Email Marketing: A Comprehensive Guide for 2021
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Email Marketing: A Comprehensive Guide for 2021

This is the most complete guide to email marketing examples online.

We’ve compiled 31+ email marketing examples from real brands and organized them by type, industry, and season.

Enjoy the article in full, or jump to a section by using the table of contents below. 

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Table of Contents

1. Email Marketing Examples by Type

2. Email Marketing Examples by Industry

3. Email Marketing Examples by Season

4. Email Marketing Best Practices

1. Email Marketing Examples

In Part 1, we’ll share our favorite email marketing examples by type. Whether you’re looking for abandoned cart emails to recover lost sales or new arrival emails to launch new products, we have you covered.

Referral Email Examples

A well-timed referral from a trustworthy source carries more weight than any or all marketing efforts combined. 

In fact, recent research found that:

  • Consumers find word-of-mouth to be two to 10 times more reliable than paid advertisements;
  • Referred customers are four times more likely to refer your brand to others; and
  • Leads from referrals have a 30 percent higher conversion rate than the leads generated from other marketing channels.

It’s no surprise, then, that many retailers have an automated referral email for new customers.

At Sleeknote, we notice two types of referral email turning up in our swipe file: 

  1. Offering a discount and; 
  2. Offering an amount off a future purchase.

For the former, we’ll share the below example from fashion brand Weekday.

With a minimalist, yet aesthetically pleasing design, the brand reminds readers “sharing is caring” before offering a 15 percent discount off a future purchase in exchange for referring a friend.

Weekday Email Marketing Example

When clicking “Refer Friends,” Weekday takes you to a page on its website where you can complete the required details through a dedicated popup.

Weekday Email Popup

Travel company Away, by contrast, frames its referral program with the memorable tagline, “Give $20. Get $20,” before explaining the offer beneath.

Away Email Marketing Example

Much like Weekday, Away takes the reader to a dedicated page on its website, but opts for a more complicated process of having the reader log in first before making a referral.

Away Login

There are countless e-commerce systems for driving referrals once a reader is on your website, but it begins with having a good email and an unbeatable incentive.

Announcement Email Examples

When it comes to e-commerce marketing, awareness is everything. Even if you have a game-changing product that will revolutionize your industry, you won’t have much of an impact if nobody knows about it. 

You need to be able to get the word out quickly and reach the maximum percentage of your target audience. One of the most effective ways to do that is through announcement emails.

One of our favorite announcement emails comes from Bose, a brand known for specializing in audio equipment like headphones, speakers, and wearables. 

The company has a reputation for innovation, which is evident from this email that announces the unveiling of one of their most revolutionary products—the new Bose Frames. 

Bose Annoucenment Email

Source: Really Good Emails

It’s one of the most innovative new gadgets on the market and allows users to listen to audio without having to wear headphones or earphones. Instead, the audio comes directly from the sunglasses. 

Bose did a great job of getting the word out and addressed three key questions:

  • What’s going on? Bose launched an amazing new product that features groundbreaking technology. 
  • Why should the reader care? This product allows them to discreetly listen to music and have an immersive audio experience, while still being able to engage with the world around them. 
  • What do you want them to do about it? Click on one of the “View Details” CTAs to learn more about the product.

Once a reader clicks on it, they land on the Bose Frames product page where they can fully explore and watch videos.

Bose Product Page Example

There are countless announcement emails to learn from, but if your goal is to turn heads with the launch of a new product, this is definitely an email that you can take a page from. 

Product Launch Email Examples

Around 30,000 new products are launched each year. Unfortunately, 95 percent of them fail. It’s crucial, then, that you inform your audience, and educate them when unveiling new products.

Willo, a brand that sells “an automated oral care robot designed to replace the toothbrush and give everyone a dynamically consistent clean,” takes product launch emails to new heights.

The brand uses cutting-edge technology to not just simplify toothbrushing but ensure a much deeper clean than what traditional oral care products can offer. 

Here’s the first thing a reader sees when they open the email.

Willo Product Launch Email

(Source: Really Good Emails)

There’s super simple yet eye-catching copy that says, “The countdown has started…” along with a picture of Willo. This instantly grabs a reader’s attention and gets them to take notice.

The copy piques their interest and creates a nice build-up that makes many readers want to scroll down to learn more. When they do, they see the following announcement. 

Willo Product Launch Email 2

Willo lets readers know the product will be live in 24 hours and they’ve been chosen to receive an exclusive update. “People like things that are exclusive,” explains Zach Heller of Business 2 Community. “They want what others covet. They want things that signal to the world that they are one of a select few. It’s in our nature as consumers.”

The brand also lets readers know when their e-commerce site will officially be opening and that 1,000 units will be available to their “pioneer members.” 

