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7 Email Design Trends to Embrace in 2023 and Boost ROI

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7 Email Design Trends to Embrace in 2023 and Boost ROI

Emails with a wall of text would hardly impress the subscribers. Fortunately, we don’t have to deal with such boring emails with the advent of visual email marketing and trends like interactivity, gamification, and AMP emails taking the center stage.

In 2023, we are all set to welcome some new trends in the email design arena.

Let’s delve deeper and get inspired for our next year’s emails.

1. Use of stylish visuals

i. A combination of shapes, illustrations, and real images

Using an assortment of shapes, illustrations, and real images will give a fresh feel to your emails. In 2023, marketers will adopt this trend to make their emails stand out and prompt the subscribers to purchase.

ii. White space

Use enough white space to make the emails easy to scan. They break down the email copy and enhance its readability. A cluttered email will turn the subscribers off. So, it is advisable to incorporate breathing space for the readers.

White space can be placed in two ways.

a. Active white space: Negative space surrounding the important email elements

b. Passive white space: Negative space at the template borders and the area between different sections

2. Shapes to make the emails more meaningful

Square, rectangle, triangle, circle, and polygons — all these shapes can be used to convey different messages in emails. While squares and rectangles convey trust, stability, and grounded nature, triangles represent movement and progression. Circles and ovals portray comfort, warmth, and familiarity with their rounded curves. Pentagons, hexagons, and octagons can be used in patterns to reflect rigor, quality, and hard work. Their sides are used to show a long procedure in a simple manner.

Some brands like Tattly also use abstract shapes to make the emails more fun for the subscribers. Take a look at this email template below.

You can also use wave patterns to separate the different email sections. These patterns break the grid format of the emails and provide directional cues to scroll till the end. They make it easier for the readers to follow the email and draw attention to the crucial email elements.

Here’s an example by Winc. See how the usage of waves facilitates communication with the readers.  

1668006906 957 7 Email Design Trends to Embrace in 2023 and Boost

 3. Neon colors to exude exuberance

Creating bright, vibrant emails will trend in 2023, which will contribute to the popularity of neon colors. Neon colors give a happy feel to the emails and paint you as a fun, youthful brand. Just bear in mind 3 points for effective usage of neons.

  1. Neons should be used judiciously and only when you have to highlight vital parts of the email.
  2. Dark backgrounds are better to make the neon colors stand out.
  3. Neon colors are best avoided in the background.

4. Gradients

When a single color goes from light to dark or vice versa, it is known as single color gradient. Similarly, when one color goes to another, it is known as multiple color gradients. Using gradients in emails  aids to the visual hierarchy and compels the subscriber to read till the end.

You can use subtle or bold gradients according to your business personality. Alternatively, you can use gradients as the focal point of your email design or background. Some brands also use animated gradients in the background to add more visual oomph to the emails.

Take a look at this email by Oura Ring that used an animated gradient background.

7 Email Design Trends to Embrace in 2023 and Boost

5. APNG

APNG is a type of animated image, just like GIF. However, APNG has a better resolution than GIF. It supports 8-bit alpha transparency and 24-bit colors. Unlike GIFs, APNG images won’t have an ugly black border in the animation.

Take a look at this image to understand how GIFs are different from APNGs.

1668006907 92 7 Email Design Trends to Embrace in 2023 and Boost

6. Animated CTAs to draw the reader’s attention

Correct placement, actionable copy, and right colors that stand out — all these are the best practices when it comes to high-converting CTA buttons. In 2023, animated CTAs will make a glorious entry in the world of emails. You can animate the CTA by using GIF or CSS animation.

The marketers at Magic Spoon are early adopters of this trend and use it brilliantly in their emails.

7. Memes to add humor in emails

Memes have entered social media marketing long ago. Marketers are expected to use them even in emails in the times to come.

You must bear in mind 3 points while using memes:

  1. Memes are effective only when they are relevant to current events.
  2. Always add the copyright and disclaimer so that you don’t have to face any legal soup.
  3. Make sure it does not come off as inappropriate or offensive for the readers.

Wrapping Up

Good email design separates the grain from the chaff. It drives better email engagement and helps achieve the expected ROI. Stay abreast with these email design trends we foresee in the days to come  and start designing emails that make heads turn.  

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Marketing Team Reorgs: Why So Many and How To Survive

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Marketing Team Reorgs: Why So Many and How To Survive

How long has it been since your marketing team got restructured? 

Wearing our magic mind-reading hat, we’d guess it was within the last two years. 

Impressed by the guess? Don’t be.  

Research from Marketing Week’s 2024 Career and Salary Survey finds that almost half of marketing teams restructured in the last 12 months. (And the other half probably did it the previous year.) 

Why do marketing teams restructure so often? Is this a new thing? Is it just something that comes with marketing? What does it all mean for now and the future? 

CMI chief strategy advisor Robert Rose offers his take in this video and the summary below. 

Marketing means frequent change 

Marketing Week’s 2024 Career and Salary Survey finds 46.5% of marketing teams restructured in the last year — a 5-percentage point increase over 2023 when 41.4% of teams changed their structure. 

But that’s markedly less than the 56.5% of marketing teams that restructured in 2022, which most likely reflected the impact of remote work, the fallout of the pandemic, and other digital marketing trends. 

Maybe the real story isn’t, “Holy smokes, 46% of businesses restructured their marketing last year.” The real story may be, “Holy smokes, only 46% of businesses restructured their marketing.” 

Put simply, marketing teams are now in the business of changing frequently. 

It raises two questions.  

First, why does marketing experience this change? You don’t see this happening in other parts of the business. Accounting teams rarely get restructured (usually only if something dramatic happens in the organization). The same goes for legal or operations. Does marketing change too frequently? Or do other functions in business not change enough? 

