What Makes A Good Holiday Email Campaign ( 8 Examples)

Good Holiday Email Campaigns

Ah, holidays – the time of year everyone who sells online has been impatiently waiting for.

If there’s time to dazzle your audience, it’s definitely now.

While there are many ways you can impress your customers, nothing beats a stunning holiday newsletter.

To help your holiday emails stand out in the crowd (and the inbox!) better, we’ve gathered eight inspiring holiday email campaign ideas, along with examples and explanations on what makes them so good.

Let’s get you all prepped up for the holiday campaigns now, shall we?

Table of contents:

  1. Order before [DATE] and have it shipped on time for [holiday name]
  2. Here’s your [holiday name] to-do list
  3. We do Holidays our way
  4. You snooze, you lose! The [holiday name] sale will end soon
  5. It’s not all about Christmas, Cyber Monday, or Black Friday
  6. Year in review
  7. Only for you
  8. Didn’t get the gift you wanted?

Bonus: We’ve prepared a free holiday marketing checklist to help you plan, manage, and optimize your holiday campaigns before the hottest sales season.

Get the checklist

Bonus no.2: Also, be sure to sign up for our upcoming free webinar that will prep you up for the holiday sales fever even more!

Reserve a seat

But the businesses who are going to be the biggest winners of the holiday season race aren’t just the ones who can simply manage the increase in customer enquiries and product orders. They are the ones who successfully capture the attention of their target audience and convince them to do the holiday gift shopping at their store.

One of the most effective ways of doing this is through email marketing campaigns. Not just any campaigns, though, they have to be creative, eye-catching, designed with the audience in mind, and sent at the right time. And that’s just the beginning.

Below I’ve gathered six holiday email marketing campaign ideas along with examples from brands who’ve managed to stand out in my inbox. Although this is an entirely subjective opinion, read on to find out the reasons why I think these campaigns are worth remembering.

Also, if you’re unsure about how you can make your emails feel and look special this holiday season, check out our latest holiday marketing campaigns guide. There, we’ve gathered some of the most creative ways you can build your list, craft your subject lines, and design your messages. No matter if it is for Black Friday, Cyber Monday, or Christmas – your campaigns will look great!

Whether you agree with them or not, just let me know by posting a comment below this post. Perhaps you have your own favorite example you want to share with the rest of us? I’d love to see them!

Holiday Email Marketing Ideas

1. Order before [DATE] and have it shipped on time for [holiday name]

Ideally, your promotional campaign should have been running for at least a week before the holiday festivity begins. Naturally, the closer to the big day, the more intensive your marketing efforts should be.

With the holiday just round the corner, some of your prospects might worry whether they’ll have their order shipped on time. That’s why you could make one last attempt to convert them. How? By offering free overnight shipping or running an “order before [DATE] and have it shipped on time” type of campaign.

From: PUMA
Subject line: ⌚ Order before 2pm EST for FREE overnight shipping.

Here’s an email I received from Puma, morning before Christmas Day.

It’s a simple message that includes all the usual elements – a couple of banners, a few links to different secondary offers, a navigational bar, and social media icons.

Puma free overnight shipping email offer for Christmas.

Puma free overnight shipping email offer for Christmas

So why is it so good?

If you’re anything like me, you’re usually running a little behind the Christmas schedule and doing the gift shopping at the very last minute.

And it’s not because you’re hunting for special deals, but because you either haven’t found the perfect gift yet or you haven’t realized that December’s passed right in front of your eyes.

This email was designed with this kind of audience in mind. The late shoppers.

It’s not overly complicated and it doesn’t have to be. It quickly communicates the offer that’s going to get you saved if you still haven’t purchased Christmas presents for your loved ones – Free overnight shipping.

The offer’s first mentioned in the subject line, then again in the preheader, and finally in the banner that’s centrally placed in the above-the-fold part of the email.

Besides the main offer, there are four other elements (secondary offers) that have been purposely emphasized. The sale event, gift cards, gift guide, and Holiday FAQ. All of these are crucial for anyone who’s running late with their holiday shopping, and needs to act quickly.

Although this isn’t the only email that I found in my inbox that revolves around the last-minute shipping theme, in my opinion it was the most effective one for the following three reasons:

  • It was quick to communicate the main offer, which is the free overnight shipping that’ll get you your order in time for Christmas.
  • All elements of the email were used in an effective way – subject line, preheader, and the above-the-fold section all reemphasized the offer.
  • It delivered value by pointing the recipient to the offers they’re most likely interested in, e.g. gift cards, gift guide, or the sale event.

To top it off, the use of the watch emoji in the subject line was a nice addition that made the email stand out even more in my inbox.

Another one that did catch my attention was this email from ASOS. However, their animated GIF and the *terrible* dad joke only managed to get them second place in this category.

Christmas holiday email campaign from Asos.

Christmas holiday email campaign from Asos

Lesson for other ecommerce businesses: Remember when and how your audience is going to read your email. Do they have much time to read through it? Or maybe they’re tight on their schedule and need to act fast? Use this information when designing your message and when it’s needed, go straight to the point with your offer.

2. Here’s your [holiday name] to do list

Holidays are a busy period, both for marketers and consumers alike. Most of us are turn back to the good ol’ pen and paper to put together all kinds of to-do lists.

But what can you do with this information as a marketer? For one, you can create a to-do list your audience will actually enjoy checking and going through.

From: Bonobos
Subject line: Welcome to the Holidays, People.

For this year’s Thanksgiving, I received a neat email from an online retail brand named Bonobos.

Unlike other messages I found in my inbox around this time, this one used hardly any visuals. All it contained was a white to-do list on a dark-gray background.

