The Best Email Designs Of 2020 | LimeLight Marketing

The Best Email Designs Of 2020

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One of the most important ways to ensure your email campaign succeeds is hinged on how it has been designed. You can’t just throw something together and hope that it works; you must carefully craft every element, every text box, and image so that it piques and retains the interest of your target audience. While there may still be a little left of 2020, there have already been a number of notable designs and practices that have redefined email marketing. Read on to find out how you can utilize email designs to convert leads into customers.


The Best Email Designs We’ve Seen In 2020

The design of your email template, from the placement of images to the use of fonts and color palettes,  

massively affects the way your leads or customers will respond. While the content does a lot of the legwork in terms of converting your leads, how you present the content also plays a crucial role in complementing the wants and needs of your audience. 

When putting together an email marketing campaign, you must be strategic and should base your decisions on data. What are the online behaviors of your audience? What types of content do they engage with? How much content do they consume? These are the kinds of questions you should be asking and addressing when designing your email campaign. 


It’s also important to remember that your subscribers have willingly provided their contact information to you, and are not only expecting content but high-quality content that justifies their decision to receive emails from your business.

The following email designs are some of the best to have emerged from 2020, and although the year’s not over, we’re pretty confident that these are going to rule the roost of email templates for a while. Take a look and see which of these email designs work best for your product, business, and style. 


  • Dark mode

The dark mode design has gained popularity in 2020 – even social media has adopted its nighttime aesthetic. As the name suggests, the design features a dark background with lighter text and graphics. This not only makes everything immediately stand out, but it also makes the content less strenuous to read, meaning your reader’s attention will be retained for longer.

Dark mode is a good choice of the design if you’re targeting night owls (i.e. seeing better open rates during later hours), whether that means undergrads or people working the night shift. The glare of the screen is significantly reduced with this theme, and it’s good for reading on your cell, too. This design works well when using infographics because of the emphasis it places on graphical elements.


  • Seamless design

A seamless email design occupies the whole screen, meaning that it avoids distractions. This is good if you want your email recipients to really focus on one single message. For the background, you can either use a single graphic motif, a block color, or even a photo at a lower opacity or brightness. 

Seamless designs work with any aesthetic, whether you’re aiming for minimalism or rock ’n ’roll. The main objective in all cases is to avoid distracting your leads with too many unnecessary details in the background or down the sides. Check out these seamless email designs for some inspiration.


  • Interactive emails

Traditional email campaigns have one simple purpose: to drive leads to your website. This is all well and good, but even a few seconds of page load time is enough to make people click away before your page has even fully loaded. 

Making your emails more interactive in their design is a great way to combat this issue, because it means your leads never have to leave the email. Instead of being redirected, they can sign up or even answer surveys right there on the forms embedded in your email design. 

This option is a good way to boost the number of people clicking on your calls to action (CTA) because there’s no risk of losing the attention of your target customers since there’s no need for redirects. Instead, you can integrate carousels, accordions, confirmations, purchase buttons, and a whole host of other features by using third party providers. Here are some examples of interactive email designs.


  • 3D and isometric imagery

Isometric designs involve either repeating patterns or similar images with proportional dimensions. This concept is applicable when rendering three-dimensional objects into two-dimensional representations, and is also known as isometric projections. A common example of this is the architectural drawing of a house.  

Animated 3D images are also now being incorporated into more and more emails, and are a great way to add some life into your campaign. 3D and isometric imagery are also extremely visually appealing when some TLC has been put into them, and it’s something to consider if you want a new way to spice up your designs.


  • Minimalist design

Sometimes less is more. This seems to be the motto of the many companies that choose minimalist designs, whether it’s a company logo or marketing campaign. The main idea is to avoid cluttering the email with too many graphics, which can sometimes be overwhelming to look at. Cluttered designs can also clutter your content and make it difficult to deliver your message. 

With minimalist email designs, the main message is obvious and gets directly to the point. You can use any colors here, though they are often kept as solid blocks or subtle accents. Simple line drawings may also be used, and some minimalist designs even include abstract, geometrical, and organic shapes. It all depends on your brand and what it is you’re trying to achieve. 


  • User-generated content

If you have social media accounts for your business, you can encourage your followers to post their own content to your page as part of a competition, like a fan art in the games industry. Alternatively, if you use Instagram or Twitter, you can use hashtags to see and share their content.

Doing this is great because you’ll be able to feature this content in your emails. This will make your emails more personal and appealing to your target audience, and show that you’re really trying to build a community. 


  • Videos in emails

Integrating videos in your emails can be an effective way of communicating with and converting your leads. Instead of written content, you can easily deliver your message in a short video. It can be both entertaining and informative, depending on the product that you’re selling. 

Many online users have a short attention span when it comes to written content, especially on email, so centering your emails around videos is a good way to keep people interested. Just remember to include a short description of the video so that some context is provided. 

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Email Design Best Practices

Design trends may change over time, but there are some golden rules that’ll never go out of style. Here are some of the general best practices that you should keep in mind, no matter what email design you’re trying to create:

  • Subject line: Aside from being catchy and descriptive, the subject line shouldn’t be too long or too short. An average of 65 characters seems to be the right length both for desktops and mobile devices. Capital letters and emojis can also be used to grab attention, but be careful not to overdo these as it could make your email look like spam. 
  • Preheader: The preheader can be previewed in the inbox before opening the email, and it serves to tell the reader what they can expect to read. Between 40 and 70 characters are ideal for this element, and it must also provide context and add value to the email. The sole purpose of preheaders is to prompt recipients to open and read the email. It must briefly explain why your message is important, and work in synergy with your subject line. 
  • Personalization: One way to make your emails a wanted piece of communication is by personalizing them. You can use the names of your subscribers in your email to make it seem friendlier, and can even include some details that are relevant to them – like birthday messages. Basically, if your emails feel personal, the recipients are more likely to read and, crucially, respond to them.
  • Contextualize: This is an extension of personalizing your email campaigns. The context of your emails must be specific to the data that you’ve collected from your subscribers. You can use analytics to do this. One excellent example of this is the way Spotify uses emails to show relevant music playlists to subscribers, based on the music they tend to listen to most. 
  • Dynamic and interactive content: You can use animations, product carousels, embedded surveys, purchase forms, and many other types of interactive content when designing your email. As long as the content is relevant to your audience, these emails are usually the most engaged with. 
  • A good layout: The layout of your email page must be well-organized and free from clutter. This way, your message will be seen more clearly and remembered more easily. Avoid long-winded content, and instead design your layout in a way that will guide your audience through the content, whilst keeping them interested. 

Need support for your email marketing? Let’s chat.

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