Tips To Kick-Start Your Figma Design Workflow in 2021

Tips To Kick-Start Your Figma Design Workflow in 2021

QUICK SUMMARY: In this article, let’s take a closer look at what Figma really has to offer. Here are 20 tips on how to work faster and better with this well-known and collaborative interface design tool.

NOTE ABOUT SHORTCUTS

Most shortcuts are written for both Windows and Mac, where the Ctrl key on Windows corresponds to the Cmd key on the Mac, and Alt is used for both Alt (Windows) and Option/Alt (Mac).

For example, Ctrl/Cmd + Alt + C is Ctrl + Alt + C on Windows and Cmd + Alt/Option + C on the Mac.

NoteThis article is for designers who want to try Figma or already are exploring some of its features. To get the most from the article, some experience with Figma Design would be nice to have, but not required.

1. How To Import Multiple Images At The Same Time

We use pictures and images in our designs all the time, and it would be very useful if we could make the process of changing single and multiple images more easy and straightforward.

In Figma, you have the ability to import multiple images (using the shortcut Ctrl/Cmd + Shift + K) and then place them one by one in the layers (objects) in which you want them to appear. This is quite handy because you can see the images being imported and then placed in realtime.

 

import multilple images in Figma
A quick look of how to import multiple images in Figma (Large preview)

 

2. Better Renaming Options By Using The Layers Batch Rename Feature

Sometimes (and I really mean many times!), we need to rename a group of layers when we need to prepare our design for export (export as icons, or as a set of images), or just when we need to perform a “deep clean” process inside a design file.

In Figma, you have the ability to batch rename layers (and frames) which is a really handy feature. You can rename the entire layer name or just a portion of it. You can also find and rename a specific character in a layer name, and you can add a different number to each layer that will be later exported as a separate file. You can also do a search and replace by just typing in the “Match” field.

I find this feature extremely useful.

 

rename multilple layers in Figma
A quick look on how to batch rename layers in Figma (Large preview)

Note about layers: If you’re relatively new to Figma, the following Figma help page will shed some light on layers, frames, objects, groups of objects, and more.

 

3. Using An Emoji In The Frame Name To Display Its Current Work State

Since we started using Figma in our design team, our workflow has been more collaborative, as we usually work on the same design files, and sometimes we even work on them simultaneously.

To know which Frame or screen is still work in progress, and which one is ready (final variant completed), we add an emoji (Windows shortcut: Win key + . or Win key + ; / Mac shortcut: Cmd + Ctrl + space) before the frame name so everyone can see at a glance the frame’s current state.

 

current state emoji in Figma
An example of current state emoji I use in my projects (Large preview)

4. Re-Organizing Items

One of Figma’s great features is the ability to re-organize items inside a Frame. It’s very handy when used on icons, lists or tabs as shown below:

Reorganise items in Figma
A quick look on how to re-organize your items in Figma (Large preview)

USE PROPER NAMING TO ORGANIZE YOUR STYLES (TEXTS, COLORS, EFFECTS)

Local Styles is one of the best features in Figma. It allows you to create a design system or guideline for all components so you can reuse them easily. And if you change the Master Style, it changes all the components linked to it. Super powerful! However, you can get lost with all your styles if you don’t name and categorize them the right way. I’ll share with you how I structured my styles in Figma

5. Text Styles Naming

You can organize your text styles in subcategories by adding a “/”. For example, I would add a “Heading” and “/” so I’ll have all my headings inside the category “Heading.” Sounds fancy but it’s easier to navigate when you have a lot of different font sizes. Works for Texts and also Colors.

 

List of Text styles naming in Figma
My List of Text styles naming convention (Large preview)
List of Text styles naming in Figma
My List of Text styles naming convention (Large preview)

6. Adding A Description For Each Style As A Guide

It can be handy to know where to use different components by adding a quick description of how to use the style and where, especially when you have a team of designers. You can add a description when editing the text style, color style or any components.

