14 Examples to Inspire Your Next Great Email Marketing Campaign

Email marketing campaigns are tricky.

Yet, they’re an essential cornerstone to any marketing strategy. And it’s simply because they’re one of the most reliable methods to connect with your audience and increase profits.

The Necessity of Email Marketing Campaigns

Building a relationship and connecting with prospective customers through email campaigns is no easy feat. There’s a very fine line between sending emails that delight and engage your audience, and sending emails that feel more like spam when they hit your subscribers’ inboxes.

As of January 2017, 269 billion emails were sent each day. That number is expected to reach 281 billion by the end of 2018 - Radicati Group, 2017

Regardless, email campaigns that talk to your audience these days are a necessity.

Different companies, brands, and individuals will always need to promote new products and services via every channel possible.

However, unlike many of those marketing channels, especially social media, email is the only one you have full control over. Design, reach, and copy are all up to you and you’ll have in-depth stats to measure and track your email marketing campaigns.

Email also talks to the widest array of demographics. Everyone from school children to the greatest generation has email and knows how to use it. That being said you can reach more people than any other platform.

While many digital marketing influencers are predicting chatbots to become more advanced in the coming year, many still recognize that email marketing is still the most important marketing channel.

email marketing gifs

Email Examples to Inspire Your 2018 Marketing Campaigns

For this post, we’ve gathered 14 marketing emails that have impressed us over the last few months. Use this roundup as inspiration to craft a powerful email campaign that fits your brand’s unique voice!

Featuring over a dozen various businesses, you’ll have plenty of new ideas to to craft email campaigns that are sure to delight and inform your subscribers. 

​1. Conversion XL - Leveraging the Power of Scarcity Marketing

A holiday sales funnel will maximize the power of scarcity as you present special offers to your list. It’s one you can mix up and turn into a promotion that is based any of the hundreds of holidays that exist. In the simplest form, when things are scarce, we want them. People will be incredibly motivated to act by the thought that they might lose out on something.

Many try to take advantage of tax holiday season, most often leveraging scarcity to create a sense of urgency, but this email from ConversionXL does it better than the most. In it, they let their readers (“entrepreneurs and tax-savvy employees”) know their courses are eligible as a tax write-off.

The email is lengthy, but with a numbered list highlighting the top benefits for the reader it becomes easy to scan. You can build secondary reading paths with highlights and formatting, that way your busiest readers get the main idea of the email without having to deep dive. This is even more important for longer form emails.

email marketing campaigns
email copy boss

​Subject Line: Write us off (your taxes). Here’s how.

​K​EY TAKEAWAYS:

  • ​Find a ‘holiday’ that matches your brand and means something to your readers
  • ​Create clear secondary paths with bolding and formatting for readers that skim, especially in longer for emails.
  • envelope-o
    ​Conversion XL would benefit from including a visual symbol in their email, like a countdown timer, to raise the urgency level and drive actions
    Important pain points and goals of the reader are bolded
2. Email Copy Boss - Personalization Makes the Difference

​2. Email Copy Boss - Personalization Makes the Difference

Personalized email campaigns make your subscribers feel that your email was typed out and sent exclusively to them. Plus, there is plenty of evidence that says personalizing your email content results in a much higher engagement rate (one study from Campaign Monitor found by as much as 56%!).

Specific content will resonate for certain segments of your email subscribers subscribers so the easiest way to make this successful is to segment your email lists based on their different interests, pain points, or their current stage in your funnel.

Segmented and targeted emails generate 58% of all revenue - DMA, 2015

What makes this email from Email Copy Boss so great, is it feels like your getting the motivational, end of year pep talk you need. But what makes it feel extra special?

They’ve personalized the email in an unique way that effectively establishes a personal connection with each and every email subscribers.

Additionally, this email shows that not every email you send needs to be about selling. Every email you send needs to focus on connecting and building some sort of relationship with your subscribers.

email copy boss

​The subject line from this email marketing campaign was simple: "Happy YOU Year (quick note)," but ​capitalized word "YOU" ​stands out in even the most crowded of inboxes.

email copy boss

​K​EY TAKEAWAYS:

  • ​Not every email needs to be about selling
  • ​Find creative (and entertaining) ways to make your emails feel personalized
  • envelope-o
    ​Important pain points and goals of the reader are bolded for a clear secondary reading path
    Important pain points and goals of the reader are bolded
2. Email Copy Boss - Personalization Makes the Difference

​3. Copy Hackers - Connecting with Reader Goals

This is a very engaging email that takes a two cliche ideas (working in PJs & Starving writer) and uses them to connect with the reader’s actual goals of creating a steady income from freelance writing.

