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06 February

12 Top Email Design Trends for 2020

Stripo / Blog / 12 Top Email Design Trends for 2020

Each year brings us fresh email design ideas. Some are cool, some are not. In this post, we’re sharing the trends to help you build really cool emails that will for sure stand out in recipients’ inboxes.

According to the poll, held by Litmus, and predictions, made by professionals at Email on Acid, and also judging by the emails that we see today in our Inboxes, the hottest email marketing design trends for 2020 are:

  • AMP components in emails;

  • personalization;

  • interactivity;

  • live/real-time content;

  • animations;

  • optimization for the dark mode;

  • 3D images;

  • illustrations;

  • custom fonts — creative typography;

  • email production automation;

  • email accessibility;

  • video in email.

1. AMP components in emails

Email marketing was constantly developing as a channel. But AMP is a totally cutting edge technology. It allows recipients to take diverse actions directly in emails without the need to go to your website. 

Today, this technology allows recipients to:

  • rate your service, and leave feedback without the need to go to Google Forms or any other questionnaire. BTW, we made an experiment: those users who could leave a comment right in an email, would do it 5 times more often than those who had to go to a questionnaire on our website. This proves that AMP emails are one of the most effective 2020 email design trends;

Leaving Feedback in Email

  • swipe images in carousels;

  • see additional information on a product they are interested in with the help of accordions;

  • book hotels;

  • choose the right amount of product items, product colors, and size, add the final order to cart and go to the website to pay for the items ordered.

You can either build such email on your own, or use code samples from Google amp.dev, or use our templates as the base for your future AMP campaigns.

Browse templates

Btw, the popular real-time content — read below — can be easily implemented with the AMP technology.

This brand new technology is now supported by Gmail web, Gmail app on Android, and iOS (the latter is being rolled out now), Mail.ru both mobile and desktop. Outlook will support it soon.

Please, refer to our blog post on AMP to know how to build AMP emails in Stripo with no coding experience.

As we are now the only email template builder that allows building AMP emails by using Drag-n-Drop blocks. Even Google mentioned it on its amp.dev page. 

Also, we offer like 15 ready-to-use AMP email templates. Edit any of them and reach out to recipients with trending emails. 

2. Personalization

Here, first of all, we should remember that personalization goes far beyond addressing by names. Though addressing by names should be present in your emails, as well.

Advanced personalization, in fact, includes the following techniques:

  • sender name — it goes without saying. Recipients should see who is reaching out to them. Besides, 65% of Americans open their emails judging by the sender name;

  • personalized subject lines — it could be addressing by names, by using some facts that show the recipient that you are addressing specifically to him or her.
    People all over the world received emails: Amsterdamian, Londonian, etc. shirts. This was pretty funny and, certainly, every recipient knew the message was meant for him or her;

Stripo-Email-Design-Trends-Personalization

  • personalized offers — add value to your propositions by making them individual. Generic offers ones are now considered irrelevant, and quite often go to trash;

  • signature — it is a good way to stay polite and a perfect technique to personalize your emails. Let your customers know the name of the person who has reached out to them.

Note: once you tailored offer for each group of recipients individually, it will be reasonable to use merge-tags to address recipients by names.

Stripo-Email-Design-Trends-Addressing-by-names

You can add merge-tags to copy in emails with Stripo. Just double click the text in your email, and above the template, you will see the “Merge Tags” button.

Stripo-Email-Design-Trends-Adding-Merge-Tags

Click on it, select the ESP you are going to send emails through and pick the variable you are about to use for a particular email campaign.

3. Interactivity

Interactive emails are emails that contain interactive elements. The latter requires a customer's actions right in emails. But it differs from the AMP for email technology.

Some time back, interactivity was supposed to entertain recipients. But now its goal is to make emails more functional and to prevent customers from extra actions and from leaving emails.

Don’t want to build these emails because it is arduous work? You had to build interactive elements with a third-party tool, then fit it in an email template? And the chances were that the email layout would break or get non-responsive. Not any more! Stripo provides you with embedded micro tools for building image rollover effects and countdown timers right in our editor in literally no time! As from today, forget about rendering issues and wasted time. The interactivity you build with Stripo is totally websafe and works well in almost all email clients.

