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9 Email Designs to Inspire You + Tips, Sources, and Examples

Rida Ali Khan

Having a creative burnout while designing emails? 

No worries, we’ve all been there. I can personally recall numerous days when I opened my laptop and spent hours and hours staring at the screen as I thought of an idea.

If you’re going through the same phase, then this article is your Messiah. Because here, you will find email design inspiration that we’ve curated from the most creative and high-performing email campaigns after scanning some inboxes.

But before you rush to email design inspiration, let’s have a clear idea about the different types of emails that you can send to your subscribers.

7 Types of Emails to Choose From

The intent of your email decides the type of email campaign you should select.

That is, do you want to promote a new product, re-engage customers, or congratulate your loyal customers on their anniversary? Think first. 

You can pick your perfect match from the following categories;

Different types of emails

1. Promotional 

Promotional emails are, without a doubt, your subscriber’s most fancied emails. 

They consist of highlights about your new products, seasonal or holiday sales, promotional offers for different subscribers, or updates about your brand. 

According to research, 86% of participants said they would like to receive promotional emails at least monthly. In another research, 49% of consumers said they like to receive weekly promotional emails from their favorite brands. 

2. Feedback 

Feedback emails are designed to nurture relationships with your subscribers. 

They can include review forms, questionnaires, survey forms, or rating scales. There are a couple of benefits of sending feedback emails. 

First, you can gather positive reviews from your clients, which helps boost brand credibility. Secondly, you can collect honest feedback from your clients and make necessary improvements where needed.

Many brands offer gift vouchers or discount coupons to their customers in exchange for giving feedback.  

3. Welcome 

Imagine going to your friend’s house; the door is open, yet no one is there to greet you. 

Very unwelcoming, no? To save subscribers from this feeling, brands send welcome emails

They are sent to subscribers right after they sign up to be a part of your email list. Statistics say that welcome emails generate 320% more revenue than other promotional emails. 

Your welcome email can include a discount voucher, a heads-up about your product or service, or links to connect with your brand on other platforms. 

4. Newsletter

Newsletters are sent periodically to your subscribers to inform them about your brand and products. 

Basically, a newsletter is an umbrella term, and there are many different types of newsletters that can fall under this category.

They are ideal for keeping your subscribers and employees informed about your brand's changes, upgrades, and ideologies. 

5. Transactional

Ever bought a product and didn’t receive any confirmation email? Well, transactional emails are sent to save you from that anxiety. 

They can include order confirmation emails, an invoice or a reminder of your payments, etc. 

6. Milestone

Milestone emails are sent out to existing customers to nurture bonds with them. The milestone achieved can be one-year of using your product, your customer’s birthday, your brand’s anniversary, etc. 

Each milestone email can have a personalized gift voucher or coupon for your customers. 

7. Curated Content

If you’re a brand that loves to provide value to customers in multiple ways, then you can opt for curated emails. 

These emails have content collected (or curated) from quality sources and assembled in an email. Most readers appreciate this gesture from the brand as they can get quality content in one place. 

7 Effective Tips to Make Your Email Design Worthy of Inspiration 

We collected the most catchy and high-performing bunch of emails and listed down the common attributes in them for you. 

Elements of successful emails

Have a look; 

Uniqueness  

Statistics say that in 2022, the daily number of emails sent and received in each user’s inbox will be 333.2 billion

With so many emails bombarding each inbox, the best way to stand out is using uniqueness in your email designs. For example, all brands go for a black theme for emails on Black Friday. On the contrary, you can pick any other color to stand out. 

Brand representation 

Another key element that all these successful emails had was that they don’t shy away from flaunting their brand in their email designs. 

That is either in the logo, brand colors, or slogan. By doing so, the emails play a significant role in imprinting their brand image in their reader’s minds. 

Attractiveness

One thing that attracts recipients to emails is interactive elements. Readers adore interactive elements in emails

These elements can include CSS animations, GIFs, questionnaires or videos in emails, etc. Other than this, attractive elements can also include vibrant colors or catchy emails copies

Literally, just anything that makes us raise our eyebrows.  

Experimentation

No great ideas were ever achieved without experimentation. They’re totally worth a shot. 

Keep on experimenting with ideas, campaigns and elements. Only after multiple tries, you’ll be able to see what works best for your brand and email campaigns. 

Responsiveness

All successful emails have this feature, and it’s a must-have. 

Responsiveness of an email refers to its ability to display perfectly on all devices, whether it is a cell phone, tablet, or laptop. 

Balance

Balancing elements in your email design helps your reader pay attention to different parts of your email. It also creates a visual hierarchy. 

For instance, if you insert more than one interactive element in your email, your reader will get confused about which part s/he should pay attention to. Therefore, you’ll have to balance the interactive side with a stagnant one. 

Trendy

Marketing and trends are soul sisters. You must be aware of the current trends to bring your A-game to your subscriber’s inbox. 

For instance, these days, a new trend of adding gamification in emails has gained popularity, and people love it. 

Now that you’re aware of the magic recipe of creating inspirational emails let’s look at a bunch of email design inspirations that I fetched from my (and some of my friends’) inboxes. 

9 Email Designs That Made Our Heart Skip a Beat

They honestly did. 

The best thing about these emails is that they were convincing enough to make their readers engage with them. Let’s look at them and see what exactly was the wow factor in each. 

Magic Spoon 

This is a product introduction email with bright and catchy colors. 

Magic Spoon is famous for sending peppy emails; however, this one caught our attention because of how perfectly they introduced their 2 new flavors for the summer season. 

Not just that, they also mentioned reviews along with images of these flavors to convince their readers to try them out. 

