how to create a beautiful branded newsletter in mailchimp

Do you need to send out an email newsletter? Have you altered it so that it fits your brand?

This might be a controversial thing for a designer to say – but… don’t worry about it. Yes it’s nice to have everything made beautiful and branded, of course it is, but your email is not the first thing that people will see. You have to get people to open it first. In their inbox they’ll see your name and they’ll see the title of your email. That may or may not be enough to make them open it. If they get that far then they’ll probably read your email. If they clicked on it then they are interested enough to at least read the beginning of it.

I am not a copywriter, however here’s a link to a great article by the lovely Judy Olbrych which talks about getting past the human filter with a great email subject line. Go and check this out to help with that!

The other thing is that not everyone has images turned on in their emails, so your efforts might be wasted, and a lot of people view emails on their phones these days too so you need to consider how that will look and be sure not to include huge graphics that fill the screen before you even get to your content.

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Once people are actually intrigued enough to see what you have to say then it’s worth spending time ensuring that there are some brand elements in your email. It can be time consuming and irritating to create a beautiful branded newsletter – but don’t worry, if you’re a MailChimp user then I’m going to show you how to create one next – the easy way, not with code or anything – but my top advice would be not to worry about making your newsletter branded and beautiful. Make sure the subject line is interesting, make sure the content is high value and the text is clear. You can add your logo at the bottom, much like an email signature, if you want to. The main thing is that if sending email newsletters is a key part of what you do then just get it done. You can tweak your template as you go until you have a perfectly branded email. Done is better than perfect.

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If you read this post before watching the video, then skip to 4.10 so you don’t hear all of this again! And get yourself a cup of tea. 

What if you still want to create a beautifully branded email?

Then stick around. Here’s what you need to do.

Get a sheet of paper out. That’s right – you don’t need MailChimp yet. You won’t need it for at least ten minutes, so grab a pen too and get to it.

Firstly you need to map out your content. Are you just writing a straightforward letter? Do you have a lot of news to share that you need to split up somehow? Write down your plan then order it from 1 to whatever so you know what the most important thing that you’re going to write about first is. This is a good point to think about pictures. Are you going to include any photographs or other images? Then sketch out how you want your newsletter to be structured. That might look like this, which is what I’m going to use as the basis for the template when we get to MailChimp.

If y Pretty branded newsletterou have images then you need to make sure you have them all ready. You can crop and edit images in MailChimp if you need to, but if you want to do anything more swanky like adding text over the top or creating a graphic then you might want to pop over to something like canva and create that image.

Once you have your sketch and your image, you need to make sure you have the colour codes for your brand colours to hand and also be aware of which fonts you want to use. You might not be able to use exactly the same font on your email as you use on your print. Don’t worry about that. Find the most similar option and then stick to it. Don’t let it stop you from actually sending your newsletter out!

The Content Marketing Institute says to use generous sizes, with body copy set to at least 14 pts and headlines set to 22 – although bear in mind that on Apple devices smaller text will automatically be resized to 12pts. Check out the article for more info.

Then you’re ready to open MailChimp and get to it! Let’s do that…

For this part you reeeeally need to watch the video. It’s long, so you might want to make a cup of tea, grab some paper and a pen to take notes and open up Mailchimp so you can design yours as you go! Skip to 4.10 or you’ll just be watching me telling you what you’ve just been reading!


Let me know if this has helped you – or if you have any other questions about making your newsletter look pretty, then pop them below!

O, and if you’d like to receive Whiteacres Notebook, then you can sign up here!


Amy PurdieAmy Purdie is the founder of Whiteacres (where you are now) she can help your business become irresistible to your ideal clients so that they can’t wait to work with you.

Amy has been enjoying designing logos, brand identities, illustration, print work and websites – since 2007 fuelled mainly by tea and chocolate.



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