Over the past year, email marketing trends like interactivity and A.I. have skyrocketed. We’re seeing more emojis and GIFs in email than ever before. Hyper-personalization is at an all-time high. So, what is the next big email marketing staple to sweep inboxes around the world?
According to a recent article from Litmus (and from a look through our own inboxes), custom illustrations are the latest trend in email marketing, though its popularity transcends just email and has infiltrated all areas of marketing design including print, digital, packaging, and more.
The reasoning behind this trend is simple: custom illustrations are more authentic than generic imagery. Using personalized illustrations allows brands to own their stories and shape a very specific narrative rather than defaulting to visuals that are nearly identical to their competitors. When given a blank canvas to play with, the possibilities are endless, whether that is creating cartoon animations, freehand drawing otherwise boring pie charts, or fusing photography and hand-drawn illustrations for mixed media visuals.
Beyond serving as a brilliant storytelling device, illustrations are very functional and offer adaptability and modularity to designers. Illustrations can be re-used to match different requirements of various email campaigns, and elements from each work can be added or subtracted depending on the purpose of the email.
Custom illustrations may seem like a small element in the equation of successful email marketing, but more and more brands are turning toward illustrators and agencies to add value to emails where text copy, email timing, and subject line optimization cannot. Major brand names, such as Airbnb, are betting big on talented in-house illustrators to help communicate their company’s story as well as its users stories in a way that is universally comprehensible.
Illustrations harness the power to communicate emotional and humanized brand narratives that are captivating and digestible at the same time. When it comes time to refresh your campaigns look and feel, consider seeking out the best illustrator you can find to bring your boldest visions to life.