What Pinterest Can Teach Us About e-Newsletter Design

Potent protection against dull e-newsletter design

You’ve probably heard the latest social media buzz about the Pinterest craze: what started out as a site to bookmark and share recipe, decorating, fashion, and party ideas—mostly among women—has exploded into one of the most popular new social media outlets on the web. While Pinterest’s 12 million unique visitors per month doesn’t even come close to rivaling Facebook’s 167 million—the time spent on the site per visitor (an average of 1 hour and 17 minutes) beats Twitter, Linkedin and Google+ combined. This means that Pinterest is a site to watch as it is significantly driving web traffic and broadening its user base rapidly.

Not just for “ladies’ interests” any longer, Pinterest is now being used by companies as diverse as home builders, such as Brookfield Homes San Diego,  to t-shirt manufacturer Sevenly.

While the site’s potential for corporate promotion is still in its infancy, what is obvious is the instant appeal of Pinterest’s simple and streamlined design. Why not take a hint from this forward-thinking site and incorporate a few of these elements in your next e-newsletter redesign:

  • Chronology is out: Try moving away from Reverse Chronology in your e-newsletter, blog, and website design. While Facebook and Twitter rely on the default organizational style of “newest-to-oldest” when it comes to organizing information, Pinterest’s popularity shows us that alternative modes of organization might just be the wave of the future. This can help great content from feeling “old,” just because you posted it last week and allow you to get more mileage from your most valuable content.
  • Hierarchy is out, Uniformity is in: Part of Pinterest’s appeal is the “flattening” of information that refuses to tell readers what content is most or least important. The site’s style utilizes a uniform post-it style design and size for each “pin” on a user’s board. This creates a streamlined and visually appealing look that many e-newsletters could take a lesson from.
  • Streamlining is in, Clutter is out: How many e-Newsletters have you seen that look like a cluttered mess of indiscernible text? From a design standpoint what is so appealing about Pinterest is its streamlined visual presentation that relies heavily on graphics. The site is not bogged-down by extensive text. Users browse the site visually, then click-thru to other websites to read the details of only the content they want to know more about. Certainly the content of your e-newsletter will be the most important aspect to your readers in the end, but if your design is off-putting readers won’t take the time to discover your content gems. Use streamlined graphics and titles on your e-newsletter’s opening page and save the lengthy text for another layer of your website or blog which your readers can access only after clicking on a “read more” link.

This post is part of our monthly Vitamin E(newsletter) – a newsletter all about e-newsletters. To read more from this month’s e-newsletter:

eDistribution: Email Deliverability Tips & Myths (Part 2)

AntioxiDesign: What Pintarest Can Teach Us About e-Newsletter Design

eContent: 10 Fresh Content Ideas to Perk Up Your e-Newsletter (Part 2)

Carl’s Capsules: Have You Filled Out Your Own Contact/Subscribe Form Lately?

e-News of the Month: Pregnancy Weekly

(r)e-Run of the Month: e-Newsletter Revenue Generation

eToon: Free Doughnuts

eTube: Use Your e-Newsletter to Boost SEO!

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