how to design minimalistic email
It is an art to say a lot with so little!

Going minimal in email designs adhere to an approach that has a single focal point. In simpler terms, eliminating clutter in order to enhance certain elements in email design is how you can define a minimalistic email.

With more and more emails being opened in mobile phones (it accounts for 49% of all read emails), the template design doesn’t just demand responsiveness, it also needs to come with a crisp message and swift user experience (UX).

If we leap backward and analyze email design trends of a few years, we will constantly find a mention of minimalistic email design. Many brands are going minimal with their email campaigns to spark a rise in email engagement metrics. Here are some reasons why minifying your emails can be beneficial to you.

Reasons to go for minimalistic email designs

  1. Rather than giving so much out in a single email, minimalism revolves around highlighting the most important aspect of it. The easy-to-navigate user interface (UI) of minimalistic emails directly guides users towards the CTA, stripping the clutter out. This way, your emails become to-the-point and provide amazing UI & UX.
  2. Minimalistic emails are responsive and come with designs that render well across all email clients. Often, complex email workflows may lead to broken links, but with minimal elements on the templates, there are fewer chances of broken emails.
  3. Hiring an email template developer becomes easy as minimalistic designs surely require expertise, but come with a free hand for creativity. HTML developers can try different typography, imagery, grids, color palettes, and more to make the design look appealing.
  4. Just like developers, users also can focus on a single or limited but essential part of the email. Many CTAs, links, and elements divert the attention making the choices tough.
  5. When your marketing goal is to establish a brand persona, sticking to something unique, subtle, and at the same time valuable can help you a lot. Amidst the cluttered inboxes, something simple never fails to come out well.

Without any further ado, let’s jump on to understanding some essential email design elements, that can help you nail the minimalistic emails.

How to nail minimalistic emails

Whether you are a brand looking for some fresh template designs, or an email marketing specialist looking for some inspiration, we have jotted down the design elements with some striking email template examples that can help you and your team design some stunning minimalistic emails. Let’s start…

1. Email Layout

email layout for newsletter
When you decide to go minimal, the first decision to make is to choose an email layout that can complement your design elements. Inverted pyramid, zig-zag, and single column are few of the layout examples you can choose from. The placements of grids play a major role when you are trying to corner the user’s attention to a focal point. Design structure of an email works like a base, and thus has to enhance the overall appearance.

2. Design Elements

After the email layout, the next step is to wisely pick out the design elements that can complement the entire template structure. A few noteworthy elements are,

  • White space
  • Typography
  • Icons
  • Font and fallbacks
  • Hero image
  • Illustrations
  • GIFs
  • Videos
  • Links
  • CTA placements

You can go for more than one element mentioned above but need to beautify it in a way that doesn’t kill the minimalist vibe. Mix-match them to create a sleek design that doesn’t overlap one another. You can seek an email design expert’s help for the same as well.

3. Color Palette

Being a minimalist doesn’t mean you can’t play with the colors. However, an eye-pleasing design generally does not contain more than two colors from the palette. Going monochrome, or playing around the shades is a best practice to follow when designing minimalist emails. From the background hues to highlighting factors, make sure you use colors that sync the overall design.

Read also: 50 Years of Color Revolution

4. The tone and structure

Finally, the last step to nail the minimal design is to pay extra attention towards the tone and structure of the email. As mentioned earlier, the prime component of minimal design is to eliminate the clutter. Be specific and direct with your offering without many distractions (multiple like or CTAs). Maintain a hierarchy that states a clear message.

Now that you’re enlightened with the design elements, let us help you more with some minimalistic email examples from the brands who are acing it.

Minimalistic Email Design Examples

1. J.Crew

(Source: Milled.com)
The Monochrome – This template design by J.CREW is designed in only 2 colors (mostly black) with just the right use of the white space.


jcrew email design

2. Away

Away (Source: Really Good Emails)
The Hero Image – This elegant email design by AWAY is a perfect example of how you can use the hero image to say everything about the campaign with a monochrome layout. This ‘back in stock’ email uses GIF to add the oomph in the template


away email design

3. Nike

Nike (Source: Milled.com)
The Image Placement – This email by NIKE is beautifully crafted with 3 images and multiple CTAs. The best part is a clean, concise message, and highlighting the product features with changing (GIF) hero images.


nike email design

4. Spotify

Spotify (Source: Really Good Emails)
The Color Palette – Email designs by SPOTIFY are all 100% mobile responsive because the App’s users are on mobiles and it knows its audience. What we liked the most about this email is the smart use of single color shades. The GIF enhances the look while plain text and focused CTA portray a direct message.


spotify email design

5. Casper

(Source: Really Good Emails)
Photography/Stock Images –  This Black Friday offer email by CASPER is subtly eye-pleasing and to-the-point. Single CTA, offer description, coupon code, and a gift design in the layout, just the right way to go minimal.


casper email design

6. Embr

Typography & Icons – The template by EMBR depicts a smart use of colors, typography, and icons. Going minimal contains more visual appeal than the regular emails and this email is perfect to be an inspiration.


embr email design

It’s A Wrap

Visual cues play a significant role in minimalistic email designs. Your email developer or the email campaign specialist should be experienced enough to understand the psychographics of the users to come up with a concept that can trigger action. Saying more with less also means straight results and simpler email metrics analysis. Instill the best practices and ace your minimal email designs to make a statement!

Author Bio:

Kevin George is Head of Marketing at Email Uplers, one of the fastest growing email marketing agency specializes in crafting professional email templates, PSD to HTML email conversion and free HTML email templates in addition to providing email automation, campaign management, and data integration & migration services. 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.

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