Bonobos Thanksgiving email to-do list

Bonobos Thanksgiving email to-do list

So why is it so good?

First of all, this email clearly stands out. When scanning my inbox, I actually closed the message first and then had to re-open it, just to take a second look at what I just saw.

Upon a closer look, I’ve noticed that this isn’t just a simple to-do list. At least not one that I’d expect to receive from a brand. It’s more of a list I’d create for myself, with added humor – for example, Memorize cousins’ kids’ names – and hyperlinks that’ll help me complete some of the errands, like Get something nice to wear for dinner.

The humor’s spot on. The copy looks like it was written by someone who understands the target audience very well. The email itself is really easy to scan and fun to engage with. Rather unusual, but I actually enjoyed going through all the points up to the very end of the message.

Lesson for other ecommerce businesses: Stand out, be creative, engage your audience, and show them that you understand them well. Consider using phrases, abbreviations, or hashtags they use in their communication to make your marketing messages more authentic.

3. We do holidays our own way

When you hear the name Black Friday, what’s the first thing that comes to your mind? It’s probably one of the following: discounts, sales, or free shipping.

Most brands hop on the Black Friday bandwagon with the same approach. To sell more, by offering a better deal than what their competitors offer.

But what you don’t expect is that a brand you like will remind you about the mission that drives them. The mission that, most likely, made you choose them in the first place.

From: United By Blue
Subject line: Why We Picked Up Trash Today

Below is the email I got for Black Friday from a brand that I follow – United By Blue. As you’ll find on their website, they sell responsible durable goods. What does that mean? In a nutshell, they sell products for people who care for the outdoors. And for every product they sell, they pledge to remove 1 pound of trash from the Earth’s oceans and waterways.

United By Blue Black Friday Campaign.

United By Blue Black Friday Campaign

Now that you know their story, you’ll also understand where their email’s coming from.

So what’s the email about? It’s a message that explains why for this year’s Black Friday, they decided to do a proper cleanup. Oh, and they called it Blue Friday.

Unlike what you’d expect from a retailer during this time of year, the email doesn’t talk much about their products. Instead, it invites you to learn more about Blue Friday and how to host your own cleanup, and shows you the people who joined them for this wonderful project.

Not so surprisingly, they do also offer a special deal for their customers. But the information about their special sale is only available once you scroll down to the very bottom of the email.

United By Blue Black Friday Sale.

United By Blue Black Friday Sale

So why is it so good?
This one, again, comes down to understanding your audience and answering the question – why did they choose your brand in the first place?

With United By Blue, the answer is pretty simple. It’s because they make products for people who, like them, care about nature. How can they prove that their mission statement isn’t just marketing fluff? With their actions.

Having organized the cleanup and shown pictures of those who participated in it – which include their CEO and Director of Operations – they said more than any regular marketing newsletter ever could.

What’s more, their message is mostly about getting people to participate or even host a cleanup in their own neighborhood. The information about the sale they’re holding for Black Friday comes much, much later.

To sum up, even though this email arrived quite late, i.e. on Black Friday afternoon, it’s very effective. It managed to capture my attention and got me to read it all to the very bottom, where the information about the sale was placed.

Even though it arrived later than any other message I expected to receive that day, it sure made an impact and made me reconsider what I wanted to order for Black Friday.

Lesson for other ecommerce businesses: This may not work for everyone. But if you know your audience well, then you don’t need to use your main CTA button to lead to the sales page. You can focus on content and carry on with your mission, and your audience will follow you.

Are there any other brands that caught my eye because they were doing holiday marketing slightly different? Not many, but the one that has is certainly worth mentioning here.

The team behind Cards Against Humanity once again proved that they know their audience pretty well. Take a look at the following two emails and see for yourself.

Do you think any other brand would get away with closing down their store or simply collecting money to dig a hole nobody could ever find? I don’t.

Cards Against Humanity Black Friday Special.

Cards Against Humanity Black Friday Special

Cards Against Humanity Hole Email

Img. 7 – Cards Against Humanity “We’re Digging a Hole” Email

As you can see, sometimes you don’t need to follow best practices to stand out. Quite the contrary, sometimes it pays off to be different, especially during the holiday season when the competition levels are at their all-time high.

If you want to read the whole story behind their Black Friday campaign, read on what the Cards Against Humanity team have to say about their crazy sale.

4. You snooze, you lose! The [holiday name] sale will end soon

Even though holiday sales last for quite long, some of us still have trouble finding something special for themselves or their loved ones. That’s why marketers keep sending them multiple reminders and last-minute emails, hoping to convert them before everyone goes offline to spend some quality time at the dinner table.

What if there was a way to make your email stand out from all the other reminders out there? Apparently, there is.

From: Casper
Source: Reallygoodemails.com

Like the email from Bonobos, this message doesn’t look much like anything else you’re used to in your inbox. It’s what you usually see when you’re lying in bed, either going to sleep or just waking up. It’s an image that resembles your clock app.

Casper Black Friday Sale Newsletter.

Casper Black Friday Sale Newsletter

When you look closer at the image, you see that each alarm has a special name. Along with witty names, you also find information about the super sale and early bird discount the brand’s currently offering.

Just as you’re starting to get slightly nervous that you might miss out on yet another deadline, you find a comforting message, just below the clock app. It says that you can rest comfortably and even sleep through Black Friday, as you can shop with Casper without even leaving your bed. All you have to do is go to the brand’s website and type in the code: SLEEPIN.

Why is it so good?
Casper is a brand that sells mattresses for your bed. Although to some this may not sound very exciting, they’ve managed to make an impact with their marketing communication more than once.

This is one of those examples. What I like about this email is that it fits in so well with what they actually sell. Bed mattresses, clock app, multiple alarms set not to miss an important date, and finally a discount code with the phrase – sleepin.

