If you’ve been doing email marketing for a while, you’ll likely know who your audience is. If you’re just getting started, you’ll have to make some educated guesses so you can target your content. Don’t worry; you’ll start collecting subscriber info the minute you send your first campaign, so next time round, you’ll have real data to work with.
26 Examples of Brilliant Email Marketing Campaigns [Template]
On any given day, most of our email inboxes are flooded with a barrage of automated email newsletters that do little else besides giving us another task to do on our commutes to work — namely, marking them all as unread without reading or unsubscribing altogether.
It may not seem like a good idea to add to all the noise. However, according to Constant Contact, the average ROI for email marketing is $42 for every 800 spent. Needless to say, email is an important component of a marketing strategy, and its success relies largely on how well you craft your email campaigns.
What Is an Email Marketing Campaign?
An email marketing campaign is a series of emails a business uses to communicate with current and potential customers. This planned content is distributed via email with the goal of accomplishing a specific goal for the organization such as nurturing leads or encouraging engagement.
Through email, you’re able to stay top-of-mind by providing communication to their personal inbox, and you can do it at scale with marketing automation software. It’s important that an email campaign’s recipients have opted in to receive this content and that each piece offers something valuable.
- Traffic generation – Email can be an effective promotion channel for the high-value content you create on your website.
- Awareness – Not everyone who opts into your email list is ready for a purchasing decision. You can use email marketing to stay top of mind while providing the educational content that is most relevant to them.
- Lead nurturing – As you stay top of mind, you may also consider ways to identify the leads you have with the highest purchase intent and provide conversion-focused content that "nurtures" them toward a sale (or at least toward becoming sales-ready).
- Revenue generation – You can create email marketing campaigns for your existing customers to promote upsell and cross-sell opportunities. You can also create campaigns to capture a sales conversion from leads who are close to a purchasing decision. (One example might be creating "abandon cart" campaigns for recovering lost sales conversions.)
Email Campaign Types
To build relationships with your audience and increase revenue with email campaigns, you need a professional email service. It will help you design beautiful emails without any technical skills, increase email deliverability, and automate routine tasks. There’re lots of players in the email marketing game today and they largely provide the same features. They only differ in prices and the features and email volume of their free plan.
|Free plan/trial limitations||500 subscribers, up to 15,000 emails per month||2,000 subscribers, up to 12,000 emails per month||30-day free trial||30-day free trial|
|Automation||✔ (+ SMS and web push notifications)||✔||✔||✔|
|Drag and drop editor||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|24/7 technical support||✔||✘||✘||✘|
How to Design an Email Campaign
- Use an inverted pyramid method. An inverted pyramid makes emails easy-to-read. Structure the content from the most significant parts at the top to the smallest at the bottom — it should look like a funnel. On top, there is usually a large image, then comes the narrower text section, and at the bottom, there is a call to action, the smallest part. Such design will ‘deliver’ your reader to the CTA at the end of your email.
- Leave air in the text. Mind that during the years that emails have existed, people have gotten used to reading dark text on a bright background. An abundance of vibrant colors may overwhelm the readers and make them leave the page, blinded. Separate the text in emails into small bites. Save room between the text blocks, images, and buttons.
- Keep your brand’s identity. Use email campaigns as an extension of your brand’s website and social media pages. Keep the set of colors, fonts, and tone of language in the same fashion throughout all of your brand’s marketing spaces. Otherwise, your emails will look unprofessional and cheap, or unrecognizable by the customers.
- Work out a relevant design. Create a design that corresponds with the goals of your email campaign. Remember, a regular newsletter and Valentine Day’s celebration email differ from one another because they both provide a different kind of value. You can use SendPulse email templates for your email campaigns for free and simplify this process.
- Implement a responsive design. Modern adaptive designs is a must in today’s email marketing. Using a responsive design makes your emails look professional from any device, whether it’s a desktop, a mobile phone, or a tablet. All emails made with SendPulse has a responsive design by default.