This use of cliches creates a theme. Themed emails are a lot easier to read because they are way more entertaining than official, dry emails.

This email is also a great example on how to write like you are talking with a friend. Which is a great way to be persuasive. Note the use of slang like “kidlings” and “dollahs”.

Creating a unique voice for your brand is crucial and Copy Hackers has developed and maintained an effective casual tone.

copyhacker email campaigns
email copy boss

​Subject Line: ​Yeah, um, it's not about working in your pajamas

copyhacker email campaign
email copy boss


​K​EY TAKEAWAYS:

  • ​Create a theme or “big idea” for your emails to create entertaining emails.
  • ​Create a unique voice for your brand and stick to build a loyal reader base. 
  • envelope-o
    ​Talk to your audience like you would one of your friends for more persuasive emails.
    Important pain points and goals of the reader are bolded
2. Email Copy Boss - Personalization Makes the Difference

​4. Unbounce - Masters of the PAS Formula

The PAS formula is an underutilized email copywriting trick that almost instantly increases your email click-through rate.  What is the PAS formula? Consider it the framework for structuring copy that when applied correctly will make it painless to write the words that compels emails subscribers to take action.

The PAS Formula:

  1. ​Identify your customer’s problem and state it
  2. ​Help the reader understand how the problem relates to something they care about
  3. ​Provide the solution to their problem

This email from Unbounce uses the PAS formula exceptionally well. Highlighting your customers’ pain points is a great way to increase your email click rate. Just make sure you have the solution to help solve those pain points!

email examples

​Subject Line: Let’s get stacked

email copy boss

​K​EY TAKEAWAYS:

  • Write copy that helps your readers identify the problem in their own life

  • Use words that paint a clear picture of​ it's affecting your reader​ so you can agitate the problem to its worse case scenario

  • envelope-o
    ​Position your solution as the best path to take
    Important pain points and goals of the reader are bolded
2. Email Copy Boss - Personalization Makes the Difference

​5. Peter Sandeen - Make it Hard to Say No

Consumers these days are always looking for a reason to say no, especially when some level of risk is involved. When understanding your audience, make note to include counters to the most common objections they might have.

FAQ emails can be a great way to squash any objections while keeping your leads engaged. These email marketing campaigns are an important tool in any sales funnel your business builds.

This email example from Peter Sandeen perfectly demonstrates how to address readers’ most common objections in an email.

peter sandeen
​Subject Line:  Is now the right time for this program?
email copy boss

​​Subject Line:  Is now the right time for this program?

​Subject Line:  Is now the right time for this program?

​K​EY TAKEAWAYS:

  • Point out common objections and address them explicitly in your emails

  • Objections should be squashed early in a sales email sequence

  • envelope-o
    Ask questions and make it clear you want to hear what your readers’ think
    Important pain points and goals of the reader are bolded
2. Email Copy Boss - Personalization Makes the Difference

​6. Meet Edgar - Re-engaging Hard Earned Leads

Cleaning your email list is critical if you want to improve your email marketing campaigns. Removing bad emails and disengaged subscribers will keep you sending content to people who want your emails. But before you toss out the disengaged email subscribers, run a re-engagement campaign to get the most out of your hard-earned leads.

Here at Performance Marketer, we maximize the value of our unengaged leads by running them through our Holiday Funnel and presenting them with special offers.

This email example from Meet Edgar attempts to engage their leads by inviting them to check out the latest product updates.

email marketing campaign example

Subject Line: Edgar’s got a makeover and he is looking gorgeous

​K​EY TAKEAWAYS:

  • Highlight the problems your customers are having by mentioning how your product solves them

  • Capture their attention with a clean email design

  • envelope-o

    Reword your core message and selling points in a way that connects

    Important pain points and goals of the reader are bolded
2. Email Copy Boss - Personalization Makes the Difference

​7. Urbanstems - Abandoned Cart Email

Retargeting marketing is a powerful strategy that taps into the biggest pool of potential customers: cart abandoners. With an average abandoned cart rate of 69.23% the potential to reach users with retargeted content is too big to ignore.

Abandoned Cart Emails Should Include:

  • ​Pictures of the product they selected
  • Testimonials from other customers
  • Information about your guarantee and refund policy
  • shopping-cart
    ​A powerful call to action that brings them back to your site.

