Sandbox is a multipurpose HTML5 template with various layouts which will be a great solution for your business.

Contact Info

Moonshine St. 14/05
Light City, London
00 (123) 456 78 90

Follow Us

An Ultimate Guide to Email Newsletter Design

Companies don't ask for your email just for the sake of it- they want this information to build a relationship through email newsletters. 

They want to share news about their upcoming sale, send exclusive information, or simply say hello to thank them for trusting their business. A great newsletter is a mix of snappy content and visually appealing design. 

A beautifully created newsletter ensures that information is laid out in a way that's easier to navigate and has a much higher chance of being read than a wordy email. 

So, if you're looking to create a visually appealing newsletter and have no idea how to design it– this guide is for you. We will tell you the exact steps you need to follow to create your email newsletter and get it right in the first go. 

Importance of Having a Good Newsletter Design

Your email newsletter design means much more than you think. It has a direct impact on reader's engagement and their next steps. No matter how good your content is, if it's not placed properly, it makes people click away quickly.

Email design contributes significantly to the success of your email campaign. Whether you want them to add a review, make a purchase, or direct the traffic to your website- a visually appealing design will encourage readers to do it all.

An excellent example of this is the Morning Brew newsletter, a media startup focused on sharing business news and insights via emails. The newsletter receives the highest opening rate of 47%. And it's not just by chance. 

The Morning Brew newsletter focuses on delivering an exceptional reading experience by:

  • Using catchy titles and branding emojis helps readers to find them quickly in a sea of bland emails.
  • Captivating open loops, beautiful imagery, and structured content make this newsletter easy to go through.
  • Writing high-quality copy that triggers people to take action.
  • Customizing user experience by allowing them to see what they want. 
This newsletter is a core product of Morning Brew and has helped them generate massive revenue. It's an excellent balance of content and design. Their uniqueness and quality have helped them grow to 1.5 million subscribers in just 5 years. 

With such immense potential comes fierce competition. You cannot just haphazardly create an email newsletter and call it quits. It's important to ensure that your newsletter cuts through noise and is more valuable and engaging than your competitors. 

Elements of a Great Newsletter

The anatomy of a newsletter serves as a blueprint to create engaging and visually appealing emails every time. Once you learn the key components, you can easily play around them and make confident design decisions. 

Here are the top elements of a great newsletter:

Subject Line

Email subject lines are like first impressions. It decides whether the receiver will continue scrolling or open it to read. The best subject lines are short, personalized, and tell exactly what this email is all about. 


A preheader is the extension of your subject line that your reader sees before opening the email. A click-baitsubject line with a generic preheader ruins everything. A good preheader should summarize the body content of your email and give readers a reason to click on your email. 

Core content

There is no substitute for good content. You might have the most eye-catching subject line and preheader, but the content makes them stay. Great newsletters often follow the principle of "less is more." Your writing should be precise, clear, and to the point. 


The call to action (CTA)tells readers what you want them to do next. Do you want them to purchase a product, reply to the email, or complete a certain action? Without a CTA, your newsletter would be just another piece your receiver reads and forgets. Use appropriate CTA buttons at the end of your newsletter to encourage readers to complete the action. 


The footer in an email newsletter is crucial for providing essential information such as contact details, unsubscribe options, and legal disclaimers. It ensures compliance, allows recipients to manage their subscription preferences, and enhances trust with transparent communication.

How to Design a Newsletter Step-by-Step

If you have been at the receiving end of an email newsletter, you know these marketing messages can be dull. But there are some awesome newsletters out there. So, what separates them from the rest? And, how do you ensure your email newsletter is successful? 

That's exactly what we are going to talk about in this section. Let's dive into a step-by-step method to design a newsletter your audience appreciates. 

1. Define & Segment Your Audience

As it goes with any type of marketing, the content of the campaign should be relevant to your audience. But, marketers often forget to apply this rule to email marketing. 

The problem is that newsletters are often sent in bulk to all subscribers, which makes them generic. And generic content doesn't get you much far. 

The solution to this is list segmentation. Divide your subscribers into various lists according to their interests and write a newsletter only for them. Or, you can give this task to your subscribers. You can ask them to opt for a newsletter they want to read about. 