The email’s relatively short and manages to quickly communicate that you can shop online, without ever leaving your bed. And of course, you wouldn’t want to leave your bed, even if it was for a great sales event like the ones you expect to see on Black Friday now, would you?

One more thing that makes this email campaign even greater is the second newsletter that comes after it. Even shorter, following the same principle, but this time aimed at people who – despite the reminders – managed to sleep through Black Friday.

Casper Last Black Friday Followup Email.

Casper Last Black Friday Followup Email

What’s most interesting about this email isn’t the humor or its length. It’s the fact that they decided to extend the Black Friday sale beyond the one day.

This is something we’ve been seeing more and more often over the last few years. Brands seem to be wanting the Black Friday craze to go up until Cyber Monday or even later in the week.

Personally, I’d watch out not to discourage customers from shopping when prices are at their standard level, but this is something each ecommerce business has to decide on their own.

Lesson for other ecommerce businesses: Make sure each element of your email reemphasizes what you’re actually trying to say. A good design can often help and deliver the message much quicker than words ever could. But that doesn’t mean you should forget about good copy.

5. It’s not all about Christmas, Cyber Monday, or Black Friday

When referring to the holidays, you might be thinking about Thanksgiving, Christmas, or maybe Hanukkah.

But, there are so many other holidays along the way. They may not be as popular as Christmas, but does that mean you can’t tie them nicely with your brand?

Marketers behind the email marketing campaigns for Casper would disagree.

Let’s take a look at some of their more creative newsletters.


From: Casper

Subject line: That extra hour, though.

This campaign is about celebrating the brand’s most favorite day of the year.

Curious what day it is?

It’s the Daylight Saving Time. Because you can sleep in, one hour longer.

And they’re selling mattresses, pillows, and everything else you need to sleep well.

Now isn’t that brilliant?

Besides the idea for the campaign, what stands out about this email is its design. As it’s always the case with this brand, their message looks beautiful.

Casper Day Time Savings Emails..

It’s simple, contains a clear heading – in fact, the whole typography’s really good – and a single call to action button that says “Party on”.

The descriptive, humoristic CTA button is placed next to a discount code and an animated GIF alarm clock that makes the information about the 10% OFF discount impossible to miss.

Then finally, below the main part of the email body, there’s an additional link that lets you “Find a sleep shop near you”. Yup, not a store, a sleep shop.

One more thing worth mentioning about this email is the top bar, located just below the navigational bar.

It’s very subtle. It contrasts nicely with the email body and since it’s in the above the fold section, it’s quick to inform the email recipients about the latest offer.

If anyone’s just skimming through their inbox, there’s a chance they won’t read the whole email but they’ll see that top bar. And if it captures their attention and generates interest, they’ll definitely scroll down to learn more about the offer.


From: Casper

Subject line: New season? New bed.

Now I don’t want to sound like a big fanboy, which I may have just become, but here’s another great email from Casper that follows a similar line of thought.

It’s using yet another special time of the year, although not really a holiday, to promote their products.

In this email, Casper’s using the end of the summer and the beginning of “slumber” as the key idea behind their campaign.

Casper end of summer campaign email.

Casper’s end of summer campaign email

Similarly to the previous message, we’ve got the top bar summing up the main offer (located above the fold), one single CTA button that says “Start hibernating”, and a nice image with flip flops and warm slippers that accompanies the whole offer.

The copy? We’ve learned to expect this kind of copy from them.

A slightly awkward rhyme (Summer, Slumber), “Sleepin’ season”, “Start hibernating” – all of these tie in with what their business is selling.

There’s no “buy now” or “start shopping”.

It’s more creative than this.

Everything is put together nicely. The email’s short and sweet.

Although the offer itself isn’t new or creative – just another 10% OFF discount – the email campaign just looks good and is a joy to observe in the email inbox.

6. Year in review

When preparing their marketing campaigns, most marketers focus on what they’ve got prepared for their customers. Their blow out sale, free delivery, contest, or new line of products.

Less often, they focus on their customers – what they’ve done and what they’ve contributed to.

“Year in review” is one of the less seen campaigns. Perhaps because it doesn’t scream “buy now” and maybe it doesn’t provide a big return on investment.

At the same time, from my experience at least, it’s one of the most engaging types of campaigns.

Is it going to work for everyone? Probably not.

It should work for brands, services, or SaaS platforms that customers really care about.

It’s not just about summarizing the products someone bought over the year – that wouldn’t work unless these products meant a lot for the customers.

It’s about…

Well, let’s see what it’s all about :).


From: Sevenly

Subject line: Thanks! Because of you…

Sevenly is an online retailer, that runs charity-themed campaigns and gives back part of their profits to those in need.

As you can read on their website, they pledge to donate $7 per purchase in their 7-Day Campaigns and 7% from their cause-themed collections.

So, every time you buy from them, you get that instant positive feeling that you’re doing something good.

The challenging part is that, over time, you may feel less motivated to help out in this way. Especially if you’re not seeing the direct outcomes, like what the money’s been invested in.

To counter this, Sevenly came up with this idea to send out a “thank you” campaign that summarizes just how much the brand and all of those who’ve participated in their campaigns, have contributed over the year.

As you’ll read in this email, in 2017 they’ve raised $4.9 million in donations, 1.7 million people helped them out, 2.4 billion free impressions were made for their selected causes.

Sevenly thank you email.

Sevenly’s thank you email

Why is this email so good?

There are several things that make this email special.

It’s the idea behind the campaign. Summing up all the milestones can definitely help the customers feel that they’ve made a difference in someone’s life.

