Turning Blank Space into an eNewsletter (Part 2 of 3)
Pt. 2 of 3 – Organizing and Designing
In part one of this series, we discussed the first step you should take when creating an eNewsletter: planning. In part two, we will discuss layout, design, and organization.
Once you feel you have a good amount of valuable content for your audience, and you have decided where to design and host your newsletter, your next step is organization. This step is crucial if this is your first of many eNewsletters because you want to make sure you have a solid template to go back to. Your organization/layout does not always need to be exactly the same, but if your reader is looking for a specific column, they should be able to move to a certain page or section and easily find it. After you have separated the stories and placed them in a way which you feel makes the most sense for your readers, you then have to start thinking about the overall design.
The first thing to focus on when designing is your branding. Your audience needs to know this is coming from you, so creating a personalized and branded header and footer is suggested for all eNewsletters. If there are any other aspects you plan to continually repeat, go ahead and add them to your template. Other than your branding and repeaters, other design aspects are dependent upon your preference, and the readers’. When you are deciding on the overall design, you must think about who your audience is, and what aspects they will find most important. If this newsletter is going out about architecture, or something has abundant imagery, you are going to want to make sure that you spend just as much time on the aesthetics as you do on content, otherwise your authority to speak on the subject might not seem as high to those in an industry where the look is important. However, if you are sending to a legal client, you will want to make sure that your design is focused more on being easily readable and scrollable so that they are able to read through, quickly assess the content and determine what is relevant and valuable to them. Once you choose a layout and design, you simply go back to your organized plan and copy and paste the content into its designated place.
Creating a successful and engaging newsletter will take time. There is no sure-fire way of getting your audience to click or open, so you have to be patient and continue thinking about improvements to help get your open rate to grow with each newsletter. Though you want to have continuity within your newsletter, don’t let that keep you from making necessary changes at first. It is worse to have things done continuously wrong, then to make a needed change and throw off continuity in the beginning. Now that you have your content laid out, it’s time to send it off.
Check back for the third and final part in this series that will cover the best way to get your newsletter out there and what you can do to make sure you get as many opens as possible.