Friday, 24 March 2017

15 of the Best Email Marketing Examples That Work

15 of the Best Email Marketing Examples
Email marketing is sending a commercial message, typically to a group of people, using email. In its broadest sense, every email sent to a potential or current customer could be considered email marketing. It usually involves using email to send
advertisements, request business, or solicit sales or donations, and is meant to build loyalty, trust, or brand awareness. Email marketing can be done to either sold lists or a current customer database. Broadly, the term is usually used to refer to sending email messages with the purpose of enhancing the relationship of a merchant with its current or previous customers, to encourage customer loyalty and repeat business, acquiring new customers or convincing current customers to purchase something immediately, and adding ads to email messages sent by other companies to their customers.

These days, we’ve replaced that message with Tweets, likes, and status updates, but that doesn’t mean that our affinity for email is any less. In fact, because of the noise that is social media, one could argue that the inbox has become our virtual dojo, our place of solitude amongst the chaos.

This is why, as an entrepreneur, I believe that building successful email marketing campaigns has never been more important than it is now. But there’s a problem; most people don’t know how to do it right. So in the interest of furthering best practices and helping you succeed as a business owner, let’s get back to the basics and talk about how a great email campaign is built, from the ground up.

At one point or another, we all need inspiration to do our jobs better. It doesn't matter whether you're a marketing veteran who has navigated through years of changing technology or a newbie fresh out of college -- we all need examples of outstanding content. It helps us get through creative ruts, make the case to our boss for experimentation, and improve our own marketing.
Most of the time, inspiration is easy to find because most marketing content is publicly available. You can scour the internet or go on your favorite social network to see what your connections are talking about.

But there's one marketing channel that is really, really hard to find good examples of unless you're already in the know: email. There's nothing casual about it -- you usually need to be subscribed to an email list to find great examples of emails. And even if you're subscribed to good emails, they are often bombarding you day after day, so it's hard to notice the gems. 
Because it's so difficult to find good email marketing examples, we decided to do the scouring and compiling for you. Read on to discover some great emails and get the lowdown on what makes them great -- or just keep on scrolling to get a general feel for each. 


15 of the Best Email Marketing Examples That Work


1) PayPal

There are a couple things we love about this email example from PayPal. Not only is the opening copy clever and concise, but the entire concept also reflects a relatable benefit of using the service. Think about it: How many times have you been in a situation where you went out to dinner with friends and then fussed over the bill when it came time to pay? By tapping into this common pain point, PayPal is able to pique the interest of its audience. 


2) Canva

I must confess that I’m a big fan of Canva. The most interesting aspect of their email – is its simplicity.

According to Credit Monkey, more people are likely to act, even without reading the whole content when it’s simple and clear – which is exactly what Canva did, and you can do it, too.

They also use large white spaces, which make their product well pronounced. Using an attractive color that’s different from the rest makes it more captivating and precise for readers to tell the focus point.

They always notify their subscribers each time they have a new layout design, just like the screenshot below.

The email explains briefly the new layout and allows users to preview it. It doesn’t stop there, they further motivate subscribers to give it a try.

I got an email from them recently, when I was about going to bed. I was just rounding up with a couple of stuffs online. Even though I was so exhausted. But I managed to open up the new message pop up on my system.

I never realized how much time I’ve spent scooping through each of their layouts, till my alarm got my attention. It was definitely captivating.


3) charity: water

Well, charity: water took an alternate route. Once someone donates to a charity: water projects, their money takes a long journey. Most charities don't tell you about that journey at all -- charity: water uses automated emails to show donors how their money is making an impact over time. With the project timeline and accompanying table, you don't even really need to read the email -- you know immediately where you are in the whole process so you can move on to other things in your inbox.


4) Welcome email

First impressions count. A lot. Therefore, if a subscriber signs up to something, whether it is to receive future blog posts or a series of email tips, it makes sense to thank them and welcome them. By doing nothing, you make it difficult to create a strong impression. When you sign up to Buffer, the social media sharing app, their welcome email includes links to their support email address and a link to their Twitter profile. Simple yet effective!

How to implement: Whether you use auto-responders or send the emails manually, welcoming new subscribers to your company email list is a great way to build a strong relationship from the beginning. In the email, make sure you introduce yourself and company. You can also provide helpful links to content such as most popular blog posts or white papers, or links to your social media profiles.
When to send: Each time you get a new subscriber


5) ModCloth 

Great companies are always evolving, and your customers expect to experience change. What they don't expect (because too many companies haven't lived up to this end of the bargain) is to be told about those changes. That said, this email from ModCloth serves as a refreshing change of pace. If you're going to change the way you communicate with a lead or customer, give them clear, fair warning so, if they aren't on board, they can make the necessary adjustments to keep their inbox clean.