The sender’s name, aka “from” name, also stands out. In your inbox, it says the email came from “Your Friends at Sevenly”.

If you’re trying to build a community, that’s definitely one way to do it.

As for the design, the email looks nice. It’s not overcomplicated, but the point of this campaign was to provide information to the recipients and thank them for their contribution. It’s not meant to sell.

So, although I can’t say much about the design, it seems to fit with the goal of this campaign.


From: Spotify

Subject line: Everything you need to know about your year in music

Now, there are two emails I really want to show you.

Both of them were sent by Spotify, in different years – 2016 and 2017.

The idea behind them was to summarize everything the Spotify users have listened to over the year. The number of minutes, most popular songs, favorite genres, and so on.

By doing so, they wanted to engage the users, make them reminisce on the things they’ve listened to in the past and have fun analyzing it.

Email Spotify Year in Review

Spotify yearly summary email 2016

And I think they succeeded in this.

In fact, I remember that we’ve had lots of fun sharing the results with our colleagues over the last two years.

I bet it was similar in your office or among your friends, too.

Why are these emails so good?

First of all, I want to emphasize the differences between them.

Except for the most obvious – one’s in English (sent to my colleague), the other one is in Polish (that one’s mine).

The idea behind them was slightly different.

The 2016 one summarized and placed everything in the email. The 2017 one directed you to a landing page where you could have generated the results once you’ve logged in to your account.

I guess the newer one is better for Spotify in terms of activating their users and getting them back to their site.

The other one, however, is more complex and I appreciate it more, mainly because it used dynamic content to personalize the experience for their users.

Other than that, both of them are very nicely designed.

The more complicated one especially, given how different the results could have been for each individual of their customers.

I have to say, aggregating this amount of data and using it to personalize the content for their user – great. Making it pretty at the same time – awesome.

I’m sure this idea could work just as well for other brands. In fact I’ve seen Grammarly, Google Local Guides (example below), and Tripadvisor send out similar “summary” emails.

Unfortunately, they still have a lot to improve, if they want to be as engaging as this inspiring email from Spotify.

Google 2017 highlights email.

Google 2017 highlights email


7. Only for you

Exclusivity is a powerful thing, and marketers have known this for a long time.

The holiday sales season is a perfect moment to remind your contacts that being on your list has its perks.


From: Williams Sonoma

Subject line: 20% Off Fall Decor – Wreaths, Plants & More

williams sonoma holiday campaign email for halloween.

Williams Sonoma holiday campaign email for Halloween

This is a holiday newsletter I’ve received from Williams Sonoma shortly before Halloween.

Design-wise, there’s not much to say about this message. It’s very similar to all the other email campaigns sent out by this brand. Well, consistency in design is a good thing.

Perhaps the only thing that stands out about this email’s design is the uncommon use of the preheader section. You don’t usually see links like “Shop now” or “Find a store” before the “View email with images” URL.

I assume this was done for the mobile audience, but I’m not sure whether this tactic is very practical. As always, it’s one of the things you just have to test on your own.

While there isn’t anything particularly remarkable about this email’s design, the idea behind the campaign is very interesting.

So, if it’s not the design, what makes it great?

Let’s see.

Why is this email so good?

What I like about this holiday newsletter is that it makes the recipients feel special. Maybe not all of them, but the cardholders for sure.

This approach has three clear benefits. It makes their cardholders feel appreciated, and it motivates them to buy more frequently. Plus, WS presented the offer to their entire newsletter audience, so other recipients may feel inspired to join the WS cardholders club.

What’s surprising is that I don’t often see campaigns like this one, although developing one shouldn’t be particularly difficult.

That said, let’s look at one more holiday newsletter template which uses a similar approach.

Mark and Graham holiday fall email campaign.

Mark and Graham holiday email campaign

As you can see in this message from Mark and Graham, right below the navigational bar and above the main headline in the header, there’s a message that says, “Email Exclusive Offer”.

What this tells the subscriber is that this offer is nowhere else to be found. It’s exclusive, unique, and available only to the chosen ones.

If you’re a marketer, you know that offering something like this isn’t difficult, nor expensive.

All you need is to offer early access to your new product lines, exclusive products, additional bonus points, free shipping and returns, or additional content that’s available only through email.

Lesson for other ecommerce business: What’s the benefit of being your subscriber or a loyalty club member? If you figure this out, make sure to communicate it to your audience. Make them feel special, and they’ll pay you back.


8. Didn’t get the gift you wanted?

Is it possible to sell Christmas gifts after Christmas has ended?

As it turns out, it is.

You just need to focus on a different audience.


From: Mahabis
Subject line: no mahabis under the tree? treat yourself instead…

mahabis inspiring holiday email campaign.

Mahabis unboxing day email

For most people, holidays are about spending time with family and friends, eating dinner together, and exchanging gifts.

Because of that, marketers spend most of their time coming up with new ways of convincing their audience to spend their holiday budget on gifts for others.

In this holiday newsletter below, Mahabis took a slightly different approach.

They focused on the fact that you too might have wanted to receive a special gift.

Perhaps nobody knew that all you dreamt about was a pair of Mahabis slippers. Does that mean you shouldn’t get them? Definitely not.

What you see in this message is a clever discount offer that lets you extend the holiday feeling by treating yourself with one of their products.

They also playfully called their campaign “unboxing day”, referring to the boxing day that takes place on the day this message was sent.

Why is it so good?

I really like the idea behind this campaign. You don’t often receive a holiday newsletter that focuses on the recipient. Instead, most of them help you buy gifts for others.

If you’re a fan of this brand and have long been waiting to buy a pair of their slippers, this message would’ve definitely caught your attention.

