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2020 Trends in Email Design: Videos, Gifs and Bold Gradients

One thing we must all admit:  grabbing a stranger's attention is really hard. To make matters worse, you don’t know what they like or do for fun. Interestingly, if you are the flirty type, you must acknowledge that a “Hey, my name is Scott! May do the magic but not always, especially at the beach.”

Sometimes you will be stuck with that: So What? Get a Life!

Disgusting, right?

Well, not entirely, if you need a kiss, I would advise a little bit of sophistication with a bit of humor added with a rep’ to the hood. It’s our world.

Come up with something like, “Kiss me if I’m wrong, but dinosaurs do still exist, don’t they?” and you will either get a kiss or meet eye-to-eye with a loud open-handed smack guaranteed to leave a red welt slightly above your jaw-bone but below you watery-eyes.

Old Tricks Don’t Always Win

In email marketing, the old tricks don’t always win the jackpot. A picture is worth a hundred words, however, a video is worth a thousand pictures, add captions to it, and the numbers more than double.

Email marketing is taking new perspectives not only on what content is embedded in those fancy emails but mostly on how that content is formulated, expressed, presented and displayed (simply put, in design).

Just in the same way you would dress up for a date night, email marketers are dressing up their emails with bold colors and gradients. Likewise and just, in the same way, you would play Janelle Monae’s ‘Make me feel’ to add romance to the night, adding GIFs is bringing on attraction and triggering emotions in your emails.

If you are gearing up for an increased ROI from your email campaign, then aligning yourself and your campaign with trending email designs is the way to go.

From studies, the latest trending designs are grabbing more attention, playing mind games and triggering customers’ emotions all in the effort to green the pastures and bring more sales to your business.

From Near Vibrant to “Very” Vibrant

2019 has been quite the year for email marketing. It has drastically moved from a near vibrant to a “very” vibrant platform not only in the conventional world but largely in the eCommerce sector.

Simply put, this is attributed to the increased sophistication in competition hence every marketer is looking for ways to stand out.

On the bright side, Wishpond suggests that email marketing is making money moves by constantly adjusting, adapting and advancing with the shift in the technological paradigm, however, its relevance in modern marketing is still as stacked up and as prevalent as ever.

Actually, Marketo research estimates that 94% of internet users are getting online mostly to check their emails.

The Gem in Email Marketing

According to Wishpond, the increased vibrancy in email marketing is rooted in its ability to break through cultural, generational and classical phenomenons. Its effectiveness lies in its steady return on investment.

By 2020, it is projected that more than 300 million emails will be sent out every single day. That’s a lot of competition operating through emails, hence unless you find a way to stand out, you ain’t going far with your snitch campaigns.

One perfect way to win over the competition and get more leads is by swimming in the blue ocean in email design before it becomes red. After all, it doesn’t hurt your sending reputation.

This will be our primal focus in this full-sized article.

Any questions?

Please keep them for the comments section.


Videos are always a favorite for most people. They create intimate interactions, build trust, and increase conversions hence sales if personalized. Additionally, they can be conclusively explanative if you put your all into them. On a further note, they are entertaining, and if the content is displayed perfectly and in an intriguing manner, they convert.

Have you ever wondered why most people will watch a series version of a book, rather than reading the actual book? Don’t critique this if you are an apt reader, some of us are not! reports that visitors are 114% more likely to purchase a product after seeing a video than those who did not.

Further, CBO estimates that consumers are 64-85% more likely to purchase a product or service that has a video presentation.

Wyzowl statistics, on the other hand, show that 63% of businesses have started using video content marketing, not only in their YouTube Channels but consequently in their email marketing campaigns.

To add butter, out of these businesses, 83% of them believe that video email marketing gives them a better ROI.

Clearly, videos are changing how advertising works and on top of boosting click-through rates, they are magnifying your ability to connect with your buyers through visual content while boosting, at the same, the customer-brand connection.

Why should you use videos?

