What should readers see first when they open an email from you? Hopefully, something that catches their attention! An email banner (also called a hero image or header) is the first thing readers see when they open an email. Creating an eye-catching, beautiful email banner design is key to capturing subscribers’ attention (and getting clicks). Need a little inspiration for your next newsletter? Scroll on for 7 inspiring email banner design ideas.
1. Present a gorgeous oversized product photo like Blu Dot
If you’re designing a product introduction or promotion email, it’s expected you’ll open with an image of the item. But what if you show that item in an unexpected way? This stunning email from Blu Dot, with its bold email banner design, certainly made us scroll down (Subject: New Design | Beau Lamp):
Taken from an unusual angle, the hero image showcases the product in a unique, intriguing way. We also love the use of live text in this email, as well as the beautiful earth tone color matching used between the product itself and the background and buttons. (Want to create a “fixed-width” effect in your email? Check out our tutorial!)
2. Ask a bold question (in plain text) like 99u
For newsletters with a focus on text content, starting off with a big, bold live-text banner can be extremely effective. Here, 99u does just that with a provocative question (Subject: Eddie Opara on fighting design trolls with robust conversation):
It may not seem like the most exciting design move in the world to open your email with text, but 99u demonstrates how to do it well. Choose a short, bold statement (or question) and amplify the font size so it’s at least twice the size of your body text. Make sure the content is relevant and intriguing to your specific audience. Then transition to supportive copy or an image. For more tips on how to format text, check out our workshop on creating a simple, beautiful typographic email.
3. Animate your offer like Sunski
Animated GIFs in email go a long way. They can showcase how a product works, flash through multiple products from frame to frame, and/or simply delight! They make a perfect banner for almost any occasion and email type. Check out this example from Sunski (Subject: Solstice Sale—20% off sunglasses *today only*) and keep scrolling for the GIF:
And here’s the banner GIF:
It’s a simple concept, executed beautifully. Why? Because it’s attention-grabbing, of course! Imagine the email with a static yellow circle instead of the animated version shown here. It wouldn’t have the same effect. The GIF is playful, fun and engaging.
4. Jump into user-generated content like Glossier
Sometimes your fans say it best, so you don’t have to. Leading with user-generated content, like reviews or images shared on social media, is a great way to show social proof and legitimize your brand. Glossier often makes such a move, like in this recent email (Subject: Fan club)—
User-generated content is often saved for modules appearing in the middle or end of an email, but why not start off with a bang? Glossier shows how it’s done with three pack-a-punch reviews, followed by a product image and engaging CTA button that pops.
5. Create a countdown like American Eagle
Want to instill a little urgency with your audience through your email banner design? Using a dynamic countdown timer as your banner is a great choice. Readers will understand from the get-go that your offer won’t last, and that might just be what creates some clicks. Here’s a recent example from American Eagle (Subject: ⚡ ONE DAY FLASH SALE ⚡):
In this case, the timer is a GIF—
But if you want your timer to be dynamic (set to wind down to a specific time and date), you can easily use a free timer-generating tool. Learn how to do it in our timer tutorial—it’s simple!
6. Go illustrative like Harry’s
Product images can become repetitive over time. Another way to spice up your email is by creating an illustrated banner image instead. Here’s a simple, beautiful one from Harry’s (Subject: Last call for Dad’s Day):
The illustration also has a subtle animation:
It’s creative, clever, and fun! For more inspiring illustration ideas, check out our post 5 Creative Ways to Use Illustration in Email.
7. Lead with a lifestyle photo like Savory Simple
You know what they say: A picture speaks a thousand words. Kicking off an email with a lifestyle photo like this one from Savory Simple definitely makes us hungry for more (Subject: Olive Oil Ice Cream: Rich, decadent, and surprisingly delicious):
Want to create your own engaging email banner design? The BEE editor provides amazing design flexibility: use HTML background colors, import a timer, customize your photos or choose your own from our stock libraries, and more. Plus, BEE has dozens of beautiful newsletter templates to choose from. Looking for ideas? Get started with our 10 best responsive email templates to wow your customers. Happy designing!
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