Email Design Trends for 2024
Evolving with the digital landscape is one of the toughest tasks for modern marketers. One day, everyone is obsessed with AI-generated images; the next, everyone craves authentic photography. Email marketing is no exception. It sees a parade of tendencies and the market’s needs and preferences during the year. Let’s explore the email design trends for 2024 to remain competitive.
While audiences quickly adapt to new realms, this could be a nightmare for companies and their long-term strategies.
However, staying ahead of the curve is crucial for many reasons.
- Integrating trending things as they come up gives the brand a competitive advantage over others.
- It makes the brand relevant and more appealing to the audience.
- It fights competition and secures market positioning.
- Companies that are open to new things and always go first are viewed as leaders. This builds the brand’s credibility, increases loyalty, and strengthens the overall image.
Brands must be aware of the changes, trends, and methods now redefining the email marketing landscape. Let’s consider email design trends for 2024 to stay in the game.
Our predictions were based on technological advancements, market studies, and tendencies in the economic sphere. Use them to put forward new ideas and open opportunities to communicate with the customers to run high-converting and responsive email campaigns.
Email Design Trends [Video]
Read more about previous trends
Email Design Trends 2024
Sustainable Practices and Accessibility
We will start our predictions for email design trends in 2024 with sustainable practices and accessibility. Traditionally, both directions were invisible to the naked eye. More and more companies brag about their eco-friendly ways.
The main reason behind this shift from invisibility and modesty to posturing lies in meeting people’s current expectations. According to McKinsey, over 60% of consumers prioritize sustainable products and brands. More and more people are becoming aware of their environmental impact; they choose brands that stick to eco-friendly and ethical practices.
Another study reports that customers are likelier to buy from brands with transparent social responsibilities. Therefore, more companies resort to so-called sustainable marketing, which will be a prime driving force for building loyalty, strengthening market position, finding new leads, improving engagement, and increasing conversions and revenue in 2024.
What does it mean for email design? Expect to see local and international companies show off their pledge of social responsibility and ways to follow sustainable practices. They will promote environmentally and socially responsible products, practices, and brand values. Some will add seals of social responsibilities in the footer next to their company’s visual identity elements to connect brands and practices. In contrast, others will use multimedia to deliver the right message. You may also see more green coloring and nature motifs.
Depending on the strategy, you may see companies try to accomplish these tasks:
- Show how they commit to an environmental or social cause by sharing reports or social media proofs.
- Educate consumers about their brand’s responsibilities by running informational campaigns dedicated to certain events and observances.
- Create a sustainable community with the brand in the lead.
- Demonstrate their brand culture that supports ethical labor practices and biodiversity.
As for accessibility, with the rising social responsibility trend in 2024, more customers will be concerned about the community’s health and the brand’s ways of treating others. Therefore, accessibility, which is ignored by companies more often than not, will also get under the radar. After all, it is the first step toward equity and inclusivity and one of the main factors that reveals companies’ attitudes towards minorities. Prospects will include this factor in their decision-making process, using it as a foundation for trust and loyalty to the brand.
In email design, accessibility will be manifested in many ways. If you want to follow this mainstream, the first step is to ensure your email provides optimal reading experience and equal access across all devices. Such aspects as mobile-friendliness should be handled properly. The best way to do this is to use the Postcards email builder. As a professional email design builder, it already includes blocks that work consistently across all screen sizes.
The next step in adopting accessibility practices is to ensure optimal reading experience. This includes using contrasting foreground and background and typefaces with easily discernable letterforms. One of the trends expected for the new year is dark mode. Use it to level up the accessibility of your emails.
Moving forward with accessibility, another step to get closer to W3C standards is to adopt an image-to-text ratio of 80:20. This implies avoiding all-image emails, which prevents your newsletter design from visual overload that pushes away customers.
Additionally, differentiate links and buttons from the other email content. Do not use only color because color-blind subscribers will not see the difference; instead, use shape and size to achieve the desired effect. For example, make the button big and add a comprehensive description. Check out the article “Make These Changes to Meet Web Design Accessibility Standards” for more valid ideas.
