The Top 5 Email Design Trends of 2018

Fidget spinners, velour tracksuits, eating Tide Pods, the mullet… There have been a lot of weird trends over the years, but fortunately, you can’t put a mullet on an email (although I’m totally going to try to now.)

And unlike the rapid rise and fall of fidget spinners, email marketing isn’t going anywhere.

Being quick, efficient, and effective has its perks and email marketers get to reap the benefits.

After scrolling through my inbox and doing some research, I’ve found the best current trends in email design for 2018.


Interactivity is a trend that covers the gamut of anything you view digitally.

Accordion menus, image carousels, search options, and add-to-cart options are just a few easy ways to make your email interactive.

Another option is gamification.

“Gamification is the process of incorporating game mechanics into non-gaming realms so that you can drive the desired behavior from your readers.”

You may have experienced gamification in an email before through surveys, quizzes, rewards, or customer loyalty programs. You can read more about the application of gamification in emails here.



GIFs, Cinemagraphs, and Videos

GIFs aren’t new, neither are cinemagraphs or videos.

But regardless of the application, they are extremely attention-grabbing. While so many emails are just a static delivery of email copy, including a moving image can make a reader want to read from beginning to end and read future emails from you.

Not only are they eye-catching, they’re a fun and interesting way to deliver data or show a new product.

They’re a rich way to tell a story and to tell it quickly.



While I had an internal debate to include emojis in this list, they are indeed a trend.

Scrolling through my email inbox on my phone, I always notice the subject lines that include emoticons.

They stand out from the rest of the emoji-less email deliveries.

BUT, the caveat with emojis is that using them in the wrong place or at the wrong time can make them seem obnoxious or ingenuine.

If you’re going to use them, make sure they fit your tone and brand and always test before sending them to your entire list.


Minimalism is something I’ve always said I love the idea of but could probably never do (like having only one piece of artwork on the living room wall instead of 30)

But there is nothing as satisfying as a simple and clean email with the right amount of visuals and copy.

With smaller screens and shorter attention spans, it’s important to get to the point and get to it quickly. Create an email that is easy to consume on the go with minimalism.

Keep it simple.



Hero Images

Give me a full-width image and I’m on board.

Using a full-width image in your email is another way to quickly grab attention but they must be used wisely. While you don’t want to inject all your data into one hero image (for display issues-sake), it can be a great and visually appealing way to present information.

Bold Type

Both literally and figuratively using bold type in your emails is a surefire way to snag a reader’s attention.

Use a decorative font or make the text HUGE. Don’t limit your bold type to just the title or header. Go unconventional with your copy typeface (while obviously keeping it legible and not giving anyone a headache).

Going a few points up in font-size can make you stand out without any effort.

Another trend is highlighting the important phrase. Make it known what the most important information in the email is right away.


There are the basic principles of email design:

  • Eye-catching CTA’s
  • Above the fold design
  • An unsubscribe link
  • Clear and concise copy

While these are the things that will get your email to the point, they might not get or keep your readers attention.

Utilizing one or more of the trends listed above in your next email campaign can prove to be successful. Let us know how it goes.

What are your favorite email design trends? Did they make this list? Let us know in the comments section.


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