 

Style description in Figma
How to add a description for each style (Large preview)

7. How To Switch Instance From The Sidebar

A lot of times, we end up with a lot of components, icons, etc., so the dropdown menu to switch instance is probably not the best way to do this. The little trick is that you can, from the sidebar, drag the component by holding Alt + Ctrl/Cmd to the component you want to switch. Easier and faster!

 

Switch instance from the sidebar in Figma
How to switch instance from the sidebar (Large preview)

8. How To Copy/Paste All Properties

When duplicating an element or when I just want to copy the style of an element, I can quickly copy the element’s properties (Ctrl/Cmd + Alt + C) and paste them (Ctrl/Cmd + V) on a new element. It’s quite handy for images and styling elements with multiple properties, e.g., fill and stroke, etc.

 

Copy/paste all properties feature in Figma
A quick view of the copy/paste property feature (Large preview)

9. How To Copy/Paste A Single Property

Another shortcut that I found very useful is the ability to copy a single property — and you can select which property to copy! Select the property from the right panel (like shown in the video) and with a simple Ctrl/Cmd + C and then Ctrl/Cmd + V paste it on another object. I found this to be very useful for images.

 

Copy/paste property feature in Figma
You can select a single property to copy like shown in this video. (Large preview)

10. Search For Elements With The Same Properties, Instance, Style, And So On

When you have a complex design file, or you just want to tidy up your design system, it’s quite handy to be able to search for elements with the same property (a specific color, for example), and then change the color to a Color Style. Super-useful after you’re settled with the design system and need to better organize all the components!

 

Select all with the Same Properties menu
The ‘Same Properties’ menu in Figma helps you to select all. (Large preview)

11. Use The Scale Tool To Resize Objects And Their Properties

I found it useful to be able to scale an element and its properties (stroke, effects applied to the object, etc.) all at the same time with the Scale tool (K). I found Figma a bit easier than Sketch in this regard, as you don’t have to select the size of the object. When you scale the object, both the object’s dimensions and its properties will resize proportionally. And by holding Shift, you’ll also keep the ratio while expanding or downsizing the object.

Note: If you need to change the size of an object without changing its properties (stroke, effects, etc.), use the Select tool to select the object, then resize it by using the Properties panel. If you use the Scale tool and resize the object, then both the object’s size and its properties will resize.

 

Resize tool in Figma
The difference between the normal resize and the scale tool (Large preview)

 

12. Resize A Frame Without Resizing The Layers Inside It

When designing for different screen resolutions, you want to be able to resize the screen frame without having to resize all the elements inside the frame. In order to do that, hold Ctrl/Cmd while you perform the resize operation. Magic!

 

Resize frame in Figma
A quick view of resizing frame without resizing the layers inside (Large preview)

13. Create Graphs/Arc In Seconds

With Figma, you can create graphs/arc in literally seconds! No more cutting paths on a circle to create a custom graph. Here’s how you create a loading arc — and all those values can be precisely controlled from the Properties panel on the right.

 

Graph tool in Figma
A quick look on how to create graphs in seconds (Large preview)

14. Change Spacing On The Go

I love Figma’s feature that allows you to change the spacing for a group of elements. It makes it super easy to lay out a group of elements around your screen. I use this feature for multiple elements but also for single elements as well.

 

Change spacing in Figma
A quick look on how to change the spacing between objects (Large preview)

15. Component Keywords For Easy Search

When you’re starting to have lots of components, it becomes difficult sometimes to find a specific component in your library. That’s when the component keywords come in handy. You can add keywords to any component so even though the component’s name is different, you’ll have the keywords which will allow to find it more easily. You’ll find an example below:

 

Keywords in components in Figma
Add keywords in components for easy searching (Large preview)

16. Restore An Earlier Version Of A Design File Or Share The Link To An Earlier Version

I love the feature to be able to go back to a previous version of the file I am currently working on.

No matter the reason (you made a mistake, or a client asks you to switch to an earlier version, etc.), it is really handy to be able to go back in time to a previous version. And not only that, but Figma also lets you copy the link to the previous version so you don’t have to delete the most recent version of the file. Smart!

