Email Marketing Trends

In Content Marketing

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Hey there! Jen McKinnon here and it’s time for another trend roundup from Envato.

Today we’re taking a look at email marketing trends and a link to the featured items can be found in the description below. This video is brought to you by Envato Elements, a subscription-based library full of all the digital creative assets you need to get your creative projects done.

From mobile optimisation and accessibility considerations to eye-catching animated and personalized elements, everything you need to create an attention-grabbing and impactful email marketing campaign is at your fingertips. Check the link in the description for a special offer from the Envato Elements team to get you started. Newsletters have formed a key part of a brand’s content marketing mix for years.

It’s easy to see why, as one study has found emails to be 40 times more effective in acquiring new customers than Facebook and Twitter combined.

But increasingly, sending an email is about more than prompting people to make a purchase, it’s a chance to share a story, add value and demonstrate to audiences that you understand what they care about.

Sharing bite-sized summaries of news stories, industry updates and thought leadership pieces is a great way of achieving this.

By linking to stories from reputable sources in a digestible format you instantly give readers what they need to know while saving them time. Like this newsletter that’s aimed at digital marketing professionals. t rounds up items of interest from a number of publishers, clearly categorizing each item under a color-coded subheadr – whether its SEO, social media or paid media.

By providing a headline, an introduction and an attention-grabbing visual, the reader instantly gets a sense of the top-line story and can decide if they want to click through to learn more. The format is clean, clear and easy to scan. And because a must-read email starts with a great structure, it can help to use a newsletter template.

Like this modern, monochromatic offering from Envato author giantdesign. Using minimalist, black-and-white blocks to accent key information, while leaving plenty of room for imagery and icons, it promises to make a bold entrance into anyone’s inbox. As a brand, it’s hard to know when and where your audience will be when they open your email.

That’s why it’s important to ensure they have the same great experience whether they’re on the move or sitting in front of their computer screen. Take a look at this email from Jetstar, which has been optimised for mobile.

As we scroll through, it’s easy to see that the information contained in the desktop and mobile versions is identical.

Both include promotional deals and passenger information, but the viewing experience has been tailored to fit the device. Both look great – information is easy to read, the design is consistent and there are no gaps or glitches as you scroll. This is achieved through the use of a responsive or scaleable email. To send out your own mobile-friendly marketing messages that are optimized for a range of devices, it can help to use a responsive template.

Like this drag and drop email editor that’s compatible with a range of popular email providers, from Apple Mail to Yahoo. Simply customize your colors, add text, images and call to action buttons, and be safe in the knowledge that – once you press send – the email will look excellent on desktop as well as mobile devices. People love personalized experiences, and that includes emails.

In fact, one recent survey found that readers are 26% more likely to click on a message in their inbox if it includes a personalized subject line, while personalized calls to action are twice as effective at converting potential customers when compared with generic calls to action.

To deliver highly relevant content to customers, many brands are turning to email automation and artificial intelligence in order to deliver their message.

Like Airbnb’s Kind Cards, which are designed to inspire guests to connect with their favourite hosts and express their gratitude via a personalized email.

Each guest receives an email reminder of the places they have stayed, and are given the opportunity to send an easily customized note of appreciation or encouragement.

Meanwhile writing-tool Grammarly pulls together data to demonstrate they really understand what makes their users tick. Automatically generated and mobile-optimized weekly progress reports contain helpful hints that are specific to each and every budding Shakespeare. Users can see how many words they wrote, discover their levels of accuracy and see how their vocabulary is developing, compared with other members of the Grammarly community.

In order to talk to potential customers via as many channels of communication as possible, more and more brands are adding a social media element to their email marketing campaigns.

Brands are including a link to Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn, for example, alongside an idea of the kinds of posts the reader can expect to be shared, which is proving to be a great way to grow social followers.

Like this pastel-hued newsletter from flavored water company Recess, which shines a spotlight on its ‘post of the moment’.

With its retro 80s design and featured Instagram feed, the email conveys a sense of nostalgia while still being firmly grounded in the present.

Social media integration also presents an opportunity to celebrate your customers by featuring user generated content.

Look at this example from Moment, which features a social media section that invites readers to get involved and be featured in a future newsletter, simply by adding the #shotonmoment hashtag to their Instagram posts.

As a marketplace for photographers and filmmakers, it’s not surprising that their newsletter is clean, uncluttered and perfectly in focus.

When it comes to getting in front of customers via social media, check out our Social Media Trends video, which includes a look at how you can make the most of short-form video, social commerce, augmented reality and personalized marketing in your next social media campaign. This next trend is about sharing some positivity. With nearly 95% of shoppers reading online reviews before buying something, testimonials have transformed the way consumers make purchase decisions.

If you receive feedback via online and offline channels – whether that’s follow-up calls, surveys or peer-to-peer review sites like Yelp and Trustpilot – why not collate them in your next newsletter for subscribers to see? Just take this email from Magic Spoon for example.

As the creators of childhood cereals for health-conscious adults, they’ve kept things short, sweet and packed with good vibes.

his email is almost entirely made up of customer reviews and endorsements, which are then followed by a clear call to action to ‘Shop Now’.

If you’ve got something to boast about, do it in style with a newsletter template that includes a testimonials and reviews section – like this one that’s available from Envato marketplace, Themeforest.