Second, you may ask, “Wait a minute, we haven’t reorganized our marketing teams in some time. Are we behind? Are we missing out? What are they organizing into? Or you may fall at the other end of the spectrum and ask, “Are we changing too fast? Do companies that don’t change so often do better? 

OK, that’s more than one question, but the second question boils down to this: Should you restructure your marketing organization? 

Reorganizing marketing 

Centralization emerged as the theme coming out of the pandemic. Gartner reports (registration required) a distinct move to a fully centralized model for marketing over the last few years: “(R)esponsibilities across the marketing organization have shifted. Marketing’s sole responsibilities for marketing operations, marketing strategy, and marketing-led innovation have increased.”  

According to a Gartner study, marketing assuming sole responsibility for marketing operations, marketing innovation, brand management, and digital rose by double-digit percentage points in 2022 compared to the previous year.  

What does all that mean for today in plainer language? 

Because teams are siloed, it’s increasingly tougher to create a collaborative environment. And marketing and content creation processes are complex (there are lots of people doing more small parts to creative, content, channel management, and measurement). So it’s a lot harder these days to get stuff done if you’re not working as one big, joined-up team. 

Honestly, it comes down to this question: How do you better communicate and coordinate your content? That’s innovation in modern marketing — an idea and content factory operating in a coordinated, consistent, and collaborative way. 

Let me give you an example. All 25 companies we worked with last year experienced restructuring fatigue. They were not eager creative, operations, analytics, media, and digital tech teams champing at the bit for more new roles, responsibilities, and operational changes. They were still trying to settle into the last restructuring.  

What worked was fine-tuning a mostly centralized model into a fully centralized operational model. It wasn’t a full restructuring, just a nudge to keep going. 

In most of those situations, the Gartner data rang true. Marketing has shifted to get a tighter and closer set of disparate teams working together to collaborate, produce, and measure more efficiently and effectively.  

As Gartner said in true Gartner-speak fashion: “Marginal losses of sole responsibility (in favor of shared and collaborative) were also reported across capabilities essential for digitally oriented growth, including digital media, digital commerce, and CX.” 

Companies gave up the idea of marketing owning one part of the customer experience, content type, or channel. Instead, they moved into more collaborative sharing of the customer experience, content type, or channel.  

Rethinking the marketing reorg 

This evolution can be productive. 

Almost 10 years ago, Carla Johnson and I wrote about this in our book Experiences: The 7th Era of Marketing. We talked about the idea of building to change: 

“Tomorrow’s marketing and communications teams succeed by learning to adapt — and by deploying systems of engagement that facilitate adaptation. By constantly building to change, the marketing department builds to succeed.” 

We surmised the marketing team of the future wouldn’t be asking what it was changing into but why it was changing. Marketing today is at the tipping point of that. 

The fact that half of all marketing teams restructure and change every two years might not be a reaction to shifting markets. It may just be how you should think of marketingas something fluid that you build and change into whatever it needs to be tomorrow, not something you must tear down and restructure every few years.  

The strength in that view comes not in knowing you need to change or what you will change into. The strength comes from the ability and capacity to do whatever marketing should. 

HANDPICKED RELATED CONTENT:  

Want more content marketing tips, insights, and examples? Subscribe to workday or weekly emails from CMI.

Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute 

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Boost Your Traffic in Google Discover

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Boost Your Traffic in Google Discover

2. Understand topical authority: Keywords vs. entities

Google has been talking about topical authority for a long time, and in Discover, it is completely relevant. Traditional SEO includes the use of keywords to position your web pages for a specific search, but the content strategy in Discover should be based on entities, i.e., concepts, characters, places, topics… everything that a Knowledge Panel can have. It is necessary to know in which topics Google considers we have more authority and relevance in order to talk about them.

3. Avoid clickbait in titles

“Use page titles that capture the essence of the content, but in a non-clickbait fashion.” This is the opening sentence that describes how headlines should be in Google’s documentation. I always say that it is not about using clickbait but a bit of creativity from the journalist. Generating a good H1 is also part of the job of content creation.

Google also adds:

“Avoid tactics to artificially inflate engagement by using misleading or exaggerated details in preview content (title, snippets, or images) to increase appeal, or by withholding crucial information required to understand what the content is about.”

“Avoid tactics that manipulate appeal by catering to morbid curiosity, titillation, or outrage.

Provide content that’s timely for current interests, tells a story well, or provides unique insights.”

Do you think this information fits with what you see every day on Google Discover? I would reckon there were many sites that did not comply with this and received a lot of traffic from Discover.

With the last core updates in 2023, Google was extremely hard on news sites and some niches with content focused on Discover, directly affecting E-E-A-T. The impact was so severe that many publishers shared drastic drops in Search Console with expert Lily Ray, who wrote an article with data from more than 150 publishers.

4. Images are important

They say that a picture is worth a thousand words. If you look at your Discover feed, you’ll see most of the images catch your attention. They are detailed shots of delicious food, close-ups of a person’s face showing emotions, or even images where the character in question does not appear, such as “the new manicure that will be a trend in 2024,” persuading you to click.

Google’s documentation recommends adding “high-quality images in your content, especially large images that are more likely to generate visits from Discover” and notes important technical requirements such as images needing to be “at least 1200 px wide and enabled by the max-image-preview:large setting.” You may also have found that media outlets create their own collages in order to have images that stand out from competitors.

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Everything You Need to Know About Google Search Essentials (formerly Google Webmaster Guidelines)

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Everything You Need to Know About Google Search Essentials (formerly Google Webmaster Guidelines)

One of the most important parts of having a website is making sure your audience can find your site (and find what they’re looking for).

The good news is that Google Search Essentials, formerly called Google Webmaster Guidelines, simplifies the process of optimizing your site for search performance.

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