 

History version in Figma
Going back in time in your history version (Large preview)

17. UI Kit Libraries To Kick-Start Your Projects

I often use the UI kit libraries to kick-start my projects. For example, I use the Wireframy Kit whenever I need to design some wireframes. I just need to activate the library, and I’m ready to go! I also often use Bootstrap Grid and Figma Redlines. (There’s a ton of free assets available — check them out and pick the ones you need.)

 

UI Kits in Figma
One of the UI Kit “Wireframy” which I use. (Large preview)

18. Use GIFs In Prototypes

Figma just added the ability to add GIF files to your prototypes, thus adding the possibility to add user interaction animations within your prototypes. Here’s a preview of it from Aris Acoba:

 

19. Figma, Tidy Up!

Figma’s Tidy Up feature is really when you want to quickly rearrange elements in a grid or just to make everything aligned. Together with the features which I mentioned in point 4 and point 14 — it’s super powerful! Also, another way to tidy up is by hovering over the bottom-right corner of a selection and clicking the blue icon.

 

Tidy up in Figma
A quick look on the ‘Tidy Up’ feature in Figma (Large preview)

20. View Settings

It took me a bit of time to find those settings but they are quite handy when you know where they are located. You can configure how you see your workplace in the “Settings” dropdown menu in the top right corner of the window. Allowing you to show Rulers, the Grid, enable/disable “Snap to Pixel Grid” (which sometimes is a bit annoying), but also hide the other players’ (designers) cursors when you want a bit of focus and don’t want to be distracted by others.

 

View settings panel in Figma
The ‘View’ settings panel in Figma (Large preview)

21. Bonus Tip: Figma Plugins

Figma just recently introduced their new plugins feature which will allow people to build custom plugins tailored for their own workflows.

I think plugins will add a lot of value to the entire Figma ecosystem and will enhance our design workflows. Some of the best plugins I have tried so far include:

  • Content Reel
  • Unsplash
  • Stark
  • Image Palette
  • Google Sheet sync
Plugins in Figma
A list of Plugins in Figma (Large preview)

Have a try yourself and maybe you could even build your own plugin to suit your needs!

 

10 Free Open Source Fonts That You Need in 2020

10 Free Open Source Fonts That You Need in 2020

There’s nothing like creating an amazing design that your client loves, while also saving some money in the process.

You don’t have to compromise on the quality of the fonts you choose, just because you’re not paying the big bucks for them.

Better yet, why pay for fonts at all when there are some really great ones out there that are ready for you to use for free?

10 Free Fonts That’ll Change Your Life

I’m going to introduce you to your new best friends, aka 10 open source fonts that’ll spice up all your designs in 2020.

You ready to do this? Cause I am.

Let’s jump right into it.

1. Manrope

We’re going to start today’s list of 10 free fonts with Manrope.

I’ve mentions this font before, but that’s only because it’s my all time favorite.

It’s modern, it’s sleek, it’s everything you want in a free font.

It’s versatility is what really hits home for me and that’s why I recommend that you start incorporating it into all your new designs.

2. Inter

You might’ve seen Inter take a step into the scene as of recent, and I truly believe it’s here to stay.

Inter has become a staple font for many, so don’t be the exception! Add this font to your collection and start adding it to your design projects right away.

3. Public Sans

I can’t lie, I love a good sans serif font.

But what’s special about this font is that it was developed for the US government and is all over their websites and is a huge part of their design.

It looks very similar to another open-source font that you may know of, Libre Franklin.

4. Alice

It’s time to step away from the sans serif, and into the serifs.

When I saw the type-face Alice, I knew it was going to have a new and special spot in my font collection.

Alice is a very unique serif font, which seems kinda old-fashioned, but at the same time, pretty modern.

You can find this font on Google-fonts!

5. Urbanist

Another one of my all time favorite free fonts is Urbanist.

This geometric sans serif is most definitely a modern font that can be used in a variety of different projects.

From logos, to headlines, this font is perfect to add to your colelction of fonts.

What are you waiting for? Go and download it now!

6. Evolventa

Were you surprised when you saw another modern sans serif?

Me either.

Evolventa is a Cyrillic extension of the open-source URW Gothic L font family.