Finally, use the powers of AMP. Let your audience adjust the typeface size or the background color to create an optimal reading experience.
Interactive Email and AMP
This trend is a bit controversial. AMP still falls short. It has poor ESPs and mailbox providers’ support. Microsoft canceled its AMP pilot for Outlook. Gmail has de-emphasized its importance. The tendency of sustainable practices implies ditching heavy interactive elements in favor of lightweight solutions.
However, interactive email content increases the click-to-open rate and drives much more engagement than static ones. It is also reported that customers are more likely to buy from fun and inspirational brands. Therefore, emails entertaining subscribers will win the battle against the competition.
Whatever attitude you have toward this technology, whatever challenges you need to face, you may unlock some substantial benefits. From providing a multitude of information in a single unit to improving the project’s accessibility to eliminating one step in the path to conversion, AMP is worth the hype.
Due to such huge benefits, many companies have not given up on this technology. On the contrary, they are eager to invest more money, effort, and human resources. Interactive content will grow in 2024 as brands know consumers expect entertainment, personalization, and brand engagement.
So, how do we follow this trend? The good news is you are not limited to AMP and its questionable possibilities. Even a simple animated gif can make a difference. According to surveys, almost 70% of respondents prefer dynamic images over static ones.
Alternatively, you may use a video-styled link in the email content. According to the survey, it may boost click rates up to 3 times. It is crucial to note that you cannot add video in a traditional format because email readers do not support it and is considered spam.
You may adopt some AMP features to go big with the trend. The first option is an image carousel. As a time-proven element in the web sphere with basic intuitive navigation, subscribers warmly welcome it in mailboxes. The good news is that it may take different shapes, so it meets different needs. For instance, you may use it to promote a line of products or demonstrate a range of styles within one product.
Another component to try in 2024 is polls. People love to be heard. Nurture and entertain subscribers and find real data on their preferences to run upcoming campaigns more efficiently. You may also send a quick star rating survey in a follow-up email after purchase. The good news is professional ESPs have tools to integrate polls and surveys into emails and collect data automatically, so you do not miss any detail.
You may also use accordion and tabbed content to improve readability, add more content within a small space, and engage the audience with interactive elements.
Finally, use interactive elements to improve accessibility. Although this practice is mostly used in the web sphere, you may also adopt some tricks in email design. For example, you may add a switch to a larger or smaller font size so that viewers may adjust reading settings to enjoy the content.
In 2024, email marketers will lean further into AI-powered assistants, platforms, and solutions. The sphere is gaining momentum quickly, enticing more business owners each year. Statista reports that over 70% of respondents used artificial intelligence tools in their marketing work in 2023. The technology has great capabilities in various directions: human-like text generation, image and video creation, comprehensive reporting, quick and efficient analysis of huge databases, defining behavior patterns, efficient media planning, creative ideation, and hyper-personalization.
Companies can build compelling narratives without wasting time, effort, and human resources. They can tailor messages and designs to specific target audience segments, thereby driving engagement and conversion, to say nothing about keeping up with the fast-moving marketing world.
Even though AI is on probation due to its numerous limitations and restrictions, AI lacks the emotional decision-making constituent. It also faces some serious Data Privacy and plagiarism obligations and scandals. Nevertheless, many marketers are eager to try a powerful stack of tools that help to streamline content production. This will fuel the trend of using AI-powered tools and introducing AI-generated content in 2024.
As an email marketer, you have several options.
- You may benefit from AI-powered platforms and assistants to perfect your email marketing strategy. Many professional ESPs already have some AI email software elements. Use it to sift through thousands of subscriber data to define patterns, optimize email cadence for each individual, accurately segment target market, streamline essential processes, and track big data in real time.
- You may use AI-based content generators with dynamic tags to create more personalized emails for subscribers.
- You may generate the entire copy within minutes. Although it will not work for personalized email campaigns, cold outreach may benefit.
- You may derive some ideas, inspiration, and real examples from AI-powered tools concerning various email marketing campaigns to level up the game with best practices and professional tips.
- You may generate visuals to support email content and theme. Ironically, even though you can access billions of pictures on the web, finding the one that perfectly meets your topic is still difficult. With Dall-E, you may create pictures based on your prompt within seconds and make the email feel complete.
