Email marketing will continue to be one of the widely used forms of marketing for the foreseeable future. It is cheap, reliable, and produces results. Therefore, more and more organizations will flock to this marketing strategy.

For the reader, this means more marketing emails will come their way. Because of this, you must learn to set yourself apart, to stand out from the rest when a subscriber sees your email. To accomplish these, you will need to learn some email design tips. To learn more about email designs, keep reading.

Subject Line and Pre-Header

Although both are not design-based elements, they are essential. Getting your readers’ attention with the subject line and pre-header is crucial. There will be no point discussing email designs if your readers aren’t opening the email to read. The subject line is the very first thing the reader sees and, therefore, must be catchy. The golden rule is not to have over 50 characters. The sweet spot uses characters between 61-70 characters. Using emojis has proved effective, raising the click rate by 59%. 

Pre-header is the text shown after the subject line. It’s a small portion of the email, and its function is to convince the reader why they need to click on the mail. The character length is usually between 40-70 characters long, and it should complement the subject line. 

Note that using too many capital letters for your subject line can lead to the email provider flagging the mail as spam.

Use Dividers

Dividers are practical when you have more than one piece of information to communicate with your readers. It can take a simple form where a full-page copy is divided into two equal parts by a horizontal line in-between them. The upper part of the mail copy can talk about a subject matter, while the other talks about another topic. 

Two different colors separating the two sides accompany this type of email. One is a bright color and the other a dimmer color, commonly a lighter shade of the brighter one. There is also the Zig-Zag style, which employs the same principle as the horizontal style. The zig-zag format usually has over two pieces of information to pass across and is ideal for showing different products.

Keeping it Simple and Minimalistic

Simplicity is the new norm, and keeping your emails simple goes a long way. With the attention span of people reducing every decade and the fierce competition, using a minimalistic approach might do the trick. 

The style sees you use your font size, white area (background with no text), color, and other elements like images to make the email simple to process. It has little to no animation, contrast colors, or a heavy texture. It does a great job of delivering its message, and it usually has one primary color for the complete mail.

Make Emails Interactive

To keep up with email marketing trends, marketing emails are becoming more like mini websites, so you should make your email copy interactive. The use of images, GIF and CSS animation, add-to-cart function, mini videos, and carousels show interactive emails are the future. Avoid turning your audience into passive spectators and engage them.

You can also find them easier when you are ready to deploy this method.


Personalization is the buzzword of email marketing today. Generic emails can feel distant, out of place, and not connected to the reader. Personalization uses data like the name of the person, last purchase, name of the company, etc. Something unique to you to relate. Personalization comes with another term called conceptual marketing or humanization. 

The concept of humanization is taking the approach of personalization and running with it full steam ahead. This approach involves tailoring the email just for the reader. It’s like engaging with the reader one-on-one. 

An example is the end of the year data sent by Spotify, showing data like most played songs, most played artist, what day of the week you listened to music the most, how many new songs you listen to during the year, etc. Writingpro is another example that gives a weekly report on how you did on your writing and suggestive articles to improve on your weak points.

Pay Attention to Visuals

A good email copy is one with good visuals. Optimizing the texture of a 2d picture by using a variety of colors, depth, and shapes can bring an image to life. Good visuals grab the readers’ attention and keep them invested in the copy until the end. So go on and experiment with patterns, color contrasts, and gradients to breathe new life into your emails.

Use Infographics if Necessary

Infographics are a great way to share information with your readers. Long texts don’t match the modern method of emails today, and so you want to keep it short and straight to the point. A good way is to use diagrams to pass the information while having small text by the side to elaborate on them. Infographics are also great because you can make use of GIF, 2D, and 3D animation. 

Use Colour Block

Color blocking is one of the most effective ways of grabbing attention. Color blocking uses solid bright colors in your email copy. This method is brilliant when directing the attention of your readers to certain parts of your email. It can be the CTA button, an aspect of the mail you want to stand out, or you want to captivate your readers. 

Color blocking isn’t easy to do because the colors must also complement themselves and bring out the beauty in each other. You can combine the typography with these. The typography is the fonts style used for your emails. Great typography is how well the written part of your email comes together with the picture, texture, and coloring. Executing this may prove difficult for a beginner, and you should hire a specialist to help with this work. 

Go Monochrome

Monochrome doesn’t get old. The classic use of no colors executed well can be an outstanding email copy for your readers. It involves the careful use of black, white, and grey when creating a marketing email. An appropriate high-quality 2D or 3D image usually accompanies it with good texture to bring out the beauty. 

What makes the monochrome appealing is its lack of bright colors that can relax your eyes. In an age where bright colors and bright lights are the norms, monochrome can offer your readers a breather for their eyes. And if your design is spot on, then something unique too. One tip is to try going this route for the holidays, surprise your readers by doing something different.

Design Should Compliment Copy

The most beautiful, colorful, and memorable marketing emails are the ones that seamlessly combine. A short text written across a design vertically or horizontally can come out surprisingly well if the color palettes are in sync. These can be good if using a background picture of the items you want to sell.

In conclusion, email designs are something you will have to experiment with to get it right. There isn’t a right or wrong way, but something right for your brand. You can decide to stick with one design after finding a style that works for you and mix it up now and again to keep things fresh.

About the Author

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Mirko Humbert

Mirko Humbert is the editor-in-chief and main author of Designer Daily and Typography Daily. He is also a graphic designer and the founder of WP Expert.