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After spending hours in Photoshop I haven't found a great template I like. I love the design style of many newsletters I subscribe to.. including Smashing Magazine and Hongkiat.. but I wonder what some of the best standards for designing newsletters are?

If anybody has resources or ideas I'd love to hear them. Newsletters are still a huge part of Internet marketing today. They almost cannot be overlooked. And when you create a custom template matching your design it's the best way to tie in your readers right to your website.

For a resource I've been digging through campaign monitor's template list which includes tons and tons of free examples.

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4 Answers

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According to me whenever you draft an email newsletter, it should be clear and simple to understand for your subscriber...You can include the followings in your newsletter mostly

Here is a list adapted from VerticalResponse.com:

  • A short paragraph from you to your audience or an introduction.

  • Customer Testimonial – A simple quote from a happy customer about how your product or service helped them or fixed a problem, a measurable result achieved; or, link to a video testimonial that you host on YouTube.

  • An Offer – Do you have discount, or promotion currently running to announce?

  • Quick Fact – What’s the most popular selling product last month? What do your customers view as the greatest challenge for them next year? Gather important insights and facts with a simple online survey tool and share results in each issue.


Tips For Creating Newsletter

  1. 5 Tips for Creating Email Newsletter Content
  2. Tips on Creating Email Newsletters – Email Marketing
  3. Email Newsletter: 7 Useful Tips For Creating Attractive And Effective Designs
  4. How to create an effective, eye-catching Internet newsletter
  5. Top 10 Tips to giving your email impact

For Inspiration

Hope this will help you a bit.....

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wow man great links... really appreciate it! –  Jake Rocheleau Aug 11 '11 at 6:11
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I actually used Illustrator to do the initial layout, which I then recreate in DreamWeaver (insert your favorite html editor here). The links Jack gave you are fantastic - you should be able to get a bunch of ideas from them. A couple of points to add:

1) Cross-test in multiple browsers. Outlook won't render CSS, so you'll have to do all your layout in tables (I know, I know - you would think that there would be some kind of "Standard" that all "Web" browsers could adhere to...). I learned this the hard way when, after spending significant time getting everything to work in CSS (and thus be much easier in future editions) only to discover that my beautiful, standards-compliant newsletter wouldn't display properly in one of the most popular mail readers. Looked fantastic in thunderbird and various webmail clients, just not Outlook...

2) Assume your users will be lazy and not use the "view in a browser" button. Then see point #1. As much as it sucks, we have to face the fact that, despite having beautiful and visually alluring graphics, our clients probably won't see them if they have to actually do anything beyond clicking on the email.

3) Get used to a tall, thin format. MailChimp (which has an amazing free package) and other services are pretty good about reminding you about this, but most mail readers' preview pane isn't much wider than that, and most folks won't click the "click to view in your browser" button (see point 2).

4) Insert standard boilerplate about putting the important stuff above the fold. That being said, clearly you can't get everything above the fold unless you're really cutting to the bone. A couple of ways to deal with this: a) don't even try to put the full article in the newsletter - just the beginning and a jump to the main article at the end and b) toss in a "headline" section at the top with links to named anchors so your readers can click from above the fold and be taken down to their article of choice.

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hey man some really awesome tips here. thanks for sharing your input, I really appreciate it. –  Jake Rocheleau Aug 11 '11 at 11:56
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I don't stick with much, try to keep things simple. Often a small header could include a logo linking back to your website. Maybe some alternative links to your pages, but keep these brief.

The majority of your newsletter would be main content. Design this with any standard font you like, coupled with maybe a few images to spice up your links. This is especially true if your newsletter includes blog posts. Then finish off your footer area with some external links to your site. Maybe also contact info such as return e-mail, your name, the site name, or phone number. An unsubscribe link should be offered as well.. just standards and all.

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I recently had to redesign newsletters for the company I work for. Despite a lot of my suggestions they had their own ideas... this website was invaluable in both considering how to implement their ideas and even convincing them out of some of their false ideas.

http://www.campaignmonitor.com/resources/

I printed out a few of their resources including http://www.campaignmonitor.com/css/

I then did the same thing Lawndartcatcher did as far as started in illustrator with a few quick mocks. I haven't heard back from the powers at be to proceed on to coding it which I'm really not that experienced at and also isn't really part of the Graphic Design Exchange.

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