- You may do detailed A/B split testing, resulting in a more accurate and ipso facto successful email marketing campaign.
- You may define email inbox placement, check your email copy for spam and plagiarism, and locate data protection protocol inconsistencies that drastically influence the deliverability rate.
- You may use email design generators, like Postcards, to build email design quickly and efficiently. There is no learning curve or requirements for special skills or experience. Tell the AI assistant what you need; it will bring your idea to life within seconds. It will shorten your time on email design creation and allow you to play with different ideas to define which works best for your theme, goal, and brand.
Only time will tell whether AI-powered tools will become integral instruments or be banned due to uncontrollable plagiarism and Data privacy leaks and scandals; nevertheless, one thing is for sure: we will see more of that next year.
Hyper-Personalization and Less Generic Emails
Hyper-personalized emails are another trend in our list of predictions for 2024. This ongoing tendency has been with us for several years already, showing its steady pace and winning more and more fans across the globe. Its undying popularity is due to its necessity and already proven validity. Just consider these fresh statistics:
- Campaign Monitor reports that personalized emails have almost 30% open rate, which is impressive because the average open rate is less than 20%.
- SmarterHQ discovered that over 70% of customers are highly engaged with personalized messages.
- Hubspot says they get 200% better conversions with personalized buttons than standard and impersonal ones.
Email without personalization leaves a poor impression on over 70% of millennials and compels 50% of them to seek alternative brands.
So, in 2024, hyper-personalization will be a key to increased customer engagement and good metrics such as open and click-through rates across various industries.
What does it mean for email designers? Expect to build fewer and fewer generic emails since they will not work as you want. More customers will expect a personalized design and experience. Ideally, you need to tailor each email to the individual to make them feel like it was crafted just for them.
However, this requires time, effort, and human resources. Use Postcards to develop a range of newsletter templates to meet market segments with the same preferences and expectations. Use ESP to populate each template with dynamic content to speak directly to the person.
On top of that, remember that hyper-personalization influences various aspects in email design. First of all, it dictates the way the layout is built. With in-depth eye-tracking research, you may determine what text-scanning pattern works best for individuals. On top of that, you may get hints at what location for your promotional banners and call-to-action button is the best for a particular audience type.
Second, it determines the content of the email body. With AI algorithms that evaluate user data, behavior, and purchase history, hyper-personalization can be used to create highly tailored body copy.
Third, it narrows down the choice of multimedia and the way to present it.
Finally, it influences coloring. Some people prefer calm and neutral tones, while others want their email to burst with energy. Since coloring is crucial for driving engagement and providing a great user experience, it is important to find the optimal option.
AI is the future of hyper-personalized email since it allows email marketers to target much smaller groups of subscribers, down to 10-30 people, with tailored emails. Keeping an eye on AI’s current possibilities is crucial because a hyper-personalized approach concerns all aspects of a newsletter, including design and its tiny details like color, typography, buttons, and icons. Follow the directions to see how you can adjust your email design routine to get better responses from the subscribers.
However, despite these flaws and drawbacks, subscribers are eager to see them. According to multiple studies, gamified experience increases engagement with the brand. Though, who doesn’t love games? It is a source of pleasure, relaxation, and accomplishment. It naturally appeals to subscriber’s love for fun and competition. The best thing is that it happens in the mailbox, so lazy recipients may get the full experience without moving anywhere.
As a result, the gamified experience will be the leading tool in creating successful email marketing campaigns and benefiting the brand from different aspects in 2024. It will separate the company from the others, leave a powerful, lasting impression, reinforce relationships, tap into a participant’s emotions, increase engagement, and generate conversions and leads. Although it will require some sacrifices, it is worth it.
How can you follow this trend in 2024? The best advice is to go slow and try to play with proven solutions. The most popular gamified elements are quizzes, puzzles, wheels of fortune, and scratch cards for coupons that encourage recipients to engage with the content and brand and, most importantly, unlock some rewards. Note that every gamified email should have some reward. Apart from that, it should also have an aspect of engagement and competition.
