It’s another year in email trends, and you know what that means. Not only are there new technology and email features to play with, but also new tastes and styles that readers expect to see. With more and more people subscribing to company emails and newsletters, it’ll take more than an old bag of tricks to separate yourself in 2022.
So we analyzed our incoming email trends and spoke to designers about their recent requests to compile this list of 8 inspiring email design trends for 2022. Check them out below to see which styles fit your brand and readership.
8 inspiring email design trends for 2022
- Succinct and simple
- Lined compartments
- Engaging and interactive
- Vintage dreamland
- Typography first
- Wavy lines
- All about testimonials
1. Succinct and simple
To put it succinctly and simply, this trend keeps it short and sweet. Because people are bombarded with emails every day, this trend eases the burden by getting straight to the point and looking good at the same time. No excessive imagery or text, no tangential topics, just a quick email that delivers its message and nothing more.
By BAGGU via Really Good Emails
On the surface, this appears to be another minimalist trend, but that’s not exactly the case. This trend still takes full advantage of flashy graphics and animations, unlike minimalism which sticks only to the essentials. Likewise, you can still write wordy newsletters, as long as there are no other major distractions, like a sales pitch, or a survey, the focus stays on the text or the purpose of the email. The idea for this trend is to keep things straightforward, instead of jamming different email pieces together.
As Gen Z grows up and becomes a stronger consumer force, trends are shifting to suit their preferences. One recent email trend in particular is adorkable, a mixture being awkward, dorky and adorable.
The adorkable style is easy to identify by its bright colors, magnetizing visuals and thoughtful compositions, which turn emails into an optic feast. It often combines more fanciful elements with a “real” aspect, such as using actual products and/or product packaging, even using CGI to create realistic renders. As we mentioned in our guide to Gen Z marketing, this group appreciates authenticity and can easily spot phoneys.
In addition to dazzling color schemes, there’s also room for more progressive layouts and compositions (like the ReadyMag newsletter example), as well as word bubbles (like the Fussy example). All-in-all, this style is about drawing attention to itself but respecting empty space at the same time.
3. Lined compartments
While there’s something to be said for free-flowing emails, in 2022 compartmentalized emails are becoming more popular. Sometimes it’s fixed boxes like Reinhardt Keith’s newsletter design for The Hustle, while other times it’s more loosely, misaligned, like Zajno. Either way, the unifying theme is that every element has its own place.
This trend often uses thin black lines to create a grid or individual boxes, making the email easier to scan without it looking crowded. Because the grids look a little retro (think of early websites from 20 years ago), this email trend pairs well with retro trends on this list like vintage dreamland and anything with flashy colors. If straight lines are too rigid, try rounded corners, like Glitch’s and Goody’s examples, or bright, friendly colors.
4. Engaging and interactive
Every year, email trends embrace animation and interactivity a little more. The appeal has always been there, but as technology evolved, designers can bring their ideas to life.
The email trends of 2022 are no exception, welcoming more animated GIFs, interactive menus, scroll animations, and really any effect that increases reader engagement. Unlike previous years, however, it isn’t just about showing off the new technology but working it into the overall email message.
By Jackie Kao via Dribbble
The idea is to get people engaged in the subject matter of the email, not the email itself. For example, notice how the GIFs in Webflow’s email show the product’s features at work, or how the ILIA email demonstrates how to use the blender with your finger. Even the Penguin Random House email spruces up otherwise stagnant product recommendations by putting the reader into a literal driver’s seat.
5. Vintage dreamland
What’s known as the “vintage dreamland” style is a composite of different styles from throughout history: most recently with 80s mod and 70s glam, but extending back to the Arts and Crafts movement at the turn of the twentieth century. The look itself is, as the name suggests, a dreamlike aesthetic with crowded frames, strong shadows and larger-than-life subjects.
The vintage dreamland email trend works especially well in ecommerce for showcasing products. This style gives it’s subject an idealized, romanticized look, so when applied to ecommerce it makes products seem more attractive.
Although this trend pairs well with a wide variety of styles, using a classy, serif font really draws out its elegance and timelessness.
6. Typography first
If you push the creative boundaries of typography, a word can be worth a thousand pictures. This 2022 email trend gives the text center stage, while simultaneously dressing it up with artistic flourishes and extra imagery.
The key to this trend is having something to say—it highlights whatever the meaning the words have. So if you have a strong and succinct message, apply this style to your typography to give it extra impact.
Even if you want to lean away from the art and stick mostly to the text, you can still stylize the text itself in interesting ways. Look at the Atera example: the “Brand & Marketing Creative Team Newsletter” title weaves in and out of the other text, plus it takes advantage of the popular wavy lines of our next trend.
7. Wavy lines
Not every email design trend has a deep meaning; sometimes, it’s just a look that’s popular at a given time. For 2022 email trends, that’s the wavy line. If you haven’t seen it already, it’s easy enough to spot if you notice something that looks like spilled paint.
The beauty of the wavy line email trend is that you can use it for virtually anything. You can combine it with trend number three to separate compartments like the Everytable example above, you can use it as a background effect like the Dipsea example below, and you can embed it into your text like Epic for Kids (below).
As we mentioned in our guide “The meanings of shapes in design,” rounded imagery represents playfulness and whimsy, making this trend perfect for lofty and fancy-free brands. The curves also captivate the eye, tying the entire composition together and generating more flow and movement.
8. All about testimonials
Finally, our last email trend of 2022 is less about looks and more about content. Social proof has always been a reliable method for garnering trust and loyalty, especially among new customers. The usage of authentic user posts, reviews, and testimonials has already been a long-time staple of advertising design and company websites, and now that same practice is infiltrating email marketing.
This email trend weaves customer testimonials and case studies into the content of marketing emails like newsletters. The trick is to do it naturally and try new forms of presenting testimonials.
You’ll notice from the examples that each email presents its customer testimonials in a unique and creative way. That’s a big part of the trend—you don’t want to force-feed the testimonials to your readers, but rather present them in an enticing way that attracts the reader organically. Fun visuals work well for this, as does framing the narrative in a way that makes the customers’ words seem important.
Welcoming 2022 email trends
The 2022 email trends are a breath of fresh air, with bright colors, energetic animations, fun typography and a presentation catered specifically for the reader. Even serious brands can kick their feet up a bit with trends like vintage dreamland and lined compartments that still maintain some formality. All in all, email marketing in the new year takes a livelier and more optimistic approach that makes opening emails a joy.