Buzzfeed's Newsletter editor says, "If you go to our email newsletter subscription page, we're up to 14 different email newsletters right now (and expect to grow more over the next year). These very specific email newsletters let people say, 'I love cats, but what I really want to find out about is your book coverage. Send me those links only.'"

Setting these expectations upfront will help you capture those who truly want to read the content your newsletter will capture and filter out those who might be disappointed with the content of your email. 

2. Choose an Appropriate Tool

If you want to skip the hustle of creating email newsletter designs from scratch, opting for newsletter software that provides pre-defined templates is best. There are several email newsletter software available on the market; the top ones are Brevo, GetResponse, MailChimp, and Moosend

These software typically offer the following features:

Editable Templates

Newsletter tools provide a variety of newsletter templates that fit your industry, niche, and customer interest. Instead of building your newsletter from scratch, you can customize this newsletter by changing its color, font, or text alignment. 


You can also test your design adaptability for various screen sizes. Using such tools, you can compare several designs before selecting your preferred option. 

Performance Analysis

Many email newsletter software provides advanced features for sending and managing your email campaign. These also measure how your audience interacts with your newsletter and their performance through KPIs like open rate, inscribe rate, and click-through rate. 

3. Take Inspiration From Other Newsletter Designs

Before you start creating your email newsletter, look at some of the examples in your industry. Studying successful newsletter designs can help you identify best practices in layout, typography, color usage, and overall aesthetics.

Here are some newsletter design examples to spark your creativity-


The Gallup Newsletter delivers concise insights on global trends, business strategies, and societal shifts. With data-driven analysis, it navigates through economic landscapes, leadership challenges, and cultural dynamics, and suggests ways to combat them. 


Scribe’s newsletter is focused on providing its customers with the best documenting experience. You will often find emails regarding new features, company updates, or product usage information. 


The CoSchedule newsletter offers actionable insights and resources on content marketing, social media management, and productivity. It keeps subscribers informed and empowered to enhance their marketing strategies and streamline their workflows for optimal results.


Featuring top-notch visual content, design trends, and exclusive interviews, it's a must-read for designers seeking creative inspiration and staying updated on the latest in the design world.

Headline Studio by CoSchedule

Headline Studio's newsletter delivers insightful content on branding, marketing, and design trends in a concise and engaging format. With expert tips, case studies, and industry news, it keeps subscribers informed and inspired, offering actionable insights to elevate their brand strategy and storytelling prowess.


Loom newsletter delivers concise updates on global events, tech innovations, and cultural shifts. With insightful commentary and curated articles, it keeps readers informed and engaged. Its sleek design and user-friendly format make staying informed a pleasure.

4. Pick a Template and Choose a Layout

You don't have to design an original newsletter from scratch; you can use email templates to speed up the creation process. These are pre-designed templates created after studying the latest trends and industry leaders. 

Find a reliable email template that looks modern and matches your branding style. Feel free to browse email templates from Campaign Monitor, Piktochart, and Canva.

A trademark of an effective newsletter that puts the important stuff first. Always add your featured content at the top and hook subscribers into reading until the end. If you have some offers like a webinar signup or a free resource to download, you can add your CTA button to encourage users to complete the action. 

5. Remix Template as per Your Brand Guidelines

It is essential that your subscribers quickly recognize your emails. Otherwise, it might get lost in the truckload of marketing emails a user receives in a day. That's why businesses create brand guidelines. 

Brand guidelines, or style guides, are crucial to giving your business a unique identity and character. Think of it as a rulebook that will provide your business newsletter with its look and feel. 

If you see this newsletter snippet from Buffer, it has all the branding elements across the whole newsletter. From logo to font, everything will remind you of Buffer. 

Your newsletter should follow the same design logic as your website or any other social media site. If you're using a premade template, customize your design to fit your branding. This way, you will avoid sending generic emails. 

6. Add Content and Relevant Graphics or Media

Chances are, your email subscribers aren't always down to hear about your product/service all the time. While they may love your brand, it's only a matter of time before they tune out. 

A good strategy is to craft a strong headline that hooks your reader into reading more about your email. Then, create a short and helpful copy with relevant images and graphics that quickly sums up what this email is all about. 

Semrush has created a newsletter design that generates the reader's interest in the first few lines of copy.

This newsletter aims to get the readers from the email to the Semrush website. The image includes a snappy headline, logo, and font that makes it look like it's part of Semrush. It provides value to its readers without adding walls of text. 

