Email Design Trends for 2021

18 August 2022


We are going to start with personalization, which was a massive trend last year. Nothing’s changed. According to Litmus, personalized emails get 122% more return. Therefore, create a fully tailored persona-centric user experience.

Personalization in email requires several essential things.

  1. Good segmentation.
  2. Use of name in the content. Even if you create a flash sale or other type of promotional newsletter that initially addresses a broad market, still the customer’s name should be right at the top. What’s more, it is highly recommended to use the client’s name in the subject line as well.
  3. Use of offers based on customer preferences or previous purchase history.
  4. Use of smart tags to customize the content in a way that will make the newsletter speak directly to your clientele. Choose information or promotions that bring value and tug at a customer’s heart.
  5. Use of visuals (images, illustrations, and other graphics) that resonate with the client.
  6. Create an individualized reader experience. Although emails with long text are a huge trend for 2021, there are still exceptions. Therefore, center user experience around your client’s preferences and tastes.

Nailing personalization requires work. It extends beyond email design: it implies personalized destinations, individualized landing pages, proper segmentation, and defining the best time. It pays off in the end.

Consider newsletter from Rama Works and newsletter from Shipt.

The first email is a giveaway follow-up that is centered around the subscriber. It includes the client’s name, statistics, suggestions on how to increase contact’s chances in sweepstakes, and even personal signature. Rama Works is one of those brands that take their email designs and relationships with the customers to the next level by capitalizing on personalization.

The second is a classic customer appreciation email that is veiled in “Year in Review.” This type of newsletter should be all about the customer. Therefore, it is highly personalized. It includes name, statistics that the shopper cares about, and a thank you.

Note the design. It is bright, catchy, and emphatic. The team has transformed boring data into a fantastic infographic that can be printed. The idea is ingenious. Not only does it cement relationships with the clients, but it also leaves them wanting more.

Long Text

Each year newsletter designs are looking more like traditional landing pages. They have a hero area, menu, brand elements, multifunctional footer, and of course, a vast content area. Some use animations and interactive features to enrich the user experience and enhance the statement. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that the long-read approach from the web design sphere has become a massive email trend for 2021. Though not only web design trends has influenced this tendency, the pandemic has also made its contribution.

Sitting at home and isolating ourselves from others pushed our society not only to go online and comment on all those Instagram stories but also read some good literature. This revived love for reading good material has taken this tendency to the next level. Email designs that give food for thoughts are becoming more and more popular among the crowd. Whatever sector you are in, if you have something to tell, then it is about time. Long read emails are one of the biggest trends for 2021.

To nail it, stick to these simple rules:

  • Use rich multimedia (images, illustrations, animated gifs) to support the statement visually.
  • Use formatting to break reading flow into easily digestible chunks. It is here where you can play with whitespace, typography, headings, and paragraphs.
  • Hit an optimal contrast since reading long pages can be difficult for people in the evening or on gloomy and somber fall and winter days.
  • Check and double-check content on mistakes.
  • Play with the layout to achieve compositional harmony and avoid information overload.

The newsletter example from Absurd Design seems like a personal correspondence between friends. This is the strategy that certainly cultivates strong relationships between brand and audience. Note several vital details that may help you to achieve the same effect with your email.

  • A warm greeting with the name of the author that is featured right at the top.
  • A friendly tone and an adorable “p.s. note.”
  • Smart formatting. Paragraphs are carefully delineated. The generous amount of whitespace enhances the readability.
  • Clever use of icons. Not only do they unobtrusively draw attention, but they also support an overly friendly atmosphere.
  • Lovely illustrations that visually support the whole appeal and certainly give a nudge to the customers.
  • A footer with all the critical information.
  • Use of professional tools. According to Litmus, 52% of companies spend at least two weeks producing an email that can be too long to react to all the changes in 2021. This one was created in Postcards within minutes that not only ensures that all the details of the email work in agreement but also saves lots of time and money to the owner.

It should be noted that there are different ways to adopt this trend. You can stick to this powerful personal-like solution or make it more like a landing page populated with widgets and other sorts of content blocks. Consider newsletter from FitOn and email from Formula 1 as representative examples.

Newsletter from FitOn is a typical example of a long-read solution where you can see various modules that harmoniously co-exist together. There is a hero area, promo blocks, cards, header, and footer. Each block is a part of a fully-illustrated environment that establishes a Halloweeny atmosphere and sets everyone in a festive mood, making the reading experience highly enjoyable. Thanks to a proper organization, this long-read works. It gives food for thoughts turning customers into brand evangelists.

The second example comes from a big name, Formula 1. Therefore, expect some well-thought-out design solutions.

As you can see, the team skillfully adopts the long-read approach. There is a lot to read; nevertheless, the user experience is excellent. Everything is well-formatted and properly-organized. The newsletter looks like a compact version of an online magazine that wins over clients with relevant material and a powerful charisma of a famous motor racing championship.


As a method to organize content, cards have been with us for a while. With long reads gaining momentum, the foundation for this trend has become even stronger. Cards are a good way to deal with a bulk of data. As a time-proven and Google-approved design pattern, it serves content in a way that appeals to every group.

Basically, each card has an image on the top, content in the middle, and the footer at the end. While in the web design sphere it is animated, everything is static in the email design. Cards still enjoy all the benefits inherent to this design pattern, such as flexibility, responsiveness, neatness, order, readability, suitability, universality, and relevance.

Consider three good examples.

The first one is an email design example from eWD that successfully gathers a wealth of information under one roof. Cards organize all the content into blocks to create order out of chaos. As a consequence, subscribers can easily follow the reading flow and get interesting information right now.

On top of that, Cards also balances visual and textual data with grace, thereby producing a more significant impact. The newsletter sparks interest, increases engagement, and avoids visual overload.

Contact Sales Today!

Contact Sales