Home DIGITAL MARKETING 6 Email Design Trends That Will Positively Boost Customer Engagement

6 Email Design Trends That Will Positively Boost Customer Engagement

While the ‘batch and blast’ method of sending emails is a wrong practice and email marketers worth their salt will condemn it, there is something to be learned here.

The effectiveness of an email marketing campaign, or any marketing campaign for that matter, lies in customer engagement. The more you are able to make your customers engage with your emails, the more are your chances of converting them.

In this article, we shall look into Email Design Trends that have been around for a few years and observed to boost Customer Engagement significantly.

1. The Design Tone

Emails are the digital counterparts of the postal mails and so people still carry the notion that the email should create a picture of the sender in their mind while reading it. This is possible when your emails have a personality that is in sync with your brand’s personality. Based on the tone you set in your emails, your subscribers’ response varies. An authoritative email tone will ‘instruct’ the next step to be taken, a casual tone will ‘suggest’ it, and an urgent tone will trigger the FOMO effect in your subscribers’ psyche.

And setting the tone is not only restricted to the email copy but also relies on the different design elements of the email template. Some of the design elements that help you set the email tone are:

Colors

Colors have the ability to instigate a specific emotion. Bright colors bring out positive and cheery vibes while dark colors give a vibe of seriousness, authority, elegance. Depending on your brand colors as well as the motive of the email, you can experiment with colors to set the tone.

Images

Just like colors, the images also play a role in setting the tone of the email. Grim or tensed faces mirror the same reaction from your subscribers. Images with people making eye contact instill the feeling of trust. Also, using highly detailed, sharp images in your email template design makes them look more professional.

Typography & Email Copy

Words matter and how you convey them also matters equally. The tone you set in your email copy predominantly sets the base but the fonts you use and the typography you adopt builds upon it. Serif fonts such as Times New Roman convey an authoritative tone, non-serif fonts like Arial convey a casual tone, whereas fonts like Comic Sans give a fun tone.

To test it yourself read the following 3 sentences:

  • Only 2 hours left to avail your special discount code. Grab it now!!! – Arial (Non-Serif)
  • Only 2 hours left to avail your special discount code. Grab it now!!! -Times New Roman (Serif)
  • Only 2 hours left to avail your special discount code. Grab it now!!! – Comic Sans

2. Cinemagraphs

GIFs are one step up from the static images as you can fit in multiple images in the space of one image. Marketers have been using GIFs to add an animation or to demonstrate a product in their emails since long. Going a step further are Cinemagraphs, which are animated GIFs but with only a single element animated over a static background. This gives an overall cinematic effect to the GIF. From the point of customer engagement, Cinemagraphs may not directly impact the same but can be used to draw the attention of the subscriber to a specific spot in your email.

In the example below by KLM Air France, there is a subtle movement in the fields, which may not be evident at the first glance.

Email Design Trends - Cinemagraphs

3. Personalized Email Content – Dynamic Content

Emails are the only marketing channel that has the ability to be personalized without the marketer manually adding the customer data. While personalization using the first name has been going on since decades, personalization in emails has progressed to such an extent that you can create personalized email by utilizing customer data such as:

  • Past purchase
  • Online behaviors
  • Demographics
  • Cart abandonment data

With the advancements in email technologies, marketers can now create specialized email templates where the content for certain content blocks are dynamically fetched from the server when the subscriber opens the email. These types of content blocks are called Dynamic Content blocks and they bring value addition to email marketing campaigns. The more refined your audience segmentation is, the more refined will your dynamic content be. Also, since only the content changes in these emails, you need to create a single email template and the subscriber will only get emails with the information they need. Personalization with dynamic content is a win-win solution.

4. CSS Interactivity & AMP Emails

In the late ’90s, both webpages and emails were coded using HTML markups. Fast forward to modern times… emails got left behind, as webpages became advanced with the adoption of Javascript. Thankfully, with the adoption of CSS3 formatting and AMP in emails, email marketers, with help from and HTML email developer can create intelligent emails that interact with the subscribers instead of just providing information. In either type of email, you can include interactive elements such as forms, accordions, countdown timers, image sliders, and carousels to create smart emails that change as per the user behavior and ensures maximum customer engagement. However, make sure the ESP you are using (Mailchimp, Pardot, Salesforce, or any other) supports interactivity or you may need a fallback.

The email example below is an interactive email sent by Burberry wherein the subscriber can click on the arrow to experience the emails in a magazine-style.

Email Design Trends - CSS interactivity & AMP Emails

5. Beautify The Email Footer

Email footer is the most overlooked part of an email template or HTML email template, as most email marketers have a tunnel vision when it comes to making their email footer CAN-SPAM compliant. So, most email footers end up looking like this.

Email Design Trends - Beautify the email footer

The marketing potential of email footers can be tapped in different ways in order to make them engaging. You can:

    • Ask for feedback

Email Design Trends - Ask for feedback

    • Creatively showcase the awards and accolades your brand has collected

Email Design Trends - Creatively showcase the awards

    • Promote an event

Email Design Trends - Promote an event

6. Accessibility

Email accessibility is the most misunderstood term for the past few years. People tend to associate accessibility with physical disabilities but what email accessibility stands for is quite contrary. Email accessibility talks about creating the convenience of reading the emails for those facing temporary or permanent disability. Temporal disability can range from someone who has both their hands occupied and wants the email to be ‘read’ by the virtual assistant, someone who broke their glasses and is waiting for a replacement, and even someone at a low network area waiting for the images in the email to download.

Email accessibility is not only helping anyone with disabilities but also makes the email easier to skim across for the masses. So, making your emails accessible is the way forward.

Wrap Up

Customer engagement is all about making the customer feel valued and taking steps to provide them with a good user experience. This makes them anticipate your emails and go the extra mile to replicate the gesture for you. The above-mentioned email design trends and tips have brought good engagement for most marketers and we hope they do the same for you as well.

Kevin George
Kevin George is Head of Marketing at Email Uplers, one of the fastest growing custom email design and coding companies, and specializes in crafting professional email templates, PSD to HTML email conversion and Mailchimp email templates. He loves gadgets, bikes, jazz and eats and breathes email marketing. He enjoys sharing his insights and thoughts on email marketing best practices on his blog.

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