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Designing a marketing newsletter

Newsletters can be an effective means of connecting with audiences, as they offer a source of news, information and readable material to consumers, while also directly advertising your company's products or services.

But because of newsletters' relatively higher expense to print and maintain – not to mention the effort involved in designing and writing the material – they need to be carefully planned and implemented.

The first concern is attracting the attention of prospects. This is primarily the role of design, but should be attended to by all parties. Jacci Howard Bear suggests in that there are "Three C's" to newsletter design: consistency, conservation and contrast.

"Consistency aids the reader by organizing your words and eliminating distracting clutter," she writes. "Consistency unifies the many different elements – headlines, text, clip art, photos, captions, short stories, long stories, fillers, etc. – and doesn't distract the reader from the message."

Conservation essentially refers to simplicity – cutting out the clutter and leaving out useless photos, graphs or logos that do nothing but take up space.

Finally, contrast is a central element of graphic design 101. It can come from visual or color contrasts – such as black and white – or it can come from shapes and sizes, headlines and text and even font types.

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