With the rapid growth of of technology advancement, the direction of email marketing has changed significantly. Taking new approaches on strategies play a key role in keeping email marketing content and campaigns new, original and exciting. According to the Email Marketing Census in 2017, reports have found the increased use of automation and personalization has improved ROI while offering a targeted experience to subscribers. Here are the top 10 email design trends for 2018:

Build engaging email experiences

Creating experiences is one of the core facets in the user experience journey. Features like hovering over an image to reveal another image or product details and adding items to the shopping cart within an email followed by a click-through to checkout, are just some ways of creating the experience. It also happens to be one of the biggest email design trends of the year. For years, large brands have been paving the way for interactive emails – and 2018 may be the year for smaller brands to catch up to the trend.

Focus on personalization

A key goal for email marketers is creating relevance through personalization. Connect with your audience by creating customer specific news feeds and topic pages. From personalizing the subject line to email content, following personalization best practices is key in building customer engagement and segments. Collecting and analyzing customer data through website behavior, patterns and integrations allow marketers to segment and personalize content on a more microscopic level.

Use shorter, more bite-sized email content

As an email marketer, you want to grab the reader’s attention – excited, engaged and engrossed in your content. Treat email like social – create email content that’s short, simple and to the point. The goal is to find a balanced strategy of constructing meaningful content while keeping your audience hooked onto what you have to say.

Build stronger narratives and storytelling

Behind every great story is an even greater storyteller. What makes a storyteller is the way the narrative is delivered. Look at it as show-and-tell in grade school – except there’s more showing and less telling. Don’t only show the impact/feature of your service or product, but put it within the context of major trends. This can happen within a single email, a sequence of themed emails or a series of emails. Take the customer on a journey through the art of storytelling.

Add progressive enhancements

There once was a time where companies wanted to attain a “pixel-perfect” email. With a growing number of platforms, the goals and perspective of user engagement have gradually shifted. Now, brands are aiming for “platform-perfect” emails. Factors such as Litmus checks and consistent QA checks are held as more priority than the infinitesimal details caught on CTA buttons. Remember – the more versatile your email content is on platforms, the higher your audience engagement growth.


Laptop with envelope and open email on screen.

Use simple, user friendly language

One of the most effective ways to communicate is being able to speaking the reader’s language. Simplify your message with fewer technical terms. Using intricate language can disengage your audience. Writing how how you speak makes it a lot more relatable for readers to hold interest in what you’re trying to say. Along with saying “thank you,” one of the most under-utilized messaging tactics is using user friendly language. Remember, few is more.

Scale email building systems

Let’s step away from thinking of the email creation process as a collection of templates. Instead, let’s shift our mindset and approach these collections, guides and briefs as a design system consisting of modular templates build on principles of designs and supported by libraries, data and specifics.

Increase message variety to keep subscriber interest

The biggest fear is receiving an email and already knowing the content before opening it. When you use the same tactics or strategies, you tend to repeatedly use the same content. Keep your content fresh and exciting to increase engagement with your audience. Compete against your last email – that way, you’re always one step ahead of the game.

Improve email accessibility for people with disabilities

One of the most essential elements in the basics of email trends is ensuring people with disabilities not only receive, but also understand your message. Email accessibility is the critical part of the flow of communication. Trends like increasing the use of high color contrasts and avoiding flashing animation causing photosensitive seizures allow an effective user experience.

Send text-only emails

Sometimes text-only content can give an email more importance and credibility. Although image rich content can be just as engaging, mixing a variety of deliverables with personal content can increase user engagement tremendously. Try weaving the two together by mixing up heavy image content with personal content. Mixing these two can help establish a familiar tone with image-rich emails, whereas text-only emails can help build a personal relationship with your audience.