Many subscribers look forward to receiving emails from their favorite brands. However, there’s a common misconception that email blasts may hinder your marketing efforts because they “act as spam.” In many cases, though, email blasts are necessary and highly appropriate to send at certain times. Yet, to ensure they’re working effectively for your business, your email blast designs should be on point.
Before you design them yourself or have a designer craft them for you, it’s important to understand what an email blast is and why marketers use them.
What Is an Email Blast?
An email blast is a mass communication method where businesses send a single message to a large group of recipients. You may think this marketing approach is counterintuitive, as many experts will tell you to segment your email list and make your messages as highly personalized as possible. However, there is a strategy behind every email sent rather than sending unsolicited messages to a random list. Instead, email blasts are crafted with precision to relay timely offers, news and other updates.
Marketers often use email blasts because they are efficient and effective. Sending a single message allows brands to boost brand recall and drive traffic or sales. When executed thoughtfully, they can lead to a huge return on investment because of their cost-effectiveness and reach. In fact, you can expect to earn $36 for every dollar you invest in email marketing. If you’re in retail or e-commerce, expect around $45 for every dollar you spend.
Why Design Matters in Email Blasts
Design is an excellent way to capture attention and guide user behavior. For email blasts, the design is more than something pretty to look at — it’s also about functionality. That’s because first impressions matter. In an email design, recipients decide within seconds whether to engage or trash it. A well-designed email communicates professionalism, builds trust and piques curiosity. It ensures that the first impression is a lasting one.
Furthermore, a good design structures information in digestible chunks. From clear headers to balanced white space, these make it easier for readers to grasp the message quickly. However, the most important thing to small businesses may be that email blast designs can be compelling.
The ultimate goal of these emails is to drive some form of action. It could be to read a blog post or take advantage of a discount. The purpose of the design will be to guide the reader to take the desired next step, especially when it has a strategic call to action.
Email Blast Design Ideas to Inspire You
Now that you’re familiar with the purpose of an email blast and the benefits of crafting beautiful designs, here are a few ideas to take with you.
Nike’s brand is synonymous with motion and energy and infuses those elements into their email blast designs. Typically, the company leverages bold visuals of athletes in action, making the designs aspirational and relatable. By choosing various sets of imagery and using minimalist typography, Nike’s emails immediately grab attention.
This email blast from Nike is a classic example of how it weaves together its brand identity with an occasion-specific promotion. At the top, the whimsical use of colors and abstract shapes evokes feelings of movement and playfulness. They also complement the central image of a shoe that almost seems to “float” amidst the artistic backdrop. The tagline, “Skp the Slippers,” is clever and relevant, urging buyers to consider gifting athletic footwear instead of traditional slippers.
Below are curated product suggestions, offering quick options for shoppers and making the decision process smoother. Lastly, the offer of free shipping acts as an incentive. This design, overall, is an excellent example of how to captivate audiences while delivering a clear message.
Apple is widely known for its minimalist aesthetics, and its email campaigns are no exception. Apple’s designs are always clean, crisp and centered around the product, reflecting its commitment to product-centric storytelling.
For the iPhone X pre-order promotion, Apple once again stays true to its design philosophy. The visual focus is on the depiction of the iPhone X, showcasing its sleek profile and vibrant display. The dark background ensures the product remains the star while also adding an aura of sophistication and exclusivity.
The copy below is concise, providing two clear value propositions. The first lets the audience know that they can easily upgrade to the latest iPhone, inviting the recipients to learn more. The second offers the possibility of trading in an old smartphone for credit, using a strategic CTA below. The design, as always, is clutter-free, ensuring the recipient’s attention stays focused on the main message.
Airbnb’s campaigns have always been about forging connections between travelers and hosts and explorers and experiences. This email blast design, in particular, displays that philosophy. Yet, it also mentions how travel has changed, and so has the company.
At first glance, the hero of this email is the clear depiction of the mobile interface. It’s showing email recipients various properties that would connect with the eclectic interests of Airbnb users. The white space is smartly utilized, ensuring the message doesn’t get lost in clutter. “A new Airbnb for a new world of travel” is a compelling headline, hinting at Airbnb’s change in response to the shifts in travel.
The invitation for users to re-engage with the platform is also skillfully crafted in the subtext. “It’s been awhile since you stopped by” is more than a reminder — it’s a gentle nudge to explore this “new world” it has crafted.
Spotify — the music streaming service — often prioritizes user experience in its communication. That’s what this email blast design exemplifies. It’s central to the user by focusing on features that make the user’s listening experience top-notch.
Spotify uses its signature green CTA to dominate the email — a best practice that marketers use to make it easy for users to see and navigate. Yet, the email uses contrasts of varying blue shades. The mobile is strategically placed in the center, immediately drawing attention to the app’s user-friendly design. Displaying the playlist’s categories highlights Spotify’s large, curated library, appealing to diverse tastes and moods.
The headline — “Playlists for everything” — conveys the message of Spotify’s versatility. Then, the subtext gently guides the user to explore ready-made playlists with something to offer for everyone. Overall, this design echoes Spotify’s brand, where personalization and endless music discovery are there for user convenience.
Target has centered its email design around one theme — savings. This email balances two aspects between simplicity and information, aiming to induce an immediate CTA.
A bold red background is characteristic of Target’s branding, but it also goes well with the white and minimalistic typography. Therefore, it makes the message “it’s time to save” unmissable. The phrase certainly implies a benefit, but it nudges readers to act quickly by providing a sense of urgency.
The email also assures potential customers of the brand names they trust at discounted rates by showcasing a collage of popular and essential products. The dual section at the bottom also cleverly uses white space. On the left, the “make a quick list” feature simplifies the shopping process. It implies that with Target, preparation is seamless.
The right section, “get it to go,” promotes that Target’s weekly ad is accessible on any device. Therefore, it aligns with the trend of guaranteeing a brand’s omnipresence. Overall, Target’s email design embodies its promise of value and convenience. It urges readers to dive into the savings spree while also inviting them to plan and purchase efficiently.
Make Good Email Blast Designs
Today, it’s essential to curate a good email blast design to capture your audience’s attention. As seen through Airbnb, Target and Spotify, compelling visuals and concise messaging can yield higher engagement. However, brands must prioritize understanding their audience. That way, they create designs that align with their values and interests. In doing so, they make more impactful connections and sustain customer loyalty.
About The Author
Eleanor Hecks is the Editor-in-Chief of Designerly Magazine, an online publication dedicated to providing in-depth content from the design and marketing industries. When she's not designing or writing code, you can find her re-reading the Harry Potter series, burning calories at a local Zumba class, or hanging out with her dogs, Bear and Lucy.