- Use helpful resources to speed up the process. There are a few sites of stock photos, which stand out from the crowd of uniform, corporate resources: Death to The Stock Photo, Unsplash, and Gratisography. There are also tools for creating images like PlaceIt and Canva. Besides, you can use colossal icon libraries like Elegant Themes and Dry Icons for your email marketing campaigns.
If you don’t have time to create your own template, you can use editable pre-designed templates. Every email service offers pre-made templates. With such a template, you only need to replace the standard text and images with your content. You can also edit the colors, fonts, background, etc.
SendPulse provides a variety of free templates for any occasion or event. You’ll definitely find a template to inform your clients about an upcoming sale, congratulate them on big holidays, remind them about an abandoned shopping cart, and much more.
If you received an outstanding email and want to use its design, you can do just this with SendPulse. Our Chrome extension allows clients to save any email they like as a PDF, a full-length screenshot, or an HTML template, edit it to your liking and send it to your mailing list. The extension is free.
If you want to increase your brand recognition and awareness, we recommend you create a unique branded subscription form and edit it before sending a campaign. This way, your audience will recognize your design and associate it with your company. Besides, you don’t need to know HTML or have any technical skills to create a professional subscription form.
With our drag and drop editor, you can create an email in less than an hour. Drag the necessary elements to your template, design it to your liking, add videos and links to your social networks. Every email created with SendPulse is responsive by default, so they will look great on any screen resolution.
Step 6. Create Great Optins
Once you know your goals, email type and audience and you’ve attracted people onto your list with targeted optins, it’s time to plan your email marketing campaign. This will give you an overview to use when you start creating the emails in steps #7 through #9.
The first is a welcome email with 3 key tasks you can accomplish in the software. Three days later, there’s another email asking what you need to get done and encouraging you to start using the product. Two days later, there’s an email talking about the Asana dashboard. The series ends with an email two days later, which highlights the calendar view.
Step 10. Focus on Email Marketing Design
Email design matters in any successful email marketing campaign. If your emails look terrible, that reflects badly on you, and can make people stop reading. With more people than ever reading emails on mobile devices, it’s important to use a responsive email template so your email resizes automatically whether people are reading it on a phone, tablet, or desktop.
Most good emails have more text than images. There’s no denying that images make your email more attractive, but know that many people disable images. That means your email still has to work even if people can’t see them.
Our tip: avoid hiding information in images, because that’s bad for email accessibility. And remember to use alt tags to describe images so people who’ve disabled them know what they’re supposed to see. A good description might make subscribers enable images, which will make your emails look even better.
Email marketing campaign
If you’d like to keep in touch with our support team through online chat or email, upgrade to our Essentials plan starting at $11 a month. Whether you’re hitting a roadblock with an email you’re writing or want more information about how something works, help is available around the clock. And when you’re ready to take your email marketing to the next level, we have plans for that, too.
Email marketing strategy and tips for successful campaigns
The first email, sent by Ray Tomlinson in 1971 or 1978 depending on your source, marked the beginning of the modern communication era. The message was nothing special, a series of numbers and letters that looked more like a password than a message, but its significance was profound.
Gary Thuerk, a Marketing Manager at Digital Equipment Corp, sent the first commercial email years later, where the message reached a list of email addresses. And voila, email marketing was born. There were only a few hundred people on the list, but that was enough for Thuerk to claim the mantle, "Father of Spam."
“The biggest benefit of Mailchimp’s email builder is that it’s easy to use. From quickly loading in our color palette and our brand font, we can make emails look and feel like an extension of our website very easily.”
4 Steps to get started with email marketing
Step 1: Understand the goal of your email campaign
Understanding the goal of your campaign gives your efforts direction and helps you achieve tangible results. Make sure your email campaign goals are aligned with the larger goals of your business and have a positive impact on your bottom line.