7. Customize Your CTA and Email Footer

In the end, the success of your newsletter depends on whether a reader does what you tell them to do, maybe make the purchase, go to your website, or register for a webinar. The call-to-action button is critical in your email and leads your readers to click. 

Visually, you will want your CTA to stand out so readers notice it. The more readers glance at your CTA, the more likely they will click on it. That's why email newsletters have CTA set apart from the layout. 

See how Erica Schneider’s newsletter “Cut the fluff” encourages users to register for her new course using the CTA button saying “Register your interest here”

Make sure that you do not use more than two CTAs since it might confuse your readers, and they might end up clicking on nothing. Focus on your efforts on only one goal rather than splitting your audience. 

On top of CTA, businesses also include links to terms and conditions, FAQs, Privacy and Return policies, etc. This information is neatly presented in the email footer and doesn't bother subscribers unless they look at it.

Check out this Zoominfo email footer. It has links to contact them, navigate to their resources section or unsubscribe.

7 Best Practices of Email Newsletter Design

So, now that you know the importance of email newsletter design and how to format your newsletters, it's time to unravel some of the best practices to create a successful newsletter for your product/service.  

1. Divide Your Information Horizontally

Horizontal layouts often mimic the natural movement of the eye, making it easier for readers to scan information. For instance, Calm's newsletter uses a consistent section placed horizontally across the design, giving each sentence equal importance. 

2. Use a Clean and Simple Layout

Every successful newsletter has one thing in common: a good layout. It should be simple and easy to follow. Bold headlines, bulleted lists, and white space make your email scannable. You can structure your email into various columns and add images to avoid visual confusion.

3. Only Add High-quality Visuals

In a crowded inbox, an attractive visual can make your newsletter stand out. They can help illustrate complex concepts or data in a way that's easy for readers to understand. Some people prefer visual information over text, so including visuals such as images, illustrations or GIFs ensures your content is accessible to a wider audience.

4. Keep it Concise and Engaging

If you want your subscribers to look forward to your newsletter, then turn your content from a boring block of text to short, snappy content. You can incorporate storytelling, visually appealing design, and personalization to keep readers hooked.

Check out this email from Hubspot. The newsletter's content is short, actionable, and to the point. It's only aim is to get the reader to click the CTA button. 

5. Use Web-safe Fonts

The fonts you choose have a huge impact on how readers engage with your content. Since your email will display on various web browsers and screen sizes, it's best to stick with web-safe fonts. These are some of the email-safe fonts you can use in your newsletter:

  • Arial
  • Courier New
  • Georgia
  • Lucida Sans Unicode
  • Tahoma
  • Times New Roman
  • Trebuchet MS
  • Verdana
Whatever you choose, make sure it's readable and easy to skim over, trying to look fancy. 

6. Use Color Strategically

Though you'll want to stick to your brand color scheme, you can use other colors to set the mood. To choose the right colors, you can use tools like Coolors that suggest contrasting or supplementary colors for your newsletter. 

7. Keep it Mobile Friendly

Mobile responsiveness is not optional anymore, when 60% of the world's population owns a smartphone. Adopt a mobile-first approach and review your newsletter on all screen sizes. 

Wrapping up

Now that you have realized that sending an email newsletter requires juggling a lot of moving pieces, to be effective, your newsletter should be visually appealing, easy to read, and true to your brand. 

Key Takeaways:

  • Divide your subscribers into various lists according to their interests and write a newsletter only for them.
  • Instead of creating email newsletter designs from scratch, opting for newsletter software that provides predefined templates.
  • Study successful newsletter to identify different layouts, typography, color usage, and overall aesthetics.
  • If you're using a premade template, customize your design to fit your branding.
  • Create a short and helpful copy with relevant images and graphics that quickly sums up what this email is all about.
  • Add CTA and email footer to tell your readers what to do next. 
Following these best practices can create a newsletter that engages your audience and drives business results. Whether you are a marketer, business owner, or content creator, these will help you get the maximum out of your newsletters.

Taher Batterywala

Taher Batterywala is a creative marketer who loves to write & design content that organically drives conversions. He is the creator of Pineable, the world's first content marketing design inspiration hub. He regularly shares his thoughts about content design, SEO, and marketing. As a true cinephile, he admires movies above anything else.