Shopify recommends sending an abandonment email to send within 24 hours of the customer visiting your site. Then follow-up with a second email within two days, and a final email within one week.

UrbanStems has crafted a beautiful email to send those who abandoned their cart. With imagery and a message, “It’s not too late to make someone’s day,” they’re reminding visitors why they were originally interested in their product.

urbanstems abandoned cart email

Subject Line: Uh oh, forget something?

​K​EY TAKEAWAYS:

  • Create new and different imagery for your retargeting campaigns

  • Remind these users why they were interested in buying from you

  • envelope-o

    Keep your abandoned cart emails simple and short to encourage engagement

    Important pain points and goals of the reader are bolded
2. Email Copy Boss - Personalization Makes the Difference

​8.Customer IO - AIDA Format

Way back in 1898, American advertising executive E. St. Elmo Lewis was the first to explain, in detail the stages of every successful sales funnel. He found that salespeople tended to walk prospects through four distinct emotional stages until they converted into customers. Those four stages are awareness, interest, desire, action.

This email from Customer IO shows that you can craft a powerful message in few words using the AIDA format.  It focuses on the desire of winning back customers by using the analogy of the classic ‘pulling a rabbit from a hat’ trick creating an email that is useful and entertaining.

aida emails
​Subject Line:  Is now the right time for this program?
email copy boss
​Subject Line:  Is now the right time for this program?

Subject Line: You're invited! Better customer communication demo

​K​EY TAKEAWAYS:

  • AIDA emails work for both long or short format emails.

  • Build your AIDA email in independent pieces, before putting them together to complete the email

  • envelope-o

    Use an incredible opening line in your email to catch their attention

    Important pain points and goals of the reader are bolded
  • envelope-o
    Have fun with images and copy to draw interest and desire to a ‘boring’ topic
2. Email Copy Boss - Personalization Makes the Difference

​9. Drip from Leadpages - Flaunt it with Social Proof

Social proof is an important part of selling, especially early in your customer’s journey. With the right social proof you can easily build an incredible amount of trust with your future customers.

Every time you make a benefit claim in your emails, you build up a bit of doubt in the reader’s mind. It’s best to follow up the largest claim with a powerful piece of social proof.

TIP: One quick trick for generating good email copy is to use your customers’ own words.

This email crafted by Drip from Leadpages is a classic social proof email. Even their email subject line is flaunting social proof with a snippet of a powerful customer testimonial.

Smartly so, since email subject lines ​35% of subscribers open emails based on the subject line alone. To further the strength of their glowing reviews, Drip could add pictures of their customers or screenshots of the feedback.

social proof
email copy boss

“Drip is the easiest email marketing automation software I’ve ever used.” is a powerful email subject line and will surely capture your subscribers’ attention.

social proof email copy
email copy boss



​K​EY TAKEAWAYS:

  • ​Use the words of your customers you’ve already won over
  • Add photos and names to customer testimonials, preferably from screenshots to increase validity
  • envelope-o
    Social media follower counts work well as social proof
    Important pain points and goals of the reader are bolded
2. Email Copy Boss - Personalization Makes the Difference

​10. Noah Kagan - Straight and to the Point

From short and sweet, to long stories, the length of your emails will depend heavily on your business and preference of your subscribers. If your open rates are good, but no one is clicking, it probably means you need to change the layout and style of your emails.

Noah Kagan has some of the shortest emails we’ve ever seen. It’s an art how he keeps his messages easy to digest, concise, and valuable. And it’s what works for him.

noah kagen email

Subject Line: What I learned spending $3 million

​K​EY TAKEAWAYS:

  • Test email lengths to see what engages your audience

  • envelope-o

    Short emails are effective when the message is personable

    Important pain points and goals of the reader are bolded
  • envelope-o
    ​Don’t aim for big conversions in a few sentences, buying your main product will take more email copy than pushing subscribers to a blog post
2. Email Copy Boss - Personalization Makes the Difference

​11. Ramit Sethi - Entertaining Personal Stories

On the other hand, longer emails are perfect to entertain and share personal stories with your email subscribers. When stories are used to convey information, retention jumps to 65% to 70%. Which is how personal stories can build the trust and connections you need to convert your leads into loyal customers.

