Top 5 Breakthrough Email Newsletter Design Trends

How do you design a newsletter that can help you build long-term relationships with your subscriber base? Let’s have a look at the top 5 breakthrough newsletter design trends that will rule 2016.

Out of the 215 billion emails sent daily, should every email have a motive to generate or convert leads? Not really! Email newsletters are effective for awareness, acquisition, conversion, and retention– not to forget their trust building ability with your subscribers by sharing valuable information.

Email Newsletter design is more than just an art; in fact, it has crucial influence on the success of your campaigns. So, how do you design a newsletter that can help you build long term relationships with your subscriber base? Well, a compelling email marketing UX is a must. Let’s have a look at the top 5 breakthrough newsletter design trends that will rule this year.

1) Get Responsive or go home

With over 50% of email newsletters being viewed on mobile phones, it is essential for any email marketer to consider a mobile-first approach. A responsive email design means your subscribers will not have to pinch and zoom to view your newsletter. I found a nice responsive email checklist here, but following are the prerequisites that you should consider in  this year before you plan to adopt a responsive email newsletter design.

  • Due to the many different email clients, it is essential to create your newsletter with a fixed width for universal support.
  • Make sure you have a responsive HTML email builder that is up to the task of handling all the responisveness you need.
  • A width of 600px for any newsletter is an ideal one. But, now with an increase in wider screens you can go till 700px to 750px.
  • Keep the size of the CTA buttons of your newsletter between 25px to 44px depending on the font size and layout of your newsletter. In general marketers love small, but you always use a large enough font for each type of communication. Bigger is often better!
  • Consider creating a different CTA for mobile users. For example, for your mobile users, you can add a CTA of a phone link, whereas for desktop users, you swap it with a CTA to sign up.

Fig: Different CTAs for Mobile & Desktop

  • If you have a newsletter with too much content, you can go interactive animation such as accordions to stack your content.
  • You can also consider using a different header & footer for mobile, making most of those elements on the small screen.
responsive email header and footer

Fig: Responsive header and footer

2) Single Column Layouts Are Awesome

Sending an email newsletter without analyzing your previous campaign reports is like travelling on a highway without signboards – you are bound to lose your way! Single column layout will be essential for businesses in 2016, since more users will be viewing newsletters on a mobile phone now.

Go for single column newsletter design. These layouts look long and skinny, making it easy for your subscribers to scroll through the newsletter. The readers can skim through the newsletter, and read the content they actually are interested in.


Fig: Single column newsletter design

3) Pump Up Your Email Newsletters With Interactivity

Subscribers receive numerous promotional emails and newsletters in their inboxes, leading to a crowded inbox. So,

  • What shall marketers do in order to make their newsletters STAND OUT?
  • How do marketers create and hold an improved CTR in the future?

Well, industry influencers certainly know the trends in the future of email newsletters, and interactive email design is one of them. Check out this full Mailmodo review to see how you can create interactive, AMP emails without coding.

Interactivity will give your newsletters designs a makeover, thus making them stand out in that crowded inbox. Interactivity can be based on CSS3 animations, you can use Menus, Accordions, Flip Effects, and much more to stack your content and make your newsletters look clean and scannable.

Fig: Interactivity in Email Newsletters

4) Don’t Fall Flat, Fallback instead

Optimizing your newsletter to render well across all email clients is key. A number of email clients do not support the background-image property due to which, images might not render well – making your newsletters look ugly (or broken).

A strong fallback comes to rescue for images to render well across all email clients. Also, in cases where your subscribers are struggling with their internet connection, and are facing difficulty in loading the newsleter images, use creative and colorful pixel art and ALT text as a back up for the images. Don’t forget to scale pixel art in for smaller devices.


Fig: Pixel art in Emails

5) Powerful Typography = Stunning Newsletter Design

Marketers focus a lot on newsletter layouts, colors, images, content, to create an engaging newsletter. But, they tend to miss out on one of the important factors affecting it, i.e. Typography.

A few key points for strong email newsletter typography in 2016.

  • Consider using web safe fonts such as Arial, Helvetica, Tahoma, Times Roman, and Georgia. For email clients that do not support the web safe fonts, you will have to provide these as fallback options.
  • Use white space wisely to ensure legibility.
  • Don’t play around with the alignment to make your newsletters look fancy.
  • Avoid using multiple typefaces in your newsletter; it will make your newsletter look scattered. You can grab a reader’s attention with just a couple of font faces.
  • Make the correct choice for Headings, sub-headings and the body of your newsletter.

A Few Short Tips!

  • Don’t add too much text in the newsletter. Provide a ‘Read More’ button after a brief content. Readers who are interested in a particular article will click the URL and read the entire article.
  • If your newsletter is too long, adding a table of content at the beginning is a best practice. This will let the subscribers navigate directly to the section they are interested in.

Wrapping Up

Email Newsletter design is more than just an art; in fact, it has crucial influence on the success of your campaigns. I’m sure the insight from the breakthrough email newsletter design trends in this article will help create an engaging design that sells and compels. We’d love to hear your thoughts & experiences on these new trends.

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 HTML email templates. 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.