Every year, email marketers and business owners alike scratch their heads and ask the question, “Is email marketing dead?” And every year, the fact remains the same. Email marketing is an essential tool for attracting and retaining customers.

No matter which age group you are targeting, email is an essential way to reach your audience. It’s also still one of the most effective methods of communication when it comes to ROI

Email marketing is here to stay, but that doesn’t mean you don’t need to switch up your email design this year. In 2020, your email newsletters should be dynamic, shareable, interactive, customized, and inclusive. Below are 5 effective email design trends to help make that happen.

1. Mix up the mundane layout.

Header, product image, product description, call-to-action button, footer—aren’t we all a bit tired of reading the same emails we subscribe to? This year, it’s time to strip away that boring email layout your business has used since you opened your doors. 

Break the rules a bit and switch up those templates by curbing those columns you have been designing within. Use more illustrations and imagery, or maybe get rid of imagery altogether and go for a text-forward, minimalist design. Whatever you do, just make sure it’s different, exciting, and authentic to you and your brand. 

2. Make specific sections shareable—not just the entire newsletter.

Including email forwarding in your newsletters can help increase your number of subscribers because it spreads your brand to your subscribers’ contacts and friends. But instead of only focusing on making your entire newsletter shareable, we suggest making specific sections shareable, as well. 

Most email marketing tools have the ability for you to add social sharing buttons to specific lines of text, images, infographics, statistics, etc. that you include in your email. By adding these shareable sections, you’re adding another way for your newsletter to reach potential subscribers you may have overlooked in the past. 

3. Make use of interactive emails.

While interactive email newsletters depend on the email client (Gmail, Microsoft Outlook, Apple Mail, etc.) your customer is using, 32% marketers believe creating interactive email experiences is one of the next big things in email marketing.

An interactive email can mean many things. These are emails that include things such as sliders, surveys, search bars, CSS-animated buttons, and image galleries. Some email marketing tools even give you the option to have subscribers complete a purchase within the same email.

Don’t just send the same email to your entire list.

While some of these interactive elements can prove a bit challenging to incorporate—and depending on your email marketing tool may not be allowed—the easiest way to create an interactive email is by adding a video element. According to what email client your subscriber is using, they will either be able to see the video within the email or see the thumbnail image and be able to click to a third-party website to view it. Either way, adding a video element adds to the user experience and is one of the simplest ways for you to get started with interactive emails in 2020.

4. Customize email blasts for different audience segments.

Segmenting your audience continues to become more and more important for email marketing. This year, we challenge you to take your email list segmentation a step further. Don’t just send the same email to your entire list. Instead, customize with a specific customer in mind.

In 2020, your newsletter should no longer be just a way to spread information about your business to customers.

Maybe you’ve already segmented your lists by location, gender, or age, but now it’s time to dive deeper into each of those segments and get to know them better. What appeals to them as a group? What are they looking for from your company? How do they like to receive information? 

For example, if you have a segment comprised of your Millennial shoppers, change up your weekly or monthly newsletter for this specific segment with concise messages and either interactive or informative imagery. If you have a segment comprised of Gen Z shoppers, try incorporating less text and more videos or other dynamic pieces of content. 

5. Build a community.

One of your main goals this year should not only be to increase sales, brand awareness, and customer reach, but rather to build up the customers you already have and give them something a little extra. In 2020, your newsletter should no longer be just a way to spread information about your business to customers; your newsletter should be an inclusive community.

People want to be a part of a group—they want to be a part of something they feel personally connected to. Your newsletter is the perfect opportunity for this. Continue to incorporate information about your business and your usual promotions, but try to throw in something personal throughout. Show a sneak peek into your daily routine, a family photo, a personal story, or even one of your favorite quotes. Don’t overuse the narrative, but adding little touches like these can help your audience relate to you and feel like they’re a part of your brand, not just another customer.

Though it takes time and you may not enjoy the hassle of cobbling the biweekly or monthly newsletter together, the payoff is measurable. This year, switch up your design tactics and email targets, and next year, you may do a little less head-scratching about the importance of your efforts.


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