How to design a good looking Mailchimp

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Where to start?

You’ve got the information you want to use, the images and now you are ready to tell the people on your mailing list about your news. You’ve created a mailing list with permission from your subscribers, uploaded it to Mailchimp, have had a look around the website so you think you know what you’re doing (No? Check out these guides). But how do you prevent your email from looking and sounding like your local community newsletter? Let me show you a few tricks to up your game and professionalise your Mailchimp emails!


Choose a good subject line

Want people to actually open your email and read it? Only 30% of all email newsletter get opened on average (yes!) so it is vital to have a good email subject standing out in people’s inbox. Urgency, Curiosity, Offers, Personalisation, Relevance and Timeliness, Name recognition and Cool stories are all ideas to keep in mind when thinking up an email subject.


Pick the right template

Regular campaigns are the most common type of HTML email. They can be formatted and customized with images, colors, and other design elements to fit the needs of your business. There are a variety of customizable layouts and pre-built themes that can be used as starting points for your campaign, along with a selection of intent-based featured templates that can help you create the perfect campaign for showcasing products, sharing news or stories, following up with customers, or helping folks get acquainted with your business. And you can always import a template or use our template language to create your own custom-coded solution.

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Once you have created a newsletter you like, it is easy to replicate the email. You simply go tour your list of ‘campaigns’ and click on ‘replicate’ in the drop down menu next to your latest email. Replace text, images and links and you have yourself a brand new newsletter.


Create a good looking header image + logo

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In my job at multi-arts centre the Barn, I created consistency in email marketing by always placing the logo in the bottom right, but changing the background image depending on the subject of the email.

Do you have a logo? Or an image that represents your business? Then use these in your header, EVERY time. Consistency means people instantly see who the newsletter is from and this way you build brand recognition. Use free design programme Canva to create beautiful email headers.


Who will be reading it?

Adjust your tone of voice depending on who will be receiving the email. The more people know you and your business, the more familiar you can be with them, referring to previous emails, articles and projects perhaps, because they will know what you are talking about. If your audience is new to you or still getting to know you, make sure to make them feel welcome and include plenty of informative articles, images and links to make them want to read your emails every time. But this is true for everyone, because with so many emails arriving in people’s inboxes you’ve got to make your worthwhile. I would always choose to make an email easy to read, informative, avoiding jargon or  complicated language, no matter what the subject is. (Just because you are talking about art, doesn’t mean you have to revert to abstract highbrow language that nobody gets!)

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Break up your text

That brings me to my next point: don’t talk non-stop in long sentences and endless paragraphs. Most people have the attention span of a goldfish, so in order to keep them awake and with you, break up the blurb! Start a new paragraph after a space every few sentences, adding bold sub titles, to make the text airy and make it easy to read.


Use good quality visuals

A picture tells more than a thousand words, so choose your images wisely. Use images on their own or create attention grabbing visuals on canvas with overlaying text to encourage people to click or take action. Video is also a great way to enhance your newsletter and can simply be dragged and dropped into your Mailchimp newsletter as long as you have a Youtube or Vimeo url link to copy and paste. Use trailers if you are promoting film nights, a walk through if you are showcasing a home, shop or restaurant or a create a tutorial showing people how to do or make something. All these media can of course be used on your social media and websites too.


Include real links to drive traffic

A newsletter’s main objective is to tell people about whatever you are offering – and make them take action. Whether that is to buy tickets, buy products, read your full article or call you to make an appointment, you want to make those links as clear and straightforward as possible. Mailchimp has a very helpful ‘button’ function you can simply drag and drop into your email, which you can link to a web link or email address. Use words such as ‘Buy Now’, ‘Browse Collection’, ‘Call Us’ or ‘Book Tickets’ to encourage readers to take action.

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The footer

With data protection becoming a lot stricter from May 2018, you have to make sure your footer (and privacy policy) are up to date. make it clear to people why they receive this email and that they can simply unsubscribe if they want to. Also put your contact details in the footer if people want to get in touch.


Still feeling out of your depth or jut not got enough time? I am an old hand at Mailchimp and am used to creating weekly newsletters. Let me do it for you! Contact

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