In email marketing, basic metrics are highly valued. Results of researches witnessed that email marketing generates ROI of 38:1, which is higher than the ROI that other media channels, like TV and social networking, generate.

Conversion shows the ratio of recipients who completed the desired action (bought from you) to those who received your emails.

As long as most purchases are made emotionally, email design matters a lot. It can literally boost your conversions. It should grab readers’ attention, impress and evoke the desire to buy from you. Hence, it’s critical to keep up with the times and stick to design trends to be ahead of your competitors. And then, increased CTOR is almost guaranteed.

Top email design trends for 2019

Unlike 2018 when trends were all about local details like fonts or color schemes, this year brought trends of global scale and deeper changes to the whole email marketing system.

According to some surveys and forecasts by Email on Acid, the hottest trends in email marketing for 2019 are:

  • embedded videos;
  • CSS and GIF animations;
  • interactivity and real-time content;
  • email accessibility;
  • personalization;
  • countdown timers;
  • email production automation.

1. Embedded videos

Let’s start with this one. When talking about the advantages of video, it would be reasonable to mention that visualization works much better than the verbal description. So, no wonder that embedded videos increase CTOR as video files evoke stronger interest in recipients. Subscribers are more likely to buy our products or use services after watching the video as they don’t need to imagine what is written, they just see it.

Additional pros of videos in emails: video saves us space in emails and this is a great way to greet users in holiday emails, make some statement for employees, etc.

Today, there are two ways to add video in HTML emails: inserting a hyperlink or embedding MP4 file.

Stripo email editor provides its users with the universal embed code, by using which you enable your users who own Apple gadgets to watch the video right in email, while those who prefer other devices will see the thumbnail image and the “Play” button, once they click it, they will be directed to Youtube or Vimeo and “Play” button that redirects them to video page.

You can also use their dedicated email template with the universal code embedded into this template. You will only have to replace links to videos with yours, then a bit of design magic – and your video campaign is ready to go.

Also read, 3 Quick Tips to Boost Your Email Marketing ROI This Year

2. CSS and GIF animations

There are two types of animations: CSS and GIF. And luckily, they both have become the hottest trends in email design.

GIF animations

GIFs are sometimes called the light version of video files. Their mission is not only to make emails more vivid, but this is a good solution to draw attention to key elements in emails. GIFs also show some products in action — so GIFs can also be educative.

GIFs are added to emails the same way as you add images.

GIF animations

Important to mention: to keep your emails accessible (will be discussed later), use GIFs with less than 3 flashes per second. Which is why it is also recommended to use one GIF per email, or at least, per scroll. If you need to use two GIFs in one screen, please hide them behind images by implementing a rollover effect. It’s totally accessible and makes your email look trendy.

CSS animations

CSS usually alters images or buttons once the reader puts a mouse over these elements. This is to inform that he or she is about to make an action.

Currently, no modern email template builder will allow you to apply CSS-animation to images — you will still need to make slight changes to the email code. While you can find the editor that will allow you to build CSS-animated button right in it.

3. Interactivity and real-time content

Interactivity and real-time content are the 2019 number one trend in email marketing.

Brands like Really Good Emails actively use real-time content to show how many users have attended their event. You may use it to:

  • provide recipients with an updated number of visitors;
  • provide them with an updated number of donations (if you are raising money for a charity fund);
  • provide users with always fresh product items in emails;
  • let them select tickets right in emails, etc.

Interactivity in emails helps you entertain your recipients; interactivity also helps you show you a product item from different angles in one screen, to show numerous product items in one screen.

So, interactivity saves us some space in emails, it educates our recipients, we can play games in emails and many other things.

Currently, the most popular interactive elements are:

  • Embedded survey;
  • Image carousel;
  • Image rollover effect;
  • Accordion;
  • Collapsible menu.

Also read, How Your Small Business Can Grow Through Social Media

4. Email accessibility

Accessible emails were originally meant for people with special needs — visual impairments, color blindness of different types, and dyslexia. But there is one more reason to make your emails accessible — recipients may be really too busy to read emails, hence more and more of them use screen readers to listen to emails. When ignoring the accessibility requirements, you’re risking that clients will hear some language of orcs :)

You can find the details in a post about email accessibility best practices. In a nutshell, requirements for accessible emails are as follows:

  • specifying language in the head of HTML;
  • setting content type <charset=”UTF-8″>;
  • adding full and clear Alt text to images and buttons;
  • paying attention to color schemes and contrast ratio;
  • using double line spacing;
  • making readable meaningful links;
  • writing clear copy and making bright design for the CTA buttons;
  • ending all sentences with a period or any other punctuation mark. Only in this case, screen reader will make a pause between sentences and lines.

This example shows that green is almost invisible in red. Which makes it hard to notice such buttons for colorblind people.

5. Personalization

Personalization goes far beyond addressing by names. It includes segmenting contact base by interests and preferences, by age, geolocation. To personalize emails, you should collect all the possible info about your recipients (Legally! after getting their consent).

Stats says: personalized emails drive 27% higher CTR than non-personalized ones.

Advanced personalization includes:

  • sender name — recipients should know who is reaching out. Moreover, 65% of email users in the USA decide whether to open emails or not judging by the sender name;
  • personalized subject lines — this is not only addressing by names but also mentioning special facts that make clients know: email is addressed to them personally. F.ex., mention a previous purchase, some achievements, etc.;
  • personalized offers — such value offers perform much better than the ones you send to your whole contact base;
  • personal signature — first of all, it is a gesture of politeness, and, second of all, customers like to know the person they’re in contact with.

(Personalized imagery, Nifty Images)

Also read, 9 Important Factors of a Successful Email Marketing Audit

6. Countdown timers

Countdown timers are not new to email marketing, but they are getting popular again.

This trend’s effect is based on human psychology: a sense of urgency makes people hurry to buy from.

Email marketers call this effect a “fear of missing out benefits”. When an offer is only available for a short period of time, recipients know they should act faster.

7. Email production automation

The last but not least is automation of email production. It doesn’t drive conversion directly. Yet, it impacts our newsletters in a positive way. The logic is simple: the less time we spend on email design, the more time we save to spare on writing good copy.

Litmus states: on average, email production takes up to 24.6 hours.

Unluckily, email marketers have more than one email in production at once.

Find the editor that automates email production.
Some allow building up to 64 emails per minute by simply replacing links.

Also read, 7 Tips for Choosing the Right Software for Your Business

Summing up

We don’t know what trends 2020 is about to bring. But we may keep our finger on the pulse to stay up-to-date and be ahead of our competitors.

Wish you best of luck!