3 Stories to Share with Your Subscribers: 

  • ​Inspirational Stories
  • ​‘Who am I?’ Stories
  • Customer Success Stories

The key is to using the right story at the right moment to bring out the right feeling that will drive your audience to convert. Take Ramit Sethi, for example. He’s an ace when it comes to storytelling, and this email below is a prime example of writing that demands your click, while still being very entertaining.

ramit sethi emails
​Subject Line:  Is now the right time for this program?
email copy boss
​Subject Line:  Is now the right time for this program?

Subject Line: What I learned behind the scenes at Disney

​K​EY TAKEAWAYS:

  • Share stories that appeal to both logic and emotions

  • envelope-o

    The best stories are personal ones that show a transformation

    Important pain points and goals of the reader are bolded
  • envelope-o
    ​Don’t be afraid to share with your audience and customers! 
2. Email Copy Boss - Personalization Makes the Difference

​12. ​LOFT - Keeping it Fun with Animation

More and more is it becoming commonplace to include GIFs and animation into email campaigns. Not only are they a great touch of humor to email content, but they essentially incorporating that same movement we’re seeing everywhere else on the internet.

While video is on the rise, delivering them in emails can be tricky, especially considering different inboxes render emails (and videos) differently. GIFs and animation however, are easy and make an excellent substitute for marketing emails.

The percentage of emails containing GIFs rose from 5.4% in 2015 to 10.3% in 2016 - 2016, MailCharts

You can be as creative as you’d like to make unique animations like LOFT does in their promotional emails. GIFs are very versatile in emails. 

​Most often, you'll use them to make boring, transactional emails special, stress your call-to-action, show a product collection, or even just to add a seasonal touch to your emails.

​K​EY TAKEAWAYS:

  • envelope-o
    ​Instead of including video in your emails, create a preview of the video as a GIF
    Instead of including video in your emails, create a preview of the video as a GIF
  • envelope-o
    GIPHY is one of the best free tools to finding and creating GIFs
    Instead of including video in your emails, create a preview of the video as a GIF
  • envelope-o
    ​Don’t go overboard, stick to animating one or two elements in your email
2. Email Copy Boss - Personalization Makes the Difference

​13. Leadpages - Effective and Balanced Design

Starting with social proof is a good way to grab attention and this email from Leadpages does it beautifully. After engaging their readers with a question they follow up with an impressive stat that outlines an opportunity the reader maybe missing. 

They then take that opportunity and break down the benefits of utilizing it in their business. This is a great way to add value to your readers by pointing out opportunities they may be missing.

email marketing campaign
​Subject Line:  Is now the right time for this program?
email copy boss
​Subject Line:  Is now the right time for this program?

Subject Line: [$100 Offer] Get more leads with AdWords and Leadpages

​K​EY TAKEAWAYS:

  • Engage your audience with a question then follow up with social proof

  • envelope-o

    Connect a missed opportunity with the benefits of acting on it

    Important pain points and goals of the reader are bolded
  • envelope-o
    Always focus on how you can benefit your read
2. Email Copy Boss - Personalization Makes the Difference

​14. Sugar and Charm - Valuable Newsletters

Newsletters are extremely popular form of broadcast emails due to their versatility, but there is one downside to them.  Newsletters constantly require new content on a regular basis, which can be tough for some businesses.

83% of B2B marketers use email newsletters for content marketing - 2015, Content Marketing Institute

Food blog, Sugar and Charm sends out a weekly newsletter, that’s always seasonally themed, featuring a great mix of content.

Not only that, but their email newsletters always show a nice balance between images and text, nearly feeling like you’re browsing their website. Still the spacing is done well, so even though it’s long it’s easy to read and mobile friendly.

sugar and charm newsletter emails

Subject Line: Holiday Cookies with S&C!

sugar and charm newsletter email

​K​EY TAKEAWAYS:

  • envelope-o

    Newsletters are great ways to promote old content

    Instead of including video in your emails, create a preview of the video as a GIF
  • envelope-o

    Whether weekly or monthly, make sure you stick to a sending schedule with these emails

    Instead of including video in your emails, create a preview of the video as a GIF
  • envelope-o
    Here is where you can have tons of fun with design, don’t skipping testing that ensures it impressive on all screens
2. Email Copy Boss - Personalization Makes the Difference
Caitlin
 

Caitlin is an Austin-based digital marketer and writer with a passion for content. She is the newest member of the Performance Marketer team and brings years of marketing experience, as well as the best recommendations for where to go for lunch.

  • Caitlin Johnson says:

    Lets keep up the conversation! If anyone has any questions, or comments about other impressive emails you’ve seen, message me or comment below, cheers!

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