Freelance writing


Content strategy

What makes newsletters pop?

June 1, 2018

I got a newsletter the other day that was a pleasure to read, even amongst severe GDPR newsletter fatigue. Check it out:

Good newsletter design


The composition, the colours and the content were well balanced, to the point where I read the whole thing despite having no memory of signing up to the list.

(The mystery was solved in the bottom section: I joined the list when I went to a gig on a boat in Bristol).

Here’s a breakdown of the 4 things that made it pop.

The colour palette

Pastel colour palette

Simple pastels. Five colours: a top and a bottom alternating rhubarb-and-custard for the sections. A great choice for visual variety that isn’t overpowering.

The hex colours:

  • #fff9eb
  • #a1d0ca
  • #f9e0d4
  • #ffebc2
  • #9fa3c4

The lines


A two-column layout with occasional forays into one-column for emphasis (intro paragraph, Ed Sheeran) and three-column for fitting more in.

The consistent horizontal lines at the top of each new row of pictures makes the content easy to read too: everything is in convenient blocks.

The headings

Effective newsletter headings

BoldALL CAPS, sans serif. Just like the ones on my site, incidentally.

The overline spanning the full width of the content is a really strong visual cue that breaks from the section above.

The word count

208 words, not including T&Cs and other gubbins.

Perfectly concise, it manages to convey lots of information quickly without feeling overwhelming.

So there you have it.

Four great tips for concise, compelling newsletters, all of which have been baked into my newsletter creation toolkit. In the age of GDPR and newsletter fatigue, it’s especially important to get your newsletter design right.

If you want help making your newsletters pop, get in touch.