Crafting the perfect email campaign is tough. Figuring out how to design it, when to send it and what to write can be even tougher. Each email campaign needs to be noticed, opened, clicked and remembered.
Did you ever send an email campaign that did not deliver the desired ROI? It could be because recipients didn’t notice your email or did but never clicked on the call-to-action (CTA). You’ve probably wondered what is keeping you from getting the desired email marketing KPIs. In most cases, the answer is a poor email design. Yet, not everyone will face these struggles. You can ensure your email campaign will stand out in the recipients’ inbox by taking advantage of email campaign examples that are expertly designed, eye-catching and, most of all, convert.
“An email marketers’ goal shouldn’t be simply reaching the inbox but also ensuring higher engagement and conversion.” – EmailOut
There are numerous ways to measure your email campaign’s success. However, what your recipients think of your message and how it makes them feel is crucial. Thus, instead of primarily focusing on getting higher raw numbers, give more attention to the visual aspect of your email campaign (the design) – the numbers will follow. To ensure you will be sending more modern, awesomely-designed emails that convert, take a look at the top 10 email campaign examples that will get you inspired and help you stay ahead of the competition.
In this article, we’ll cover the following top 10 email campaign examples that convert:
- Artifact Uprising
- J. Crew Factory
- Cards Against Humanity
Ready to dive in?
In 2020, according to recent email marketing stats, roughly 306 billion emails were sent and received daily with the number predicted (and expected) to increase in 2024 to over 361 billion daily emails. For an email marketer, these stats are drool-worthy. Yet, with a lot of recipients simply skipping emails without bothering to open them or worse, reporting them as spam, email marketers must find new and engaging ways to capture their target audience attention.
Your old email campaign templates have probably worked pretty well so far delivering a satisfactory ROI, but… why settle for good when you can have great results. Thus, take your email marketing campaign to the next level by crafting eye-catching, creative, high converting emails that will motivate your recipients to take immediate action. How? By drawing inspiration from email campaign examples that have proven to be successful.
Top 10 Amazing Email Campaign Examples
You’ve been sending and receiving emails for years. In fact, you have most certainly received some quite questionable and poorly designed emails in your inbox. Whether such email marketing campaigns were unexpected, uninformative or had subject lines with some disturbing formatting such as “uRgEnt SAle – ONly toDAY!!!!”, I bet you didn’t even hesitate to delete them or report them as spam, I am right?
Email has managed to stand the test of time, yet some email marketers fail to update their email marketing strategies to ensure email campaigns will warrant the recipients’ precious time and attention. If you want to stand out and shine in the inbox then you will certainly have to carefully think through your email campaign’s design – from grid layout through the subject line to content and call-to-action (CTA). Your target audience plays a crucial role in the overall look and feel of your email marketing campaign, so don’t forget about those precious subscribers/clients when browsing through and adapting one (or more) of these top 10 email campaign examples that convert.
Medium.com’s “Daily Digest” email campaign is the perfect example of an excellent, highly-personalised email marketing campaign. The five elements making this campaign the epitome of “the most wanted” email are –
1) personalisation based on the users’ preferences and interests
2) a featured article that also matches the subject line
3) recipients are given a heads-up on the read-time
4) the author recognition offers a more personal feel
5) categorisation of content makes it easy to scan
PayPal’s email contains many elements recipients will love seeing in an email campaign. The opening copy is not only clever and concise but the overall concept reflects a relatable benefit of using the company’s service. Furthermore, both call-to-actions are strategically placed and emphasise on providing further information about the service.
Imagine this – “You are having a nice time catching up with friends over some mouth-watering food, however, when the bill comes everyone starts fussing about paying it.” This is such a common pain-point and PayPal’s tapping into it by piquing the interest of the recipients with an easy solution – the PayPal app.
First thing Evernote users receive when they sign up to the service is a welcome email which advises the recipient to download the product app. This email campaign example has a clean and simple design, to-the-point copy, sticks to the company’s style, a clear call-to-action (CTA) and acts as a continuation of the conversation that the user started when visiting the website and signing up for the service. Evernote generated more than 200M users, proving this email campaign design works.
An email campaign without a call-to-action (CTA) is like an email marketer who doesn’t send marketing campaigns – unthinkable. Therefore, make sure every email marketing campaign includes at least one call-to-action. However, stay away from boring, overused CTA button copy such as “read more” or “click here”. Instead, go for a catchy, fun, action-driven, unique and relevant copy as Trello did in their campaign. For example, if you want to drive more email sign-ups rather than using “signup here” get more creative (but don’t do it simply for creativity’s sake) with something like “Be Smarter” or “Learn Our Secrets” or “Join The Troops”.
Did you notice the neat, simple design? It’s easy to navigate, gives the reader exactly what they need without annoying them and provides highly-relevant information.
5) Mint (Intuit’s personal finance app)
Mint’s email marketing campaign is an excellent example of a successful campaign for two reasons –
1) a catchy headline – the word “credit” scares most people and when you read it in an email it will certainly give you pause.“How much do I really know about my credit?”, “Are credit myths fooling me?” – all questions arise from reading one simple word poking at the recipient’s curiosity and that’s exactly why they will open and engage with the email.
