No matter how compelling your messages are, a poor email newsletter design can sabotage your strategy.

The fact that email has a median ROI of 122% (which is over four times higher than social media, direct mail, and paid search), you can’t just ignore design. Only bulk SMS has better open rates, but that is not the topic for today.

An excellent newsletter design leads the eyes of customers to your desired path. It must provide focus on the elements that you want to emphasize like your CTA button. This helps increase the chances of them performing your goal action.

From time to time, visit your email newsletter design to assess if there are things you need to adjust for better results. When you do, be sure to keep these tips in mind.

  • Use email newsletter templates with a focused layout

There’s a perfect email newsletter template for every type of email. Using one template for all your emails is not just lazy, but it will make your emails boring.

When choosing your email newsletter template in your marketing automation software, make sure that the layout gives focus on your content. For instance, a single column newsletter layout is advisable for emails that encourage one action only. For promotional emails containing multiple products, you might want to use a multi-column layout to present your offers in an organized manner.

  • Use contrasting colors for emphasis

Color increases brand recognition by 80% and can influence the customer behavior. So, use it strategically.

For instance, red increases heart rate so using it for your CTA button creates a sense of urgency. Blue suggests security and trust while green is friendly to the eyes as it is relaxing.

Contrasting colors are also effective in highlighting the important elements in your email newsletter like your CTA button. This way, customers can immediately notice what you want them to see.

  • Reduce elements with concise content

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Less is more, and this applies to both your design and copy. Too much design elements mean more noise, which can confuse customers. Meanwhile, trying to communicate to many messages can lead to a text-heavy email. Using a single CTA in emails can increase clicks by 371% and sales 1617%.

The more you populate your email newsletter, the harder it is to guide your customers. You only need a few things in there: a concise copy, an attractive image, a catchy and clickable CTA button, social media buttons, and a pleasing color scheme.

  • Place a visible CTA button

Aside from color, the placement of your CTA button is crucial. Because people read content from left to right, it is highly recommended that a CTA button is placed on the right. This enables customers to consume your messages first before they see your CTA. Placing your CTA on the left would require customers to move their eyes back to the left to perform your desired action, which is an additional effort to them.

  • A/B test your newsletter design

The best way to determine which email newsletter design works and which to forget is through A/B Split Email or A/B Testing. Here, you create two identical emails with slight differences (usually one element like CTA button design, layout, or color scheme). Both email versions must be sent to a significant portion of your recipients to ensure conclusive results.

Your marketing automation software will then analyze the data to send the better performing email to the rest of the contacts on your list.

  • Optimize for mobile

About 68% of email opens were done on a mobile device. If you are not optimizing your email newsletter design for mobile, you are making a big mistake.

Write short subject lines with up to 25 to 30 characters, so that mobile recipients can read your complete message. Since the mobile screen is smaller compared to desktop, be sure that your content is concise. Always test your email on mobile before blasting it to customers so you could correct mistakes if you find any.

You don’t need to be a graphic artist to boost your click rates with the right email newsletter design. A lot of marketing automation software today offer newsletter templates that even email marketers with no background in design can use without hassles. Be sure to choose the one that can provide a list of options to help you experiment, explore and switch templates.

Kimberly Maceda

Kimberly Maceda is a Content Writer for ActiveTrail. She writes for some top online marketing sites and blogging advice on email marketing and marketing automation. Activetrail is a leading provider of professional-grade email marketing and automation software for growing businesses.

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