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Email Design for holiday season

10 Email Design Trends That Are Expected To Rule The Holiday Season Roost

Want your holiday emails to be the cynosure of all eyes? Consider implementing these email design trends this season...

The holiday season brings in big cheers, great joy, and limitless festivity. But that’s not all there is to it. It is also the time of the year where people switch on their online shopping modes, paving the path for big bucks and exceptional business opportunities for brands all across the globe. 

Except for 2008, which played host to the Great Recession, holiday sales have always registered an incremental increase since 2002. More than anything, this statistic proves that people have their own set shopping routines and spending habits during the holiday season. They might not be big shoppers by nature, but come holiday season, all conventional customer behavior goes for a big, fat toss. The top brands in the market are well-aware of this. So, they employ highly curated holiday email marketing campaigns to make the most of this sentiment. And, why shouldn’t they?

Why Are Emails Important For The Holiday Season?

As many as 59% of shoppers claim that their purchase decisions stand influenced by emails. Imagine, now, the kind of conversions that a smartly executed holiday email campaign could provide you with. However, creating the winning holiday email isn’t all that straightforward. Among many things, the design in these emails needs to be absolutely spot-on. Brands must actively work towards crafting a design language that appropriately echoes this period’s celebratory and radiant ethos. 

Cracking that code can be a little tricky, though. If you’ve been scouring the internet looking for inspiration, then you can safely end your hunt over here. In this article, we discuss a definitive list of design trends that are expected to be all the rage during the upcoming holiday season. To arrive at this verdict, we pored over the previous years’ holiday emails and factored in the design trends that are creating ripples at present. We’re pretty confident about this compilation and hope it fills you with tons of exciting ideas! Read on to find out more about them.

1. Softer Background Colors

Over the last couple of years, the use of softer background colors in emails has become a massive hit among marketers and audiences alike. The reasons for this are plenty. For starters, soft backgrounds let brands advocate a content-forward approach. This is because by using soft backgrounds, they are successfully able to call the audience’s attention to the content enclosed in their emails. As a result, this gives them the scope of driving greater interaction and engagement.

Additionally, such backgrounds are easy on the eyes, too, making your emails appear friendly and approachable. Simply put, soft backgrounds introduce an inimitable harmony to your email designs and help you highlight your email content without any additional effort. Not to mention the incredible boost they provide to the overall email aesthetic. 

Take a look at these examples to understand how you can use softer background colors effectively in your holiday emails.

Softer Background Colors email template
Image Source: Really Good Emails

Withings email sample
Image Source: Really Good Emails

2. Photo Album Grids

While this trend has been around for a while, it really took ground during last year’s pandemic. As we got used to viewing our loved ones through the videoconferencing grids Zoom and Skype, emails packing a similar sentiment in their layouts started getting more and more of our attention as well. With a large chunk of our holiday meet and greets scheduled to happen over virtual corridors, this trend is going to be much sought after during this holiday season as well. While, initially, it was predominantly being used by the players in the events, hotel, and real estate industry, it has, over time, come to be used frequently by B2B, technology, and lifestyle brands too. 

Here are a few examples of emails employing this design trend. 

Apple email sample
Image Source: Really Good Emails


Factory direct flooring email sample
Image Source: Really Good Emails


3. Data Visualization

Data visualization is your best bet if you want your customers to take an active interest in the insights you have derived from their usage of and interaction with your brand. Data-driven insights will always capture the imagination of your subscribers, so long as you represent it in a suitable medium. For example, let’s consider you’re an eCommerce app. Now, if you send your buyer an Excel sheet containing information on how much they spent on each product category, the chances are that they’ll never bother even to download the attachment. However, if you send them a pie-chart encapsulating the same information, you are much more likely to get their attention. Brands always prefer sending communications with data tied to an individual’s profile since it allows for highly targeted and personalized messaging. But, at the same time, they need to be smart regarding the visualization of that data.

Here are some examples that illustrate our argument.

Data Visualization email sample
Image Source: Really Good Emails


Yes Lifecycle marketing email sample
Image Source: Really Good Emails


4. Cinemagraphs

Do you like putting extra toppings on your pizza? (Who doesn’t?) Ever considered doing the same with your emails? No, of course, we’re not talking about literal pizza toppings; we’re talking about elements that you could add to your emails to make them that extra bit irresistible. In this particular case, we’re talking about cinemagraphs. Existing as a wondrous amalgamation of photographs and videos, cinemagraphs are essentially still photographs that are blended with subtle motion or animation. The animation part plays in a short, never-ending loop while the rest of the image remains the same way. Usually, there’s no starting point or endpoint associated with this motion. Cinemagraphs are nothing short of surreal, and their visual appeal is such that audiences can’t peel their eyes off of it, even if they want to. Want your subscribers to stare long and hard at your holiday offers? You know what to use. 

