5 Ways to Create Visually Appealing Newsletters {and Why It Matters}.

5 ways to create visually appealing email newsletters

Hey fabulous content creators!  I’m Kirsten from Sweet Tea & Saving Grace, and author of An Inbox of Opportunity.  I’m so excited to be here today talking about one of my favorite things – email marketing!  I’m a huge advocate for email marketing for content creators and small business folks in every niche.  With the ever-changing algorithms of social media making it less likely your actual fans will see your content, it’s of the utmost importance, now more than ever, to build and grow your email list.  While anyone can throw together a simple newsletter, today I want to share with you 5 Ways to Create Visually Appealing Newsletters {and Why It Matters}.


Visually appealing content is incredibly important if you hope to attract readers.  Let this infographic do you a favor and further illustrate the importance of visuals (source):

infographic power of visuals


How can you combine the importance of email marketing with the appeal of visualization?


And not just any ordinary newsletter – visually appealing newsletters that provide valuable content.  

Here’s how:

1Create brand-consistent newsletter campaigns.

Your brand is created by the aesthetic of your blog or website, your color scheme, fonts, and visual imagery you use.  Your brand is also created by the language, or “voice” you use when you write.

Your brand should translate to everything you do, including your newsletter campaign.  Your readers need to be able to instantly recognize an email from you when it hits their inbox.

Allow me to give you an example with my own newsletter as compared to my blog:

Sweet Tea & Saving Grace Blog and Newsletter Header


As you can see, the color scheme and graphics are the same in both my blog and my newsletter.  If you read even one issue of my newsletter, you’ll also notice my voice is consistent across both platforms as well.

Bonus:  Give your newsletter a clever name that corresponds with your branding.

WHY THIS IS IMPORTANT:  Creating brand consistency in every aspect of your marketing helps build trust among your readers and establishes familiarity.  You want your readers to notice your brand, whether they see a pin on Pinterest, read a tweet on Twitter, or get an email in their inbox.

To help you get started, download this FREE style sheet that I use for all of my email marketing clients.  You’re welcome!  *wink*

2 – Include relevant imagery.

I’m primarily a DIY and craft blogger, so I always have multiple images in my blog posts to illustrate my projects.  However, not all bloggers create content that involves an image.


[tweet_box] If you write about small business topics, use relevant imagery to break up the text. @sweetteagracesweet tea and saving grace tweet[/tweet_box]


Examples of relevant imagery might include:

  • An infographic, like the one in this post
  • High-quality stock photos with your branding added to them for consistency
  • A text image – a colorful rectangle filled with a relevant quote from your post
  • A tweetable quote (be sure to include a link to tweet it!)

WHY THIS IS IMPORTANT:  Images draw the reader’s eye further down the page. On average, we only read about 20% of the text on a page, so including relevant imagery, whether it’s in a blog post or in a newsletter campaign, you help to ensure that you get your point across to your readers and hold their visual attention.

3 – Use bullet points & lists.

Bloggers have a lot to say.  That’s one reason we blog.  However, newsletters are not the place to get as wordy as you might in a blog post.  However, you can still provide value to your readers even when you have a lot to cover.

Just like I did in point #2 above, bullet points are a handy tool for writers to keep on hand.  You don’t need to write elaborate sentences to make a point.  And, to be honest, most people won’t take the time to read those elaborate sentences.

Newsletters can be considered a shorter version of a blog post, or a summation of recent blog history. So if you have a lot to say, use bullet points or a numbered list to keep it succinct and keep the thoughts flowing.


  • People like to skim.
  • Bullets & numbered items make heavy content easily skimmable…
  • …while still getting your point across.
  • Plus, who doesn’t like polka dots?

4 – Stop using FeedBurner.

Right now.  I mean it.

I get it – FeedBurner is a one-and-done RSS syndication that’s easy for you to set up, and easy for readers to get your posts.

But have you looked at a FeedBurner email lately?  They’re boring.  Nobody likes boring.  Nobody shares and interacts with boring.

