email marketing

5 Best Practices for Designing Minimalistic email Templates

Nowadays, people are constantly bombarded with stimuli that are overcomplicating simple processes. The notion of minimalism includes removing all the unnecessary elements from your life and stripping it down to the simplest and most elegant form. Naturally, marketers started applying this concept to their marketing templates to make it easier for their subscribers to glance through their promotional emails. If you approach any full service email marketing agency, they would endorse the same strategy for your emails. Therefore, here are the best practices for creating minimalistic email templates for your brand.

What are some of the best practices for designing minimalistic emails?

Avoid using fancy fonts

It is possible that an email marketer at a full service email marketing agency gets tempted to use custom fonts to make their emails stand out in their subscriber’s inboxes. But, sometimes it can overwhelm the user’s visual senses and make them skip your emails. Therefore, to maintain a minimalistic design, it is better to go with simple and limited fonts. While designing a minimalistic email template, choose simple fonts that accurately portray your brand’s aesthetics. Fonts from the Serif and Sans Serif family are the go-to choice for brands looking for plain email designs.

Onyx Motorbikes uses straightforward and easy-to-read fonts in their minimalistic email templates. They have also used contrasting colors in their texts to highlight the headings and the sub-headings. The specifications of the bikes are also concisely added to the template. Following the product description, Onyx has used a combination of white lines and color blocking to separate the different content blocks and the CTA buttons of their emails.

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Use the negative space wisely

A few years ago, email marketers treated the white, or negative, as a waste of space. Eventually, they figured out how to use it effectively to separate different blocks of content, and, now, it has become one of the strongest pillars of minimalism. The more the negative space around a visual element, the more attention it draws. Balancing the colors and the white space in your email can remove a lot of complexity from the design of your templates.

Pinterest makes the perfect use of white space in their recommendation emails. They have wisely used the negative space in their emails to separate their contents and highlight their CTA button. The soft edges of the blocks create an illusion of a white gridline to showcase the content. Furthermore, they have not used any email copy to maintain the minimalistic aesthetics of their template.

Limit the usage of colors

Creating a minimalistic email template also means using simple color combinations. Some marketers prefer using soft colors to make the email easy on the eyes. While others prefer using solid colors to create distinct and separate blocks. Monochromatic color schemes also blend seamlessly with the minimalistic approach. As an email marketer, you can extract the most out of your minimalist templates by combining simple color schemes with effective use of negative space.

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However, there is no compulsion to use monochromatic colors to bring minimalism to your template. You can also use fun and vibrant colors to make your emails look attractive as long as it suits the identity of your brand.

Italic welcomes the spring season with a very green email template. The vibrant green backdrop helps the gray and beige-colored products pop out. Even the CTA button is green. Italic also uses a gradient color scheme to make their emails more appealing. Adhering to the best practices, the template is heavy on visual elements and barely uses any text. The showcased products are also more noticeable since they have a lighter background compared to the solid green color of the email.

Create a visual hierarchy

Regardless of the template design, creating a visual hierarchy is absolutely crucial. Email marketers can entirely change the narrative of the email template by simply rearranging the visual elements. While using the minimalistic approach, arrange the elements of the email to draw the attention of the customer to the CTA button. The inverted triangle approach is the go-to structure for visual hierarchy in emails.

Nike’s Black History Month email is quite minimalistic in nature and also has the inverted triangle visual hierarchy. First, the hero image draws the attention of the customer. Then, it guides the eyes of the readers down to the email copy. Finally, the email copy trickles down to the CTA button that asks the subscriber to join the challenge. Nike uses monochromatic colors and simple fonts to drill down on the minimalistic aesthetics. In addition to that, Nike has brilliantly used the negative space in their emails to separate their content blocks.

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Decrease your reliance on texts

Minimalism is not only limited to the visual elements of the email, it also applies to the email copy. While creating the email copy for your minimalistic template, ensure that it is short and to the point. Instead of using a wall of text, you can use icons, pictures, and infographics to draw the reader’s attention. Moreover, shorter descriptions and more pictures make it convenient for the subscriber to skim through the email content.

This practice of using minimal text can be observed in all the examples listed above. Similarly, Apple, too, uses minimal text to market its products. They use a simple pun at the start of the emails, and it’s followed by images of the products along with their respective CTA buttons. It also helps that Apple is a brand that needs no introduction.


By following the above-mentioned practices, you can make effective minimalistic email templates. If you are still facing trouble, you can always hire a full service email marketing agency to create one for you.

Author: Kevin George is the head of marketing at Email Uplers, that specializes in crafting Professional Email Templates, PSD to Email conversion, and Mailchimp Templates. Kevin loves gadgets, bikes & jazz, and he breathes email marketing. He enjoys sharing his insights and thoughts on email marketing best practices on email marketing blog.

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