Can you recall the last time you went a day without checking your email? Can you remember the last day that you didn’t receive any emails? While you might be one of the lucky few who doesn’t feel obligated to check your email every day, chances are you still receive at least one message per day. In fact, if you are like the average person, you will receive over 100 emails per day. Which emails actually catch your attention? Does the email design really even matter?
On an individual or personal basis, you probably don’t give much thought to the actual design of your email. Perhaps you have a set email signature or maybe you throw in social media icons or your brand logo, but on your day to day emails do you spend time worrying about the design? For businesses that are trying to engage with a preoccupied audience, the importance of email design cannot be overstressed.
How Has Email Design Changed In The Past Few Years?
For a long time the technology behind emails remained stagnant. However, in the last five years, the ever-increasing number of emails read on mobile devices and tablets has created a small email marketing revolution. In this consumer driven environment, people want the convenience of reading an email on their smartphone and the accessibility to view that same email on their desktop. The result of the latter duality has been to create emails with responsive design.
In addition to responsive design, companies are now changing their email marketing strategies. Instead of sending emails to mass lists, businesses are instead creating smaller lists that make it easier to deliver customized and personalized content. In fact, the personalization of content has helped to drive additional changes in email design.
What Design Tactics Are Going To Be Seen In 2017 And Beyond?
Gone are the days when consumers wanted to see the standard newsletter template for company updates. Now, consumers want email content that is value-driven without being cumbersome. In an effort to continue to appeal to the ever-fickle consumer, marketers are constantly experimenting with different formatting and design trends. If you are looking to play with your email creation methodologies, here are a few ideas to jumpstart your creativity.
- GIFs — A GIF takes the best worlds of video and static images to create multiple animated frames. The GIF’s rise in popularity has been enhanced by the general population’s craving for viral content, as well as the ease with which GIFs can be displayed and shared on social media platforms. It is expected that marketers will continue to play with a combination of GIFs and live backgrounds to create a smoother animated experience for the viewer. While a GIF isn’t right for every situation, it can be useful for announcing sales, thanking a customer, or sending a congratulatory message.
- Flat Design — The age of consumers means that more information needs to be delivered without creating additional content. In other words, consumers want to be able to scan the email and come away with the main message. This tendency has propelled the longevity of flat design. This type of email leverages eye scan patterns and a clean design to effectively display content. It can be used in conjunction with a personalized message for marketing emails that contain different media files.
- Minimalism — As the name suggests, minimalist email design focuses on the theory that “less is more.” This type of email design focuses on grabbing the user’s attention from the opening subject line to the closing CTA. It can be a helpful design tactic for email messages that have a singular goal. For example, it might be thanking a customer for their order or announcing a flash sale. No matter the occasion, minimalist email design is a tricky road to traverse as the recipient will need to be “wowed” as soon as they open the email. If the recipient isn’t wowed, then they won’t click on the embedded link and the conversion opportunity will be lost.
- Interactive And Dynamic Content — As technology has changed, so too has a company’s ability to send dynamic content. What do we mean by dynamic content? We’re talking about emails that have multiple components. For example, a multi-media package that is completely personalized to the recipient. From the opening message to the included files, the journey caters to the recipient’s individual needs. Through interactive content, such as comments-enabled magazines or videos, companies will be able to go the extra mile to move away from the ordinary and instead deliver the extraordinary.
- Search — This last email design tactic caters to eCommerce companies that have a large collection of products. Thanks to embedded search features, recipients will be able to look through the entire collection of products without being directed to a new tab or landing page. The idea behind email search is that it will reduce the time to sale by enhancing the ease with which customers can make purchases. Companies will then be able to use best practice email tracking techniques to send customers additional email offers that are based on their previous search histories. Through these two tactics, personalized offers based on buying history and interest can be taken to new heights.
The Bottom Line: Email Design And Content Go Hand-In-Hand
No matter which email design tactics are chosen, one thing is certain, email marketing campaigns must cater to the recipient’s specific needs and communication preferences. As part of this goal you must create value-driven content that can be easily digested on a smartphone, tablet, or desktop device. Valuable content coupled with the right email design will increase your ability to create successful email marketing campaigns that achieve established business goals.