Stripo-Top-Email-Design-Trends-for-2019-Interactive-Elements

Design tips for this type of email: in order to convince your audience to interact within the email, make focus on this particular element. Avoid using distractive elements and dozens of superfluous images.

4. Live/real-time content

Today, it’s really important to provide users with fresh news and updated information. For instance, fund organizations can show an updated amount of money they have succeeded to raise. UEFA, FIFA, MLB and other sports organizations can show scores in real-time. Users will just need to update email every 5 minutes.

The AMP-list component allows delivering always actual content to your users in, say, welcome emails without the constant need to edit them. No matter when users open this email — they will always see only the most recent blog posts.

AMP_List_Updated Content

Use template

You can also provide users with live weather forecasts, with seats available on a plane, etc.

You can create this content with Nifty.images — they will give you an embed code, — or by using the AMP for email technology — we said above that you can do it with Stripo.

For more information on how to embed dynamic content in emails, please refer to our dedicated blog post.

5. Animations

When talking about animations, we mean GIFs, APNGs, and CSS animations.

GIFs

How can you add GIFs to your emails? Most builders allow you to insert it as a simple image. But with some, you will need to insert the link. With Stripo, you can do it either way.

Stripo-Top-Email-Design-Trends-GIFs

Design tips for this type of emails:

  • keep it to 2 flashes per second, as 3 or more flashes can cause photosensitive epilepsy seizures;

  • only one GIF at a time. If you need to use 2 and more GIFs per email, hide them with the rollover effect.

APNG

APNG is an alternative to regular GIFs, but the quality of images is higher. It’s going to be quite popular in 2020.

The only disadvantage of this file format is that it’s not supported by Gmail and Outlook app (Windows), which makes more than a third of your users.

CSS animation

Typically, CSS animations are applied to buttons and images. Its main goal is to show recipients they are going to make an action once they click the highlighted element.

Stripo-Email-Design-Trends-CSS-Animation-Litmus

Stripo allows you to animate/apply a hover effect to all buttons in your emails. Create the best email designs in no time.

To apply a hover effect to CTA buttons in your emails you need to:

  • go to the Appearance tab;
  • open the "Button" tab;
  • enable the "Highlight hovered buttons" option;
  • set parameters for the CTA buttons and their fonts when highlighted.

Email Design Trends_Hover Effect to Buttons

Important:

You may activate CSS animation for some buttons in your emails only.

Please refer to this blog post to find out to how to do it, see the "Adding CTA button" section.

6. Optimization for the dark mode

The dark mode, also known as a dark theme, is now active not only on desktop, but mobile devices also. And email clients are not an exception here.

So, what is the dark mode? It applies more contrast shades of the colors that were used in your emails when showing your emails. This can make your texts illegible. The dark theme may also invert black to white and vice versa.

You never know what mode your customers prefer. Hence, your emails should look fabulous and be pretty legible both in dark and light modes.

Email Design Trends_Dark Mode

To achieve this, we need to pay close attention to the colors we choose, and to images. Speaking of the latter, it’s preferred to use transparent ones, logos should go with transparent backgrounds too. If your logo is written in black, add a colorful stroke or light shade around it to make it noticeable and legible.

Stripo enables you to set a background color that remains the same both in the light and dark modes.

Please, find more tips on how to optimize emails for the dark mode in our blog post

In fact, optimization of your email newsletters for the dark mode will have no direct impact on OR, but will certainly win credibility with customers.

7. 3D images

Images of this type are hard to build, hence they do not appear in emails quite often yet. However, some brands use them to animate heroes and products. They look really cool and will liven up your emails if you decide to use them.

Design Trends_3D Images

This email by sample by Tesla can serve as email design inspiration for 2020 and may encourage you to add 3D images to your campaigns.

If you do not have a staff designer, build 3D images with an online tool. There are many of them on the Internet.

8. Illustrations

Illustrations will make your emails more memorable compared to the emails with images.

More and more brands use this imagery today.

