Darren Azzopardi SEO & Usability Lover

The Equaliser-savour of Newsletters

showing my support waving a pretend 'The Equaliser' scarf

A newsletter that illustrates football statistics with great infographics accompanied by a 'pub-banter-minus-the-swearing' tone has arrived. You don't have to be a football fan to enjoy this. Being a fan of great design, you'll appreciate the effort that goes into each issue.

But, where's the website?

If you don't create content then your online strategy is stuffed but this one, woah soldier, this one, 'The Equaliser' didn't even have a website at the time (when the 2014 World Cup started, but they do now) so they worked on crafting the best football themed newsletter.

Well hello 'The Equaliser', sign me up

I don't know why I signed up (yes I do, it's because I receive those Zoo emails) but I've been a pleasantly surprised by the visuals and content. I'm a fan of football, not a huge one but when the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil kicked off-did you see what I did there,no? I was swept away by all the excitement and I thought why not, it's only a newsletter and became a subscriber.

Easy chunks of content

This newsletter uses infographics to help illustrate the stats and uses them to great effect. It makes a task of looking at football data much more interesting because in all honesty who cares how many times 'Fred Van Rooney Rodriguez' (made up name!) passed the ball? I do because the information was presented visually heavy, making it easy to take in.

The voice of an email newsletter

Alot of newsletters get this wrong. They use this fake 'business' voice, using words that you wouldn't hear in a conversation but seem so 'natural' to be put in an email newsletter for some reason. This just creates distance between the reader connecting with what they are taking in, which is supposed to be your message!!

The tone is what you would expect, the stereotypical pub football talk and it bloody works well.

I understand there's a need to fit the tone with the type of business you are and so you wouldn't get HSBC sending emails to you like, 'Alright guvnor, we've got some great interest rates that we can't even control yet to pass onto you that will get you into debt...' but writing content that's understandable and has a nice flow is important! Talk to your audience, like you're sat next to them not a numpty in a suit eating your overpriced Waitrose sandwich.

The guys/girls who worked on this nailed the tone of the newsletter, top marks to you all!

Virtua Fighter character select screen

The visual style of 'The Equaliser' reminds me of the early Virtua Fighter polygon designs

Retro style visuals

Using polygon-esque illustrations like those seen in the first release of Virtua Fighter or the SNES classic Starfox/Starwing, the aesthetics are sexy. I wouldn't say simple, some illustrations look straight forward but this style and I sound pretentious here, is 'retro modern', it works really well.

*Takes a sip from his Mappa-Frappa-Dappa-Mocha-Latte-Chino

GOAL! It's a winner from me

If you've liked what I've written you can give me a shout on twitter but more importantly if you want to receive the newsletter by 'The Equaliser' then you'll be doing your inbox a favour.

Take note

So I don't get sued the images used here apart from my own doodle (man waving a scarf) belong to their respective owners; Virtua Fighter belongs to SEGA'reg; and the Messi graphical image, football statistics infographic and The Equaliser logo belong to well, 'The Equaliser'.

Why I wrote this

What gives me the right to have an opinion on someone else's newsletter? Well nothing, other than I simply want to because I think credit should be given to something I like and I love this email newsletter. I've designed my share of newsletters, first learning my trade to where I am now.

When I do, I enjoy designing my newsletter and I like to think mine are great too and stand out from the rest but then again I'm the only one blowing this trumpet-trump trump!

Creating and testing newsletter designs can be frustrating at times but what else do you expect, a Blue Peter Badge? No, you get back to it and sort it out. Once you get familiar with what you can and can't do when coding, the path does open up abit.

Starting a newsletter campaign will expose flaws when it comes to creating a content strategy because if you've never thought about it, where do you start? If you've never produced any content other than when you launched your website you'll need to work on building a habit amongst other things.

The reason of a newsletter

The idea is that when user, I mean subscriber, receives a newsletter, they drive traffic to your website. If you designed the newsletter right and it's corresponding landing pages, then you could make some conversions (getting the user to carry out a task). But first, before all this comes building your database, your database full of people that are interested in what you have to offer not a database you've bought, that's rubbish and lazy!

You've just read the 'Science' part.

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