After Christmas is over, the odds are that 1) you’re short on money and could use a discount code, and 2) you’ve not received the gift you truly hoped for.

In this holiday newsletter, Mahabis is betting that this is the case for you.

And I think this is a solid strategy.

Lesson for other ecommerce businesses: When preparing your holiday campaigns, consider changing the focus to your recipients (instead of their family and friends!) Think about what they need or want this holiday season.

Maybe they want to look good at the Christmas dinner party? Perhaps they’re hosting the party and want to make sure it’s going to be a blast? Or maybe they just want to treat themselves with something nice?

Go ahead, be creative, and try something new!

What else should you try for your holiday marketing campaigns?

Marketers try different approaches to deliver value to their audience. Depending on who they’re communicating with, the tactics they pursue will vary.

Here are a few more examples of email marketing campaigns that, in my opinion, worked pretty well. Without going into much detail, take a look at how effectively they’re using animated GIFs and product recommendations based on the price range.

Special Father's Day Message

Special Father’s Day Message

American Eagle Outfitters Sales From The Crypt Newsletter

American Eagle Outfitters Sales From The Crypt Newsletter

Mark And Graham Something Special For Her Under 100.

Mark And Graham Something Special For Her Under 100

How GetResponse can help with your holiday campaigns

Now that you’re inspired and ready to take action, it’s time to craft your stunning holiday newsletters.

And that’s what GetResponse can help you with.

Inside GetResponse you’ll find an intuitive email creator that’ll help you quickly build and send holiday newsletters to your audience.

And if you’re not sure about your design skills, don’t worry – you can just use one of the ready-made templates that are available for you to use.

If you’d like to create stunning Christmas email templates – and other holiday emails, too – all you have to do is sign up for a free trial and give it a go.

In addition to the free newsletter templates and the email creator, you’ll also find that GetResponse offers a great number of tools that’ll help you run your holiday campaigns better.

With tools like Facebook ads, social ads creator, landing page creator, or webinar software – you’ll be fully equipped to run holiday campaigns like a pro!


Related posts

The post 8 Inspiring Holiday Email Campaigns and What Makes Them So Good appeared first on GetResponse Blog – Online Marketing Tips.

Original Article

30+ Best Email Campaigns and Why We Loved Them

Thousands of marketers around the globe share the same mission – they want to send the best email marketing campaigns.

While there are many ways to measure your email campaign’s success, what your subscribers think of your messages and how they make them feel is crucial.

That’s why, in this article, we chose to not focus on raw numbers. We publish these in our email marketing report, regularly.

Instead, we decided to look at the visual aspects of marketing emails sent by brands and companies from various industries.

To find inspiring marketing email examples, we decided to dig into our own email inboxes and reach out to other fellow online marketers.

If you’re one of them, big thanks for the contribution and sharing your thoughts – it meant a world to us!

What you’re about to see, other than the best email campaigns, is that there certainly is some truth behind the saying, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

But before you start exploring the examples we’ve gathered for you, here’s an article, that’ll help you start sending email campaigns like these in no time: Email marketing best practices for 2019

30+ best email campaigns

Below, we’ve included 30+ email campaign examples along with additional information on:

  • who sent them,
  • what the email campaign is about,
  • and why they’re so good.

Feel free to save this article for later as we’ll be expanding this list to include some newer examples of marketing emails that stole our hearts.

1. The New York Times

what to cook email Newsletter New York Times.


Weekly recipe recommendation from their NYT Cooking subscription.


I read this email without fail, every week. And I rarely make any of the recipes featured in the roundups. Why? The photographs are beautiful, and the long-form copy expertly written by Sam Sifton, the Food Editor at The New York Times, is informative, conversational, and personal. He shares anecdotes from his life, news as it may relate to one of the recipes featured, and cooking advice – every week.

I love the idea of how two supposed “dead and dying mediums” – newspapers and emails – are coming together to deliver something totally modern, shareable, and sustainable.

Abby Hehemann, Product Marketing Manager at GetResponse

2. Patagonia

welcome marketing email example patagonia.


This is the first email you receive after signing up to their emailing list.


An email onboarding sequence should set expectations. This email does that really well. For starters, you have the information about free shipping at the top, which is more or less an indication of how much money Patagonia would like you to be spending in the shop.

The email headline is inviting. They then tell readers what kind of content they send, although they don’t mention frequency. Just as importantly, you have the refund policy at the bottom. It’s setting expectations for customers, which is crucial for an ecommerce store.

The only thing I’d change in the copy is the ‘our mission’ section. Most people support the idea of saving the planet, so this statement without context means nothing to the reader. It’s a missed opportunity. The intro email is a perfect time to talk about what makes the company different. Just a sentence or two with a link to the site, maybe even a button underneath, would have done the trick.

Nico Prins, Founder at Launch Space


anniversy best email campaign mvmt.


This is an email campaign asking the MVMT customers to submit their video content and celebrate the brand’s anniversary together.


I’m a big fan of MVMT and this is just another wonderful email campaign example from many that they send.

The message starts off well, with an intriguing subject line: “That one time we went viral…”

They got my attention right away and made me click. I wanted to know why they went viral, and I really hoped it wasn’t just a clever way of showing that their prices dropped.

I wasn’t disappointed.

What I saw was a newsletter that contained an animated video that showed numerous exciting pictures and a short message explaining how they’ve asked their fans to celebrate their brand’s anniversary together.

The animated GIF along with the message led to an exciting movie showing how the brand’s followers live their lives on their own terms.

The film combining their customers’ footage, stunning pictures, and exciting music gave me goosebumps!

At the time of writing this, this video has over 22,000 views, 1,000 likes, and almost 500 comments on YouTube – talk about engagement, huh?