Campaigns that greatly benefit from this trend are those dedicated to holidays, sale events, feedback forms, and customer loyalty programs. For instance, gamified emails are warmly welcome during Christmas or New Year. You may create the whole festive scene or play with an Advent theme dedicated to the 12 Days of Christmas.
Another good example of using a gamified experience happens during big sales events. Such elements as wheels of fortune or scratch cards for coupons dramatically increase engagement with the campaign and brand during Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
One of the biggest advantages of this trend is that you do not need any special occasion. Anytime you feel festive or want to treat your subscribers, you may send a gamified email.
Remember that gamification is exciting to implement into your email marketing campaigns, but overdoing it may cause some drastic outcomes. Play safe, address its issues, mitigate technology’s flaws, and develop a reliable fallback. Segmenting your subscription list according to their ability to receive and interpret gamified emails correctly is also crucial. When in doubt, always do an A/B test to see whether the game works as intended.
Dark mode is a big trend from 2023 that will excite the minds of email designers next year as well. Started as a tendency to give users a bit of a break from the too-lighted screens, multiple bright elements, and visual overload, it is getting stronger and stronger each year. There are many reasons for its formidable presence in the email design landscape.
First, it is part of the movement to implement accessibility principles in email designs to overcome challenges for readers with vision or cognitive issues. However, at the end of the busy workday, anyone will appreciate an email with a calm, dim, and soothing design that does not disrupt melatonin levels.
Second, it reduces eye strain and provides an optimal readability level. With emails getting more content-heavy and screen time growing, subscribers are forced to experience lots of pressure. Dark mode partially curbs the negative health effects and makes viewers feel better.
Third, it opens opportunities to explore other design options and make email stand out from the crowd with its unique aesthetics or unusual color combination. The deal is that a white background can make it difficult to use light shades like blue, while a black one may naturally highlight those tones and make them pop so that designers may explore different parts of the color spectrum.
Fourth, it increases the contrast between background and foreground elements. This is especially helpful for demonstrating oversized images and text or directing overall attention to products.
Fifth, it adds to the design sense of sophistication, elegance, and subtlety. Plus, it makes image-heavy designs look professional and aesthetically pleasing.
Finally, it emphasizes the content and avoids visual overload and fatigue.
When following this trend, keep in mind these tips:
- Do not just invert the color scheme. First, define the base colors.
- Use high-contrast colors for crucial elements such as buttons and links.
- Avoid high saturation.
- Communicate elevation with lighter surfaces.
- Avoid pure black and pure white.
- Test your design in light and dark modes to see which version works best.
Nostalgic design returned last year, and it seems it will not leave us anytime soon. Evoking powerful emotions linked to fond memories and having a unique ability to connect people across different generations, this trend strikes the right chord with the modern community by reminding them of collective experiences, simpler times, and cherished moments.
Expect an explosion of creativity, vibrant colors, surreal airbrushing, multidimensional collages, acid graphics, double exposures, overlapping colors, trippy designs, vintage grainy effects, grungy feels, and messy splashes in 2024.
As for email design, it will not be so radical. Companies will play safe, whereas startups without long histories will add simple shapes, bold lines, fun organic cartoony characters, bubble fonts, and vibrant colors to fuse nostalgia with a contemporary edge.
Before diving headlong into this trend, do your homework well. Conduct thorough research of an era that you want to reproduce. You must understand what color palettes, typefaces, and design elements provide authenticity.
Select typography carefully. You may easily get too excited with retro fonts. However, the email body copy must be readable. Therefore, ensure letter forms are legible and easily discernable.
Worn-out textures, subtle halftones, scrapbooking, and overlapping enhance a retro vibe but can be messy and visually overwhelming. Therefore, it is crucial to focus on clarity when incorporating vintage elements. Less is more.
A vintage color palette may evoke the desired nostalgic feel while generating certain emotions. Examine the psychology of color before capitalizing on one or another tone.
More Creative Typography
With some brands taking sustainable practices seriously, we expect to see less and less heavy image-overloaded email designs. Plus, those who introduce accessibility practices will certainly start to minimize their dependency on pictures. This leads to clean, minimal, multimedia-free solutions.
