How do you build an email audience in 2020?

What are the email marketing design trends for 2021? 9 Mailchimp partners and email marketing experts polish off their crystal balls and give you some of their predictions.

The continuing trend of single column layout design, large font sizes and simple imagery. Design is quickly moving towards the super simple. Condense your brand design and message down to a snapshot.
Doug Dennison
CEO & Co-founder

I’m not a designer, I can only observe trends and guess what’s going to stay with us: I’d say a smart use of animated images, and the compresence in our Inbox of minimalistic design and bold colors and shapes.
Alessandra Farabegoli
Digital Strategist, Co-Founder

Minimal design with less text more images/video’s. It will also be a more ‘homemade’ style instead of professional layout and design.
Nick Beuzekamp
CEO and Founder

Email design is getting simpler and more mobile-focused. I see that progressing to shorter more personalised emails as the data we collect gets used better and we take into consideration people’s time.
Glenn Edley
Director & Email Strategist

In the small business and nonprofit space, I’m seeing greater demand for email visuals that stand out from the crowd—this includes animated GIFs, bold photography and illustrations, and use of video. Some of this is a direct result of the deluge of email communications across all sectors that resulted from COVID19. Where in the past the smaller business or nonprofit might have been fine with simple messaging and straightforward graphics, these organizations are competing more heavily for the attention of audiences with greater resources, and in 2020 have been forced to invest more deeply in the tech that drives engagement. I expect that these investments will continue to take center stage and that we will see more interactivity and personalization in email creatives.
MaryAnn Pfeiffer
Digital Marketing Strategist

We’ll see more devices automatically shifting emails to dark mode. So as email designers we need to know how to adapt to that to put our client’s best foot forward.
Amy Hall
Email Marketing Strategist and Certified Mailchimp Partner

Email design is constantly evolving. I think “extreme” personalization will become even more popular. Video and animation will continue to be really important. I also think companies will work to send less graphic-heavy emails and see the value in plain-text emails to their customers. But ultimately, with email design, anything is game. Excited to see what the future holds.
Emily Ryan
Co-Founder and Email Strategist

Design trends are always hard to predict, and usually harder to identify. 2021 will likely have people feeling more optimistic, so I’d expect designers to use brighter color palettes, more vibrant photography, and include more animation. However, dark mode emails are also gaining in popularity, so marketers may want to explore the dark side as well, and test to see what works best.
Adam Q. Holden-Bache
Director of Email Marketing

I’d love to think that we’ll have lots of trendy new designs, but in reality, the viewing technology isn’t changing massively and so design is always constrained by that…. but taking advantage of improved personalisation and tools that help do this will definitely be on the up.
Robin Adams
Founder