOmoz customer, but beyond relevancy the posts are also presented in a way that makes it easy for the reader to scan quickly and then choose the articles they want to read.

Here are a few tips for designing your own email newsletter including a few more examples.

How to Design an Effective Email Newsletter

After looking at about ten different email newsletters from just today I realized there were some recurring themes from those with the best designs:

  • Simplicity & Pleasant Design
  • Effective Branding
  • Focus on Article Titles

These are just a few elements that stood out to me. Feel free to share your own interpretations in the comments.

Let’s look at each example and discuss how each company is touching on these three points above for effective email newsletter design.


SEOmoz Email

I’ve always been a fan of the design from SEOmoz. They work with great design partners to create beautiful images, templates, and guides. Design is obviously an important part of their business. It’s been one of the reasons SEOmoz has been able to rise above other SEO service and software providers. That and the company offers a great product.

The layout of the newsletter is simple. The design isn’t too busy. Your eyes don’t go into overload scanning all over to find interesting content. There is an easy to digest numbered list of articles. White space is used well and it allows for the great content to be the highlight of the email.

There are small details like the SEOmoz robot, Roger. That is subtle yet effective branding on the part of SEOmoz. The more people see Roger, the more they’ll remember SEOmoz and the software they provide. Roger isn’t the highlight of the newsletter, but he’s there and it’s a great use of effective branding in an email newsletter. Roger also adds fun to the SEOmoz brand. He creates an emotional connection to followers and that’s important for fostering purchases. Buying is an emotional experience.

The article titles are the highlight of the SEOmoz newsletter. Your eyes might first be drawn toward Roger and “The Moz Top Ten“, but after that quick moment your eyes are immediately drawn to the titles of each article. It makes for fast viewing and readers really appreciate it.


LinkedIn Email

LinkedIn Today is another great email newsletter. The program is a fairly new initiative from the online business profile company. They have a curation service in the form of a blog. LinkedIn scours the web looking for the most relevant articles for their followers. Articles usually cover job searching, business, and other web-related news. It’s a great resource and has quickly become popular.

LinkedIn focuses on a simple template for their newsletter. The design has plenty of white space. Nothing is cluttered. It’s pleasant to look at and easy to scan and read as you look for relevant content.

The LinkedIn logo is in the top right corner and once again it is shown a bit lower in the right hand corner next to the Twitter logo. It’s important to be subtle with your branding in an email newsletter, but you want people to know the source is. I would say LinkedIn could put the logo in the top left. People seem to be accustom to that position for a logo. It’s not bad, though. This newsletter is popular.

As with the SEOmoz newsletter above, the LinkedIn newsletter focuses on the titles of each article. It makes it really easy to scan and click on the articles that are most appealing.


Danner Email

Danner is a boot manufacturer. They produce lightweight boots that are durable for folks in difficult professions. Danner boots are also known for their warmth for folks that need comfort in cold weather climates.

Danner has a niche audience for their products yet their newsletter is very popular. I look forward to seeing it and I’ve only purchased one pair of their boots.

Danner does a great job with simple and pleasant design. Their newsletter focuses on the content. The colors are soft, matching the Danner branding style. Danner’s newsletter has more text than the other examples, but I think the design is still pleasant at first glance.

Danner includes their logo at the top left. It’s easy to know where the email is coming from. Danner also calls their series of emails “Danner In The Details“. This is a name people remember. Within each email are stories from Danner customers. These stories become part of the brand and when subscribers remember the name “Danner In The Details” they remember the stories.

Danner puts some focus on the headings and titles of their articles. They could do a bit better in this area, but I still think they succeed. They do a great job of using images to draw the subscribers eye to each area.


These are three great examples of email newsletters. There are many different ways to accomplish a successful newsletter, but with a few simple guidelines you’ll be started in the right direction.

Focus on three common email newsletter design elements:

  • Simplicity & Pleasant Design
  • Effective Branding
  • Focus on Article Titles

The top email newsletters from popular companies have these elements in their design. There is much more to effective email design, but when focusing on a few key elements you can be well on your way to a great email newsletter.

Please share your thoughts and ask questions in the comments below.

Tagged in: , , ,

Post a Comment

What is Fluttermail?

Fluttermail is Email Marketing for small businesses. We are the fastest and easiest way to send beautiful emails and profit from the results.

Create a $1 Trial Account