Email Design in 2024: Trends, Best Practices, And Examples

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Email Design in 2024: Trends, Best Practices, And Examples

Email as an experience – this is what keeps subscribers engaged with a brand. The secret of a well-designed email is just that: it delivers experience, not vanity aesthetics. 

It’s not nice-looking emails that compel subscribers to interact with your brand. Each aspect of design follows a strategic lead, aiming to engage and convert. If your emails consistently fail to convert subscribers to customers, you may safely trace it to faulty design. 

In this post, we will explore this idea (functional, conversion-ripe aesthetics) in some detail. But, before we do that, let’s review certain best practices related to email design

Email Design: Best Practices 

An email template consists of three main components: the header, the body, and the footer. Each section has its own function; how you design the sections will determine their use.

  1. Header: The header will include your brand’s logo, and any other information that you want the viewer to see first. Keep the header components simple and easy to digest. 

Source: J.Crew

  1. Body: Establish a yin-yang relationship between copy and design in the email body. You want to have a fairly even distribution of images, text, mixed media, and so on. 


  1. Footer: Experiment with the footer beyond including social links and contact information. Ensure legal compliance, but not necessarily at the expense of creativity. 

Source: Shinesty

Those are certain best practices concerning the main architectural framework of an email. Beyond that, you need to keep the following in mind:

  • Stick with your brand identity in every email you create. This is no bar on innovation as such, but you should maintain consistency across diverse templates.
  • Select the right layout for each email. Depending on the type of email, decide whether you want a single-column layout, a rolling zig-zag model, or a two-column layout. For instance, you can use the zig-zag layout to showcase your product catalog.
  • Make good use of white space. How you leverage white space can either make or break your design. More often than not, it is white space which determines the flow of a template, and how the viewer is supposed to read the email. 
  • Make your CTA buttons prominent. The call-to-action button is the focus of your email. Draw the subscriber’s attention to it via bold colors. Make sure the email content directs the viewer to the CTA button. Try the inverted pyramid flow.
  • Use high-quality images. No matter how many images you include in a template, grainy, blurred photos will just not make the cut. 

Keeping these best practices in mind, let’s look forward to some of the emerging email design trends in 2024. 

Email Design Trends in 2024

Irrespective of the type of email you are working on, here are some of the emerging and time-honored design trends in email marketing this year. 

Minimalist Design

You could say minimalism is one of the long-standing trends in the email marketing industry. Which is a good sign. More marketers appreciating the significance of minimalism translates into better subscriber engagement, since minimalism is demonstrably effective. 

Source: Really Good Emails

It is important to distinguish between minimalism and simplicity. No one wants to see vanilla emails. Minimalism is an exercise in aesthetics, while simplicity is an exercise in nothing. Minimalism is the antithesis of maximalism, not complexity as such. 

Gamification in Emails 

Nothing can keep your subscribers as actively engaged as interactive emails. Gamification is tipped to be one of the glorious manifestations of nex-gen email marketing. 

The value of gamification does not lie in entertainment alone, although it includes it. Its chief advantage is that it enables the viewer to not stay passive. It invites the recipient to be part of the narrative your brand is pushing. Multiple-attempt games encourage multiple interactions with a single email, which positively impacts your sender reputation. 

Source: Email Uplers

Besides, since many such interactive emails offer rewards, conversion seems to be baked into gamification. 

Interactive Emails 

An interactive email sans gamification is no less impactful. The best instance would be AMP-powered emails, which encapsulates the entire eCommerce experience in a single email. 

The possibilities in interactive emails are endless. From poll surveys to multi-step forms to image carousels to scratch-off reveals, with interactive emails you can not only keep subscribers engaged, but by making them act, collect useful, actionable first-party data. 

Source: Really Good Emails 

This is not to say that every email you send must be interactive. At the same time, the practice of sending interactive emails on special occasions or seasonal times has passed. 

You definitely want to incorporate interactive design into your overall email marketing strategy. The idea is to acclimate your subscribers to this more colorful side of your brand. 

Dark Mode  

Dark Mode is here to stay. It began with the aim of giving subscribers relief from too-bright email templates, but increasingly, it seems to command the attention of brands. 

Source: Really Good Emails

To begin with, Dark Mode is particularly suitable for those who struggle with visual impairments. The theme is the latest addition to the larger movement to enable such customers to interact with brands without disruption. 

In terms of design and aesthetics, Dark Mode enhances the contrast between foreground and background elements. This is highly useful for highlighting certain portions of an email which may be more action-oriented. Finally, Dark looks elegant and professional. 

Creative Typography

Brands have come to realize that emails overloaded with images fail to arouse interest. The shift toward more “sustainable” design has brought the significance of typography back into focus. In 2024, expect more brands to embrace bold, creative typography in emails. 

Source: Really Good Emails

Bear in mind that readability (accessibility) is still an important criterion for success. Innovation does not mean that you may use highly ornate serif typography in your emails. The rules remain the same:

  • Clean fonts
  • No more than two typefaces per email
  • Sans serif, except in headers and titles, if needed
  • Readable, mobile-optimized 

AI-customized Emails

AI will spearhead email design in 2024. For the first time, you can create customized, brand-specific emails without much overhead. Already there are websites that can generate email templates for your brand, requiring only basic additional editing on your part. 

One such website is Sarbacane. Here is the header of a brand-optimized template we generated on Sarbacane. You just need to enter the URL of your website. The AI tool interprets the brand palette and generates various kinds and types of templates accordingly. 

You can be certain AI-generated images will dominate 2024. It will be particularly relevant for marketing agencies with a limited budget. 

Wrapping Up!

Let’s not miss the wood for the trees. The ultimate goal of design is engagement and conversion. Minimalism, gamification, interactive experiences, etc. all these must point toward the relationship between a brand and its audience. 

This is part of what we termed functional aesthetics right at the beginning of our post. To reiterate: the job of a designer is to convey as vividly as possible the value of a brand in relation to its customer. Trends are a part of revisiting how customer-centric a brand can be. It can only do so by gauging the market and translating its potential into tangible value for customers. 

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About the Author

Kevin George
Kevin George is Head of Marketing at Email Uplers, one of the fastest growing custom email design and coding companies, and specializes in crafting professional email templates, PSD to HTML email conversion and free responsive HTML email templates in addition to providing email automation, campaign management, and data integration & migration services. He loves gadgets, bikes, jazz and eats and breathes email marketing. He enjoys sharing his insights and thoughts on email marketing best practices on his blog.