Step 2: Define your target audience
For better conversions, you should segment your subscribers for each campaign. You can segment subscribers based on a variety of factors — from age, gender, and location to interests, preferences, engagement levels, and online activity.
Step 3: Choose your email campaign type
Welcome email series
Cart abandonment campaigns
Since cart abandoners are people who have already shown interest in your store and products, you can woo them back with reminders, creating urgency, and offering incentives like discounts and free shipping.
Other email campaign types
- Announcement emails: These email campaigns announce new products, sales, events, holidays, and anniversaries to subscribers.
- Holiday emails: These emails are sent around the holidays to take advantage of the increased shopping activity around that time. Brands can offer holiday discounts, flash sales, bundles, and more to trigger purchases and increase order value.
- Invitation emails: Brands that regularly organize events, launch parties, webinars, and conferences can send invites to gather more registrations and attendees.
- Promotional campaigns: These emails are sent to promote your products and services, such as by highlighting features, showcasing reviews and testimonials, and adding CTAs to purchase or learn more.
- Seasonal campaigns: These emails are sent around specific times. For example, a clothing store can promote their beachwear collection during the summer, showcase jackets and coats during the winter, and share gift ideas for moms around Mother’s Day.
- Triggered email series: These emails are triggered based on specific actions of your customers. For example, a welcome series can be triggered as soon as a contact joins your list, or an abandoned cart series can be triggered three hours after a shopper abandons their cart.
- Post-purchase drip: These emails are sent after a customer buys from your store to maximize their experience and increase your revenue. For example, you can update subscribers on their shipment, ask for a review, and offer a discount on their next order.
- Connect-via-social campaigns: These emails allow subscribers to connect with your brand on social media. You can incentivize this by offering subscribers free credit or loyalty points for following you on your social media handles.
- Testimonial request emails: These email campaigns are sent to gather feedback and reviews from existing customers. You can ask subscribers to leave a review on your website or social media, or give a star rating on a review platform.
Step 4: Choose the perfect time to send your email
If you send out an email campaign at 3 am when most of your subscribers are sleeping, your email will likely get buried under the huge pile of other emails that will land in your subscribers’ inboxes when they wake up the next morning.
Tips to create a successful email marketing campaign
1. Choose a relevant email list
For example, a regional deal or event from a brand with international presence should be targeted only to the relevant regional audience. Other ways to segment for a highly relevant audience include demographics such as age group or gender
Be wary of unethical ways to collect emails, such as buying email lists. This is not only bad for your engagement and conversion rates, but it can also get you blocked or marked as spam by email service providers (ESPs.)
2. Design your email
- Apply your branding: Add your logo, use your brand colors and fonts, and keep the design aligned with your visual brand identity.
- Add white space: Let your email content breathe by adding white space, or blank areas, around the text and visual objects. This helps your email design look clean and professional, and makes the information easier to read.
- Use images: Plain text can make your email look like a boring letter, so add images and GIFs to make your emails more attractive. For example, you can grab attention with a colorful header image.
- Make your emails responsive: Your emails should look great on both desktop and mobile devices. Avoid using large images that don’t load properly on small screens or slow internet.
- Establish visual hierarchy: Use alignment, varying font sizes, and other visual hierarchy principles to organize your email design elements.
3. Personalize your email subject line and content
By personalizing your emails, you can get more people to open and engage with your messages. Need more convincing? Studies show that email personalization can drive up open rates by 22.28% and click-through rates by 3.32%.
4. Be conversational
Keep your emails friendly, approachable and conversational. Talking to your subscribers like you’re talking to someone you know will automatically make your email feel more personal and relatable. This will eventually translate into more engagement and conversions for you.
5. Create follow-ups
You can apply this to various email campaign types — from abandoned cart funnels to retargeting funnels to welcome email series. Here’s an example of an abandoned cart series that helps you recover sales:
Remember, there’s a fine line between following up and being annoying. Space out your follow up emails and limit the number of emails you send. If you don’t, there’s a high chance you’ll get unsubscribed or marked as spam.