Below that, Willo offers an “Exclusive Pioneer Code,” which allows readers to make their purchase. And at the bottom of the email, there’s a brief video that offers a nice intro to the product.

In just over two minutes, Willo provides a fairly detailed overview that helps readers understand the ins and outs and know exactly what separates this product from the competition. 

Willo effectively gets the word out and provides readers with the critical information they need without rambling on about it. The email looks great visually, and with minimal cognitive exertion.

New Arrival Email Examples

An important characteristic of a new arrival email is to tell customers what’s different about your product—both in your store as well as among your competitors.

You shouldn’t go around listing every little detail, of course. Simply mention three to four key benefits at the most to keep the message short, concise, and effective.

Take this new arrival email from J.Crew, for example. 

J. Crew New Arrival Email Example

The fashion retailer opens its email with an eye-catching GIF, showcasing its new July Collection. From there, J.Crew invites you to “Shop new arrivals,” before continuing with the following headline:

J. Crew New Arrival Email Example 2

Beneath the headline, you can preview the many new arrivals in all their glory, highlighted by a colorful backdrop.

J. Crew New Arrival Email Example 3

What’s most interesting, though, is each item has its own unique URL to a product page. If you click shorts, for instance, J.Crew takes you to that collection on their website.

For the reader, it’s convenient to click on what they want, rather than have to browse the entire collection. For J.Crew, however, it’s a brilliant way to track which items drive the most clicks in its email.

Promoting new arrivals is one thing, but personalizing links by item is a nice added touch, and few brands are capitalizing on in their email campaigns.

Win Back Email Examples

What is one thing that makes a marketer’s heart sink perhaps more than any other? Seeing your emails, with their specially crafted copy and hand-picked subject lines, lying unopened in your subscribers’ inboxes.

Before you start jumping to conclusions about all the negative opinions your subscribers might hold about your brand, consider that perhaps they just don’t know you well enough.

It’s possible that your brand or products seemed interesting enough, in the beginning, to sign up to your email list, but over time other things got in the way. 

Or maybe your product range didn’t catch their eye back then, and they didn’t have a chance to see all of your new and exciting additions. That’s where a little refresher can be helpful.

A win-back email offers an opportunity to remind your subscribers of what your brand is all about, and what you have to offer right now. 

That might mean your value proposition, current promotions,  or a showcase of your latest products and content, as LastObject does:

Last Object Win Back Email Example

Right away, they get to the heart of the matter: you’ve been an inactive subscriber and you probably haven’t seen all the new things they’ve been up to. 

First, LastObject shares two articles from its blog on how to lead a zero-waste, sustainable lifestyle. These immediately engage you with their core brand values of eco-friendliness, sustainability and activism, making it about more than just sales.

Next, they give you a taste of their expanding product range. LastObject is probably most well-known for it’s reusable LastSwab, which went viral on social media a while back, and so it’s likely that many of their subscribers are unaware of their new innovations. 

This email hopes to change that, with quick descriptions and calls to action to learn more.

Last Object Win Back Email Example 2

Refresher emails are a way to remind your subscribers why they joined your mailing list in the first place and keep your brand fresh in their mind, without the need for a discount or coupon.

What they are not are overly salesy or aggressive. Like LastObject, it’s important that your email nudges rather than demands, with low-friction CTAs and engaging copy. It’s also important that you keep these kinds of emails up-to-date, so you can keep showcasing your latest ideas and improvements.

Thank You Email Examples

Sending an appreciative thank you email to a new subscriber is an ideal way to both confirm their subscription and thank them.

After all, when someone subscribes to your email list, they’re making a big commitment to your brand. 

And if you don’t acknowledge that, you risk them feeling ignored, and maybe even a little resentful.

There are many brands with great thank you emails, and though it was hard to choose, one of our favorites is the outdoors brand Huckberry

Their subject line looks like this:

Huckberry Thank You Email Subject Line

Immediately it creates a sense of community, which continues in the body of the email:

Huckberry Thank You Email Example

By showing their appreciation for new subscribers joining their community, Huckberry makes you feel welcomed and much more willing to invest in their brand and products.

They go on to introduce themselves in a concise but catchy way, with minimum sales-y talk. This is the perfect tone to strike in a welcome email: appreciative, informative, and authentic.

Welcome Email Examples

If you’re welcoming new subscribers to the fold, it’s a good idea to introduce them to your history and your core messages. We humans, after all, love to tell and hear stories. 

Storytelling, particularly in a welcome email, inspires the imagination and engages our interest, to the point that people are up to 22 times more likely to remember stories compared to facts and figures alone.

