Infographics are a type of content—visual content. Which means that like all other content types you can think of—except maybe software or tools—they can be shared directly in newsletters to your email subscribers. And yes, a software is a type of content. But I won’t digress. It’s really all about understanding best practices in infographic newsletter design to best leverage them.
Infographics are useful because visual content is easily remembered. In one study, 65 percent of people will remember an information three days after they see it if it contains images.
However, the nature of infographics makes it important to follow some best practices while sharing them to your email subscribers. It’s not just like sending a text-based newsletter. What are these infographic newsletter design guidelines? Read on to find out.
1. Pick Your Email Marketing Platform
Currently, there are hundreds of email marketing software—312 are listed on Capterra at the time of this writing. As obtainable with most marketing-related tools, you’re spoilt for choice. Apart from the fact that you may experience decision paralysis, there’s the not-so-small problem of choosing the wrong email marketing software.
Sadly, some people still erroneously believe that only a bad workman blames his tools, but the truth is that sometimes, a workman’s tool is really the cause of poor output. So choosing an email marketing platform that can comfortably handle all your content needs including sending infographics is important. Here are some things you may want to look out for when choosing an email marketing software:
The uninitiated marketer may wonder what additional features an email marketing platform should have apart from the ability to send emails (of course). Several other features are necessary. For example, you’ll likely require features that allows you to use autoresponders, triggers, drip campaigns, or accurate reports as reports are essential for determining the success of your email campaigns. Pick a minimum number of features your email marketing software must have, but only choose one after considering the other factors below.
What other software do you use for your marketing activities? Will you expect them to work with the email marketing platform you choose? As an example, Aweber integrates with other websites and services spanning nine categories from data analytics to contest promotion.
Ease of use
Some email marketing software is easier to use than others, and vice versa. For example, some email software mostly uses a drag and drop builder even for some complicated tasks. For the same result on other platforms, you may need to know HTML or graphic design. Your level of technical skills should guide you in making a choice.
You likely have a monthly or annual budget for email marketing software. While there are pay-as-you-go email platforms, there are some platforms like MailChimp that allow you to send email to a specific number of people for free–you only start paying when you exceed the limit.Other platforms are pricey from the onset. Nevertheless, raise your budget a little if you find one that meets your needs at a reasonable cost.
Size of your list
Some email platforms can only send emails to a limited number of contacts, while others can send to millions at a time. Additionally, as mentioned earlier, a bigger email list typically means bigger costs.
Seek recommendations, mine review sites, or even speak with the customer support team of some email marketing platforms you’re considering to help you decide which one you’ll use. It will make or mar your abilities to use infographic newsletter designs and how effective they are in the long run.
2. Design Your Message
After picking the email marketing platform of your choice, designing the message is next. At this point, you’ll first decide what type of infographic you’re sending to your subscribers. In a previous article, I mentioned seven types of infographics including:
- Data visualizations
- Processes and how-tos
After deciding what type of infographic you’re sharing with your email list and creating content on it, you’ll pick a template provided by your email marketing platform or build one from scratch if you’re not a technophobe. If you’re using a software like Get Response, it has over 500 ready-made HTML templates you can choose from, with several templates for different industries you can customize to your taste. Inspire yourself with the templates provided by your email marketing provider, and choose or customize one that will allow you present your infographic in an appealing manner without any distortions to your subscribers.
Generally, factors like the email clients, devices you plan to support, and an option for allowing subscribers view the email in their browsers will determine the type of templates you’ll use. iContact recommends using descriptive alt tag on images, including infographics since some email clients will not display graphics until the recipient selects to download images. Here’s an example of what it means you should avoid:
What does “interesting image” mean?
The example above shows what you should avoid when designing your message. If you scour other newsletters you’ll discover other bad design practices you should avoid or good elements you can implement.
3. Make It Responsive
Two-thirds of emails are opened on mobile devices. If your emails are not optimized for mobile, you’re losing out. Responsive and mobile-friendly do not exactly mean the same thing, but a responsive email works fine on mobile devices.
Mobile friendly emails look great on all devices. The email scales with device size, often have a single column-layout and large fonts that are readable on all devices.
Responsive emails, on the other hand, rely on CSS media queries that modify and change the email based on certain rules you specify. These emails modify to fit any screen width irrespective of device. Again, some email marketing platforms have fully responsive templates you can use without writing complex codes, and above all, it will save you time.
That being said, it’s evident why responsive emails are great when you’re sending infographic newsletter designs.
However, responsive emails will not make infographics with smaller fonts more legible. In that case, you can crop your infographics to enhance its display and make it more readable on smaller screens as I mentioned in my post on how to make your infographics more mobile-friendly. Cropping will not work with all infographics.
For example, cropping the infographic below into six or seven parts doesn’t change its meaning.
If you’re not a fan of cropping, you can create mini-infographics which are sometimes called “minfographics.” A tool like Venngage helps you to create them and they display well on all devices. Here’s an example created with Venngage (watch out for the “interesting fact” part.)
A newsletter with a mini infographic on the temperature people love the most in Canada
Summarily, you can make your infographic look good on all devices by cropping it into different parts or creating smaller infographics (minfographics) from the get-go.
4. Generating Subscribers with Infographics
Infographics are primarily adored for their engagement abilities, but they’re great for building an email list too. Here are several ways you can use infographics to get more newsletter subscribers.
After designing your infographic, add a link or links encouraging visitors to sign up for your newsletter. There is no standard way of doing this, but just know that the more specific you are, the better. Here’s an example of a sign-up infographic.
It can definitely be better, but you get the idea.
A TV Japan infographic
Source: Campaign Monitor
– As content upgrade
Content upgrades are popular in the marketing world, and that’s because they work. An infographic can be an upgrade on an existing blog post or existing infographic.
For example, you have a post discussing ten ways to bake bread. You can offer an infographic that visually summarizes these baking methods as a content upgrade. To take it a step further, you can offer an infographic where readers can see a visual depiction of the necessary steps to take in baking bread for each method—that’s ten infographics!
Or if you have a post you can summarize it as an infographic and offer it to readers as a content upgrade. How-tos and comparisons are excellent options for creating content upgrade infographics.
5. Share on social media
In addition to amplifying your content’s reach or driving traffic to your site, you can get new subscribers when you share your infographic on social media. Users are 10% more likely to purchase from Pinterest than from any social media site. Since it’s largely an image-focused site, you can share infographics you create there especially if the infographic or your products and services appeal to the audience on Pinterest who are predominantly women over the age of 40.
Plus, people engage with infographics shared on Facebook three times more than other posts. Don’t exclude sharing your infographics on these two sites for starters. You can test other social media sites like LinkedIn or Twitter after you’ve discovered what works for lead generation for your brand on Pinterest and Facebook.
Regardless of what you’ve read here along with the examples lauded as best practices, they’re not set in stone and you’ll still need to test which ones will appeal to your audience. Remember that 65 percent of people prefer emails with visuals, and with infographics, you can appease such ones.
Instead of using standard infographics since most emails are opened on mobile devices, and they may be illegible to your subscribers, consider using “minfographics.” Create infographics for your email marketing campaigns, and you’ll increase engagement among your subscribers and gain even more leads.