In fact, it’s that kind of user generated content that made me buy one of their watches a couple of years back.

4. Charm Offensive

welcome email campaign example charm offensive.


It’s a welcome email received after signing up to win a free lifetime premium subscription to the copywriting course.


Just give it a read! When was the last time that you received an email with an evil laugh in the subject line? It’s original, it’s witty and you remember it because you’ve never had an email like this before. I’ve entered a competition where I need to compete against others, and the copy encourages me to do that, rather than shy away from it. It jokingly reminds me of what’s up for grabs if I win. Then, there’s a gentle reminder to join the Facebook group and get even more involved that I already am.

Phil Forbes, Marketer at Packhelp

5. Statwing (acquired by Qualtrics)

cold email campaign example statwing.


Cold email to sell a partnership.


I receive loads of cold emails, and I delete most of them immediately. But I actually replied to this one, because it contains everything a great cold email should have:

  • External proof: Y Combinator funded and other trusted companies who are partners already
  • Clear benefit, including a number: “users tell us they analyze survey data ~5x faster…”
  • Personalization beyond my first name: he actually looked at Survey Anyplace’s reporting capabilities and even links to them in the email
  • Clear ask for the next step (phone call)
  • The tone and format of the email is very casual, just like it was sent by someone I already know.

Stefan Debois, Founder & CEO at Survey Anyplace

7. Casper

extra hour email campaign casper.


This is an email campaign example sent on the Daylight Saving Time.


One thing I value in email campaigns is their creativity.

Blowout sales or flash campaigns don’t impress anymore. They’re too common. And usually sent by the same brands, over and over again.

This campaign, however, was different. It was meant for Daylight Savings Time, a day nobody ever celebrates. In fact, all you usually do is sleep in.

And that’s exactly what the brand suggests, that you sleep in, but on a mattress you can buy from them, of course.

The overall email design, subject line (“That extra hour, though.”), animated GIF, short copy, and a clear CTA – everything fits perfectly.

The only thing I’d change is the discount value. If you follow Casper’s emails, you’ll see that their discounts are always 10%.

I get the strategy, but you become blind to these kinds of discounts, if you keep seeing them.

7. American Express

email campaign promoting chat amex.


Email promoting live chat to get help with your Amex account.

Subject line: Got a question? Get an answer through Chat


The campaign is a win-win.

While many banks seem to try and deflect customers from contacting them, Amex is doing the exact opposite. Actively promoting and reminding their members about live chat. Inviting customers to ask them questions. It makes you feel good to be a member.

In one email they have been helpful and given a gentle reminder as to the benefit of Amex membership.

Brands that don’t have a continuous stream of new products and offers can find it hard to have something interesting to say. Amex found a good way to solve this.

The design gets down quickly to what it’s all about with the headline and a clear benefit of live chat – “Get a quick answer”.

The sample chat window gives context visually, so you get the message even with a skim read.

The final part of the win-win is that live chat is probably better for Amex too. The cost of support by live chat is likely lower than the cost of phone support.

A campaign beneficial for both the brand and the customer.

Tim Watson, Zettasphere

8. Mixmax

Animated gif marketing email example mixmax 2.


User onboarding emails with tips in the form of GIFs.


I was a new user of Mixmax and didn’t know all their functionalities.

Every three days they sent me tips how to use their software better.

This way, I didn’t get overwhelmed by their software and I adopted the product very easily. The emails also expanded my knowledge on how to write great emails.

Now, I use the same tactic at Userpilot.

Aazar Ali Shad, Head of Growth at Userpilot.com

9. Smart Blogger

email example smart blogger.


This was a teaser email sent to lure subscribers into reading a case study, which served as top-of-the-funnel content to a paid course.


Here’s why this email is compelling.

Firstly, it leverages the power of social proof in the subject line and opening line.

Who wouldn’t want to check out a post that got over 1 million visitors?

Secondly, it uses the hard-to-resist emotional trigger of ‘free’.

Finally, it goes straight to the point, something people appreciate in a crazy-busy world.

Qhubekani Nyathi, Long-form Content Strategist at Wholesome Commerce

11. Mejuri

flash sale black friday good email example mejuri.


This is a B2C flash sale email for Black Friday last year, giving newsletter subscribers exclusive, early access to their once-a-year sale.


First off, we all know how crowded our inbox gets around Black Friday.

Mejuri chose to keep their email simple and to the point, which I think we can all appreciate.

The email also stresses the exclusivity of this invite. The words “only sale all year” in the subject line, plus “private” and “secret” are powerful motivators – backed up by the fact that this invite is only going to newsletter subscribers.

The limited time frame (only until midnight today) and the idea of scarcity (Mejuri is notorious for running out of popular pieces) drive home the need to act now.

I’d been following their social media channels and newsletter for a few weeks. This was the trigger I needed to finally buy from them.

Bronwyn Kienapple, Content Marketer at Venngage

12. Product Hunt

newsletter campaign product hunt.


A daily digest of featured products from Product Hunt.

Subject line: This is stomach-turningly good. Yikes. 👀


The subject line totally hooked me. Anytime I see “Yikes” in my inbox, I open. And the content didn’t disappoint once I opened. The conversational tone and description of the featured product made for an enjoyable read.

Their description of the product and inclusion of (creeped out) comments from the post then convinced me to click out to the listing on their site, and then finally to the actual product itself. It was a perfect combination of a well-chosen featured product, enticing subject line, and easy-to-read copy.

Abby Hehemann, Product Marketing Manager at GetResponse

13. Proof

post webinar follow up email proof.


This is a follow-up email sent to registrants for a Webinar that didn’t show up for the live event. Our Webinar covered the 5 growth strategies that we learned during our time in Y Combinator in 2018.


