Email marketing is going to the dark side. No, it doesn’t mean Darth Vader has taken over the industry. But it does mean that we have entered a new era in how emails are viewed by most recipients. And there is a good chance that if you have not been designing with Dark Mode in mind, your emails might not be getting the attention they deserve. Yet with the right approach, the force of good email design can be on your side.

Dark Mode is the setting on a mobile phone that, well, darkens the screen at night. This has several distinct advantages for users. Most notably, it saves on battery drain. And if you have watched that percentage icon go from 100% to 50% by the time you’ve finished your morning coffee, you know that battery life is a leading complaint for users.

But there is more to Dark Mode than just the battery. In fact, more and more users prefer to view screens with less light at all times of day simply for the way it looks to their eyes. But day or night, there is a good chance that your emails are being viewed in Dark Mode a good portion of the time. Gmail, Apple, and Android all now offer a dark mode option, which is pretty much the entire empire of email clients.

Are Your Emails Ready?

Do this now. Put your own phone on Dark Mode and open up one of your company’s recent emails. Really. We’ll wait.

Now, honestly, how did it look? There’s a very good chance that your emails were designed without this in mind. And that’s a very big problem. Because, as you’ve just seen with our own emails, what looks good in normal mode does not translate easily into Dark Mode. In fact, it might not even be readable at all.

In other words, even when your best customers open your latest big deal offer or important notice, they might not even see it. Whoa!

Rethinking Email Design for Dark Mode

The good news is that by rethinking email design to reflect the growing use of Dark Mode, you can actually have an even greater impact with your customers. Here are a few tips:

  • Contrast matters. A lot. This does not mean that the screen is 100% black, nor does it mean that people want to see glaring white type. Think of how the user reads at night, and how he or she might want a softer experience.
  • Think daytime too. Don’t think that all Dark Mode use happens just when someone is woken up at 2:00 am by a text alert. There is growing use of Dark Mode all day long.
  • Many clients don’t automatically change emails mode settings. Some still present your normal email by default. So it is up to you to encode a Dark Mode trigger.
  • Color, color, color. Perhaps the biggest rethink is color. Remember that images don’t convert, but the background does. Make sure that any embedded images or graphics, including your logo, hold up in a darker environment.

Of course, there is a lot more to email design in any mode than just these simple rules. But the first rule is to get with your team immediately to redesign and implement Dark Mode-ready emails now. Or give us a call at Marketsmith. Our digital design teams are leading the way in email readability.

And may the force of good design be with your email marketing program.

Email marketing is going to the dark side. No, it doesn’t mean Darth Vader has taken over the industry. But it does mean that we have entered a new era in how emails are viewed by most recipients. And there is a good chance that if you have not been designing with Dark Mode in mind, your emails might not be getting the attention they deserve. Yet with the right approach, the force of good email design can be on your side.

Dark Mode is the setting on a mobile phone that, well, darkens the screen at night. This has several distinct advantages for users. Most notably, it saves on battery drain. And if you have watched that percentage icon go from 100% to 50% by the time you’ve finished your morning coffee, you know that battery life is a leading complaint for users.

But there is more to Dark Mode than just the battery. In fact, more and more users prefer to view screens with less light at all times of day simply for the way it looks to their eyes. But day or night, there is a good chance that your emails are being viewed in Dark Mode a good portion of the time. Gmail, Apple, and Android all now offer a dark mode option, which is pretty much the entire empire of email clients.