By Chris Bram
With 2021 nearly in the rear view mirror, it’s time to look ahead and get ready for a fresh start in 2022 – beginning with your email design. While several trends from last year are poised for growth in the months ahead (like dark mode and soft gradients), we are also seeing new opportunities for marketers to get creative and encourage guests to connect with your brand in new, exciting ways. So without further ado, let’s explore the design trends ready to invade your inbox in 2022.
Trend 1: Soothe your audience with soft gradients
We’ve seen this trend grow steadily over 2021 and for good reason. The combination of softly blended colors (especially in pastels and lighter shades) paired with a subtle background can set an instantly relaxing tone for your emails, putting the reader at ease – just like a getaway. You can use soft gradients to craft spa promotions, entice previous guests back to a place of natural beauty, or simply lull your audience into a vacation state of mind. Using soft gradients to portray a sense of tranquility and wanderlust can provide just the right nudge towards the book button.
Trend 2: Go minimal for maximum impact
People are busy and inboxes are crowded. To offer some visual relief and keep readers from glossing over your content, go Zen and strip down your emails to create a clean, minimalist design with a straightforward message and simple details. Abandon the typical marketing fluff and deliver clear, thoughtful content centered on a single promotion, event, or other highlight. It’s also important to include a generous amount of white space paired with unobtrusive accents. Sometimes less really is more.
Trend 3: Amp up engagement with micro-interactions
Hotels are all about creating rewarding guest experiences, and those experiences can begin in your email with micro-interactions. Just like the name suggests, micro-interactions ask readers to perform a small but meaningful interaction with your content. This is a great option to create some 1:1 engagement without the burden of hosting large files that can slow down email load times.
Some examples of micro-interactions in emails include:
- Using a Hover effect to make your buttons change color
- Asking readers to like, share and/or save your content
- Include common social media interactions like swiping and clicking
Trend 4: Do not fear the dark side (or dark mode)
If white space isn’t really your thing, consider embracing the dark side, or at least dark mode. This 2020 trend has been steadily increasing in popularity since it’s easier on the eyes, makes content easier to read, and truthfully – black backgrounds just look really cool.
Email clients including Gmail, Apple-Mail, Yahoo Mail, and even Outlook have all started offering dark mode, which means marketers can get creative and create separate emails designed specifically for light and dark mode.
Trend 5: Illustrate your intentions
More subtle than photography or video, the right illustrations can add a sense of delight and whimsy to your email campaigns. Illustrations like line drawings can be used as seamless transition to break up content blocks or as a storytelling tool that lets people envision themselves at your property in a different way. Just don’t overdo it. Overcrowding your emails with too many images, whether they are illustrations or traditional photography, can create visual clutter that obscures your content.
Trend 6: Get animated
While minimalism has its rewards, some brands are made to stand out. For those properties, animation offers a fun, attention grabbing way to shout your message to the masses (or at least your email subscribers). There’s a reason savvy marketers love animated emails, it’s been proven time and again how animated emails can drive conversions – when paired with the right message and tone. With the ability support 24 bit color as well as 24 bit transparency, we also predict that that APNG files will end up replacing GIFs as marketers favored format for email animation in 2022.
2022: Your best email performance year yet
While we can’t predict everything that will happen next year, the importance of email marketing cannot be overstated. Your subscribers are looking for authentic brand engagement, and your emails represent the type of experience guests can expect at your property. Every part of your email, from the colors and images you use to the way your content is laid out, becomes part of that brand story. We hope these trends help ignite your creative spark and set you up for a positive and engaging 2022.