Photo Courtesy of Better Than Stock.
A weekly email newsletter is the perfect way to keep in touch with your clients, your followers, and your not-so-secret admirers. It’s also the place where many people drop the ball when it comes to their brand.
It’s just so easy to select a pre-made template, fill in the blanks and roll with it.
While it’s easy, you’re losing a very important opportunity to reinforce your brand. To show people who you are and what you stand for. To be memorable.
Though it’s not the absolute least you can do, customizing your email newsletter to your colors, your fonts, and to include your logo is not rocket science. Especially when using an email newsletter service like Mailchimp. (Our personal favorite. Who doesn’t like a sassy monkey?)
Here are our top tips to creating successfully branded email newsletters
Use an Online Newsletter Service
We mentioned Mailchimp before, but there are other options like Constant Contact and Mad Mimi. The point is, you are not, under any circumstance, to send out your email newsletters from Apple Mail or Gmail. Even with a BCC.
Not only would you be violating the CAN Spam Act, you have no control over formatting. And the formatting is what is going to make your information eye-catching, easy to read, and on brand.
Use the Templates
Okay, I know I just said don’t use the templates. But these are different templates. I promise. The templates I’m referring to don’t preselect your colors and fonts, they just create a layout for you. This will save you time and allow you to focus on customizing the important pieces.
Add Your Logo
A high quality image of your logo (look for a .PNG file for the best results) can be added very easily using an image block, like the one you see here.
Style Your Text
True, you probably won’t have a lot of options. (Just so you know, Comic Sans is an option, but it’s not an option. If you get what I’m sayin’.) You most definitely won’t see your font as one of the choices. Here it’s about staying in the same family and feel.
If you use a more traditional serif font for your paragraph text in your brand, pick one of the serif fonts from the list. (Courier, Georgia). If you include a more modern sans serif font in your brand, you’ll choose one of those for your newsletter (Arial, Lucida, Tahoma).
And don’t stop at changing the font. Coordinate your colors! Keep your main paragraphs set to black or a dark gray (it’s easy on the eyes, and a nice neutral to your color palette). Use your titles or links as a place to sneak in your brand colors.
It’s a very easy process (we’ve highlighted all the important areas in the images below). You’re usually given a list of default colors, but we think you up your chance for success by being very specific here. For this you’ll need the hex color values for your brand colors. Hex numbers generally look like this: #be1b84 <- Hey, that’s Betty pink!
(Not sure what your hex formula is? Upload your logo to this site and find out.)
To change your text color to your hex numbers, click on the more colors button. It will bring up a window that looks like image number two, below. Enter in your hex formula where we’ve added that gorgeous red circle.
Pay Attention to the Details
You’ve added text, but to really convert opens to engagement, you’ll need to include things like buttons, social media and sharing icons. And guess what?! You can change the color of all of these elements.
As you add any of these pieces to your layout, look for the style tab (we circled it for you below). The options may look slightly different depending on what detail you’re adding, but you’ll always have the chance to change your colors. And you get to use your hex colors again! (After today, you’ll most likely be using your hex formulas all the time. We suggest writing them on a post-it note and sticking it someplace you can’t miss it.)
Make it easy
There’s no need to reinvent the wheel (or the newsletter, as the case may be), every time you want to send out something new. You’ve done the work once, so let’s make the most of it. Use your already branded email as a template next time around.
Mailchimp has a nice feature called “replicate”. You can copy an existing newsletter and all of it’s formatting and just change the content. Work smarter, not harder, Betties!
Has this post changed how you’ll design your next email newsletter? Let us know in the comments below, what steps you plan on taking the next time you contact your mailing list.
Tried designing your own newsletter, and decided that you just can’t even? Send us a note. We’d love to design a custom Mailchimp newsletter template just for you!