Posted to Leigh Carver's blog on July 31st, 2013

The Do’s and Don’ts of Email Newsletter Design

Having a bad newsletter can seriously damage your brand's image. Aside from your products and services, your daily or weekly newsletter is one of the most visible methods people have of interacting with your brand. You wouldn't sell an unfinished product, would you? Then why would you put a newsletter that isn't the best it could be in front of your customers on a regular basis?

When putting together newsletter layouts for your brand, keep a few key considerations in mind.

1. Your content should be readable.

If subscribers can not read, view or access content easily, there is really no point in sending an email at all. This means keeping your newsletter simple, but not sparse-- you want your emails to load quickly, but you don't want them to look as though you put no effort into the email design. 600 pixels wide is the recommended width, and headers should be around 100 pixels tall. 

2. Your content should be branded.

Your newsletter is one of the most visible ways for you to reinforce your branding. Make sure your logo is in the header, and use headings, fonts and colors to reinforce the company image. 

Here's a list of a few do's and don'ts when deciding on your newsletter format:


  • Integrate a navigation bar to drive traffic back to the site.
  • Use images and alt tags.
  • Link to hosted video content.
  • Avoid CSS.
  • Be consistent-- using the same template will streamline your workflow.


  • Use Javascript-- most clients can't handle it.
  • Use huge images.
  • Use a background image.
  • Use nesting tables.

Putting together your email design doesn't have to be difficult. There are a number of really great newsletter layouts we go over in our recent Newsletter Best Practices eBook. Just remember to keep your newsletter format simple, clean, easily readable, and branded, and you'll be on the right track to email marketing success.

What advice would you give companies putting together their first newsletter, or overhauling their email branding? What are your newsletter do's and don'ts? Share your thoughts in the comments.