Videos build trust

One of the best ways to build on customer trust is by being engaging, personalized and sufficiently visible. This is on top of being ever available for your customers. Trust cumulates up to more conversions and sales which is the basic basis for business growth. Additionally, videos provide you with that unique opportunity to get personal since you nurture the videos based on customer interactions. Videos also boost visibility since you brand them.

Have you ever wondered why YouTube influencers are among the most followed people in the current world?

Mark Schaefer, Executive Director of Schaefer Marketing Solutions, has been on record insisting that:

The new era demands a focus on ignition, not just content, on trust, not just traffic, and on the elite people in your audience who are spreading and advocating your content

Well, videos do it all, they engage and ignite emotions. Promotional videos, on the other hand, especially those that launch new products foster trust as well.

Why? Because they present your products in a conversational manner. This promotes a sense of individual approach in your engagements with customers, builds trust and if you are lucky enough, converts with checkout for your highest-ranking product.

Videos appeal to mobile users

If you are not optimized for mobile in this century, just get out of eCommerce, it’s not your place anymore.

If you have plans, then hurry them up, because, sincerely, you are losing a lot of business! Well, unless you don’t like increased conversions.

According to Wyzowl, videos and mobile go hand in hand. Actually, 90% of consumers watch videos on their mobile and YouTube reports that they witness a 100% increase in video consumption every year.

On the other hand, smartphone sales are skyrocketing as opposed to desktop/tablet/laptop sales, so where is this 100% increase in consumption coming from? Mobile is the obvious answer.

What this means to your business is a widened marketplace to showcase what you have and win a share of the ever-expanding market.

One way to take advantage of this is by delivering a video straight to your subscribers’ inbox (keep note that not all email service providers support videos though a thumbnail will work the magic).

Make sure the video is well detailed, personalized with the right graphics in play and if you want to win their hearts, make sure to add a bit of humor.

Videos explain everything

Do I need to explain this?


Okay, here we go!

I just launched this sophisticated Multi-Functional Rotating Kitchen Cutter that has an innovative drainage system allowing you to clean fruits and veggies directly in the colander bowl as you cut


Additionally, the cutter comes with a variety of features that make cutting, slicing and dicing easy. Actually, depending on your needs, you can pick and choose the style of knife-head you want to use. The cutter is also removable for easy cleaning.

How do I need to hold the item? What should I do in order to clean the fruits and veggies using the bowl? How do I remove and return the cutter?

What’s the better way to elaborately explain this? Text, images or a video?

Text can explain, a picture can visualize but a video will show exactly how!

That’s the power of videos if at all you wish to deliver an experience to your customers!

Just create one, embed it in your email, click send and watch conversions and sales grow.

Check out how Kylie explains “how” in this video. Now imagine if you had such a video embedded in an email sent to your customers.

Use of GIFs

Source: Adidas Email

Visual communication is the future of how we talk and express ourselves. GIFs have already shown this not only in the one to one communications on social media but also in the B2C communications.

Huge brands like Diadora are using GIFs to not only showcase their products but also to inform. As a result, they are already banking on this and reporting millions in profits which are partly attributed to the use of GIFs.

GIFs Make all the Difference

GIFs are an attention grabber. They liven up communications and create nostalgia while at the same time making your content stand out. Their popularity is unmatched and their productivity is undistinguished. They make all the difference.

As a matter of fact, in 2018 Google announced that it had acquired a popular GIF platform to help people search for those looping animated images more effectively in Google images.

In social media, GIFs are a culture by themselves. If you don’t know how to use them, then you are not part of this world (in short you are outdated). They are an essential part of every digital platform that young consumers use frequently to communicate and frequently express themselves. It’s how millennials operate and it’s definitely the best way to reach out to them.

Check out how Diadora does it.

Source: Diadora email

Why are they popular?

First of all, text doesn’t always work in all scenarios, it is appropriate in some instances but definitely not all.

Secondly, GIFs express emotions, they communicate what you cannot express in text or videos in a homely manner. They are unique in their own perspective.

