Email newsletter designs

6 Brilliant Email Newsletter Designs to Inspire Your Next Campaign

This blog post was written by Filza Naveed, a content marketing specialist with ContactMonkey. Special thanks to Filza and ContactMonkey for sharing their newsletter inspiration with us!
Don’t you love reading email newsletters with on-point design and copy? Whether you’re a B2C marketer creating an email newsletter design to wow your list of subscribers, or an internal communications professional looking to create an employee newsletter, email marketing works – but only if it’s done right. What kind of newsletter design will capture the attention of your target audience? Should you go for a minimalist newsletter design or go all out with vivid imagery and eye-popping graphics? What would make your audience read the newsletter? Perhaps more importantly, what would make them keep coming back for more? I want more Ariel GIF If you’re creating an external newsletter, once someone has hit the subscribe button, it’s your job to deliver. The pressure is on! Luckily, we’ve compiled a list of six types of unique newsletter design ideas to inspire you. (And there’s always more email marketing inspiration within the Email on Acid platform). While some newsletters use a minimalist bare-bones structure and prefer to speak loudly with their words, others wow their subscribers with delightful newsletter design and eye-catching imagery. Let’s have a look at some of our favorites.

1. Sephora

Sephora knows how to draw in customers with their sleek and bold newsletter design. Not only do they have clear calls to action (CTAs), but the compelling graphics make their beauty products pop on the page. Sephora newsletter The pastel tones are meant to grab the attention of their target audience, who are primarily millennial women. The newsletter design is simple, but the colors and the cosmetics make you feel as if you’re already holding the products in your hands. Sephora also makes good use of fonts and uses captivating copy to personalize their message. They know their audience and how to make you keep coming back for more. I don’t even shop at Sephora, but I can’t get myself to hit the unsubscribe button for fear of missing out! (Click here to view the entire email)

Why People Read It:

  • Sephora’s slick copy and clean newsletter design make their products stand out.
  • They make excellent use of white space, ensuring their minimalist use of color pops.

2. Starbucks

Seasonal newsletters are some of my favorite reads, mainly because they offer great newsletter design inspiration. This newsletter from the mega coffee chain Starbucks stands out to me in particular. They make use of short (but captivating) descriptions paired with eye-popping visuals. I’m practically salivating looking at those winter holiday drinks and it’s not even winter! Starbucks holiday newsletter (Click here to view the entire email)

Why People Read It:

  • Starbucks takes advantage of seasonal colors to make their message stick during a specific holiday season.
  • Their products look larger than life and the minimalist newsletter design, paired with the way Starbucks positions their products, makes it easy for the customer to imagine themselves already enjoying the Starbucks experience.

3. TheSkimm

If you want a delightfully short daily roundup of what’s happening around the world, look no further than TheSkimm. They use short, punchy paragraphs to captivate their audiences and make readers feel like industry experts. TheSkimm also has an astounding 40% open rate for their email newsletter! If you’re working in the news, media or publishing industry, you need to look at this one as an excellent example of how to make your copy speak louder than your images. TheSkimm is also great inspiration for internal communications teams looking to create engaging newsletters that employees will read. Try simulating this kind of snappy writing style to convey company-wide announcements and events. Or, if you’re looking for a simple newsletter design for your internal newsletter, look to TheSkimm for ideas. The Skimm newsletter (Click here to view the entire email)

Why People Read It:

  • The copy is smart and sassy; TheSkimm copywriters know how to use pop culture references to make even the most mundane topics seem like the latest plot development from House of Cards.
  • They know their audience (millennial women). The icon of the slim and sophisticated woman placed strategically at the beginning of each newsletter not only makes for slick newsletter design but it also keeps this demographic coming back for more.

4. J. Crew

  J. Crew, the multi-brand, multi-specialist retailer, shows in their newsletter that a picture is worth a thousand words. This J.Crew newsletter includes an eye-popping ice cream cone that immediately takes over your senses and, even though their engaging copy is telling you to scroll down for more, you’re  probably going to do it anyway. This design tantalizes taste buds and engages visually. J. Crew ice cream cone newsletter (Click here to view the entire email) When you’ve finally reached the tip of the ice cream cone, you’ll notice how it’s pointing you towards a CTA button, which takes you to their sales page. Clever, isn’t it?

Why People Read It:

  • This brand knows how to use something they don’t even sell to captivate their target audience and motivate them to make a purchase.
  • They have a great sense of visual design; their effective use of color speaks to the senses and entices the audience.

5. Apple

I love occasion-based newsletters where brands go out of their way to use creative imagery in the design to motivate people to make a purchase. This Mother’s Day newsletter from Apple is an excellent example. In this newsletter, Apple effectively balances white space with their vivid product images and uses different colors to catch the eye. Their CTAs are clear and the copy is minimal, making the readers almost feel like they’re not being pressured to buy anything. Apple newsletter (Click here to view the entire email)

Why People Read It:

  • They’ve made clever use of pastel hues within their newsletter design to tie into the Mother’s Day theme.
  • They’ve also used horizontal divides effectively to showcase each product display.

6. BrainPickings

This newsletter design from BrainPickings is great for any internal communications teams looking to package company news and events that employees will want to read. If you’re a regular subscriber to BrainPickings, you’ll know it’s the go-to source for creative souls looking to read up on art, design, philosophy and psychology. It’s a long newsletter, but it engages intellectual audiences with delightful copy and adorable illustrations. Brain pickings newsletter (Click here to read the entire email)

Why People Read It:

  • They know how to tell a story that will keep their audience coming back for more. The very fact that they can package complicated topics in a couple of paragraphs is a testament to their great storytelling skills.
  • They also make effective use of micro-copy within their newsletter design. Check it out at the very top of the newsletter. Who would want to click the unsubscribe button after reading that?

Next Step: Create a Flawless Email Newsletter

Inspired to create an epic newsletter with eye-catching visuals and engaging copy? Building an awesome newsletter that gets people to fall in love with your brand requires hard work. First, you’ll need to be sure to avoid making these email marketing mistakes as well as these newsletter no-nos. If you’re an internal marketer who is sending your HTML newsletters from Outlook or Gmail, it’s also important to make sure your emails are rendering correctly on this tricky client. Luckily, we have a tool for that. Once you have your newsletter design ready to go – don’t forget to test your email. Even great email newsletters break from time to time, which is why email testing needs to be a part of your email marketing process. Email on Acid can test your email code in seconds, allowing you to preview your design across more than 70 email clients and devices.

Test today!

So, what are you waiting for? Start creating kick-ass email newsletters – internal or external - with ease. Your audiences will love you for it.