You can use this to your advantage by introducing yourself to your new subscribers in an intriguing narrative form. Take this example from Johnny Cupcakes:

Jonny Cupcakes Welcome Email Example

This email tells a simple but appealing story of how Johnny Cupcakes started, what they value in their company, and how they want to make you, the customer, feel. 

Jonny Cupcakes Welcome Email Example 2

It flows naturally and feels personal and authentic, encouraging the reader to follow, connect with and invest in the brand. 

And it works. When we read this email, we immediately liked Johnny and the story of his “homegrown” business, so we clicked through to learn more and check out the store.

Abandoned Cart Email Examples

We all know cart abandonment is a problem for retailers so we won’t say anything here that has been said before. But let us ask you a question: have you ever received a vague abandoned cart email with little to no information about your basket?

We have. And we certainly didn’t click through that email. Simply because we couldn’t remember what we added to my cart in the first place. It’s the simplest—yet most overlooked—rule of abandoned cart emails: Including the abandoned items in your emails.

Luckily, Warby Parker is aware of that. That’s why the brand reminds you of your cart items, starting already from the subject line:

Abandoned Cart Email Examples

Warby Parker adds the name of the product you abandoned to their email subject. This way, they help you remember what you had left behind even before you open this email. And when you open the email to find out about the “connection” Whalen felt, this is what you see:

Abandoned Cart Email Examples 2

In it, the company asks if you’re still interested in the product and reaffirms your taste by saying “they are very good-looking.” Warby Parker is also aware that Whalen may not be the perfect pair of glasses for you, and that’s why they cleverly add the note: “We’ve got others.”

Since the name “Whalen” might mean nothing to you, although you intended to buy it once, Warby Parker makes sure to include a product image to refresh your memory. 

Following another best practice in the remainder of the email, the company adds testimonials from their “happy customers”:

Abandoned Cart Email Examples 3

By featuring positive reviews about their product quality, Warby Parker tries to convince you to complete your order with the help of social proof. Overall, it’s a simple, yet effective, abandoned cart email you can easily replicate for your business.

Happy Birthday Email Examples

Bust out the cake, confetti, and streamers. It’s birthday time. 

This is one of the most special days of the year when everyone deserves to be acknowledged and celebrated. It’s also the perfect time for e-commerce brands to send a happy birthday email to their subscribers. 

And research has found that this is something most people are insanely receptive to, with birthday emails having “179 percent higher unique click rates than promotional emails.”

Just think about it. Would you be more likely to open an email wishing you a happy birthday with some type of exclusive deal or discount? Or one with a shameless promotion that you have no interest in?

To understand how to do this effectively, take a look at Stitch Fix, an online styling service. They offer clothing that’s hand-selected by fashion experts based on a customer’s unique size and style. 

Shoppers, first, take a style quiz, and then Stitch Fix sends them quality clothing they can try on at home before buying. 

Happy Birthday Email Examples

Stitch Fix is a brand that goes heavy on visuals, with everything having a crisp, clean look. And their email campaign is no different. 

This particular happy birthday email features a beautiful arrangement of some of Stitch Fix’s products and invites a subscriber to celebrate their special day by treating themselves to a “Fix” where they try on clothing at home and keep their favorites. 

Happy Birthday Email Examples 2

It incorporates succinct yet playful copywriting, saying a reader can “unwrap a box of new clothes and do a little birthday dance around the room.” It also has an excellent CTA that simply says, “Schedule Your Fix.”

The red color contrasts perfectly with the white background, which naturally attracts eyeballs and encourages a reader to visit the Stitch Fix website. When you put it all together, it’s a well-designed happy birthday email and one we’re sure many of their readers were receptive to receiving.

Giveaway Emails Examples

Although marketers primarily work with giveaways to collect email addresses, that’s not their only use case. Effective giveaways, like Prose’s, can also help turn subscribers into customers, and this email is an excellent example of that.

Prose Giveaway Email Example

In this giveaway email Prose, first, invites you to shop for Mother’s Day gifts. To do that, the company opens the email with relatable copy suggesting you buy your mom a personal, custom gift this year instead of flowers and chocolates.

Next, Prose introduces its giveaway by framing it around Mother’s Day:

Prose Giveaway Email Example 2

The prize is straightforward: a gift basket you can win for your mom (or yourself.) But by partnering up with other brands, Prose increases the gift’s perceived value even more.

The email copy “Win all this for you” subtly speaks to your ego. After all, there’s no harm in gifting yourself for Mother’s Day, whether you’re shopping for mom or not.

Prose’s instructions are clear as well. To join the giveaway, you need to place an order by the deadline. The brand doesn’t leave things to chance either. Instead, Prose follows up a few days later to ensure that you’re not missing out on the offer:

Prose Giveaway Email Example 3

With an urgency-driven subject line that reads “Last Day: Enter for a chance to win our gift basket!” Prose reminds you that there’s still time to enter its giveaway.