6. Send emails from a real person
7. A/B test your emails
A/B testing lets you test two different versions of your email by sending each one to a small percentage of your audience. By analyzing the results, you can see which version performed better and send it out to the rest of your email list.
Testing your emails not only allows you to improve your campaigns, but also helps you learn more about your audience — what they like or dislike, and how they interact with your email. This eventually helps you improve your business in the long run.
Best Email Marketing Strategies
Use the Right List Building Strategies
The success of your email marketing campaigns depends on the quality of your email list. To build such a list, you must use list-building strategies designed to attract your target audience. For example, a case study promoted on LinkedIn may help a B2B brand build a list of engaged subscribers but flop when used by a B2C brand.
Practice Good Email List Hygiene
Keep Your List Warm
Focus on One Objective
Design each campaign and email to focus on one objective. Trying to kill two (or more) birds with one stone doesn’t work with email marketing. It only confuses your audience and reduces your conversion rates.
Define and Track the Right KPIs
How to Write Email Marketing Copy That Drives Results
Know Your Audience
Craft a Hard-to-Ignore Subject Line
Get the Preview Text Right
Email preview text appears immediately below or beside the subject line. Limited to a maximum of 140 characters (email client dependent), it acts as an elevator pitch to convince people to open your email. An optimized preview text is an extension of your subject line and reinforces your value proposition.
Make It Easy to Read
Use Psychology to Your Advantage
The best time that your niche audience responds best may be very different from what you see here. For example, if you are an EMCee, your best times could be Friday evenings and Saturday mornings when people are busy making plans.
What is email marketing?
Email marketing is sending emails to customers or (hopefully) soon-to-be customers. When done correctly, it can create strong brand relationships. Consumers feel connected to companies that execute their email marketing strategies well because email allows for a targeted approach.
Email marketing is a tried and true method for reaching potential customers and converting them into brand loyalists. It’s targeted, effective, and efficient, so you can build deep connections with customers even when your marketing budget is small.
With the right email marketing strategy, your brand will continuously discover new leads. And thanks to automation, those potential customers quickly translate to more subscribers and eCommerce sales without much work on your part.
You can personalize each email your brand sends, so that you’re offering each of your customer segments something they value. On top of that, you can track how effective your email marketing campaigns are using automated tools.
How to Grow your Email List (In 3 Steps)
We listed the basic steps to email marketing, but that probably leaves you with more questions than answers. So let’s start at the top. Your email list is everything when it comes to email marketing, which means you need to know how to grow one.
Whatever you choose, it has to be relevant to your business and something your customers want. You might think your grandma’s recipe for chocolate chip cookies is enticing (and it is), but if you’re selling swimsuits, it might not be the best lead magnet.
A lead magnet should be something that lands in the customer’s email inbox. If you have to ship it separately, it won’t have the same effect and probably requires the customer to leave too much personal information. We’re looking for emails, not physical addresses.
Quick to Consume
Relevant, Useful, and Applicable
If it’s quick to consume and the information within it is applicable, your customers will use it to solve their problems. If it works, they’ll fall in love with your brand. They become more than customers. At that point, they’re loyal fans.
You gave them something they could use and may have even needed in return for a simple email address. So subscribers are much more likely to click “open” the next time they see your brand is the sender. They can trust that whatever you’re offering is relevant and useful.
The Benefits of Email Marketing
1. Conversions (selling your products and services)
2. Brand awareness
What’s great about email is that it lets you reach someone directly. It’s one-to-one communication at its best. And people don’t just let anyone into their inbox these days. It’s a curated space reserved for favorite brands and publications.
Showing up in someone’s email inbox will help your brand stay current in the minds of subscribers. A personalized marketing email is more impactful than a social media post where you can’t be sure if someone has actually seen your message. 🤷♂️
3. Customer loyalty
Email drives customer loyalty at every stage of the buyer journey: lead-nurturing, conversion, onboarding, retention. As well, email marketing is a necessary tool to use alongside sales CRM systems to streamline communication.