An inspirational email design from Magic Spoon

Birchbox

A straight-to-the-point email design that instills FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) among its readers with its written text. 

The grey background makes their product stand out, while the written text indicates that it's a limited-time offer. This email looks like the perfect example of how important it is to select the right background color in emails. 

Also, there’s a Call To Action (CTA) button right between the text and image to further speed up the conversion rate.

An inspirational email design from Birchbox.

Starbucks

This is a welcome email sent out by Starbucks.

This design has all the necessary elements that a welcome email should have. An image of the product (standard Starbucks coffee cup) greeting welcome, their logo on the top left, and menu on the top right. 

Like most welcome emails, this email also guides their reader to take further action by mentioning 3 CTA buttons designed in the form of little icons. 

Notice how Starbucks doesn’t try too hard. It just has its basic green and off-white colors that represent the brand. 


An inspirational email design from Starbucks

Redbubble 

This is a re-engagement email, and we loved it for a number of reasons. 

Firstly, the text that says ‘We miss you’ is catchy enough to grab attention and also understand that this is a personalized message. 

The second attention-grabbing message is the phrase that says you’re missing art in your life alongside an image of the painting. And just beneath this message is a call to action button that says 10% off. 

We like how they used their email copy and a promotional offer to convince their readers to re-engage with them. 

It’s nicely thought and neat. 

An inspirational email design from Redbubble

McDonald’s 

Now here’s a confirmation email sent out by McDonald’s. 

Brands like McDonald’s have a perk. That is, their brand identity has been imprinted in our consciousness for ages, so they pay very little attention to brand representation. 

Just like this email has the famous McDonald’s logo right at the top, and the rest of this email is blue. This blue color makes the logo stand out and sets a serious tone for the written text. 

Also, the written copy is very straightforward and comprehensive enough to direct their readers to the required action. 

An inspirational email design from McDonald’s

Kate Spade 

Here’s a promotional email introducing Kate Spade’s new collection. 

The most attractive element here is the GIF in the email that makes the whole email copy scream about this new collection.

Did you notice the change of color in the text as the bag’s color changes? We love when brands pay attention to such details in their email design. 

An inspirational email design from Kate Spade

Tom Raffield

They literally stole the show with this email. 

We added this email to our favorite list because of many reasons. Firstly, brand representation through the image, secondly the hover effect that boosts engagement, and lastly the cherry on top is the element of curiosity that entices the reader to interact. 

Curiosity is one of the most talked-about and high-performing components of email psychology. It hooks the recipients to read and respond. 

It’s one of my favorite emails from my inbox.  

An inspirational email design from Tom Raffield

Canopy Collections 

Now, this is a classic example of lead nurturing email. 

This email is designed to assist shoppers in picking the most suitable gift for their loved ones. The header denotes a holiday feel and redirects the reader to a website through a vibrant CTA button. 

Beneath that, they dedicated a section for products that fall under a certain price range. 

They featured all the necessary details without cluttering the image. And we must say that the color scheme used to design this email soothes our eyes. 

Notice how they've used white space where it's written “gifts under £350”. This breathing space gives room for transition. 

An inspirational email design from Canopy Collections

Artifact Uprising 

Here’s a feedback email sent out by Artifact Uprising.  

We liked how they went straight to the point and asked for their customers' reviews without stretching it too much. 

The yellow-colored background and single-column layout selected for this email are perfect to attract and get a response Also, look at how they mentioned an incentive on the call to action button. 

Enticing, isn’t it? 

An inspirational email design from Artifact Uprising

PrettyLittleThing 

This email design represents its funky brand theme.

We love this abandoned cart email because it excites their reader with its header by saying, "Don’t miss out." Then, they included the items left in the abandoned cart in a separate section. 

It’s neat and engaging, definitely something we are inspired by.

An inspirational email design from PrettyLittleThings

Top 3 Sources to Find Email Design Inspiration

I know you’re thinking of the best source to find these amazing emails designs. 

Well, here are the top 3 sources to find email design inspiration. Yes, just 3 because, trust us, these are more than enough. The abundance of options and designs alone will make your jaws drop. 

Let’s see what they are; 

Unlayer 

Unlayer is a top-notch email builder. 

Besides allowing you to design emails, they provide a range of 1,000+ beautifully designed email templates to take inspiration from. The best thing about these predesigned templates is that all of them are responsive. 

Moreover, you can personalize these templates with merge tags and customize them easily as per your requirements with a user-friendly drag and drop editor. 

Design Beautiful and Responsive Emails

In just a few clicks
Email Templates

Really Good Emails 

Another great resource, Really Good Emails collects some of the best email designs from different sources and assembles them on their website. 

Their collection consists of 4,000+ handpicked emails with attractive and high-performing designs. If you haven’t visited this site yet, you’re missing some remarkable designs. 

Dribble

Dribble displays some of the best designs created by the world’s best designers. That is enough to convince you about the quality of designs you can see here. 

They feature unique and eye-catching designs that stand out among the crowd of competitors. Also, it’s one of the best sources to find trendy designs.

Before You Start Designing, Remember to:

  1. Stay original because the best way to stand out is by being one of a kind. 
  2. Run A/B tests to help you understand which campaigns or elements are your biggest hit.
  3. Comply with laws like CAN-SPAM, especially when designing promotional emails. 
  4. Conduct extensive research to know what your competitors are doing and top their strategies.
  5. Understand your target audience before you design your campaign. 

Conclusion

How amazing were these designs? We’re sure you gathered bits of email design inspiration from each of the examples we showed you. 

Just sit back, strategize your campaign, think of your target audience and implement these ideas and tips in your future campaigns. Trust me, you’ll ace them. 

Break a leg!

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