Saying More with Less in the Inbox >

As an email marketing agency, we need consumers to open our emails. And then we need them to want to read them. What’s going to set our clients apart from the other senders in your inbox and the other billion things vying for your attention? According to a recent post over on the Email Monks blog, minimalism is the answer.

Drawing from our own experience designing good-looking, click-worthy emails day in and day out, we have to agree. When anything you could want to know is just a click away, minimalism is everything. Most companies are trying to convey the most information possible in the inbox. This can get overwhelming fast. Consumers, in turn, are no longer reading every bit of copy they see. They’re skimming—looking for the juiciest content and skipping over the excess. What better way to reach them than by cutting the clutter?

Lately, we’ve been taking BrightWave clients a step further toward minimalist design, paring down emails to their best and brightest bits, simplifying navigation bars (or ditching it all together) or shifting from a newsletter content setup to “spotlight” emails with one hero topic and zero secondaries.

We think this example we found from Tailor Brands encompasses many of the best elements of email minimalism:

Example via Really Good Emails

What are those elements exactly?

  1. Smart imagery – These elements can capture attention and convey messages without any cluttered copy. Your images should also balance the copy, For example, a simple image can be paired with large, commanding font. Tailor Brands’ simple image of a bull horn looks balanced with the large font beneath it.
  2. Negative space – Using it neatly throughout your design can result in a cleaner email and encourage the reader’s eye to move exactly where you want it to go. You can see the unused space in the email above working to draw your attention to what’s important.
  3. Simple fonts and colors – Sticking to just two fonts that work well together doesn’t have to be boring. It’s actually calming for the eye and the brain. Similarly, pops of color can be applied to help make a point or highlight an important part of the email. Tailor Brands’ email does a great job of choosing minimal colors and only using well-paired fonts.
  4. A scannable structure – Most minimal emails use a single column and a single hero headline so readers don’t need to look all over the screen. Another necessity in your structure should be a bold CTA like the “Let’s Begin” button above.

No matter the content, you’ll rarely (if ever) regret using a minimalist approach. So ditch the clutter and stay minimal, my friends.

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