Knowing that it’s too late to shop for physical Mother’s Day gifts, the company recommends a digital option in the remainder of the email.

Positioned as a “thoughtful last-minute gift,” Prose gives you the option to buy mom a digital consultation that she can take on Mother’s Day (not that her products are necessarily delivered on this day.)

This is a brilliant way to target last-minute gift shoppers and best of all, Prose’s giveaway is effortless to participate. Customers don’t need to do anything extra to get a chance to win (other than spending some money on the Prose shop.)

Moreover, the email also gives Prose a great opportunity to prevent cart abandonment and upsell during checkout, provided they use popups and email reminders.

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Want More Email Marketing Inspiration?

We’ve put together 11 email marketing resources to help you make more from your campaigns.

Whether you’re looking for good email examples or evergreen email subject lines, we’ve got something for you.

You’ll also get immediate access to 24+ other bonus resources, categorized in Notion for your convenience.

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2. Email Marketing Examples by Industry

Each industry has its own unique audience. And how you talk to that audience is crucial in driving higher click-through rates. 

That’s why, in Part 2, we’ll share our favorite emails by industry, such as travel, fashion, and more.

Apparel Email Examples

“People love to buy but hate to be sold to,” at least, that’s what conventional sales training suggests. But research from a report by Marketing Sherpa suggests otherwise. 

In their findings, a staggering 93 percent of people said they would like to receive promotional emails from companies they do business with.

While numbers like the above vary from one industry to another, it does iterate the importance of giving buyers what they want—when they want it.

As we’ll discuss below, though, there’s more to apparel email marketing than blasting out an email to all subscribers. Here are three of our favorite apparel emails from brands that follow best practices. 

i. Launch a Product

With countless product launches bombarding buyers on what feels like a weekly, if not daily basis, one would imagine that those brands are doing their best to differentiate themselves from their competitors. But opening any recent product launch email suggests otherwise. 

Generic, unimaginative, and rarely enticing, many emails leave little to the imagination. And those that do, fail to get the buyer to take any action. One online retailer that does distinguish itself, fortunately, is Huckberry. 

Huckberry Product Email Example

Going beyond general announcement and uninspired imagery, Huckberry leverages benefit-driven copy to invite readers to click through and learn more.

Adding a backstory to a product launch calls for greater effort, of course. But given so few companies leverage good storytelling, it’s an effort worth prioritizing.

ii. Promote a Seasonal Sale

Countless factors go into influencing a product’s revenue performance. But one that’s often overlooked is seasonality. Take a recent email we got from luggage retailer, Away:

Away Seasonal Email Example

Knowing the demand for their products is likely to spike before prospects go away on their summer vacation, Away invites readers to “seize the season,” and “explore the collection” before vacating.

Of course, that’s not to say Away, nor you, for that matter, can’t market your products off-season. But it is something to keep in mind when scheduling promotional emails.

iii. Email With a Reason

Shoppers are cautious when it comes to buying discounted offers. But they’re especially cautious when a product is discounted without a reason. 

Failing to justify a promotion, be it due to launching a new product or clearing out last season’s bestsellers, leaves prospects to jump to their own conclusions. And that’s never a good thing.

To bypass people’s skepticism about promotions, give a reason for running the promotion. We call this the “just because” strategy: you’re running a product or offering a discount “just because.”

Take AYR, as a recent example. The online retailer recently offered their subscribers $40 off dresses. The reason they gave? Because “it’s too damn hot out”:

AYR Discount Email Example

You don’t always need a meaningful reason to run a promotion. “Just because” is often more than enough.

Automotive Email Examples

Admittedly, we’re no car experts. We can barely change a tire. 

We do, however, know a thing or two about automotive email marketing. And we know how potent of a strategy it can be for automotive companies who are looking to nurture leads.

To give you an idea of what that looks like, here’s one of our favorite automotive emails from Subaru, promoting the release of its car model the 2019 STI S209. 

The subject line reads, “Wait…how many s209 are being made?,” which instantly piques the interest of most diehard Subaru fans. And it was the limited production of this vehicle that was the focal point of the email.

In fact, Subaru only made 209 of them in total. The email starts off with a jaw-dropping image of the car, a catchy headline, and a clear-cut CTA that simply says, “Learn More.”

Subaru Email Example

(Source: Really Good Emails)

At a glance, readers know exactly what’s being offered, why they should care, and what action to take. In short, it helps them quickly get their bearings.

And best of all, this information can be found above the fold without having to do any scrolling whatsoever. 

While you certainly don’t want to jam pack the above-the-fold section to the point that it’s cluttered, it’s important to highlight key information so readers don’t have to do too much investigative work. 