Email Design Ideas_Using 3D Images in Emails

This email sample from Trello looks really nice.

9. Custom fonts – creative typography

Email is no longer just text and beautiful images. Despite some constraints of usage of custom fonts in emails, every day more brands start adding them to their newsletters.

In some cases, fonts become the key element of an entire email.

Creative Typography_Email Design Trends

(Source: Really Good Emails)

These emails stand out in users’ inboxes.

Please be advised that you can add custom fonts in emails with Stripo

10. Email production automation

Email production automation is something that we all long for. The less time we spend on email design, the more time we have left for making encouraging texts.

According to Litmus studies, on average, email production takes an email marketer up to 24.6 hours. That’s a pain in the neck. Especially, taking into account, that he or she needs to build up to 9 emails at once.

Our smart elements enable you to build product’s cards just with one click — you paste the URL to a particular product page, and Stripo automatically generates product snippet, price, description, and CTA button. If you like, you may set more fields.

Also, by using the Stripo API, you can generate up to 64 similar emails a minute. Soon, we will publish a blog post with details on how to do it.

11. Email accessibility

Email accessibility requirements were developed to enable marketers to create emails that can be “read” by people with visual impairments, now there are 285 million of them worldwide.

Besides, today more and more people use voice assistants to interact with emails using their phones. Due to these facts, we need to make sure our emails comply with the email accessibility best practices.

Email accessibility will remain one of the hottest and most valuable email marketing design trends for the next decade until we all get used to building our emails in accordance with the accessibility requirements.

Here they are, in a nutshell:

  • language, specified in the head of HTML;

  • the <charset="UTF-8"> content type;

  • alt texts for images;

  • contrast ratio;

  • double line spacing;

  • meaningful links;

  • clear CTA buttons;

  • all sentences (even the ones that go before the buttons) and bullet points end with dot or semicolons.

Stripo-Email-Design-Trends-Accessibility

Before you send emails to valued recipients, please check the former for accessibility with the campaign precheck tool by Email on Acid.

12. Video in email

Videos in emails increase CTOR, recipients are more likely to buy from us after watching a video, videos also save us some time and space in emails because they prevent us from writing long-read manuals on how to use our tools.>

There are two ways of adding videos in emails:

  • inserting hyperlink;

  • embedding MP4 video in emails.

The best solution is to use them both — embedded videos for the Apple devices users, and inserted URL link for others.

Once the email is opened on Mac or iPhone, a recipient will see the thumbnail and the “play” button. The video will be played right in the email.

Once the email is opened on any other device, the recipient will see the preview image of the video from Youtube and once he or she clicks the play button, this recipient will be directed to Youtube.

In this post, we in the details showed how to implement both the aforementioned ways of adding videos in emails with Stripo and provide the code to insert to make this email interactive.

You can also use this email template with an embedded video. You will only have to replace the links with yours, and your email is ready to go.

Final thoughts

In the era of fast-developing technologies, we need to keep our fingers on the pulse and hurry to implement these email design best practices for 2020 in our emails.

Luckily, Stripo enables you to implement all these trends for 2020 in no time.

Select any of the 300+ Stripo email templates as the base for your future campaigns

sreekumar p 11 months ago

Great article. I would like to know the feasibility of Dynamic Content generation (external API) in Stripo Email Template. Is it possible to include dynamic content?

Hanna Kuznietsova commented to sreekumar p 10 months ago

Sreekumar, Hello. Thank you for your interest in our blog. Yes, our API allows including dynamic content. Currently, all the details on how to build dynamic emails by using API you may find here: https://stripo.email/ru/stripo-api/ Soon, we'll publish a more detailed post on it. I'll duplicate the link here once the post is ready. But now, if you face some difficulties when working with our API, please email us at support@stripo.email and we'll be glad to assist. Have a good day!

M. qureshi 1 year ago

I find this one very helpful. I knew most of the stuff already but I missed few trends and this was a good reminder for me. Thanks for Sharing!

Hanna Kuznietsova commented to M. qureshi 1 year ago

M. qureshi, Thank you for your kind words. I'm very glad you find this post useful. Thank you for your interest in our blog!

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