Take a look at these examples to draw some inspiration. 

Cinemagraphs sample
Rifle paper
Image Source: Really Good Emails


Taco Bell cinemagraph sample
Taco Bell cinemagraph
Taco Bell cinemagraph
Image Source: Really Good Emails

5. Retro Futurism

Retro futurism as a design philosophy exists at the confluence of nostalgia and futurism. The concept consists of pieces that borrow their elements from both the past and the future. In doing so, it exists as a fusion of the design aesthetics of different eras. While, earlier, retro futurism used to be the prerogative of art enthusiasts alone, it has of late made its way into the toolkit of graphic designers as well. Consequently, we can now see it being used in digital advertisements, billboards, social media posts, and emailers. This trend is characterized by serif fonts, solid drop shadows, and off-print techniques used alongside space themes, outer glows, and bright colors. 

The following examples will give you a better idea.

Retro futurism email template
Image Source: Really Good Emails

Great Jones email sample
Image Source: Really Good Emails


6. Interactivity

What makes interactivity one of the hottest design trends of this holiday season? The fact that interactive content in emails has been found to generate almost twice the number of conversions as passive content. Interactive elements encourage your subscribers to participate and engage with the content in your email, thereby making them more fun and lively. The interaction may be in the form of a tap, click, or swipe. After all, what are holiday emails, if not fun?

Take a look at how the best in the business go about employing interactivity in their emails.

Interactive email sample
Image Source: Really Good Emails
Email uplers interactive email sample
Image Source: Email Uplers


7. Representation

Besides teaching us to cope with the inevitable, 2020, in many ways, also opened our eyes to the vices of racial injustice. So long as we continue to discriminate against people on the basis of their skin color, caste, gender, and sexual preferences, the taste of actual progress will forever elude us. Over the last year, many brands seem to have taken due note of this sentiment. As a result, they now emphasize representing not just people of color but also those belonging to other marginalized communities in their emails. Here’s one trend we hope never goes out of fashion!

Here are some examples.

email template sample
Image Source: Really Good Emails


Image Source: Really Good Emails

8. Geometric Shapes

The usage of geometric shapes is an important design trend for two primary reasons:

  1. It enhances the visual aesthetic of the email.
  2. It reduces the reader’s cognitive load, meaning the reader doesn’t really have to decipher the design or the imagery to appreciate it. It exists simply to make the email more pleasing to the eye.

Take a look at these examples for some inspiration.

geometric shapes design emails
Image Source: Really Good Emails


geometric shapes design emails sample
Image Source: Really Good Emails

9. Bold Typography

Bold typography helps you instantly call the reader’s attention to the most critical part of your email. Typically, brands use bold typography to highlight the topic of their emails, make important announcements, introduce new offers, and the like. Are you planning on launching a holiday season sale? You now know the best way to announce it in your emails. 

Here are some examples to help you understand this trend better.

Bold Typography email
Image Source: Really Good Emails

Bold Typography email sample
Image Source: Really Good Emails

10. Duotone

Duotone design refers to those pieces or images that are crafted using two contrasting colors. The duotone effect is incredibly dramatic and visually striking and is guaranteed to keep your subscribers hooked to your emails. Besides making your emails eye-catchy, employing duotone can also help you improve the overall readability, traits that you’d ideally want your holiday emails to possess.  

Take a look at these examples to get a better understanding of this design trend.

Duotone design templates
Image Source: Really Good Emails

Duotone design email for fathers day
Image Source: Really Good Emails

Conclusion

Getting the holiday design aesthetic bang-on can get a little overwhelming at times, but the engagement and returns a properly executed holiday email rakes in is well worth the investment. We hope our compilation has been successful in kicking your design gears into motion. Now, the only choice you have to make is to decide which trend best aligns with your brand aesthetic and is most suited to your line of operations. And, frankly, that is a pleasant confusion to have!

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Rohan Kar

Rohan Kar works as a Content Writer at Email Uplers. An engineering graduate, he was quick to realize that his calling lied in other pastures. When not writing, he can be found participating in elaborate movie marathons or aggressive book circle discussions.

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