7. Object Sans

If this font isn’t eye-catching, I don’t know what is.

If you’re looking for the perfect combination of Swiss neo-grotesks and geometric fonts, then Object Sans is the one for you.

This font is perfect to replace any of those pricey fonts, because it looks just as good as the rest of them.

8. Lunchtype

I love a good back-story to any font that I use, and Lunchtype has one of the best.

The designer who created this font created it during a lunch break on 100-day project.

We love a good lunch-break, and I can’t deny that that’s when some of my best ideas come to me.

Food is life, and so is an amazing font.

9. Work Sans

What’s cuter than a good font and a hedgehog?

I’ll answer that for you.

nothing.

Absolutely nothing.

10. Monoid

And finally, we’ve come to our last free font, which is Monoid.

Monoid is another great font that we know you’ll love and be using on the daily, if you code.

“The clever thing about Monoid is that it has font-awesome built into it, which they call Monoisome. This means when writing code, you can pop a few icons in there easily. Monoid looks just as great when you’re after highly readable website body text.”

Let us know in the comments which font was your favorite of this list and which ones you’ll be incoporating into your daily design life.

Until next time,

Stay creative folks!

12 Best WordPress Themes For 2021

12 Best WordPress Themes For 2021

In all likelihood, you’ve already discovered the benefits of WordPress, and worked with one or more popular WordPress themes or other design aids.

Top WordPress themes typically bring both advantages and limitations to the table. As a consequence, a web designer is confronted with finding a theme that maximizes the former and minimizes the latter when addressing the task at hand.

Finding “the best WP theme” among the large number currently on the market can be a daunting task.

Fortunately, you don’t have to spend hours sifting through and evaluating a lengthy list of potential candidates. This collection of 12 top WordPress themes should make it easy to find one that will help you get your New Year off to a roaring start.

  1. Be Theme

With its 40+ core design features that includes a selection of 600+ pre-built websites, BeTheme easily qualifies as being the biggest multipurpose WordPress theme of them all. In addition, more than 200,000 sales attests to its popularity.

Every one of the core features brings something important or even necessary to the web designer. While there’s insufficient space here to cover them all, this sampling should suffice:

  • BeTheme’s Muffin Builder is a powerful page builder that when used with its other core features makes website building a quick, easy, and coding free adventure.
  • The Admin Panel and Shortcode Generator gives users all the options andflexibility needed to make it a genuine “if you can think of it you can build it” tool kit.
  • BeTheme’s 600+ customizable pre-built websites make it possible to get virtually any project off to a quick start. These professionally-crafted design aids cover 30 business sectors, a wide range of small business niches, and the major website types.

Click on the banner. There’s much more to see.

  1. Total WordPress Theme

Total was designed with perfection in mind, but the author still managed to make it a fast, friendly, and extremely flexible WordPress theme.

  • Total’s multiplicity of useful features won’t slow you down. You can disable any feature you won’t be working with.
  • Total’s Dynamic Template Function gives you the flexibility to customize a layout exactly the way you want to
  • The Theme Customizer allows you to change fonts, colors, column widths, or section widths as the need arises
  • Total features the WPBakery page builder, a host of pre-made demos and page-building modules.
  • Total is WooCommerce and WordPress plugin friendly.
  • To learn more about this drag and drop website-building theme simply click on the banner.
  1. Avada Theme

Avada stands out for a number of reasons, one being sales. This WordPress theme is the all-time best selling theme on the market. It’s trusted by more than 450,000 users, which says a lot.

That alone might be enough to convince you it would be “the best” theme for you, but let’s dig a little deeper.

  • Avada’s portable one-click demos, pre-built websites, and design elements give web designers plenty to work with
  • The drag and drop Fusion Builder, and the Fusion Theme Options and Fusion Page Options enable users to build complex sites without coding
  • Free lifetime updates ensure Avada is going to continue to improve, and 5-star support is there should you ever need it.

Avada lets you design what you want and in the way you want it. Click on the banner to find out more about this best-selling theme.