Below that, Subaru elaborates on the offer, explaining that the wait is over on this new model, and the first-ever S-line produced exclusively for the US is here. Then, they feature another eye-catching image of a blue model of the S209 and mention the starting price. 

This is followed by the same “Learn More” CTA and they wrap it with yet another beautiful image and listing a few additional benefits, which really crystallizes the promise of the email. 

So, if you’re looking to promote a new car, this is the perfect automotive email example to draw inspiration from.

B2B Email Examples

B2B emails have on average a higher click-through rate than B2C emails. A 2018 study by The Data & Marketing Association found that B2Bs receive 52 percent more clicks than B2Cs (3.2 percent vs 2.1 percent). 

By these numbers, it’s clear that it’s easier to get subscribers to engage if you’re a B2B brand, and the odds are in your favor. If, of course, you nail your B2B email marketing.

InVision is one of our favorite B2B email examples. This digital product design platform that helps companies create better customer experiences.

The first thing you’ll notice about this email is how great it looks visually. 

InVision Email Example

(Source: Really Good Emails)

Featuring a jaw-dropping visual as the one InVision uses here is your ticket to getting your foot in the door and compelling subscribers to check out your email in detail. 

You obviously want to include enough text to get your point across and let subscribers know what the offer is, but strong visuals should be your bread and butter. 

InVision Email Example 2

As for the text, it’s short, sweet, and to the point. InVision lets subscribers know what they’re offering, using clear and concise language and bolding the key features. That way subscribers can quickly absorb important information without having to sift through onerous paragraphs.

If you want to follow InVision’s example, stay focused on helping readers navigate your email with zero friction and you should be good.

E-Commerce Email Examples

When we think of e-commerce emails, we tend to think of promotional emails and the like. But as we’ve seen from reading our emails, not all e-commerce campaigns are created equal. 

Sometimes, engaging in corporate social responsibility, or CSR, not only increases employee engagement, but it also increases how customers rate a company’s products.

When subjects in one study were told that the wine they sampled supported a charity, they rated the wine as tasting much better than those who had not been given the additional information. 

According to Robert Cialdini, who shares the study in the book, Yes! 60 Secrets from The Science of Persuasion, there are two keys to making a CSR program work. 

The first challenge is to persuade prospects and buyers that a CSR program is worthwhile. The second is to find ways to publicize the charitable deeds that you practice without bragging.

One of our favorite CSR examples that illustrates both keys comes from a recent email from Bombas.

Bombas Email Example

Not only are GOOD+ and Career Geara worthwhile causes (both aim to combat multi-generational poverty), but Bombas makes the good deed reciprocal

Bombas donates $25,000 to each organization with each purchase and the customer contributes to not one, but two worthy causes. What’s not to like?

We must mention here that abusing CSR for financial gain is not recommended. Anything otherwise is guaranteed to leave a bitter taste in the customer’s mouth and turn them off your brand indefinitely.  

Nonprofit Email Examples

Email open rates are on the decline. 

According to one report, the average open rate dropped to 21.3 percent in 2020 (with a slight decrease compared to 2019). 

That’s the bad news. The good news is, for nonprofits, open rates are the highest they’ve ever been at 25.18 percent.

One of our favorite charities using nonprofit emails to drive donations is The International Rescue Committee (IRC), which helps people whose lives and livelihoods are shattered by conflict and disaster to survive, recover, and regain control of their future.

IRC Email Example

In one recent email, the IRC invited us to thank health workers in Syria by sending a card.

IRC Email Example 2

When we clicked “Send a card,” the IRC took us to a page on its website where we could add our note of thanks and support.

IRC Donation Page

But here’s where it gets interesting. After entering our name, email, and note, the nonprofit took us to a second page, where we could give a tax-deductible “gift.”

IRC Donation Page 2

Note the progress bar. This wasn’t on the previous page. 

While a percentage of visitors are likely to leave at this stage, a decent percentage will still donate. Why? Because the IRC is using the foot-in-the-door technique

In short, the foot-in-the-door technique is when you get someone to comply with a large request by first asking them to comply with a smaller request.

The IRC first asks you to click through in an email. Then, they invite you to add a note of thanks and support. Afterward, they ask for a donation. There’s a sunk cost at this stage. You’re more likely to give than if the IRC asked outright from the start.

Ask subscribers to give thanks to a cause related to your organization. Then, invite them to give. A decent percentage will follow through.

Travel Agency Email Examples

The travel industry no doubt took a hit with COVID, and 2020 was a rough year for everyone involved. But fortunately, it’s steadily bouncing back. 

In fact, the online travel market alone is expected to generate over a trillion dollars in revenue by 2022, and there’s been a growth rate of 11.1 percent from 2016-2022. 