There is a catch. How do you generate visual interest, catch subscribers’ attention, and, most importantly, keep them engaged without images? People love pictures that perform all those tasks. Indeed, without an impressive image-based hero area, this could be challenging without creative typography.
Typography is one of the most critical elements of email design. It establishes a visual hierarchy, balances the email design, reinforces the key message, sets the right atmosphere, and, most importantly, engages subscribers. When well done, it becomes a valid alternative to impressive images. It kills two birds with one stone: it is informative and entertaining. On top of that, it is pretty accessible. Therefore, expect more creative takes on typography in email design in 2024.
Follow these basic rules to adopt creative email typography successfully:
- Limit your choices. Do not clutter email design with too many options: one creative typeface is enough.
- Make it bold but not overwhelming. Make it loud but not screaming.
- Use it in tandem with the inverted pyramid principle.
- Make it aligned with the main theme.
- Avoid filling spaces with visuals or shapes.
- Practice smart pairing.
- Ensure optimal readability level.
- Check it on a mobile device.
Expert Opinions on Email Trends in 2024
We have engaged with leading experts in email design and marketing to solicit their professional insights regarding the trends and expectations for 2024. Enclosed below are selected responses from these industry specialists. Their contributions provide a strategic forecast, touching on anticipated technological advancements, shifting consumer engagement patterns, and the evolving digital marketing ecosystem. These insights are crucial for understanding the impending challenges and opportunities in email marketing.
Additionally, their analysis offers actionable strategies and innovative solutions, essential for businesses aiming to maintain a competitive edge and capitalize on emerging trends in the dynamic landscape of digital communication.
Martina Cífková (Seznam.cz – Email Marketing Specialist)
I am currently using Mailkit for daily campaign management and for coding the templates as well. There is also a visual and brand manual to follow, which I have in Figma. More wireframes can be drawn in Figma too. The trends in the Czech Republic are aligning with those of the rest of the world, as I believe they include: finalizing BIMI arrangements and a general shift in design (such as hover effects, GIFs, changing colors of CTA buttons, and so on).
Sean Duffy (Reignite – Founder & Award-Winning CRM Consultant)
If you are still hand coding emails in 2024 something has gone wrong. Modern email design tools offer the ability to arrive at near pixel perfect emails that will work in all major email clients out of the box. This streamlines the entire production and proofing process, allowing you to work faster, leaner and spend more time on crucial strategy.
There will be many marketers who will see a range of the generative AI tools as a shortcut to success. While they might appear magic at first, choose those tools wisely. Personalisation or prediction tools that use the same basic algorithm for all clients will be more miss than hit. Subject line and copy writing tools are fast to use but are they actually better than what you can do or stay on brand? Generally speaking most AI will give you productivity benefits but without being able to refine them to suit your needs will actually lead to you wasting the time they should be saving!
As someone who grew up in the early days of email marketing we could only use text editors to create even the most simple emails. Nowadays we are blessed that we can work with just drag and drop editors that are integrated with the email sending platform – I no longer have to memorise all of the CSS hacks needed for the likes of Gmail or Outlook and have regained a valuable space in my brain for more useful knowledge!. Also time spent coding, copying and pasting rather than a quick click to export is time we save – an email now takes minutes instead of hours and a new starter can begin to make edits on their first day.
Outside of design tools like Postcards and of course the various email sending platforms we’ve built some of our own to address challenges we couldn’t solve with other tools out there. Our latest ‘Inboxorspam’ is a simple app that tells us how many of our client emails are landing in the spam folder, and alerts us if there are any issues such as blacklists so we don’t have to spend so much time checking stats. While our Reignite platform allows us to create personalized ‘Recipes’ of recommended products to drop into any email allowing us to create a whole new host of email types for our customers.
And not strictly an email tool but we’ve developed an obsession with Figjam from Figma. It’s perfect for collaborating with others when designing journeys using flow chart tools, or quickly sketching out wireframes of emails.