This email works well for us because it’s being sent to an audience that has already opted in to a webinar. We know they are high-intent to watch this content — as they’ve already taken time out of their day to submit their information into a lead form.

At the same time, we know how busy day to day work can be for marketers and entrepreneurs. Rather than excluding them from getting the Webinar’s content because they didn’t show up live — we record our live presentation and follow up with an email offering them a second chance to view.

In the email body, we provide several links to our content and we reiterate the topic of the training multiple times. We also make it a point to leverage the names of bigger tech companies (Airbnb, Dropbox, Gusto) to add credibility to our presentation.

Finally, we generate the FOMO by saying “trust me, you don’t want to miss this” as our final signoff.

Ben Johnson, Content Strategist, Proof

13. Growth Hackers

newsjacking diversity email campaign growth hackers.


Email campaign referring to real time events – the Oscars.


This is an interesting example.

And it’s not only because it’s using an animated GIF. It’s about what that GIF and the copy surrounding it tell us.

This email campaign talks about the Oscars, which may not be so unusual during the week when the 91st Academy Awards is taking place.

The interesting thing is the angle Growth Hackers took in this email. They’re not talking about the movies or music that were recognized. Instead, they’re talking about the true “winner” of the Academy Awards night – diversity.

As you can read in their article, which also provides an explanation to their GIF, the 91st Academy Awards broke the record of Female and African-American Awardees.

With this in mind, they decided to dedicate that email to diversity, too – and prepared a selection of only the best content that celebrates this important topic.

For someone who cares about these values and has actually not followed the Oscar night, this email was very inspiring and educational.

Something you don’t often see in your inbox.

14. Rothy’s

animated email gif rothys newsletter.


This is a promotional email sent to people who have opted into Rothy’s marketing but have yet to purchase.


There are at least three reasons this email stands out.

First, it’s not just animated with a video at the top, the body of the GIF taps into people’s default responses to SMS or direct messages: namely, we can’t resist the temptation to read them.

Second, it uses real names, authentic conversational elements, and even images (e.g., the cat) that look and feel as though you’re eavesdropping (or, eavesreading) someone else’s texts.

Third, it subtly leverages one of the most powerful persuasive tools: social proof.

I know all this is true because I didn’t get this email.

Instead, my lovely wife forwarded it to me and immediately texted me afterward: “I just fwd you an email from Rothy’s. I’ve never seen one like this before.”

She’s a just-turned-30, urban, socially conscious kind of lady who loves cats. Talk about nailing your target demographic. (And yes, later that day she and I ordered her first pair.)

Aaron Orendorff, Founder and Content Strategist, iconiContent

15. Capterra

newsletter email inactives capterra.


A regular newsletter but aimed at warming up “sleepy” followers.


First of all, its catchy subject line: personalized and intriguing. I couldn’t help opening it to find out WHY I’m the best. What have I done to become the best, given that I’m not an active user of Capterra?

Second, the structure: short, clear, following the “one mail – one CTA” rule and focusing on the value I’d get. It didn’t take me long to understand it wasn’t spam and what it was all about.

And third and the most interesting part is the motive they’ve used to send this offer: National Compliment Day. As a rule, marketers ignore such itsy-bitsy holidays, concentrating on big five (Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, St. Valentine’s, and Easter); but appealing to such tiny but cute calendar days could bring benefits. Content ideas for newsletters, as a minimum.

Lesley Vos, Content Strategist at Bid4Papers

If you like this idea, be sure to check out our Holiday Calendar Infographic and see more tiny calendar days that can inspire great campaigns :).

16. UpLead

cold outreach marketing email-example.


Cold email to interview influencers.


  • Personalization: The email is highly personalized
  • Relevant: It mentions a recent interview they did on a podcast
  • Gives Value: It gives value by mentioning the audience size (20,000)
  • Strokes ego: It strokes their ego a bit (“successful leaders like yourself”)
  • Quick: Interview is a simple Google Docs interview, with no need to schedule time on calendar
  • One Simple CTA: Every email should have one easy to reply to ending CTA (Success! – He replied with “Sounds cool – I’m in!)

Will Cannon, Founder & CEO at UpLead

17. Zest

welcome email zest.


Confirmation Email sent after you’ve submitted content to Zest.


  • Fun and engaging: The email is different and completely set the tone of the brand
  • Relevant: It mentions the recently published article
  • Quick: The email is straight to the point and spot-on. Yet, it confirms that my suggestion has been considered, and I love that.
  • One Simple CTA: Although I’m waiting for them to come back, it suggests me to add more and empower the community

Baptiste Debever, Co-Founder & Head of Growth at Feedier

18. Hello Bar

weekly email newsletter.


The email offers some free tips on how to collect more emails to grow your email list of subscribers.


The email was very powerful, because it hits a nerve with the challenges we’re faced with when trying growing an email subscribers list. It offers actionable tips to implement right away. By giving a small insight and not giving away the farm, and by using a strong call to action, they made me curious to reserve a spot for the training to learn more tips.

Paul Granger, Content Marketer at Website Promoter

19. Simyo

thank you email simyo.


Triggered email from a former phone company (Spanish company) after requesting to migrate a telephone number to a new one.


When you decide to change your phone service, you expect:

1) getting bombarded with offers, promises and gifts;

2) red-tape hell.

The very catchy subject line (adapted from a popular song, probably only relevant to my generation) + the friendly and informal tone of voice ease those fears.

The reassuring content, thanking me for their business and stating that they won’t harass / try to overcharge me made me wonder whether I took the right call (and whether it will be so easy to shift again next time).

Angel Lorente Paramo, Former Global Head of Emarketing at Qatar Airways

20. Cards Against Humanity

cards against humanity black friday email.


