Email design trends you need to know

Here’s how to reign supreme in your subscriber’s inbox

Email design trends (the popular looks and the feel of email campaigns) are *essential* for success and higher click-through rates.

Bold predictions that email marketing is over have been greatly exaggerated. Email is a powerful channel with an unheard-of ROI, and as per McKinsey, email is 40 times more effective at attracting new customers than Facebook or Twitter.

When it works, it really works! However, a simple call to action and a cool image is no longer enough to capture the attention of a distracted and busy audience.

In 2021, clever design strategies help digital marketers to connect with their target audience and encourage those click-throughs to come in thick and fast.

Here are the trends to help you create a newsletter that will best resonate with your target audience.

Bold typography in emails

Bold typography

While images traditionally help the design of an email captivate the audience, email design trends have evolved to where typography is the hero in emails, not the images.

Creative copywriting in big, bold typography can convey meaning and emotion just like images can.

If you are going to use bold typography; be careful with the word selection (use words that bring a positive image to your brand), make sure the words are in muted colours and test the responsiveness of the typography on your mobile (it may take up too much real estate).

Dark mode in emails

Dark mode

Increasing exposure to devices leading to eye strain has seen dark mode increase in popularity. Dark mode comes to the rescue where light-coloured typography, iconography and UI are placed on a dark background.

We recommend designing your emails to consider dark mode compatibility, test them out and adjust accordingly so everyone will be able to easily read your communications.

Maximalism in emails


We’ve been all-in on minimalism for a while, but now we’re all about maximalism! The trend capitalises on eye-catching effects, including busy layouts, arrays of colours, patterns, shapes, large imagery, dramatic and bold typography.

This design approach works best for businesses that are fearless and creative.

Emotional design in emails

Emotional design

Through colour and imagery, you can evoke the right emotion for your campaign. The typical nine emotions you can trigger for maximum conversions through emails include belonging, guilt, curiosity, hope, vanity, greed, trust, fear of missing out and love/lust.

This World Vision email uses an image that evokes hope, with orange associated with change, joy and determination.

Animation and static imagery in emails

Animation & static imagery

Combining animation with static imagery gives a major “wow factor” while the email loads quickly versus an email with full animation. The layering design adds visual depth to the email design and allows control of visual hierarchy and which elements get noticed first.

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