Megan Cooper (Wayfinder Digital – Email Marketing Consultant)
Trends in design are evolving rapidly, and in 2024, we expect to see certain styles rise to prominence. Designs that effectively highlight the message and are easy to skim will likely be the most successful. Additionally, there’s a growing emphasis on designing for dark mode and a mobile-first approach. These strategies are anticipated to bring about increased success and engagement from customer bases.
Regarding tools, there’s a diverse range of software that continues to be pivotal in the industry. Figma stands out for its collaborative design capabilities, while Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator remain essential for detailed graphic work.
In the realm of email marketing, tools like Iterable, Active Campaign, MailChimp, and Klaviyo are gaining traction. These platforms offer varied features that cater to different aspects of email marketing, from automation to personalized campaigns, proving indispensable for marketers looking to engage their audience effectively.
Michael Daaboul (OFX.com – Salesforce Marketing Cloud Email Specialist)
We’re observing the emergence of AI-driven content in the market, a field still in its early stages. These capabilities are expected to continue their growth and improvement into 2024. As AI takes the lead, marketers will be encouraged to focus on the recipient, creating connections through proven strategies like segmentation, personalization, and minimalist content. All these strategies aim to center on the user. With AI at the forefront, we’re on the verge of entering a new era of email marketing, one that hasn’t been explored before.
Ansar Mehmood (Email Marketing & Automation Specialist)
Anticipated trends in email design and marketing for the year 2024 are set to bring significant changes. There will be an increased emphasis on interactive content, which aims to engage users more dynamically. Alongside this, advanced personalization techniques will be more prevalent, tailoring content to individual preferences and behaviors.
Furthermore, a mobile-first design approach will become increasingly important. This trend acknowledges the growing number of users accessing emails via mobile devices, necessitating designs that are optimized for smaller screens. Additionally, there will be greater integration of artificial intelligence in email marketing, enhancing automation, and enabling more sophisticated data analysis and targeting strategies.
Kelvin Mokaya (Rattan Direct – Email Marketing Manager)
More immersive experiences
Emails are a reflection of how engaging your website is. And an interactive email keeps a reader engaged longer and increases the chances of getting a click. That said, we are likely to see more email marketers flex their creativity by designing engaging emails and giving their audience something to interact with. For instance, GIFs, clickable video thumbnail images, timers and polls. Basically, moving away from text heavy emails. However, it’s essential to take a mobile-first optimization if you want to keep winning.
Use of predictive analytics
Time of send is a big deal in email marketing. Email marketers are advised to A/B test their optimal time of send. However, we are going to see more use of predictive analytics to determine the best time to send emails. Effective marketing has always been about recognizing and anticipating customer behavior. And the increase in application of big data and machine learning and AI, makes it easier to predict the time your audience is likely to engage with your emails. The tool I’m currently using – Klaviyo, offers a ‘Smart send time’ which uses predictive analytics to deliver your emails at the best time.
Authentication and trust
I’m certain I’m not the only email marketer who anxiously waits to see their campaigns cross the 28% open rate mark. But with such high expectations you need to be smart about how to get inbox visibility. Yes, the catchy subject line helps a great deal, but authentication and trust play a huge role. Email marketers have to prove to both subscribers and email service providers that they are inboxworthy. And if you’ve been following the recent industry developments you must have seen Google and Yahoo announced new regulations that will come into effect in February 2024 for bulk email senders. The regulations focus on authentication, unsubscription processes and spam control. While we know all these as best practices, the regulations help enhance safety and build trust. Email marketers must the DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM) and Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance (DMARC) records. The policy applies to all emails.
It can be tempting to stick with the tried-and-true approaches, especially when things are going well or you are a long-established company with its traditions and history. However, change means evolution. Even the goliaths of an industry whose brand image has not changed for decades follow the trends to adjust their ways to communicate with the audience better.
Following email design trends allows companies, regardless of size, age, niche, and target audience, to keep up with the fast-moving world, efficiently address customers’ issues, and demonstrate their value and relevance in the community. While some trends come and go, allowing you to become closer to the audience, others may improve the whole work stack and take the company to the next level.
Even though it can be difficult to change, evolution calls for that. If you want your company to grow and occupy a top position in the market, keeping up with the trends and finding ways to introduce them into your design and routine is crucial.