A newsletter can be a lot of work! All the things you have to think about: Is the imprint complete? Are the social media links correct? Is the logo in the right place? Where should the unsubscribe link go again?  The more steps you standardize, the better. Therefore, rely on uniform, reusable templates so that you don’t have to rebuild every single newsletter issue. This not only saves you hassle. Your newsletters retain a consistent design, recurring content (such as contact information, imprint, reference to social media channels etc.) is always correct, and you can focus on the actual core of your newsletter: the content.

The development of a newsletter starts with basic questions long before it is time to click on the “Send” button: One article or more? How many call-to-actions are there? Graphics and if so how many? Where is the logo located, where are the social media buttons (if any), where is the imprint, contact information, etc.?

How do you structure and design your newsletter? You should keep in mind that you usually only have a few seconds to catch and hold the attention of your recipients. If you do not convince them in this short time, they will close your newsletter again and all your efforts will have been in vain. 

If you have answered all the basic questions about your next newsletter, then ideally this applies to all your newsletters, not just to one. Because once you have decided on the design and structure of your newsletter, you don’t have to reinvent your newsletter over and over again. You can always fall back on the template, your newsletter blueprint, and consistency and uniformity are ensured. This is already very valuable for your email marketing and you save yourself a lot of work.

What to look for in newsletter structure and design

Regarding the structure: Don’t overload your newsletters, the fewer the better. Fewer sections, fewer images and a distinct visual language is more promising.

When it comes to newsletter design, there are a few things to keep in mind. Depending on the purpose of your newsletter, this may include, among other things:

  • a clear communication of the core message
  • the use of an eye-catching hero image at the beginning of the mailing
  • the use of clear and meaningful headlines
  • a call-to-action (CTA) “above the fold” with positive verbs
  • another CTA at the end of the mailing

So consider in advance what you essentially want to tell or show your recipients, what action you want them to take, and start by creating a “framework” with the appropriate structure and design into which you can feed the content.

Easy newsletter creation with a master template

Have you found all your answers and settled on the design and structure for your newsletters? Then it’s time to create a master template for all your newsletters. All your colleagues in marketing can then access this template when they create new newsletters. This way, you don’t have to start from scratch every time you create a newsletter. You can focus solely on the newsletter content: Graphics, texts and links. At the same time, you will make fewer mistakes. Maybe you are familiar with the practice that a newsletter editor uses an older newsletter as a template and simply changes the content? You certainly can do that, but what when a mistake creeps in and is then reproduced in subsequent newsletter issues?

Even if you work with many partners or franchisees, templates are a good way to guarantee a uniform look and to meet the requirements of the corporate design. With software solutions such as the ELAINE Multipartner Platform (MPP), you can create central templates that you make available to your partners. They can then customize individual contents, for example add local offers of their markets. This ensures compliance with your design specifications and enables even less trained colleagues to create and send newsletters. For more information on ELAINE MPP, please download the handout at the end of this article.

Of course, even when using templates, a quality check should always take place before dispatching a mailing.

Newsletter templates are not meant to last forever

You did it, you can consider yourself lucky, now that you have created a master template for your newsletters. Mandatory information such as the imprint and a consistent look are now secured, mistakes creep in less often and you really save yourself and your team a lot of work. You’ve put a lot of essential thought into structure and design, and now the newsletter template can stay that way forever, right? Yes and no: It is worthwhile to question the defined template from time to time. Maybe there is still room for improvement? Sometimes it is worthwhile, for example, to change the call-to-action slightly in order to generate more clicks.

Therefore, keep testing. Test again and again: What achieves the desired effect with your group of recipients? In our “Checklist: 20 Tips for Successful Testing in Email Marketing” we show you, among other things, which elements you can test in email marketing and which different testing methods there are. You can download the checklist at the end of this article. With the new findings from your testing (for example a modified call-to-action), you can adjust the master template of your newsletter and aim for more success in your newsletter marketing.