Internet Service Providers (ISPs) like Gmail, Outlook, Yahoo, etc. are designed for personal use — not for email blasts. Although they’re free to use, they’re not free bulk email senders. So when a mass email is sent from an ISP, it’s easily flagged by spam filters and your account can be disabled for suspicious activity. 😔
ESPs, on the other hand, have the necessary infrastructure in place to ensure good email deliverability rates — i.e., the ability to land emails in your subscribers’ inboxes. If you want to set yourself up for email marketing success from day one, get yourself a dedicated email marketing service.
How to choose an email service provider
- What’s your budget? If it’s very limited, then cheap email marketing services should be your starting point.
- What kind of emails do you plan to send, and how often? This’ll give you an idea of your required email volume (i.e. number of email sends).
- If you’ve already got a list of opt-in contacts, how many are there?
- What’s your skill level when it comes to designing emails? If you’re a complete beginner, you’ll want a drag-and-drop email editor. Email templates will also come in handy. On the other hand, if you prefer to code emails from scratch, you’ll be on the lookout for an HTML editor.
- Do you plan to set up automated email workflows? See what the ESP offers in terms of email marketing automation. Some solutions only offer basic autoresponders.
- If your business communicates with different buyer personas, what contact list segmentation capabilities are offered?
- Will your business be sending transactional emails? (Note that these are not considered email marketing.) Some folks like to manage these emails with a separate service, while others prefer all emails under the same roof with a tool like Sendinblue.
It’s also a good idea to consider your future needs. Found an ESP you like? Do some simulations: “If my list grows to x, how much will this ESP cost? If I want to add x to my strategy, does this ESP have the feature-set to support me? What sort of integrations or apps will I be able to add on?”
How much does email marketing cost?
As you’re exploring different options, you’ll notice most providers base their pricing on the number of contacts on your email list. This pricing model can be attractive to those just starting out, but costs rise considerably once your list grows.
How to get email lists for marketing
It means they agreed to receive emails from you when they entered their email address into an email signup form on your blog, website, landing pages, social media, or anywhere else. In email terms, this consent is referred to as an “opt-in.” (“Opting out” would be an unsubscribe.)
Add signup forms to your website and other places
Typical subscription form hotspots include blog posts, the homepage, and contact page. Creating a pop-up form on your website can be a good idea, too. Just make sure not to disrupt the user experience too much. Pop-ups that prevent visitors from using your site can be big deterrents! (Think of your signup form placement like your call-to-action placement.)
Use lead magnets
Guarded content like ebooks, reports, checklists, or infographics are great ways to grow your contact list. Visitors get valuable content in exchange for joining your newsletter list. It’s a win-win! 🏅Check out these content marketing hacks for more ideas and inspiration!
How to write a marketing email
How to define an email marketing strategy
How to design a marketing email
There’s no need to get hung up on creating fancy, elaborate emails. More importantly, you should focus on creating an email that embodies your brand, whatever it may look like. Oftentimes, this means keeping it simple. You can always build upon this later on as your skills grow.
Email Marketing Campaign Strategies & Best Practises
While it’s a good idea to keep your mind open to new ideas, inspiration, and trends, it primarily helps to take action, keep testing to find out what works, and then improvise on it with further optimization.
Welcome Email Campaign
Announcement Email Campaign
Holiday Email Campaign
Seasonal Email Campaign
Email Nurture Campaign for Re-engagement
Email Campaign Designs & Templates
When sending out emails as part of your email campaign, you must choose between text and HTML formats. While text allows for excellent deliverability, a beautifully designed HTML newsletter often converts higher.
Sender features a high-quality drag and drops editor that allows you to design your HTML email newsletter from scratch. Often you can do this using pre-made templates without having to write a single line of code or work with a mockup, graphics editors, for that matter.