When it comes to email marketing, it can be difficult to constantly be creative and come up with innovative campaign ideas. It’s especially difficult if you think you’ve tried everything before, or you have parameters about what you can and cannot create for your marketing collateral (due to branding or industry compliance guidelines).
Below are some creative email marketing examples from a variety of different companies that will help inspire you and provide ideas for your next campaign. Don’t forget that when you try new things, you need to track the results. Email marketing is a project, one that requires planning, tracking and reporting to see what’s working and what’s not. Try using ProjectManager.com, an online project management software, to manage your marketing projects. With that said, let’s get inspired!
1. Taco Bell
Fast food restaurant chain Taco Bell does a great job of creating marketing content that resonates with their audience, and email is no different. They frequently have amusing campaigns that feature movable graphics or interactive elements which make it fun and interesting. Taco Bell’s emails are very bright and use modern graphics, which appeal to their Generation Z and Millennial audiences.
The Lesson: If you have creative freedom and it fits your audience, consider using more modern graphics or interactive elements in your next campaign.
Inside.com is a collection of daily email newsletters about a variety of different topics and industries. In each of these emails, editors curate and write summaries about the top articles for each area. Because this is a lot of text-based information to include in an email, Inside keeps it brief with to-the-point email summaries, then links to the actual article, as well as sharing it via social media or email.
The Lesson: When you have a lot of information to include in an email, make sure you keep it brief and to-the-point, so you keep readers’ interest.
Woot.com is a wholesaler that was acquired by Amazon. Depending on your subscription notifications, they send out one or two emails a day with their top deals for users. They do a really good job of leading with their offers. Woot knows that users are subscribing to the email because they want a good deal, so all their email subject lines contain exactly what is on sale in their email.
The Lesson: Having direct subject lines can lead to a higher click-through rate because users know what to expect in the email. Don’t try to use over-the-top subject lines that aren’t clear or don’t deliver when users click through to read the email.
4. Women’s Health
Another good email marketing example that features clever email subject line use is Women’s Health Magazine. They include titles of the stories that are linked in the email, and they handpick stories that they know are going to be hard to resist for their audience.
The Lesson: They do a good job of market research to determine exactly the type of content their audience wants to read, making their email subject lines difficult to resist. The subject lines are written to make users feel like they are missing out on something if they don’t click through to read the article.
CreditKarma is a SaaS product for consumers who want to stay up-to-date on their credit score for free. The emails are sent completely personalized to each user, leading to higher click-through rates because the user knows it’s containing information personalized for them and their financial status. They regularly send out emails every time a user’s credit score has changed, and follow up with related emails based on the user’s credit score or goals that they set in their profile.
The Lesson: Using personalization through emails can increase customer loyalty and click-through rate.
One unique thing that shoe and fashion company Skechers does that isn’t the norm for emails is a layout that makes the email look more like a landing page. There is navigation at the top for users to click on main categories, such as men and women. While it’s usually recommended to only drive users to a single place in an email so they don’t get overwhelmed, this may be a good way to drive more overall traffic to the website. Tracking all link clicks in emails is the best way to see what links are driving sales.
The Lesson: Users may not be interested in the featured deal in the email but seeing the link to their applicable category may cause them to click and go to the website anyway. This could bring in additional revenue from the email that isn’t directly related to the featured offer.
7. Read it Forward: Crown Publishing
A promotional marketing email from Crown Publishing featured some of the upcoming releases of new books. One of the compelling angles in this email is the upcoming time of year: Summer. People like to feel up-to-date and current with what is available. By telling customers that these books are coming out this year, they are setting an expectation plus also driving excitement for the new releases.
The Lesson: Consider adding the year or day of the week to your emails to make readers feel like they are up-to-date with what’s going on with the latest products or promotions.
Punkpost offers hand-drawn messages in creative greeting cards that are ordered online, which are unique to every recipient. Their target audience are usually creative individuals that like traditional methods of sending cards in the mail but are also digitally savvy and dependent on technology to get things done. Punkpost’s email marketing uses emojis in the subject lines and bodies of the email. It works for them because it’s not overdone and seems natural for their audience.
The Lesson: Consider using emojis in different areas of your email if it makes sense and could add a little visual interest to make emails stand out.
Online fashion retailer Betabrand uses social proof as a compelling argument to click through to one of their most popular products, their dress pant yoga pants. In this example, they included how many pairs of yoga pants they have sold. Because it’s such a large number (two million), it offers strong social proof that if that many pairs of pants have been sold, then it’s likely that as an email subscriber, you are going to like the pants too.
The Lesson: If you have any strong social proof numbers, consider including them in an email campaign.
Ebags frequently has a compelling offer in their emails: the promise of a $10 reward in your account that you can spend on basically anything throughout the site. With rewards, customers can technically just spend the reward and nothing else, but there isn’t really anything on the eBags site that is $10 or less. Consider what kind of restrictions or price point you would need to set when running an offer like this.
The Lesson: By positioning it as a reward, customers think of it more as a gift card instead of a promo code. They also have an expiration date for it, setting a feeling of urgency, causing customers to spend it before the reward expires.
Never Stop Testing & Renovating Your Emails
If these email marketing examples don’t spark inspiration, consider looking through your own email box or subscribing to competitors. Look through related product emails for examples and inspiration.
Even if you are an online retailer, you can also find inspiration from newsletters or emails from publications, as their angles are different, but the way they introduce offers or entice customers to click on a link could inspire your next campaign.
Once you’ve got the creative elements in place for your email marketing campaign, it’s time to execute the project. That requires tools to plan, track and report on how well your push went. ProjectManager.com is a cloud-based project management software, with features like visual kanban boards and a real-time dashboard to track and report on your progress. Try it today with this free 30-day trial.