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Email Design Trends for 2021

The browser industry continues to move at full-speed with amazing innovation. Email, on the other hand, drags behind in its technological advancements as email lag in adopting the latest in HTML and CSS standards.

That said, it’s a challenge that makes digital marketers work that much harder at being innovative and creative in their use of this primary marketing medium. In the past, we’ve seen the incorporation of animated gifs, video, and even emojis used to differentiate and enhance the email subscriber’s experience.

The folks at Uplers have released this infographic, 11 Email Design Trends that will reign supreme in 2021, that points to some of the design element changes that we’re seeing take shape:

  1. Bold Typography – if you’re after the attention of the subscriber in a crowded inbox, integrating bold typographic headlines in images can capture their attention.
  2. Dark Mode – Operating systems have gone to dark mode to ease the eye strain and energy consumption of bright screens, so email clients have moved in that direction as well.

How To Code Dark Mode Into Your Emails

  1. Gradients – Visually, our eyes tend to follow gradients, so incorporating them to direct the attention of your email subscriber can draw additional attention to headlines and calls-to-action.
  2. Emotional Design – You can evoke the right emotion by the proper use of colors and imagery. While blue reflects serenity and peace, red stands for excitement, passion, and urgency. Orange signifies creativity, energy, and freshness. Yellow, on the other hand, can be used to draw attention without giving any alarming signal.
  3. Neumorphism – Also known as neo-skeuomorphism, neumorphism uses subtle depth and shadow effects for the objects without over-representing them. Neo simply means new from the greek neos. Skeuomorph is a word composed of skeuos, meaning container or tool, and morphḗ, meaning shape.
  4. 2D Textured Illustrations – Adding texture and shading to images and illustrations will take the look and feel of your email’s look and feel to the next level by representing the items more tactically. You can experiment with various color contrasts, gradients, tints, and patterns to give more depth to your emails.
  5. 3D Flat Images – Incorporating dimension in your photos or illustrations can make your email come to life by making the design more impactful. Psst… notice how I incorporated that in the featured image on this post?
  6. Phantasmagoric Collages – Gathering bits and pieces from different images into a single image imparts a surreal feel to the email and stirs the subscriber’s interest. 
  7. Muted Colors – Bright and bold colors are no longer the subscriber’s favorite. People have now shifted to muted color palettes that are desaturated by adding some white, black, or other complementary colors.
  8. Monochrome Layouts – Many people misinterpret monochrome email designs as the usage of black or white. The truth is you can try out this minimalistic email design with any color of your choice.
  9. Illustrated Animations – Combine the power of illustrations and animated GIFs. It will not only add visual oomph to your emails but also encourage more people to convert.

Here’s the full email design trend infographic, be sure to click through to the article for the full experience from our friends at Uplers.

Email Design trends 2021 1

Douglas Karr

Douglas Karr is the founder of the Martech Zone and a recognized expert on digital transformation. Douglas has helped start several successful MarTech startups, has assisted in the due diligence of over $5 bil in Martech acquisitions and investments, and continues to launch his own platforms and services. He's a co-founder of Highbridge, a digital transformation consulting firm. Douglas is also a published author of a Dummie's guide and a business leadership book.

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