I’m a MailChimp girl, and MailChimp makes it super easy to create customized and brand-consistent RSS-driven campaigns.  Want to see what a customized RSS-driven campaign looks like?

RSS Driven Email Campaign


Well hello there beautiful!  So nice, right?!  Which one would you rather see in your inbox?  Better yet, which one would most likely entice you to click through to the post?

WHY IT’S IMPORTANT:  Branded RSS-driven campaigns are more enticing, drawing the reader in for more.  Plus, if you take the time to create a customized RSS-driven campaign, you’ll stand out from all the other FeedBurner emails that readers get in their inbox.

5 – Make your newsletters share-worthy & shareable.

Ok, this one isn’t specifically about the visual aspects of newsletters, but it’s super important so I wanted to make sure I talked about it briefly.

It’s one thing to invite your readers to subscribe to your email list, but it’s a whole other can of beans to figure out what to send them.  But if done properly, newsletters can be one of the best tools in your marketing toolbox.

Determine what your readers want, and give it to them.  When in doubt, ask!  I create surveys often and send them to my email list asking what content they want to receive in their inboxes.

Still not sure?  Check your analytics to see what your most popular posts have been, then create additional content based on those posts that is only available to newsletter subscribers.

Feel free to check out my list of 101 Newsletter Content & Opt-In Offer Ideas on my blog for even more help creating valuable content for your newsletter subscribers.

101-newsletter-ideas for bloggers
101 Newsletter Content & Opt-In Offer Ideas for Bloggers

When you provide valuable content to your subscribers, they are more likely to share that content with others, thereby helping you expand your reach.  Having a visually appealing newsletter also makes subscribers more likely to share what you send.

Be sure to make it easy for your subscribers to share your newsletter.  Include buttons allowing them to “forward to a friend”, tweet, or post to Facebook.  And don’t be afraid to ask them to share it, too!  You’d be surprised how many people will share something if you simply ask.

WHY THIS IS IMPORTANT:  When you start building your email list, you are gaining a targeted audience of VIP members – people who are genuinely interested in what you have to offer.  Chances are, they know other people who might also enjoy your content.  By consistently providing something of value, and making it easily shareable, you’ll have an entire marketing team ready and willing to help you promote your content to their friends.

If you have not considered email marketing, or don’t truly realize the potential for your blog or business, I’d love to help.  I work one-on-one with bloggers and small business owners to help them unlock the potential of email marketing, create awesome opt-in offers, and design killer newsletters.

inbox of opportunity. sweet tea & saving grace

I believe in the power of newsletters so much, I even wrote a book about it!  The MailChimp platform is my go-to resource for all of my own email marketing, and I highly recommend it for my clients as well.  My ebook, An Inbox of Opportunity, will guide you from account set-up, through all of the available design tools, all the way through creating your own unique and fully branded newsletter campaign.

Each section is concluded with an actionable assignment to further drive home the lessons learned throughout the book.  I’ve also designed accompanying worksheets and cheat sheets to help you work through with each lesson.

For more information on the ebook and course options, visit An Inbox of Opportunity’s landing page, or to work one-on-one with me, feel free to email me at sweetteagrace{at}gmail{dot}com with any questions you might have.

I’d love to connect with you!  Introduce yourself on social media, stop by my blog, Sweet Tea & Saving Grace, and, of course, subscribe to my newsletter!


[starbox id=”Kirsten Thompson”]


Published by Lillian De Jesus

Connect with me on Twitter @tigerlilyva11!

25 thoughts on “5 Ways to Create Visually Appealing Newsletters {and Why It Matters}.

  1. Hi Lillian and Kristen, Great article here. I love the infographics and have to admit I haven’t tried them yet. This whole aspect is very appealing. We do want people to love what they see and what better way to do it than this. Combining your combination of colors with similar aspects helps your brand to stand out and is definitely inviting. Thanks so much for sharing. Have a good day, Ladies.

