Rethink and redesign your e-mail newsletter, ideas to get you started


Have you ever found yourself walking down a main commercial street looking for a place to eat?

You move from restaurant to restaurant looking in through the window identifying whether its the right place. But what often grabs our attention are the menus displayed on the window or at the entrance before deciding to go in and give it a try.

Here at LimeRed Studio, we love food and we love eating out and trying new things! But what interests us even more is finding inspiration for our design work with nonprofits. So while we think about and savor new foods, we also think about peoples behaviors and what motivates them to choose to engage or interact and how it is influenced by the presentation of information and visual elements.

Think about it this way:

Just like many of the restaurants youve decided to try out, you and your organization have something you want to offer your supporters. Whether its a cause, services, or even helpful resources, these are all things certain people are looking for and could quite possibly help change the world. But for many nonprofits (and almost everyone else), its hard getting people to walk through the door. Why is it so hard?

So heres something to consider…

Think about and treat your e-mail newsletter like the display menu on a restaurant window.

When passers by consider a menu, they think: Does this place have what I want? Is the food exciting enough to warrant the cost? Will I have a good experience here?

Its the same experience when reading your newsletter: Is this content relevant to my life? Is the time or donation worth it? Will I find fulfillment or enjoyment here?

Although we cant offer the exact same experience standing in front of a restaurant (sans the alluring aroma), your e-mail newsletter should still capture the attention of your current and potential subscribers, provide them a platform to guide them through informed choices and create a highly personal experience that meets their expectations.

It is well worth the time and effort to pay attention to your e-mail newsletter and what it is you want it to accomplish, because the more you do, it is more likely that your subscribers will pay attention when they receive your e-mail in their inbox too.

Here are some excellent guides to help you rethink and redesign your e-mail newsletter from three E-Mail Marketing Service Providers weve worked with in the past to get you started:

Constant Contact Email Marketing Guide1. Constant Contact: The 40 Know It or Blow It Rules of Email Marketing
Constant Contact has been a great service for most nonprofits getting started with gaining and sustaining the attention of their supporters. It provides users the ability to craft HTML-based emails without having to know HTML by populating and customizing your choice of a variety of templates. Another one of its strengths is working closely with users to help them understand best practices in communicating their message. One of our favorite tips in their marketing guide book The 40 Know It or Blow It Rules of Email Marketing, is Dont treat email addresses like email addresses; treat them like relationships. We like this because it reminds us that the emails that grab our attention the most are the ones from people we know and that are meaningful.

Download the Constant Contacts Email Marketing Guide

Vertical Response HTML Tips for Designing Your Email2. Vertical Response: HTML Tips for Designing Your Email
Not only does VerticalResponse provide a great email and social media marketing platform, they have a great blog too! Its been a popular choice for nonprofits for its flexibility, robust tools and most importantly the 10,000 free email credits you get every month! If you are looking to take more control over your emails and build a better platform to deliver your content to your subscribers by dabbling more into HTML, check out VRs HTML Tips for Designing Your Email. This guide provides you with dozens of great tips to help prepare your HTML e-mail that wont get in the way of your subscribers engaging with your message.

Download the VerticalResponse HTML Email Design Guide

MailChimp Email on Mobile Devices3. MailChimp: Email on Mobile Devices
One of the things we love most about MailChimp is their attention to user experience and design ??everything from their own branding to the tools and resources they provide their customers (we can relate to that). Like LimeRed Studio, they like to think about what they are doing, whats happening in the world and how they can make things better and easier for their customers. Not only do they provide great e-mail marketing services and good-looking email templates, they also provide some very helpful guides and reports informed by their own research teams. MailChimp understands that email is personal and becoming even more so with our mobile devices. In their study and guide Email on Mobile Devices, MailChimp asks what do subscribers really want when they read their email on their mobile devices? What they find and share in their report will help you prepare for whats to come in the future of email marketing, understand changing personal and expected user behaviors and the real differences between reading e-mail on a smart phone and on a desktop.

Download MailChimps Email on Mobile Devices Guide

We hope these guides will help you rethink and redesign your e-mail newsletters. If you need more help making it happen, become our client!

We could set up some time to talk about your needs at your office, here at our new studio or maybe even the restaurant & pub across the street from here… We saw they have $5 lunch specials on the window…

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