Nassau Paradise Island, a travel agency that offers hotel accommodations in the Bahamas, does an outstanding job with a recent travel agency email.

What’s interesting, however, is that this particular email was sent out right in the heart of the 2020 pandemic when much of the world was in lockdown and heavy travel restrictions were in place. 

So, unfortunately, physically traveling to Nassau Island was out of the question for many people at the time. But this travel agency took a creative approach where they gathered some of their favorite vacation memories from guests to help readers make the most of their “staycation.” 

Nassau Paradise Island also provided media like a music playlist to help readers create their own personal paradise right at home. The email starts off by asking readers, “Which way to the beach?”

Nassau Paradise Island Email Example

(Source: Really Good Emails)

Then, Nassau Paradise Island offers a quick overview of what the email is about and from there, features breathtaking pictures from some of their customers’ Instagram accounts. 

Nassau Paradise Island 2

Beneath that, they point readers to an app they can download for the sights and sounds of the Bahamas. Finally, they wrap it up with a few more Instagram photos that create a stunning kaleidoscope of colors. 

This travel agency email is the perfect example of how to adapt and create enticing offers regardless of what the current situation is like. 

It’s also a visual masterpiece and shows how you can feature user-generated content to tell a story and instantly grab the attention of readers.

FREE DOWNLOADABLE BONUS

Want More Email Marketing Inspiration?

We’ve put together 11 email marketing resources to help you make more from your campaigns.

Whether you’re looking for good email examples or evergreen email subject lines, we’ve got something for you.

You’ll also get immediate access to 24+ other bonus resources, categorized in Notion for your convenience.

Download Swipe File Now →

3. Email Marketing Examples by Season

So far, we’ve discussed the many different types of emails you can send to your audience. 

That’s the “what” behind email marketing. Now let’s discuss seasonality: the “when.”

In Part 3, we’ll share our favorite emails by season to help you make more money from your emails year-round.

Easter Email Examples

Although Easter is commonly associated with eggs and bunnies, you don’t necessarily need to sell Easter-themed products to leverage this holiday.

If you’re selling products or offering solutions that can help prospects enjoy this holiday better, use them in your emails and frame them around Easter.

Crate and Barrel is one company that does this right. Check out this Easter email they sent with the subject line “Ready for Easter? We are. 🐣”:

Crate & Barrel Easter Email Example

Even before you open its email, Crate and Barrel make you reconsider if you’re ready for the holiday ahead. In the email, the company suggests that you already plan for your Easter table and recommends its relevant products to help you do so:

Crate & Barrel Easter Email Example 2

Crate and Barrel is aware that you’ll celebrate this holiday (and the arrival of spring) at home with close family only. That’s why they give you five tips to get ready for Easter, as well as enjoy being home.

Each tip includes one of the company’s products and links that take you to its product pages. It’s a perfect disguise for product marketing while being helpful and relevant to subscribers.

If you’re looking for an even quicker way to promote your products around Easter, you can take inspiration from West Elm:

West Elm Easter Email Example

Sent with the subject line “Get Easter ready with 20% off dining styles 🍴” West Elm’s email is easy to replicate. Other than the word Easter added to the subject field, the company’s offer is just a regular sale. However, since West Elm cleverly puts it in the holiday frame, it gives you a reason to shop the sale: being ready for Easter.

It’s a smart addition you can use in your sale subject lines in this season, especially if your products aren’t necessarily Easter material. In the remainder of the email, the company cross-sells with items from other categories by using Easter as an anchor:

West Elm Easter Email Example 2

Borrowing the famous fashion term “complete the look,” West Elm casually invites you to check out other categories that are on sale and, hopefully, grabs your attention with one of its many offers, even if you’re not interested in its initial deal.

Fall Email Examples

If you’re in an industry with seasonal inventory such as fashion, you will have products with fall colors and patterns. 

By curating these products in a fall email as J.Crew does, you can revive the fall vibe with little effort.

Prefaced with a play-on-word subject, “In a fall mood…,” J.Crew’s email lists three things you can associate with fall:

J. Crew Easter Email Example

Once you learn the source of J.Crew’s inspiration, you see the brand’s products from a fall color palette, found further down the email:

J. Crew Easter Email Example 2

J.Crew’s email is aesthetically pleasing as it is season-appropriate. With minimal copy, colorful product photography, and two calls to action, the brand offers an email that’s worth emulating for any seasonal email campaign. 

Holiday Email Examples

You might think seasonal email marketing is only about promoting your Christmas sale with a red-and-green holiday email.

While that does work, there’s so much more you can do to increase your revenue with holiday email campaigns. And the best part is, you don’t have to wait until Christmas to have a winning campaign.