  1. Rey Theme

Lightweight, highly modular, WooCommerce and Elementor integrations, and stunning design elements all contribute to make Rey one of the most innovative WordPress themes on the market.

  • A selection of specialized WooCommerce tools
  • A library of professionally-designed templates
  • Easy set up and powerful performance
  • Built-in SVG support

Rey is SEO friendly, and developer friendly as well.

  1. TheGem – Creative Multi-Purpose High-Performance WordPress Theme

TheGem is the best-selling theme on ThemeForest, which isn’t surprising since its multiplicity of features has led to it’s being called the Swiss Army knife of WordPress themes.

  • TheGem WP theme includes more than 400 premium pre-built multi-page and onepage websites and templates with flexible customization options
  • Available for Elementor and WPBakery page builders
  • With extended WooCommerce tools & features for best online shopping
  • A large selection of TheGem blocks (pre-designed web-page sections) is also included in the package

TheGem is 5-star rated and is trusted by more than 50,000 customers.

  1. Uncode – Creative Multiuse & WooCommerce WordPress Theme

Uncode is a pixel-perfect multi-use popular theme that is ideal for artists and other creative types, agencies, and businesses.

  • Uncode is a ThemeForest best seller with 80.000+ sales to date
  • Uncode features a unique WooCommerce Custom Builder that gives site users supreme shopping experiences
  • This theme’s showcase of user-built websites is a “must see”. Click on the banner, visit the site, and be prepared to be impressed.
  1. Kalium – Professional theme for multiple uses

This top selling, highly rated premium theme is suitable for beginners as well a more advanced WordPress users.

  • Kalium features a large selection of professionally-designed demos and design elements that can easily be imported and put to immediate use
  • All of the popular WordPress plugins are supported. Slider Revolution, WPBakery, Elementor, WooCommerce and other plugins are included in the price.

Kalium is responsive, SEO friendly, and GDPR compliant.

  1. KnowAll – Knowledge Base Theme

If you’re spending an excessive amount of time answering repetitive questions and customers find your site’s FAQ page a source of irritation rather than an aide, it might be the time to invest in KnowAll.

KnowAll:

  • Provides instant answers to customers 24/7.
  • Provides detailed answers including related content suggestions
  • Helps customers formulate questions with its search capability

Customers will love what KnowAll does and your business will profit from it.

  1. Pofo – Creative Portfolio, Blog and eCommerce WordPress Theme

Pofo is ideal for use by creative types and agencies, and for creating portfolio, blogging, and eCommerce sites.

  • Pofo is extremely flexible, blazing fast, and SEO optimized
  • WPBakery and Revolution Slider plugins are included together with more than 150 pre-built elements and a large selection of home and demo pages
  • Detailed documentation is available online

Users can expect exceptional support.

  1. Hongo – Modern & Multipurpose WooCommerce WordPress Theme

This modern multipurpose theme with its trendy demos, templates, and creative design elements is a good choice for company websites, eCommerce store owners, and bloggers.

  • Hongo’s out of the box features include premium plugins and WPBakery custom shortcodes
  • Product page tools include quick view, compare, wish lists, filters, catalog mode, and more

Hongo is well documented and offers first-class customer and user support.

  1. XStore – The Most Complete & Customizable WooCommerce Theme

The XStore theme is focused on those things related to WooCommerce. As such, it is to be recommended if your next project is going to be an online store.

  • A key feature is its selection of 100+ go-to-go shops
  • The package also includes a built-in WooCommerce Email Builder, a Full Ajax Shop, a Single Product page builder, and $500+ worth of premium plugins

Developed by an 8Theme Elite Power Author, XStore has more than 20,000+ sales.

  1. Typer – Amazing Theme with Multi Author Publishing Features

Typer can transform your blog website into high-powered multi-author platform. Front-end publishing, article bookmarks, and searches and recommendations for like articles are among Typer’s many features.

  • Typer is Elementor and Gutenberg compatible
  • Beautiful user profiles and multiple article layouts will dress up your site
  • Features include an activity feed and weekly digest

Typer was developed by and Elite Author and enjoys a 5-star user rating.

