Should You Avoid Bulleted Lists In Your Newsletters?

July 22, 2015

Bulleted lists, otherwise known as ordered lists, can make text more quick to read. They allow a reader to quickly and easily read key points and convey importance or chronology. However, in your email newsletter you may want to think twice before using them.

Bullets Don’t Always Look The Same

By default, browsers and email clients add a left margin or padding to an unordered list which indents it from the left margin.

The problem is that different email clients render the margin or padding differently. Because different email clients have different formatting for bulleted list, formatting it for one email client may make it look even worse in another.

For example, Apple Mail and Gmail render the exact same bullets differently. Apple Mail renders left padding as the space for the bullets before the text, Gmail renders the the left padding as space, before the bullets.

Apple mail

gmail

Outlook doesn’t display bullets in emails

What’s even more frustrating is that in Microsoft Outlook 2007 and newer, bullets are truncated and the margin is ignored, this means the bullets just don’t show up.

Bullets in outlook

3 tips for working with bullets in e-newsletters

1. Format templates and styles for your most common email clients

Knowing that the way bullets will display is going to look different from one client to the next, you need to factor that into your design.

Here at Mail on the Mark we do our best to make adjustments to our newsletter templates to target specific email clients. With use of our email client reporting, we can make sure that if you need to use bullets, they look best in which ever email client the majority of your readers are using.

However, even with our adjustments understand that the bullet styles will not look the same from one email client to the next.

2. Don’t wrap bulleted lists around images

It’s best not to try and wrap a bulleted list around an image. Even with the best styles in place, things can get weird when the lists wrap around an image. Often, what had been properly aligned bullets now run over the image.

bullets-w-img

 

3. Don’t use bulleted lists

Our best advice is often to avoid using bulleted lists altogether.

Consider if you really need bullets. With longer list items, we suggest creating them as separate paragraphs. You might want to bold the first few words to help the reader along.

Another option is to “fake” your bullets. Rather than looking for the bulleted style button, add  a bullet character at the beginning of a paragraph.

In summary:

Use bullets sparingly, and when you do use them, know they may not display universally from one email client to the next.

Why Mobile Email Design Matters

May 5, 2015

mobile emailIf you are like most people, you have read a recently read a poorly-formatted enewsletter on your mobile device. By looking at it, you can tell that no one took the time to consider mobile when sending it. This oversight could mean text that’s too large or too small to read, broken layouts and slow loading images.
Email marketers used to be able to get by without including formatting for mobile devices but that is no longer the case. As of March 2015, 45% of email opens occurred on mobile, 36% on desktop and 19% in a webmail client. (Adestra “Top 10 email clients). Depending on your target audience, close to half may not be seeing your news letter correctly or ideally. Some industries have even higher mobile views: according to a 2015, marketing report (Sign-up.to 2015 Email Marketing Benchmark) Events (66,9% of opens), Online Services (52,9%) and Property (50,8%) sectors show the highest levels of mobile email consumption. You can learn even more about mobile email statistics here.

So how do I make sure my emails look good on a mobile device?

Not all queries and design elements work across all email clients and that is the same with mobile devices. At minimum, ensure that your newsletter template is ready for the most common clients such as the iPhone and popular Android phones such as the Galaxy. If you are able to track your users client usage, like you can with Mail on the Mark, you can be sure that it looks good to the majority of your e-newsletter recipients.

E-Newsletter Planning Checklist

December 2, 2014

Getting your newsletter out on time can be hard, and when life gets busy, it seems like everything else comes first. Over the years, we’ve found that most people under-estimate all the steps and how long each step will take to get their e-newsletter sent.

You’re not alone. This is the typical scenario we frequently witness:

You want to send out our company newsletter every month, but then you don’t start working on the e-newsletter until just a few days before it needs to go out. You don’t have the time to think up ideas, build the content, create the blog that you want to click through to, organize and enter new email addresses and test and proofread the e-newsletter. So another month slips by without reaching out to your customers and prospects.

The most important thing to do is work backwards and plan all of your steps.

Our E-Newsletter Planning Checklist (PDF) breaks down your planning step by step to help get your e-newsletter out on time.

And, if you’ve realized that you never manage to your e-newsletter out on time, consider hiring a virtual assistant to help, or give us a call for an estimate on writing and sending your e-newsletter with great content to a targeted audience.

Newsletter Publication Schedule

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