Email Marketing Design Trends We Learned in 2021

Discover the trends and styles that marked email marketing design in the last year, and some that we can expect in 2022.

Marketing design
December 17, 2021

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Learn the popular design styles that marked email newsletters in 2021, and which design trends to watch for in the coming year.

Email marketing is super effective, and it’s here to stay. We’ve talked about the importance of email campaigns many times in our blog, and the conclusion is that email marketing strategies have a very high return on investment and help you target and convert the right audience.

So, if you know you’re targeting the right audience, but you don’t see any good performance with your email strategy, you might need to improve your email design. Here are the most prevalent and effective design tricks we learned about making great marketing emails in 2021, and our expectations for the ones that are gonna stay popular in 2022.


Muted colors

Using pastels and natural hues instead of bold, bright colors, is one of the prevalent trends of the past few years, and not only in email marketing. We’ve seen pastels everywhere, from website design to packaging, from interior design to brand identities.

By using a muted color palette instead of the powerful, fiery pinks, reds and oranges in bright hues, you allow the reader’s eye to take in the colors slower and read through the text without their attention being diverted to the visual elements.

Dark backgrounds

It is the era of dark mode! If you want your emails to be fitting with the interface of users who use dark mode on their email providers, but still create a nice contract for the old-fashioned fans of light mode, adding a dark background to your newsletter will work amazingly well.

3D Imagery

If you have the capacity and design team to create it, 3D images in the hero section can be very fun and make the email really pop.

Of course, they are harder to produce and take longer, but they are always a very enjoyable and fun treat for your newsletter readers.

Bold typography

Bold letters are funky, organic and fun. They are a quirky addition to an email that might look stale and boring.

On top of that, bold and bulky fonts are very noticeable and can have an urban, graffiti feel to them. So, if you’re trying to appeal to the younger generation, find a cool bold font to fit you.

Sleek and simple design

White space, sharp lines, and neutral colors used sparingly can convey refinement without detracting from the main idea. Furthermore, during the previous few years, simplicity and easy navigation have been major trends. So, sleek emails are also something to think about.


Because email readers were not equipped to handle this active element two years ago, interactivity was merely used to improve the user experience. The situation has drastically changed today.

With the latest versions of iOS, AppleMail, and Android email systems, support for interactive features has been enhanced.

Furthermore, recent studies reveal that customers are increasingly expecting entertainment elements in their emails, such as animated gifs, dynamic effects, quizzes, sliders, galleries, events that trigger certain actions, and even mini-games.

According to Litmus data, 91 percent of customers currently want interactive content, yet just 17 percent of organizations provide this need.

Cartoon design

Be it on the back of a cereal, the last page of a newspaper, or even an email, cartoons are fun and engaging. Cute and funny characters and mascots drawn in a cartoon style can be a fun addition to your emails.


If custom cartoons and 3D images are too hard to pull off for your marketing team, illustrations are always in and, luckily, easier to find.

For example, you can use a royalty-free illustration from an online library, or buy a cheaper vector from an affordable service.

Testimonials to prove good customer experiences

Social proof has long been a dependable approach for gaining confidence and commitment from clients, especially new ones. The inclusion of genuine user postings, reviews, and testimonials has long been a hallmark of advertising design and corporate websites, and it's now making its way into email marketing as well.

Customer testimonials and case studies are woven into the text of marketing communications like newsletters in this email trend. The key is to do it organically and experiment with different ways of delivering testimonies.


Gradients are coming back! After being away for a couple of years after the popularity of the Instagram logo, we’re slowly starting to see gradients back in website design and other fields.

You might expect it to be very popular with emails too, such as in this one.

Journalist turned content writer. Based in North Macedonia, aiming to be a digital nomad. Always loved to write, and found my perfect job writing about graphic design, art and creativity. A self-proclaimed film connoisseur, cook and nerd in disguise.

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