*****

Any selection from a above listing of great WordPress themes should put you in a good place for the website design challenges you may encounter going into the New Year.

Since each of these top WordPress themes features the latest website and website design trends, there’s at least one here for you, whether your project is for your personal use or for a corporate entity.

We hope you enjoy your shopping experience.

High Volume of Stalled Carts Causes Concern as COVID Brings An Explosion In Ecommerce

High Volume of Stalled Carts Causes Concern as COVID Brings An Explosion In Ecommerce

Gerhard Oosthuizen, CTO at Entersekt, shares with The Paypers key takeaways on understanding and solving ecommerce’s biggest obstacles in the COVID-19 era

While many businesses have floundered during the pandemic, the regulatory response has created an environment for tech companies to flourish. Unsurprisingly, in a time of lockdown and restrictions, ecommerce has boomed.

According to Adobe, online shopping in the United States achieved between four and six years’ worth of growth in just a couple of months in earlier 2020. April and May saw more online spend than the 2019 holiday season, by far the most important six or so weeks in American retail.

Experience tells us that once a customer successfully downloads and uses an ecommerce app, they are unlikely to return to their previous method of transacting. The convenience of using the app helps to convert the unsure and undecided.

Obstacles remain, however, and there is a high rate of transaction failure. To sustain growth, we need to understand and solve the challenges that lead to incomplete transactions. As pandemic restrictions are lifted and people can move more freely, their shopping options will increase, which means a higher rate of people than usual may shift back to previous transaction habits.

There is an urgency, therefore, to understand and solve ecommerce’s biggest obstacles.

User experience is key 

An obvious but crucial point is the importance of user experience. The modern digital consumer expects sophisticated, slick, and safe user experiences, accessible anytime, anywhere, and on any device.

It seems, however, that many experiences are falling short. Consider these numbers from Ethoca:

  • nearly two-thirds of abandoned carts (65%) occur because of friction;
  • due to fraud controls, USD 146 billion in card-not-present purchases are declined each year;
  • yet of these transactions, more than half (52%) were not fraudulent.

These are significant numbers and represent a substantial loss of sales valued around USD 100 billion every year. Losses are probably considerably more, however, as after a card is declined, 64% of customers will abandon the transaction, and 80% will tell a friend about their negative experience.

An enhanced, elegant user experience, one that engages the customer and helps to solve any issues that arise during the transaction, is required.

Several operators are currently working towards a solution, but as they tend to differ on their definition of the problem, routes vary. Let’s examine the different options.

 

All roads lead to Rome; some will get you there quicker 

EMVCo, the global technical body that facilitates worldwide interoperability and acceptance of secure card payment transactions, along with the payment networks, champions three options: Tokenization

By converting sensitive cardholder information into a unique digital identifier, this creates a token that can then be used instead of a card, which helps to protect the primary account numbers. A unique number is provided for each environment, and the card number is limited.

Should the token be fraudulently acquired, it can only be used for the intended recipient. Tokens can be issued either through an issuer wallet, a third-party wallet or a card-on-file.

3-D Secure

Secure is an authentication vehicle, a messaging protocol that enables issuers to authenticate consumers during online shopping. It provides a layer of security that reduces fraudulent transactions, prevents unauthorised use of credit and debit cards online, and protects merchants from exposure to fraud-related chargebacks.

Click to Pay 

A relatively recent rollout by EMVCo, card information is secured on the users’ profile who can then choose which card they want to use for the transaction as they would in a real-world situation, with no need to enter a password or card details.

Click to Pay aims to offer a simple, seamless, and safe user experience that saves the customer time. The interface is standard across the web and mobile sites, apps, and devices.

Other operators and options include:

Payment Request API 

The Web Payments Working Group (WPWG) consortium controls the standards of payments across the internet. With its Payment Request API, the WPWG aims to standardise communication across merchants, browsers, and payment methods by providing a single, stable, and consistent API for developers.

Merchants can create a controlled and standardised checkout experience for all payment types, not just card payments.