6) Runkeeper

This is one of my favorite examples, which inspires me at all times to keep building my email list.
First, a quick overview of Runkeeper.

Have you always wanted to keep tracks of what matters most to you? Well, we all do.

Runkeeper is a tool that helps runners keep flexible tracks. The tool helps people get out of the door and stick to it – running.

If you relate this to building an audience, then you’ll agree with me that the goal is to improve engagement with your audience.
According  to SmartInsight, 34% of marketer’s top priority in 2016 is to increase subscriber engagement.
As you can see, Runkeeper’s audience need motivation from within. They don’t necessarily need any outside force to get them out of the door – and keep running.

Runkeeper understands email communication pretty well. With every communication, the brand aims to bring its users back – by being very friendly.
At a glance, you can see that Runkeeper has a friendly strategy.

The email newsletter highlights latest improvements and benefits that users will get if they return. See: it uses persuasion power to entice lost prospects.

If you’re going to use this approach, then, your email should ignite the fire in users, especially those who no longer respond to your emails. Be gentle and communicate clearly.

Runkeeper uses phrase like “Hi friend” and “You rock”. These are words that can appeal to your customers. It’s welcoming, and makes them feel valued.

Avoid any form of aggression in your emails. If your subscribers aren’t engaging with your brand or emails, being aggressive or excessively demanding will further keep them running.

When people open your emails, they should feel excited to read it. Cognique confirms that 91% of customers checks their email daily. Therefore, do not shock them with aggression when they open their inbox.
If you want them to come back to your blog, store, or attend your live event, be nice to them and focus on offering them benefits. This is a lesson that Runkeeper is trying to teach you.

Ideally, you should segment your email list so that your emails get to a select group of targeted recipients. This will surely increase open rate and click-through rate.
Segmentation is also important. Emails you created for the new leads should be different from that of your loyal customers.

All of your email subscribers aren’t on the same stage of the customer buying cycle. And it’s your responsibility to cater to everyone of them.
If you embrace and execute Runkeeper’s email campaign style, which may be informal or different from what you’re known for, but because it’s friendly and encouraging – you’ll win more customers.


7) Tory Burch

Did you see that? Did you see it move? Pretty cool, right? This small bit of animation helps to separate this email from Tory Burch from all of the immobile emails in their recipient's inboxes. They also leverage exclusivity by framing the promotion as a "private" sale. Often times, this type of positioning makes the recipient feel like they're specially chosen, which encourages them to take advantage of the special opportunity they've been presented with.


8) BuzzFeed

I already have a soft spot for BuzzFeed content (21 Puppies so Cute You Will Literally Gasp and Then Probably Cry, anyone?), but that isn't the only reason I fell in love with its emails.

First of all, BuzzFeed has awesome subject lines and preview text. They are always short and punchy -- which fits in perfectly with the rest of BuzzFeed's content. I especially love how the preview text will accompany the subject line. 
Once you open up an email from them, the copy is equally awesome. Just take a look at that glorious alt text action happening where the images should be. The email still conveys what it is supposed to convey -- and looks great -- whether you use an image or not. That's definitely something to admire.


9) Zipcar

This example sample comes courtesy of my coworker who started signing up for Zipcar, got busy, and had to abandon the form. As a result, the email calls her back to the website with some lighthearted copy that nudges her in the right direction, and also reminds her of the value of using Zipcar -- being economical and helping the planet.

If your site visitors are abandoning shopping carts or landing pages, use your email marketing in this way to remind them they have some unfinished business on your website!


10) UncommonGoods

To make it through email marketing, you may have to revisit your call-to-action. How your CTA is formatted determines whether or not your customers will take the right action.

One of the ingredients of effective call-to-action is a sense of urgency. Without sounding too pushy or desperate, you still have to nudge your customers to take action now, not later.

UncommonGoods, an online retail store that sells unique gifts, jewelry, and home decor and more, garnished its email newsletter with “urgency.”

The brand shows how a sense of urgency should be formatted, designed and sent to customers – in a way to prompt them to act instantly.

Humans don’t want to lose an opportunity. Psychologists call this the “Loss Aversion.”

Looking at the newsletter from above, you can see how urgent, simple, and direct the call to action is. Interestingly, this gets the recipients to take immediate action.

Unfortunately, if your email CTA lacks urgency, you have equally succeeded in fanning the hot desires of your customers to coldness. Maybe, the next time they visit, the interest may have worn out.

Which of these CTA copy is more appealing and persuasive to you:

“Don’t you think Mom would’ve liked a faster delivery?” and “Buy your Mom a present for mother’s’ Day!”

Truly, both of them are good, but when I read the first, I wish I could act now. So also will your customers.

