With every new year, you can look forward to a list of creative trends that will define it, or try to. Some are spot-on, and some are just ideas that never take off. But in the last calendar year, a lot in the world has changed and our design communications have evolved with it. Here are a few trends that are standing out in email marketing campaigns for 2021… so far.
As crucial conversations surfaced in 2020, brands have recognized the importance of reinforcing their values. We see email creative that celebrates community, diversity, and equality; photography and content appearing more natural and authentic.
Creativity in simplicity/minimalism has been trendy as brands are also looking to become ADA compliant. Emails are being designed so that their content is available to—and their functionality can be operated by—anyone, regardless of ability. Dark Mode will also impact brand design trends in 2021.
Factoid: 8% of men are affected by some degree of color blindness
As people are spending more time at home and online, brands are promoting their digital capabilities. We’re seeing more device shots, showing screen visualizations, highlighting ease-of-use. Animation is being used here too!
Many brands are turning to visual delights, with animated logos, sparkle in imagery, screen transitions, and the subtle treatment of motion to accentuate and complement a message… not dominate it.
Iconography has commonly been used to highlight steps of a process, perks and features. With COVID-19, emails are becoming more informative than ever, with alert banners, safety icons, and details to help content stand out.
And now here’s one idea that we’d like to see trending in email creative...
A small game, a carousel or a tap n’ reveal hotspot can increase user activity with hip interaction and mystery fun. According to our 2019 Holiday Study, we observed a 6% increase in transaction rates when an email included an interactive element. However, declining resources may have negatively impacted its use and exploration in 2020. If you want to stand out in 2021, it’s a tactic worth considering that could give your business an advantage.
We hope you enjoyed our list. Reach out to your account representatives for a tailored review of your creative, and happy creative endeavors to you for the rest of 2021 and beyond!
What else is trending in the world of marketing? Check out our global
study for perspectives on personalization, messaging, loyalty, and more.
Jim Kelley is an #emailgeek. He serves as the Director of Creative Services for Cheetah Digital and has been in the field for over 18 years, working with many brands to help them succeed both technically and tastefully in the inbox. At Cheetah Digital, he leads the creative services team through design and code to push innovation, success, and quality in every project. He likes to run, loves pizza, playing drums, listening to sports radio, and enjoys spending time with his wife, daughter, dog, and kitty.