Top Breakthrough Email Design Trends 2017 - og:urlEmailMonks

Updates of 2016

That Changed the Game for Email Design

Two major announcements from 2016 created a stir in the email industry which turned out to be a turning point for how emails shall be designed from that point onwards.

Google

to support media query

On 14th September, 2016 Google announced, via their Apps developer blog, support to media query for their email clients in all devices. This was a great positive move towards responsive emails being rendered flawlessly in Gmail without developers jumping through hoops.

1

No longer Spongy layout

Gmail’s lack of support for media query forced developers to code emails without using media query, which is called Spongy Layout. This means sacrificing certain elements and animations to maintain compatibility. With the roadblock away for good, designers can just focus on certain better email layouts.

Responsive Design
2

No more forcing desktop in Gmail

Gmail automatically bumped the font of an email when opened in mobile devices, which tend to ruin the desired layout. So via coding, the desktop layout was forced. Besides, responsive emails support, there is a separate layout for Desktop and Mobile.

Mobile Design

Updates

An iDevice and iOS update never fails to dazzle the consumer with joy and awe. In iOS 10, two new features widely affected the email designed for Apple devices.

1

Unsubscribe bumped to top

For an email sent to an emailing list, Apple mail automatically featured a ribbon at the top, which contained sender details along with an option to unsubscribe. This meant that email marketers need to make the email lucrative so that the subscribers interact with the email instead of immediately clicking the unsubscribe link.

From design point of view, this means in 2017 email shall feature improved pre-header text and subject lines. Once the email is opened, a layout that dispenses information in a flow that guides the subscribers’ eye path away (from the unsubscribe ribbon) shall be crucial.

Bumped to top
2

iOS re-playing videos

People love to visualize more than reading. With different companies adopting video marketing channel, videos in email is a path forward. Embedded video in email was introduced in 2009 and was a rage amongst supporting devices. But suddenly iOS 9 dropped support for playing any embedded video in the email and gradually other email clients followed the suit. Thankfully answering the prayers of innumerable email marketers, iOS 10 again started supporting embedded video playback in emails.

IOS re-playing videos

Glimpses of the Future

To Make an Engaging Email Even More Engaging

“Gone are the days where your most important content had to be included “above the fold” to maximise engagement. With a majority of recipients now opening on mobile and increased client support, scroll will be embraced and drive use of innovative interactive elements, like parallax.”

– Jackie Roberts, Envato
  • Keyframe Animation

    As mentioned earlier, GIF manages to balance between a static image and a moving video but the animation is very choppy and abrupt. However, animating using keyframe results in animations to be smoother and frame change are less obvious. Currently supported in Apple and Android devices, it is really huge step forward in terms of animations within email. Hover effects, linear and parallel movement of different elements within emails make it really eye catching.

  • Cinemagraph (Static + Moving gif)

    Taking a step forward to provide a cinematic effect to the GIF - Cinemagraph GIFs shall be used to fool the subscriber in believing they are viewing a looped video.

    House of card
  • No more 600px email width & End for responsive design

    More and more devices introduced in the market come equipped with 2K and 4K resolutions. So the native email clients tend to render desktop layout in landscape orientation. Also, desktops with larger screens are being introduced in the market, emails no longer need to be restricted to be coded for the width of 600px.

    This also eliminates the need to cram the content in ‘above the fold’ as in desktop devices. Content in desktop layout can be adjusted horizontally and the same content can be stacked vertically for displaying on mobile devices. This may mean end of the need for responsiveness when designing an email for Apple devices.

  • Live Backgrounds

    Emails with backgrounds that change with time, or a looped video playing in the background shall soon be gracing your inbox. From the overall design viewpoint, it shall be a giant leap. While it would mean zero-error, rendering shall be necessary in such cases to avoid broken layouts and in turn broken user experience.

  • Increased implementation of interactive elements

    With an increasing amount of email clients supporting CSS, interactive elements such as Accordions, Menus, Countdown timers integrated forms, sticky CTA shall be used in emails more frequently.

  • Search in emails

    Imagine a scenario wherein you may be able to go through a retailer’s entire collection by inputting a search term right in the email’s embedded search bar. AirBnB has already included a search option in their emails and it is possible that many other brands shall jump into the bandwagon soon.

“The year 2016 was the year of Pokémon Go. And, despite a fade down the stretch, its overall popularity — including 55 million users in its first month — makes one thing very clear: location-based data is still the key to understanding customer context, as mobile becomes the dominant screen.

From traditional channels like email to more bleeding-edge platforms like augmented reality, virtual reality and 360-degree video, location data powers insights on how to best engage customers in a more personalized way through mobile. That’s why 2016 will go down as the year most advertisers realized just how critical geospatial data will be for the future.”

– Daniel Brzezinski, GetResponse
  • Increased Dynamic Content in emails

    It is an age of personalized emails. One wrong move and you risk to lose a subscriber who shall unsubscribe. Most ESPs now offer the option to add a dynamic block for the content that shall change as per the defined customer persona. Customized content based on preferences such as location, age, sex, purchase history, user engagement, device info, etc. shall enable marketers to cater to a larger audience effortlessly.

  • Nordstrom
  • Nordstrom

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