2) no overwhelming zig-zag design elements just clean, simple lines – Mint’s use of colour pops and high-quality imagery in precisely on-brand and perfectly reflects the simplicity of the platform. The visuals which are highly-relative to the topic of the email help complete the overall feel of the campaign.
6) Artifact Uprising
Artifact Uprising’s email campaign is a shining example of breaking the boring email design mould. By utilising one of the top email marketing trends for 2021 – the broken grid layout, the company not only succeeds at creating a compressed replica of their website’s style but also delivers a relevant message that’s on par with the company’s branding.
The three reasons why this email campaign example works are –
1) branding is consistent – successful branding does not always need big bold letters, screaming colours and a gigantic logo. In their email marketing campaign, Artifact Uprising uses fonts and imagery throughout the body which are directly pulled from the guide that’s being promoted. This approach creates a seamless experience for the reader as they scroll and click-through the email campaign.
2) hooks readers with descriptive copy – every section in the layout with an image is complemented by concise, easily digestible copy. The clever part of the campaign is the fact the email promotes a guide offering 6 Tips To Photograph Spring, however, the email only has two tips leaving the recipient hungry to know more. No one likes the Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO) and Artifact Uprising is creating a sense of urgency which inspires immediate action.
3) perfectly placed call-to-action – three completely different, yet quite obvious CTAs are sprinkled throughout the copy. All with the same goal, inspiring the recipient to get the guide giving them more than one chance to do so.
Rothy’s promotional email to people who’ve opted-in to the company’s marketing correspondence but have yet to make a purchase is yet another amazing email campaign example that works. There are two distinct reasons why this email campaign example stands out –
1) not only is there an animated element at the top of the campaign, but the GIF in the body taps into most peoples’ default response to SMS/direct messages – they simply can’t resist temptation and have to read them.
2) the campaign utilises actual names, genuine and authentic conversational elements and images (i.e. the kitty) that look and feel as you’re eavesdropping on someone’s conversation. A sense of curiosity creates a sense of urgency and a desire to know which, to have a successful email campaign, is exactly what you need and Rothy’s have nailed it.
Dormant email lists with little to no engagement can be harmful and bring no value to your business. Yet, Beardbrand has found an original, creative and unique way to re-engage inactive subscribers and bring the brand at the top of the subscribers’ minds.
The subject line of the re-engagement campaign “How fast can you grow?” is enough to pique the recipient’s interest. (I certainly would have opened it if I had a beard!) Furthermore, rather than focusing on the fact people have been inactive for two or three months, the brand built its re-engagement email campaign on the simple fact that “human hair grows about 0.5 inches a month” followed by “your beard grew 1.5 inches since your last visit.”
This smooth and unique approach allows the brand to outline the recipient’s inactivity without the guilt-trip. Afterwards, Beardbrand swiftly changes the topic to their products with a clever twist – “While you can’t make your hair grow faster, you can make it healthier.” Shockingly, the key to healthy hair is……? You guessed it, Beardbrand’s products.
Once the smooth engaging intro has piqued the subscriber’s interest, the brand goes for the gold and wraps up their re-engagement email by showcasing product recommendations –
Yet, instead of using a boring CTA like “Recommended Products”, the brand triggers the recipients’ FOMO with a brilliant call-to-action – “Check out what I’ve missed.”
9) J.Crew Factory
For many of us, present wrapping poses a huge struggle. J. Crew Factory noticed and recognised this pain-point and subsequently, created an email marketing campaign offering a solution to all those DIYers who can’t pull off a Pinterest-professional wrap job – gift cards.
The email’s design is clean and concise, offers two options for picking up gift cards (two clear CTAs) and lowers the purchasing barrier even further by including a map of the nearest store location at the bottom of the email. There is even a discount. What could be more enticing than that?
10) Cards Against Humanity
This might be an old Black Friday email campaign example by Card Against Humanity, yet it’s pure brilliance and I couldn’t stop myself from sharing it with you. It’s exceptionally sarcastic, completely insane, cynical and, to say the least, quite unusual type of email campaign to send out BUT… it grabbed your attention when you read it, didn’t?
What’s even more unusual is that the company is announcing its online store will be closed for Black Friday. Moreover, they are asking recipients to give them money for no apparent reason via a call-to-action that’s completely against email design best practices.
Did this email campaign succeed? It did. It turned out the company (also known for its charitable fundraising) managed to raise $71,145 by offering absolutely nothing. The follow-up campaign revealed where all those donated money went. So, were people giving money for nothing? You can read more about this awesome email campaign here.
Occasionally, even the best and brightest of email marketers can get stuck while crafting a perfect design for an email marketing campaign. If you’ve reached this far then you’ve checked out all the email campaign examples. Did you notice anything?
Some of the email campaign examples had a great copy, others were all about design, and then some were simply brilliant and quite entertaining from top to bottom. There is not one single simple and amazing way to create a great email marketing campaign. What worked for all those companies in the email campaign examples listed may not work for you. It’s trial and error. However, it always pays off to follow best practices and A/B test your email campaigns before you unleash them into the world.
Regardless of your goals, there is always room for improvement. For some of you, it’d be small tweaks to the design, for others – top-notch copywriting. No matter what needs improvement, all these email campaign examples aim to get your creative juices flowing and inspire you to create a campaign that will convert – and perhaps even be featured in one of EmailOut’s upcoming articles.