Further, they convey a sense of identity. We are in the millennial age and if at all we want to talk to them, we need to speak in their language.

Lastly, have you seen a meme of late? That’s part of the building blocks for the GIF generation.

The power of GIFs

According to GIPHY, back in 2015, 23 million GIFs were posted to Tumblr every day, 5 million on Facebook Messenger and more than 2 million on Slack monthly.

Today GIF viewers via Giphy watch more than 2 million hours of GIFs per day and GIFs are seen by more than 100 million daily active users. This is just a snippet on the necessity to use GIFs.

The power of GIFs lies in their ability to capture a moment or a series of events. Unlike videos where things move rather too fast, GIFs slow down the motion in a repetitive manner letting you conceptualize the moment until it sets in (quoted).

What makes them great on the other hand is their concurrence with current events, video quality and likewise, the subject line used. They speak to the inner self and unless you understand the language, you cannot understand the message. This is the same case as for memes.

Have you ever read through a meme for a number of times without actually understanding what it means?

GIFs generate more views and engagements than videos or text when used for the same course.

Why you should use GIFs in your emails?

The very basic principle in email marketing is that you should always aim at enticing to outshine your competitor. As such, looking out for new ways to make your email more personalized, captivating, eye-catchy and intriguing is the way to go. Using GIFs is a sure catch and actually, most big names in eCommerce are already taking up this strategy.

According to Litmus, In 2018, 56.6% of email marketers said that they’re using GIFs at least sometimes in their marketing emails.

GIFs add an element of delight to any email campaign while at the same time bringing about humor. This is not possible with static email campaigns.

Further, they create a sense of intrigue hence increasing your chances of getting subscribers to click through your content. (According to Litmus)

Take a look at how Ann Taylor LOFT, a women’s clothing shop, uses an animated present to create a sense of intrigue and get subscribers to click through to unwrap their gift.

Why does this stand out?

First of all the movement creates surprise, triggers the reader’s interest and further and if successful, possibly gets the reader to click to unwrap the gift up. A conversion from an email added.

There are numerous ways through which you can use GIFs to generate more leads including educating on how to launch a new product.

Just get creative with it and make sure your message talks, intrigues, exits and entices.


Photo by Taylor Peissner on Unsplash

Colors bring life. They are one of the first things we learn as children and according to psychology, 62-90% of all first impression are due to colors.

On the same course, psychologists have found a number of connections between color and memory.

For instance, it has been proven that people have more trouble remembering facts presented in black and white than they do facts presented in color. This is the reason why lecture notes written in color are more helpful than notes written in black ink.

Further, colors play tricks with your mind. Have you ever felt cold in a coffee shop painted blue but when repainted to yellow you felt shiny?

Colors also trigger emotions. It is common to say that your favorite color is blue without a reason for it but when you see a blue scene, you feel relaxed, or should I say in love?

Gradients in Business Strategies

Because of these color attributes, businesses are banking on using them so as to boost their sales. They are doing this by adopting the use of different color gradients to only emphasize on a point of focus but also to get the customer interested in their content.

Just like GIFs, gradients have an attention-grabbing element and just as discussed, they trigger emotions and create an interest to interact with hence boosting your chances for a conversion.

According to a study by Litmus, gradients add an in-depth to your design in a versatile manner. This makes it possible to communicate with your customers from an emotional perspective. Actually, most email designers are using gradients to create impactful backgrounds which make content/products stand out.

Check out how Diadora uses different gradients to showcase their sale of the L. Jacket 80s making it stand out and look more attractive.

Source: Diadora email

Likewise, Shutterstock has not been left behind in the use of vibrant gradients to make its content more visible and attractive with a clearly visible call-to-action.

Note that the image precedes the text content to create interest while boosting the chances of the reader going further down the email.

Found in my inbox


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Eric Mumo

Eric is a Content Creator at Relevon. You'll find him researching, documenting and writing marketing and technical content for Relevon's Blog.