    1. Hi Brenda,

      Isn’t it great?! Kristen is such a genius at email marketing and making everything visually appealing.

      Thanks for reading!

      Have a great day,

  2. I LOVE Kirsten! I have personally done her “Inbox of Opportunities” course and it’s fabulous. I DOUBLED my newsletter following in one month because of her organizational guidance and support through that course. I loved her comment about “It’s one thing to invite your readers to subscribe to your email list, but it’s a whole other can of beans to figure out what to send them.” It’s so true, we can bring in the subscribers, but then making a subscribe worth newsletter, month after month, or even week after week is not an easy task. Kirsten has such a powerful way of bringing people together on such a personal and invested level. Her energy is truly contagious. Thanks for such a fabulous post ladies!

  3. This was a truly delightful post Kirsten… I love to use images and branding in my newsletters and I really like the idea of giving my newsletter a name.
    I have to say I don’t know much about RSS campaigns, but I love to use images and lists to keep attention, draw the eye and add interest!
    I’m working on infographics now 🙂
    Such a wealth of tips and genius ideas for newsletters, this will be saved to my Pinterest 🙂
    Thanks to you both

    1. Yay, Jacs! I’m so glad these tips were helpful to you. I’m so happy to have Kirsten as a guest contributor. She really knows her email marketing stuff!

      Thanks for sharing on Pinterest!

      Take care,

  4. Lilliam and Kirsten,
    What a great post filled with yummy resources.., thank you. What caught my eye was the creative titles for the ebooks and programs. I think I will have to explore further! You’ve caught my attention!

    1. Hi Lesly,

      Isn’t the creative titles just genius?! Kirsten is really great at that type of thing. I’m so glad you liked this post.

      I’m in her Inbox of Opportunity course and there’s some really great content that I’m learning.

      Take care,

    2. Thanks Lesly! I’m glad you found some nuggets 🙂 The creative titles really add an extra something special to your newsletters, you know? Kind of an “insider” exclusive. I love that! Anything extra to help our subscribers feel like the VIPs that they are is great!

  5. Hi Kristen and Lillian,

    What an eye opener this is! I love the idea of creating beautiful newsletters. Emails are the key to our business. And what we all want is to have people open them, read and even reply.

    I sure do think that having it done so attractive will enable our readers to look forward to receiving them.

    Thanks so much for these wonderful tips.


    1. Hi Donna,

      So glad you liked Kirsten’s tips! Isn’t it great when people reply to the emails? I love that and I wish it would happen more often. I’m taking Kirsten’s Inbox of Opportunity course so hopefully I’ll get more engagement and provide some beautiful newsletters.

      Take care,

  6. It is so important to have something that is visually appealing and easy to read. Your article is great, goes through all this so someone can get something out there that will be read.



    1. Hi Andy,

      Glad you liked Kirsten’s article! She has some great nuggets in there.

      Take care,

  7. Amazing ,you give us so many good Ideas,
    You both are so beautifully creative ,there
    are so many good suggestions in this post.
    I am sure everybody can find something
    new here and get creative as well .
    Thank you both

    1. Hi Erika,

      Isn’t Kirsten great?! I love her suggestions and I’m already putting some of the ideas in place.

      Take care,

  8. Lillian and Kirsten
    I can’t thank you enough, both of you, so much .
    I want to do a new newsletter and brand it to my sites (3) of them.
    I wanted to change from aweber to cut down on costs but wasn’t
    sure if I could do a good job on Mailchimp.
    Now I know I can, with your help. From PAC rotator.

    1. Hi Kathryn,

      I haven’t used Aweber however I do use Mailchimp and it’s been wonderful to work with. Any issues or questions that I have I know I can go to Kirsten. She is awesome!

      Thanks for stopping by & take care,

  9. A visually appealing newsletter form is a must to grab visitors attention and at the same time engage visitors as well. There are various plugins available these days with which one can easily get the same. Many thanks for this useful article.

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