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Email Design Trends for 2023

You’re probably here because you’re an email marketer trying to get ahead of the game. Staying on-brand and delivering an experience that cuts through the noise of a crowded inbox at the same time can feel difficult to achieve. But with a whole new year upon us, there’s some easy trends to follow that will keep your emails up to date and looking great.

Before getting into this year’s email trends, let’s talk about what goes into making a great email campaign. It needs to be something that’s mutually beneficial for both you, and the customer. 

Because of that, your emails have to have information that is valuable to your customer, like a product release, offer for a whitepaper, or even customer appreciation. 

To ensure you’re also receiving value from each email you send, you must be able to track it in one way or another. Are your customers opening your emails? Are readers unsubscribing when they receive them? And overall are they having a good experience with your email campaigns?

Here are 5 email trends for 2023 that will help your campaigns stand out in the crowd.

Interactive content

Interactive elements can come in many forms: a button, a GIF, or even gamifying certain elements of your email. Adding an element of interactivity allows your customer to customize and optimize their experience to their own liking. 

product poll in email
This Wild email is available in Knak’s Inspiration Centre.

Interactive elements give your reader the  choice to actively participate in as much or as little as they would like, and depending on the chosen element, they can customize their viewing experience. 

Using interactive content in your campaigns would let users choose what they want out of your product. Based on their business needs they could select what product features would benefit them the best. Do they need a premium plan or does the basic work with their needs? Letting them tailor their experience using interactive elements right from their email helps you segment your audience further based on their wants and needs. 

Having a button in your email is also a great way to drive customers to take action easily and efficiently. You can have them accessing more information by using hovering options, games, or links that get your customers to know more about your product in less time. 

Adding these interactive elements into your campaign lets your brand send out more information, and the chance for your customers to see more. 

Less text 

In 2023 a big element to a successful campaign is efficient messaging. No one has the time to be reading through paragraphs and paragraphs of text in a single email. Maybe even more important than time, no one wants to do that. 

colourful email with not a lot of text
This Wistia email is available in Knak’s Inspiration Centre.

Less is more. Whenever you can, try to keep your information in emails short, sweet, and to the point. If you can fit it all on a graphic, even better. 

Having beautiful, eye-catching designs in your campaigns will drastically help your success rate compared to using full body paragraphs of text. This is especially true if you use something original. 

The eyes are drawn to movement and things that are out of the ordinary so using a GIF, for example, is a great starting point for your emails. Bold graphics, images, gifs, and videos, are in — overusing text is out.

Flawless experiences 

Creating a great experience for your potential customers has always been important, but the emphasis on it is only growing. We know there are multiple platforms that emails can be opened and each one has a different way of rendering received information. So how do you ensure they’re receiving something that looks great?

black email with purple graphic
This Zencastr email is available in Knak’s Inspiration Centre.

What’s important is that as an email marketer, you know how to create emails flawlessly to avoid any issues. The transition from mobile to desktop, Gmail to Outlook, or particularly light mode to dark mode all will be opened differently.

As a marketer, you want to factor this into your designing process. Dark mode is super popular right now and continues to grow with more people adopting the setting everyday. 

For example,  having dark text against a dark screen is not so surprisingly still out. There are many tips for how to prep your email for dark mode available. But, the easiest way is to simply test your email and see how they look for yourself.

Tools like Knak make it easy to navigate dark mode and other encountered rendering issues. You can preview your campaigns to avoid ever having any issues in the first place. In 2023, still stumbling during the creation process is no excuse. 

Human touch 

Humans trust humans. Having a human touch in marketing gives your campaigns more of an identity and recognizability. In 2023, we know that campaigns using faces outperform those that don’t. Adwerx even wrote a blog on the phenomenon.

girl wearing headphones in Apple Music email
This Apple email is available in Knak’s Inspiration Centre.

It’s important to be eye-catching right away since campaigns and advertisements don’t get the proper attention from viewers. As companies begin to continuously hone in on efficiency this year, leaning towards faces and humans can right off the bat increase your campaigns success.

As humans we look for connection and familiarity. Having faces immediately triggers something in us — we respond and look for human faces faster than anything else.

Faces are important, but so are other shots of humans. Hands, action shots, and other parts of the body are recognizable, trustable, and ultimately things your customers notice and interchange as their own. Using a human face can help your brand’s campaign success, but so can using other human elements that your viewers could see themselves in. 

The metrics that matter

For years the center of attention for email marketers  has been around having a high open rate. A catchy campaign, good subject line, and ultimately leading your customers to want to open your email has been a large focus in the industry. In 2023 though, there are some key performance indicators that may just be a little more beneficial to your campaigns.

Yes, open rate is a good baseline, but some other metrics that really matter are your unsubscribe rate and the statistics of your actual clientele. Are your emails going to your ideal customers? Or are they targeting the wrong audience?

Privacies and preferences on emails don’t allow for a complete picture of who is opening your emails. Sometimes user’s preferences don’t allow for tracking which emails they have opened, so you can’t always say for 100% certainty that the right people are receiving your emails. 

Unsubscribe rate, however, can show how many people actually want to continue seeing your emails. That’s a great way to gauge how many people are still interested in your messaging based on your previous ones.

Another great way to ensure your subscribers are receiving emails they actually care about is to simply ask them. Sending out polls can be done easily based on demographics for example. 

Track the statistics of your clients that matter and keep your emails relevant to who is viewing them. Things like age, gender, and their location are all great starting points. This is a sure fire way to boost your engagement and campaign’s success rate in 2023. 

Final thoughts on Email Design Trends

Email design is constantly evolving, largely given the technology that makes changes so easily possible and attainable. 

And as more email marketers evolve, there is more to learn from for next year. But for 2023, these trends will keep your email campaigns thriving. 

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