Email marketing remains one of the most effective ways to reach customers, and with Pardot (Marketing Cloud Account Engagement), you have a powerful tool at your disposal. But to make the most of Pardot’s capabilities, you need to stay on top of the latest email template code trends.
As digital marketing continues to evolve, so do the trends in email template design and development. In this article, we’ll discuss the top considerations you should be thinking about when looking for a new Pardot Email Template, which you’ll be able to use for your List Emails and Engagement Studio programs.
Personalisation beyond the first name
Personalisation has been a buzzword in email marketing for years, but today, customers expect more than just a first name in the email. This trend is becoming increasingly popular as marketers seek to improve engagement rates and build stronger relationships with their audience.
To truly connect with customers, you need to use hyper-personalised content that speaks to their interests, preferences, and behaviours. Pardot’s Dynamic Content feature allows you to customise emails based on data from the Prospect’s profile, such as their industry, location, or past purchases.
Tip: Consider whether your email templates are designed so that it has space for blocks of personalised content, which you can tailor to the data you hold on your audience.
Interactive email elements
Interactive elements, such as buttons, sliders, and accordions, are becoming more popular in email templates. They allow customers to engage with your content directly from their inbox, without needing to visit a website or landing page. Unfortunately, Pardot’s classic email builder and new drag-and-drop email builder do not make it easy to create and edit interactive elements. If you’re looking for this type of content, you’ll be heavily dependent on direct code editing in HTML, so you need to very carefully consider whether this is something you really need to pursue in Pardot. In addition to this, legacy email clients such as Microsoft Outlook, which are still well embedded in the B2B world, have very limited support for Interactive email.
Tip: You’re going to be getting your hands dirty very often in code if you need interactive email elements in Pardot. Have a careful think about whether this is a scalable approach for your email marketing efforts.
Modular email design
Modular design involves breaking an email template into smaller, modular components that can be mixed and matched to create different email layouts. This approach offers greater flexibility and allows for faster design iterations. Pardot’s email builder offers a modular design option, which makes it easy to create a variety of email templates that maintain consistent branding and messaging.
This Modular design approach allows for greater customisation and scalability, as different components can be combined in various ways to create unique templates. Examples of modular design in email templates include those with separate sections for header, content, and footer, as well as those with drag-and-drop functionality.
Tip: Both Pardot’s Classic and Lightning email builders use a modular approach. Consider all the blocks and modules you might need for the different types of emails you send and wish to send going forward, and ask your designer to create all the modules for you up front.
With over half of all emails now being opened on mobile devices, it’s crucial to design emails with mobile in mind. This means using responsive design, large fonts, and clear calls to action that work on small screens. Pardot’s email builder includes a mobile render testing options, so you can see how your email will look on different devices.
One important consideration when designing email templates is mobile-first design. In today’s world, most people access their emails through their mobile devices. Therefore, it’s essential to make sure that your email templates are optimised for mobile viewing.
One way to do this is to use a mobile-first design approach. This means that you design your email templates with mobile devices in mind first, and then scale up for larger screens. This approach ensures that your emails look great on any device, regardless of screen size.
Tip: You can achieve mobile-first design by using Media Queries. They allow you to customise your email templates' layout, font size, and other design elements to suit different devices' screen sizes.
Dark mode support
Dark mode is becoming increasingly popular on mobile and desktop devices, and email clients are starting to support it. This means that emails with white backgrounds can appear jarring in a dark mode environment. To avoid this, it’s important to design email templates to be compatible with dark mode.
Dark mode is a growing trend in all digital interfaces, and email templates are no exception. This feature allows users to view the email in a darker colour scheme, which can be easier on the eyes in low-light environments. Examples of email templates with dark mode support include those with dark backgrounds and light text, as well as those that adjust to the user’s device settings.
Tip: Pardot doesn’t have any built-in features to help you set up dark mode. Two approaches are for you to use Meta Tags or Media Queries to specify your desired dark mode behaviour, but you’ll need an email developer to help you set that up.
Minimalistic designs have been popular in web design for a while now, and we can expect to see this trend continue in the future. Minimalistic designs are clean and simple, with a focus on typography and negative space. This trend is particularly beneficial for mobile optimisation and faster load times. Examples of minimalistic email templates include those with a single column layout, large font sizes, and ample white space.
Tip: Speaking generally, the more calls to action you have in your emails, the less clear it is to the user, the action you’re expecting them to take. However, this doesn’t mean you can’t design multiple CTA blocks and modules in your templates, even if you only use one per email.
Accessibility is an important consideration for email template design, as it ensures that all users can access and engage with the content. We can expect to see a greater focus on accessibility in email templates. This includes features such as alt text for images, proper use of headings, and color contrast. Examples of accessible email templates include those with high contrast, readable fonts, and simple layouts.
Tip: If your company has a very specific font as part of your brand style, it’s tempting to want to use it everywhere, including your email, but I’d always recommend using an email-friendly font such as Arial, Helvetica or Times New Roman. If the recipient’s email client doesn’t support your fancy branded font, it will default to a fallback font, which could have unintended consequences in terms of style, layout and readability.
In summary, as digital marketing continues to evolve, it’s important to stay up-to-date with the latest trends in email template design and development. By implementing these trends, Pardot users can create more effective and engaging emails that drive results. Any additional thoughts or tips? Leave a comment below.