Does anyone else subscribe to newsletters for the design inspiration alone? … or is that just me?
I cannot get enough of beautifully and thoughtfully designed emails, and will remain on newsletter lists for the unexpected design inspiration in my inbox. It would be easy to discredit these email newsletter designs, however once you appreciate the craft behind the design you’ll find yourself subscribing away.
Today I want to shine a light on these designers, and reveal a few newsletters that continue to inspire me week after week. Not only do they provide beautiful design, they’ve worked their magic on me to invest in their products! Proof that good + consistent design works.
The delicate balance
I find these nugget size promotional designs intriguing because of the balance between form and function. They’ve only got your attention for a brief minute, and so these designers have thoughtfully crafted stunning visuals that carefully articulate the marketing behind the promotion, as well as the beauty of the brand.
This is such a tough balance! It can be easy to over-work a design, and lose the function. Or focus solely on the purpose of the newsletter, and neglect the design. Swing too far either way, and you will lose a potential customer.
My favorite newsletter designs
Though I have several beautiful designs saved in my inbox, these brands continue to impress my designer taste. If you’re into these beautiful designs, I encourage you to subscribe! Not to mention, their products meet the quality of the email design itself.
Beautifully minimal. Quality photography. Easy to grasp. The Everlane email designs always make me swoon!
The only potential issue is that they are almost all completely image based — meaning they might not show up immediately in your inbox without selecting “display images.” This is a problem for conversions, however when you’re a large brand like Everlane you can take your chances.
What we can take away from the design is to keep it minimal, incorporate beautiful imagery, and make the message clear. All of this can be accomplished without using a full image based email design.
Rifle Paper Co.
Aside from the stunning artwork from Anna Bond, these Rifle Paper Co. email designs are so beautiful. They often incorporate custom graphics for the email newsletter, animated .gifs, and beautiful promotions. I love the intention behind each newsletter, and can tell that they don’t cut corners in the email design. Their messages + promotions are very clear, to the point and brief.
We can learn from their simplicity in marketing, and custom graphics for emails. Have some fun with your next product promotion through crafting a catchy header graphic!
Get Beautified App
The branding alone for the Beautified app is inspiration in itself. Once you subscribe to the newsletter, you’ll receive promotions and announcements that lean toward a minimal aesthetic. We can take cues from the refined illustrated icons, color palette and direct calls to action.
In an effort to help other small businesses in their newsletter designs, I’ve created a mini-class on how to customize your template design in ConvertKit. If you’re currently using ConvertKit (or hoping to switch soon), you’ve no doubt fallen in love with the simplicity and function of the platform. No longer do you pay for subscribers on multiple lists, you can replace LeadPages, and a whole slew of other powerful tools. I can’t sing its praises enough!
One downfall (in my designer eyes) is the default design. Though ConvertKit excels in every other feature, they favor a plain text email over design. I get where they’re coming from — focus on content, don’t get hung up on design. However, can’t we have both?
The answer is yes, but it is a bit complicated if you don’t know how to customize code in CSS.
Once you set up your template from the Designing ConvertKit class, you’ll be able to focus on content while having a beautiful design already in place.
Here’s what one student had to say about the class:
“After joining, I tackled the whole course in one afternoon. I built my template exactly as Jamie coached, and completely branded based off of my colors, my typefaces, and my imagery. The step-by-step course made it a breeze!”
– Ashlyn Carter
Download a sample ConvertKit CSS file for free!
The full mini-class covers how to design your ConvertKit email template, but what about those newsletter sign-up forms for your website? You can download the design files I use for my newsletter subscription box below. You’ll get the exact files to turn the default ConvertKit form into an eye-catching subscription field that attracts your audience and sets your brand apart.