If you’ve ever sat down at your computer to find a gift for someone you love, you know that it’s not easy. That’s why companies like Wool and the Gang work hard to simplify finding the perfect gift:

Wool and the Gang Holiday Email Example

While this looks like any other holiday email in the beginning, as you scroll down, you see that the company divides its gift guide into different categories, based on the recipient’s level of expertise…

Wool and the Gang Holiday Email Example 2

…and the type of craft they’re interested in:

Wool and the Gang Holiday Email Example 3

With this email, Wool and the Gang make your gift search easier. Furthermore, the company goes beyond the simple for him/her division and offers you diverse categories to choose from.

So if you have someone in your life, who’s an advanced macrame fan, you know exactly where to start browsing from. This means higher click-through rates, more sales, and happier customers for Wool and the Gang during the holiday season.

Labor Day Email Examples

Labor Day usually coincides with the end of summer and the beginning of the fall season. 

During this period, back-to-school shoppers look for great deals on products they’ll need for the new school year. 

That’s why Labor Day weekend is one of the busiest shopping periods of the year. 

Offering discounts before and during holidays is one of the most common marketing strategies and emails are no exception to this rule. 

However, in the Labor Day email below, mattress retailer Casper takes a different route. 

Opening with the subject, “The limit does not exist,” the email features an animated graph correlating time in bed with happiness. 

Casper Labor Day Email Example

Below that, Casper offers a chance to get $100 off when you spend $1,000 or more on Casper products during the upcoming Labor Day weekend.

Casper Labor Day Email Example 2

The email offers nothing groundbreaking in the way of offering discounts. That’s a given. But the inclusion of a GIF linking the brand and its products to happiness is a tactic few of its competitors would have even considered for its labor day emails. 

You don’t have to do a lot, but going that extra mile, such as engaging the reader in a unique way, can make a big difference to your bottom line during the Labor Day weekend.

Spring Email Examples

We often associate spring with change—both on a material and personal level. Many of us try to rid ourselves of unused items in our living spaces, declutter our office desktops, or break the old, unhelpful habits.

Spring cleaning is a typical reflection of this kind of urge to have a fresh start. While people are busy spring cleaning, companies that help their customers with that are the real winners.

For brands like Bed Bath & Beyond, this is an easy spring email task because they can literally help you spring clean:

Bed Bath & Beyond Email Example

For others, such as Prose, this challenge can be overcome with a little creativity. Offering customized haircare products, Prose knows that it’s not just your house that could use a spring cleaning.

Check this email they send with the subject line “Spring-clean your haircare”:

Prose

In this email, Prose gives you two reasons to buy into the idea of custom haircare and shop their products:

  • You’ll stop using dirty formulas that aren’t good for your hair; and
  • You’ll clean up your shelf.

Prose’s email successfully acts on the spring cleaning angle because they find the perfect connection between their value proposition and their prospects’ needs during this season.

If you want to follow Prose’s example, think about the ways your products help build better habits or improve your customers’ lives—this spring and beyond.

Summer Email Examples

When it comes to writing seasonal emails, there’s no one-size-fits-all formula. 

Summer means one thing for an outerwear retailer and something else for an inflatable pool distributor.

If summer is canceled due to a worldwide virus outbreak, on the other hand, it means something else completely. 

If you’re running a furniture store, however, a canceled summer might even work to your advantage. Joybird has a great example of that.

The furniture and decor store recently sent this summer email with the subject line “Prep for the Perfect Staycation”:

Joybird

In it, Joybird cleverly focuses on the concept of staycation (a vacation spent close to home) to promote its outdoor furniture collection. 

For that purpose, Joybird invites you to “build your own backyard” for the perfect staycation, unsurprisingly, with its products.

Next, the company promotes its summer sale and recommends a few products you can get started with:

Joybird 2

Finally, they invite you to join their giveaway to win store credit:

Joybird 3

While doing this, Joybird consistently uses a summer theme without sounding unrealistic about your possible summer plans.

In short, the company smartly uses the “canceled summer” angle without patronizing you about how you should spend your summer. 

Instead, they suggest a cozy alternative to traveling for a typical summer holiday: staying at home while enjoying your surroundings.

Winter Email Examples

While many brands announce their winter sales in emails garnished with ice and snowflakes, a handful will add the “winter” to their sales.

Abercrombie & Fitch does that well by implementing a “cozy” theme in one of its recent winter emails

Fronted with the subject “Evening forecast: completely cozy,” the company informs you about its winter sale in the email header.

Abercrombie & Fitch

Rather than hard-selling, Abercrombie & Fitch focuses on coziness and staying in, and reflects that theme in the email’s design. 

Abercrombie & Fitch 2

Using GIFs to portray customers at home, the brand evokes a feeling of comfort, while simultaneously promoting its sleepwear line.