Compatible with a number of email platforms like MailChimp and StampReady, it’s designed to promote your creation with plenty of opportunities to showcase how it works and include links to related content on your blog or website. Our next trend looks at the move towards emails containing moving parts, thanks to the addition of GIFs, animated backgrounds, words or icons that come to life when you hover over them, and CSS animation. This last tool enables you to animate transitions – so that one element of your email transforms to another smoothly and seamlessly. Lots of brands are using animation in their newsletters to grab readers’ attention.

Take a look at Uber’s Halloween campaign.

With just a few simple animations – like bats flying across a full moon and a car’s headlights that switch on to illuminate a black cat – the ride-share service positions itself as a scare-free way of travelling after dark. Also shaking up static emails are GIFs and animated backgrounds.

Check out this example from menswear and homeware brand Made, which uses a GIF as a background image to create a sophisticated look and feel for emails designed to promote its Black Friday sale.

It’s as simple as a sliver of light passing over one of its chairs, and yet it communicates the brand’s stylish identity perfectly.

Meanwhile, animated backgrounds present an eye-catching chance to frame your entire email content with a flourish – ike this example featuring moving festive elements, including holly sprigs, pine cones and Christmas decorations.

Among the dancing icons, cardboard takeaway cartons instantly tell us that this email is about Uber’s food delivery service. Finally, take a look at these hover animations that appear in a newsletter from Litmus. Instead of the animation playing as soon as you open your email, these interactive elements are brought to life by the reader as they move their pointer over them. Experiment with animated icons and these HTML templates by Themeforest author webtunes.

Featuring 14 responsive emails that have a variety of use cases – from password reset to activity overview – every design stands out with its bright color themes, smooth gradients and animated GIFs Discover more ways to use animation and video to keep audiences hooked with our video trends round-up, which covers interactive video, searchable video, live video and much more.

You don’t need to be a marketing expert to know that – these days – brand storytelling is a big deal.

And emails present one more channel for businesses to invite audiences to learn about what’s important to them. Like Vimeo’s 20 stories of 2020 email, which celebrates its community of video-makers by sharing statistics and statements that sum up what’s been achieved over the past year.

The focus has been firmly placed on the user, and in doing so, Vimeo promotes itself as a brand that wants to help its users achieve great things. As you might expect from the video platform, this example is a highly visual piece of brand storytelling and includes animated elements and hover effects. As an important marketing tool, brands are telling their stories across a range of channels. We tap into more marketing trends with our round-up that looks at the influential power of brand activism and the ways that more and more companies are embracing social media as a digital shopfront.

Thought brand emails needed to be all bells and whistles and design flourishes? Think again.

So far we’ve been looking at eye-catching HTML emails, but many marketing experts say there’s still plenty to celebrate when it comes to the plain-text email. While an HTML email usually contains colors, images and formatting elements, a plain text-email is just that – words only. The benefit of a static approach is that it’s simple and cuts straight to the point, like this example from Amsterdam-based startup Framer, which looks more like an online letter than a marketing email.

There’s something personal about this stripped-back, no-nonsense approach that makes plain-text emails feel clear and compelling. Here we see that a few bullet points, a handful of links and a friendly sign-off are sometimes all that’s needed to attract someone’s attention and can feel far more personal than a fully designed and automated HTML email.

In terms of best practice, accessibility is everything. It’s so important to ensure everyone can receive and understand your message, regardless of disability or device.

Simple pointers to help you get started include balancing text and images, considering typeface and font size, and using color intelligently in order to create a great user experience. That brings us to dark mode.

With a background that’s blacker than one of Steve Jobs’ turtlenecks, this Apple email is a great example of how to use dark mode as a design tool.

The idea is that dark mode is easy on the reader’s eyes while also helping lighter-coloured objects really stand out in this case – that’s the tech giant’s bright white AirPods Pro earphones. Alongside this minimal imagery, the white sans serif text and neon accents have the opportunity to really come into their own.

Go easy on your viewers’ eyes and try a dark background for your next email with this template from Themeforest author Jthemes.

Outline your event schedule with a clear timeline and highlight important information with pops of vibrant color.

Just like dark mode and other elements designed to boost accessibility, we regularly see email marketing trends and web design trends collide. You can learn more about web design trends like minimalism, illustration and geometric design in our video round-up.

While growing a subscriber base and popping up in inboxes is a great way of getting the word out there, it’s just as important to focus on keeping readers inspired, educated, entertained and, most importantly, happy to click on the subject line.

This is where authenticity comes in. One brand really bringing this point home is National Geographic, demonstrating an authentic commitment to readers by sending out emails on topics and causes that are close to the historic organization’s heart.

Here, they communicate their pledge to tackle plastic pollution and invite supporters to do the same before sharing relevant articles from the magazine and a call to their Instagram feed. While this ‘big question’ email is designed to offer actionable insights with a mini article encouraging families to spend time cooking together, then leads into parent-focused advice and resources.

The language throughout is positive and proactive, and leaves the reader feeling supported.

Another way National Geographic delights its followers is by sharing some of its incredible editorial resources, like in this email that curates photographs around the themes of wildlife, science and the environment.

A round-up of the year’s most-read stories also gives people a chance to catch up on anything they’ve missed and see what resonated with other readers. That does it for the email marketing trends you’ll be seeing this year.

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Envato: Email Marketing Trends - Content Marketing