UncommonGoods has developed a smart email strategy that convert sales faster, improves brands, get loyalty and trust. With a compelling website as this, the email campaigns need to be unique as well.
The brand understands how to use customer appreciation, effective branding best practices, and urgency-based CTA to entice customers.

Email is still making waves in digital marketing world. All you need is an effective strategy to excel.

Millions of your target audience are already engrossed to emails. Recent data from Email Monday shows that email is the most popular activity on smartphones.

If you ask me, I think that you should look into mobile marketing as well. Incorporate mobile into your email marketing strategy and you’ll see significant results. More so, mobile users are motivated group of consumers.

You can see how UncommonGoods uses smart marketing techniques to generate more sales and increase business revenue.

Follow the footstep of UncommonGoods, engage your customers with appreciation and urgency-based call-to-action. You’ll definitely improve open email open rate and increase sales.


11) Litmus

Here's another great example from Litmus of animation being used to create more interesting email marketing design. Unlike static text, the swipe motion used to provide recipients with a look "under the hood" of their email tool is eye-catching and encourages you to take a deeper dive into the rest of the content. Not to mention the header does an excellent job of explicitly stating what this email is about.


12) Uber

The beauty of Uber's emails is in their simplicity. They let their email subscribers know about deals and promotions by sending an email like the one you see below. We love how brief the initial description is, paired with a very clear call-to-action -- which is perfect for subscribers who are quickly skimming the email. For the people who want to learn more, these are followed by a more detailed (but still pleasingly simple), step-by-step explanation of how the deal works.

We also love how consistent the design of their emails is with their brand. Like their app, website, social media photos, and other parts of their visual brand, their emails are represented by bright colors and geometric patterns. All of their communications and marketing assets tell their brand's story -- and brand consistency is one tactic Uber's nailed in order to gain brand loyalty.


13) Bonobos

If you want your target audience to be active, then you need to be interactive with your emails.

Interaction leads to action.

It gives your leads and customers a reason to stick to your brand.

Similarly, fun and curiosity are customers’ pain points that you must satisfy if you want to make impact and get more people to open your emails.
In your email campaigns, create a simple and clear call-to-action. This is a smart way of inducing your target audience to click.

Bonobos showed an interactive and simple email campaign that inspires customers to action.
As you can tell from the exact email sample above, the customer is only required to select the size, with a simple click and that’s all.

Truth be told, initiating engagement is the easy way to get customer’s attention.

Look at Bonobos email campaign, it looks so simple, doesn’t it?

But it works.

Can you build your email campaign this way? You’ll not regret it.

Ambiguous messages will disengage your email subscribers and customers. Break down your message and make it plain. Use simple words and terms that people understand.

Your email will get better results if you provides enormous value to to your customers. Bonobos knows this secret. Hence, they don’t send junks that land in the trash folder as soon as the recipient gets it.

On the flip side, sending too many emails to your customers will not work. In fact, it could piss them off. Respect their inbox.

SmartInsight confirmed that 2 – 3 post per month converts higher than bombarding your customer’s inbox everyday with emails.
Another proven email style Bonobos uses in its campaign is good-looking graphics. Of course, these graphics are relevant to the topic. In all, visuals don’t fail, no matter the platform.


14) Loft

This email from Loft aims to demonstrate their understanding of your crazy, mixed-value inbox. In an effort to provide you with emails that you actually want to open, Loft asks that their recipients update their preferences to help them deliver a more personalized experience. This customer-focused email is super effective in making the recipient feel like their likes, dislikes, and opinions actually matter. 


15) TheSkimm

We've written about TheSkimm's daily newsletter before -- especially its clean design and its short, punchy paragraphs. But newsletters aren't TheSkimm's only strength when it comes to email. Check out their subscriber engagement email below, which rewarded my colleague Ginny Mineo for being subscribed for two years.

Emails triggered by milestones like anniversary emails and birthday emails are fun to get -- who doesn't like to celebrate a special occasion? The beauty of anniversary emails in particular is that they don't require subscribers to input any extra data, and they can work for a variety of senders and the timeframe can be modified based on the business model.

Here, the folks at TheSkimm took it a step further by asking her if she'd like to earn the title of brand ambassador as a loyal subscriber -- which would require her to share the link with ten friends, of course.


Conclusion

Email marketing allows you to reach your customers from anywhere, on any device, and help them. It’s a proven strategy you can’t do without. Start today to nurture your leads and drive your engagement to another level.

When you communicate through email, you create a link to strengthen the relationship between you and your clients.

Show them how you truly care by sending them automated emails regularly. Don’t try to impress customers. But aim to express how much you love them, and would love to see them smile.

There’s no ideal frequency for sending emails. However, sending the right amount of emails to the right people based on their feedback is the best approach.

If these email marketing examples have inspired you, leave a comment below and share your opinion.

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