 

FIDO with WebAuthn 

Entersekt, along with Microsoft, Google, Amazon, and Facebook, belongs to the FIDO Alliance, which stands for Fast IDentity Online.

We have long supported its drive to banish inconvenient and weak password-based security, and we expect to see a rapid surge in interest following a recent announcement by Apple that it will fully support the new FIDO2 authentication protocol too.

The way forward: cooperation and collaboration

The most significant potential lies in collaboration, and we see the beginning of alliances between groups, such as the relationship between the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and FIDO to enable WebAuthn.

There is also a W3C, FIDO, and EMVCo working group that is currently discussing, allowing merchants to submit FIDO tokens.

However, while there is overlap, and operators are talking to each other about common ground, specifications remain quite varied. Banks and merchants may struggle to understand which options work well together and are best suited to their needs.

It will require expert knowledge of the market, the various solutions, and the future of ecommerce, and it is best to work with a specialist.

This Expert Opinion was published in our Fraud Prevention in Ecommerce Report 2020/2021, the go-to source in securing transactions while offering a frictionless customer journey.

Source  https://thepaypers.com/expert-opinion/covid-brings-an-explosion-in-ecommerce-but-high-volume-of-stalled-carts-causes-concern–1246

Top Email Design Trends for B2B in 2021

Top Email Design Trends for B2B in 2021

Email design trends for 2021 reflect the new and unexpected challenges that B2B businesses and marketers faced during 2020—budget cuts, rapid change, and less in-person meetings. In a 2020 survey of CMOs by Gartner, 44% reported facing midyear budget cuts due to the effects of the pandemic.

Despite all this change email marketing has proven to be a tried-and-true tool to reach customers and increase B2B sales. Email engagement is at an all-time high according to email marketing platform, Mailchimp’s recent email marketing report.

With the loss of in-person events and face-to-face contact, more B2B marketers are turning to email to generate leads. In this post, I share 4 email design trends to practice for the year ahead to successfully generate and nurture leads while also retaining your existing clients.

Personalization

B2B customers have come to demand and expect relevant and personalized content. According to online email testing software Litmus, personalized emails get 122% more return.

Below are a few easy ways to personalize your emails:

  • Provide a “from name”

People are much more likely to open and engage with an email when they feel it is from an individual they know and trust rather than a corporation or company. Make sure to include a designated name on send, example: John Doe from Vandelay Industries. This helps to humanize your brand and message.

  • Gather data to tailor content and imagery

Using data helps sell solutions that solve a particular problem for a specific segment of your audience. Make sure you’re segmenting your audience and tailoring the content and imagery in your emails to match each audiences’ pain points.

Big Bold Type

Good visual hierarchy helps customers read through content faster and easier. Big, bold type is a trend for 2021 because it creates impact and engages audiences quickly. Less is more when dealing with text; it’s got to be attention-grabbing, yet not over the top; enticing but not overwhelming.

Bop Design Newsletter with Big, Bold Type

Soothing Color Palettes

Pantone’s Color of the Year… is not one but two colors, Pantone 17-5104 Ultimate Gray and Pantone 13-0647 Illuminating. This medium tone gray and vibrant yellow are a reflection on the year we have all survived.

Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, says,

“The selection of two independent colors highlight how different elements come together to express a message of strength and hopefulness, conveying the idea that it’s not about one color or one person, it’s about more than one. The union of an enduring Ultimate Gray with the vibrant yellow Illuminating, expresses a message of positivity supported by fortitude. Practical and rock-solid but at the same time warming and optimistic, this is a color combination that gives us resilience and hope. We need to feel encouraged and uplifted; this is essential to the human spirit.”

In short, bright color accents, juxtaposed with neutral/calming colors, will be used a lot in the coming months—helping us all bounce back and get back to business.

Pantone Colors for 2021

Animation

Animated GIFs will continue to engage and excite customers. You want something to dazzle your viewers, but by using reasonable file size. So instead of fully animated effects in newsletters, the email design trend of 2021 is to overlap animations with other, static images.

Animations for Emails

 

B2B marketers should shift how they view email marketing as not just a selling tool, but also as a relationship-building tool for 2021.