Creative Design - Layouts for Newsletters

Creative Design - Layouts for Newsletters
Layouts for ezines and newsletters are varied in style and appearance. The layout of an ezine or newsletter is the deciding factor as to whether or not it will be read by the subscriber. The layout design has the ability to make or break an ezine or newsletter.

When we talk about layouts of ezines and newsletters we are addressing the fact that it is published in html format. By using html format you are able to be very creative with the layout of your content and graphics. There are many types of layouts to choose from, however, there are a few factors to consider when deciding on a layout strategy.

Reader Friendly
One of the main focus of a newsletter layout should be to make it reader friendly. You want your content to flow in a logical manner that will keep the attention of your readers. Content, graphics, font styles, colors and headlines will all make an impact on how your newsletter or ezine is read by your subscribers. Depending on the focus of your newsletter will determine how the components of ezines and newsletters will be arranged. You want to keep it clean and aesthetically pleasing as well as readable with little effort on the subscribers part.

Use Templates
Using already made professional newsletter templates offers a variety of layouts to choose from. However, unless you are familiar html coding yourself, then you will have full and complete control over the way your finished ezine or newsletter will look. But for those who are not html savvy, there are many newsletter and ezine templates to choose from. You have everything from signing on with an auto responder for your newsletters to purchasing your own professionally made templates, to even trying out some of the free newsletter templates offered from various sites. If you choose to use templates for your newsletter layouts, understand that some templates will allow you to customize while others may be very limit your ability to do so.

Newsletter Components to be considered
There are some components that need to be taken into consideration for the layout of newsletters and ezines. Everything about a newsletter should work to together and not detract from each other. Here are some components to think about when doing your layout.

* The name plate - which is usually the name of the newsletter in a banner type style.
* Image blocking - Allows the reader to read your newsletters without pictures if need be.
* Table of contents - Which gives the reader and quick view of what's in store for their reading pleasure contents
* Be sure to prioritize your content - Be sure to put your Featured article as the main attraction on the front page. Prioritize your content from most important to least important.
* Sectioning - How will you section of your content and graphics? Some newsletters use columns while others use vertical sectioning. This will be your choice of how you want your content to appear and where the readers eyes will flow and follow
* Headlines - And sectioning go together. Use headlines that will grab your readers attention and curiosity. You want them to read your articles and content.
*Subject lines - Use subject lines that will grab the reader attention as soon as the newsletter arrives in their email box.

Of course these are just a few components to be consider when designing the layout of your newsletter.

In conclusion
One thing to keep in mind when doing a layout is the goal of your newsletter. Is it designed to drive traffic to your web site or is it to build a reputation and relationship with your readers?

If you are trying to drive traffic to your website don't put the full article in your newsletter. Instead, give descriptions of articles and use links to link to your website where they can read the full article. If it is for reputation and relationship then give the full version of your article in the newsletter.

To gain more ideas on how to layout your ezine or newsletters it is recommended that you check out the layout of newspapers and magazines. Keep in mind that newsletters are not websites. They are just that "news" letters. So try to keep your newsletter in the layout format of printed newspapers and magazines. The best thing to do is to analyze and consider the newsletters or magazines you already receive. When browsing through them, take notice of how the layout impacts you as a reader. Does it draw you in or does it seem confusing and cluttered?

Write down what you liked and disliked about a newspaper or magazine layout. Then take your notes and transcribe them into the ideas for your own newspaper or ezine layout.

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This content was written by Grace D. Dooley. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Grace D. Dooley for details.