Further down, Abercrombie & Fitch recommend products from different categories, using more GIFs to showcase the items:

Abercrombie & Fitch 3

Three days later, the brand follows up with an even simpler email asking, “Too cold to go outside?”:

Abercrombie & Fitch 4

Maintaining a similar design to the previous email, Abercrombie & Fitch drives urgency by mentioning it’s the “last day” to get a discount.

There are many takeaways from reviewing Abercrombie & Fitch’s emails, but one remains top of mind, front, and center.

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4. Email Marketing Best Practices

You can write the best marketing emails in the world, but if you don’t follow best practices, none of the above matters.

In Part 4, we’ll share our favorite best practices by industry to help ensure your emails get read and drive more clicks.

B2B Email Marketing Best Practices

Email continues to be a go-to marketing channel for most B2B brands, with 81 percent using it within the last 12 months. And when it comes to providing a framework for effectively nurturing leads, it was ranked number one.

But here’s the thing. You can’t just slap together a B2B newsletter and expect to have massive success. You need to understand the fundamentals and follow the right formula—one which has been proven time and time again to get results. 

Since having a catchy, attractive subject line is a necessary precursor to getting an email opened, this is the first B2B best practice you need to master. 

One of the most critical elements of writing a winning subject line is to make it the right length. There have been many studies on this, but recent data from Campaign Monitor found that somewhere between 28 and 50 characters is the optimal length

More specifically, they recommend starting with shorter subject lines ranging from 28 to 39 characters, as this is ideal for catering to mobile users with limited screen real estate. 

Given that nearly half (46 percent) of emails were opened on mobile in 2020, this is definitely important. To give you an idea of what this looks like, here’s an example from Trello with 31 characters. 

Trello

Campaign Monitor also references a study by Brian Dean of Backlinko that found slightly longer subject lines with 36 to 50 characters got the highest response rate. 

The Ideal Length for Subject Lines is 36-50 Characters

Our suggestion is to stay on the shorter end of the spectrum initially and then test out some longer subject lines later on to see which ones perform the best. 

E-Commerce Email Marketing Best Practices

There’s a lot to think about when running an e-commerce business. But of all the e-commerce email best practices to consider, none are more important than having a welcome email. 

When a visitor subscribes to your email list, they expect to hear from you. A welcome email is a great way to properly introduce your brand and tell the subscriber what they’ve signed up for.

We suggest sending a series of three welcome emails (once per day) before the subscriber lands in your regular email list. That way, you can show off your brand, set expectations, and even segment subscribers. 

Remember that a subscriber is most engaged right after opting in, so this is a great time to invite them to look at your products or services. If the subscriber buys something during these three days, you can opt them out of your email list because you will now want to include them in a different segment.

Here’s an example of a well-crafted welcome email from Sierra Designs:

Sierra Designs

Offering a small discount to new subscribers is an excellent strategy to get your welcome emails to convert. To ensure your emails reach new subscribers within seconds, you can set up automation for your welcome series in your email service provider.

E-Commerce Email Newsletter Design Best Practices

You can have the best email copy and subject lines in the world, but if your emails aren’t well-designed, following a few core best practices, none of that matters.

One best practice to keep in mind when designing an email is its visual hierarchy, which is a design concept that encourages viewers to engage with content in a certain way. 

There are natural tendencies in how readers consume content, and a visual hierarchy influences their perception of what’s most important, particularly in email.

According to the principle of visual hierarchy, readers tend to follow a page in a z-shaped pattern to consume content. The eyes start in the top left corner and scan across to the top right. 

Then naturally, they move down to the left of the page and back across to the right again. This movement forms an imaginary “Z” shape. There is more than one visual hierarchy. 

Another option, when following email design best practices, is using an inverted pyramid structure for better engagement. The inverted pyramid starts by grabbing attention using brand imagery. Then moving down the pyramid, the writing builds anticipation. This all points to a final call to action.

Blush Design uses the inverted pyramid method in their emails: 

Blush Design

The key to a strong visual hierarchy in your email newsletter designs is an easily scannable hero section. Readers should be able to quickly work through the hero section, consume the following content, and be driven towards your CTA. 

FREE DOWNLOADABLE BONUS

Want More Email Marketing Inspiration?

We’ve put together 11 email marketing resources to help you make more from your campaigns.

Whether you’re looking for good email examples or evergreen email subject lines, we’ve got something for you.

You’ll also get immediate access to 24+ other bonus resources, categorized in Notion for your convenience.

Download Swipe File Now →

Conclusion

Judging from the number of emails in our inboxes, email marketing isn’t going away anytime soon.

We’ll continue to update this page over time with new email examples and best practices.

In the meantime, check out the articles we’ve linked to through this guide to get more email marketing inspiration.

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