Cards Against Humanity Black Friday campaign


This is an “oldie but goodie” email campaign example.

Being a fan of Cards Against Humanity I expect nothing less than exceptionally sarcastic, cynical, or at least unusual communication.

What’s more unusual than an ecommerce brand saying that they’re shutting down their online store for Black Friday?

They even ask you to donate money for absolutely no good reason (through a CTA button that’s totally against the email design best practices).

The follow up to this campaign was fun, too. It turned out that they received a total of $71,145 for absolutely nothing. And they even listed what kind of fun things they decided to spend that money on.

You can read more about this campaign on their website.

Ever since, I eagerly wait for their Black Friday emails and I’m never disappointed.

21. Native

post purchase satisfaction email native.

Post-purchase customer review email


I received this product satisfaction email a few days after ordering a pair of boots from Native Shoes.

Although this type of emails should be an industry standard, few ecommerce sites actually do it, and even fewer do it this in a good way.

This email checks all the most important details:

  • Highly visible company logo
  • Customer’s name personalization
  • The name and image of the product that was purchased
  • Ability to write the review directly in the email itself. This is much easier than to navigate over to the site.
  • Detailed review options: stars, text area and sizing fit. Note that the 5-star option is pre-selected.
  • Large call-to-action button at the end
  • A touch of humor to make things more lighthearted

From my point of view, this is a great way to collect reviews for ecommerce stores. Maybe the only thing that’s missing in this email, is an incentive. Customers would be much more likely to write up reviews if they were offered a discount on their next purchase or something similar.

Radu Vrabie, Full-Stack Digital Marketer at Guaranteed.software

22. Revolut

black friday premium email revolut.


Black Friday email campaign promo offer


Every element of this email campaign says it’s something exclusive:

  • The dark theme of the email with very contrasting white fonts.
  • The rose gold card rotating in the GIF.
  • The eye-catching pink call to action button.

And finally, the copy, which says they normally don’t jump on the Black Friday bandwagon, but over 9,000 requests from their users isn’t something Revolut can ignore.

The email is super simple and very clear – the main benefits are emphasized in a bulleted list, and then the monetary value is restated just above the CTA button.

It’s completely different to their regular newsletters and automated emails.

As their customer, I knew straight away that this offer is special and worth checking out.

Marcin Struzik, Video Manager at GetResponse

23. Booking

search triggered automated email booking.


Converting users who searched for accommodation in a specific city and didn’t book.


This email marketing campaign is a good example for any company operating online.

I’ve received this email because I’ve given consent for receiving marketing content and because, one day, I was casually checking out places to stay in Berlin on Booking.com.

I was browsing with no clear intent of buying, but after being reminded of traveling, the thought of it doesn’t go away.

Other than that, this email campaign is a good example of personalization: I could see my name on the banner, and they didn’t spoil it with Dear [Name], which sometimes looks bad when lots of other companies do it.

Besides, the dates I was interested in were already filled in, which also shortens the possible purchase process.

Although some people might find it creepy – Booking is explicitly mentioning they’re tracking users’ activities online.

Margo Burkivska, B2B Marketing Specialist at GetResponse

24. MeUndies

meundies sushi date animated gif email.


Promotional email introducing a new line of products.


This email’s so playful.

Underwear is something that people usually hide and don’t want to talk about.

To promote it, you can either be shy about it – hey, I don’t want to disturb you, but in case you’re looking for panties… that’s what we do – or be loud and proud about the products you’re offering.

MeUndies does the latter. With this beautifully animated email, they’re showing how colorful and playful their products are.

This email says – whether you decide to go on a sushi date with a friend, or fly solo, you can have fun with their products.

I love it.

25. Care/of

product marketing email care of.


Email campaign introducing a new product


This is a great example of a simple yet informative email promo.

I appreciate the combination of beautiful design and great copy.

After the short introduction, you learn a bit of basic information about the mushroom trio that helps boost the immune system.

Next segment tells you where it’s grown and why it matters.

Then there’s the last segment inviting subscribers to take the quiz to help them with choosing the right product for their needs.

And there’s just one clear call to action – I love these kind of emails.

Irek Klimczak, Content Marketing Expert at GetResponse

26. American Giant

retail store invitation email american giant.


Email campaign inviting subscribers to the retail store


This email informs about the New York pop-up. It’s a great idea to use email marketing to invite subscribers to your brick-and-mortar location.

Let potential customers know that you’re around and that they can come by and try on your products.

Make the most of both the online and offline experience.

That’s the way to do it.

Irek Klimczak, Content Marketing Expert at GetResponse

27. Trello

trello product information email campaign example.


Email explaining the ways you can use Trello

Subject line: A free personal habit tracker for you


I love Trello’s emails because they’re so useful, and provide real-life examples of using the solution.

After receiving this email I ended up creating two new Trello boards, so I guess the email reached its goal.

What’s so good about it?

  • A clear CTA to a detailed blog post with useful product screenshots and use cases.
  • Brand-consistent and fun graphics that match the look of the product.
  • Fun copywriting in line with the brand.
  • Addresses user persona – Trello is used mainly for project management, and procrastination is a common challenge faced when handling projects.

Marta Kusinska, Email Marketing Manager at GetResponse

28. Aaron Krall

saas user onboarding email campaign.


Email announcing a special offer: convert email contacts into customers

Subject line: If you’re under $10 MRR…


This is a surprising email that landed in my inbox, and I think it’s worth noting.

With a great intro, including some personal details of the sender, this email gives you an impression of coming from a friend.

So the main aim is building trust, also by using some numbers and social proof in the body of an email.

After all, you’re to trust Aaron with your money and need to believe that he’s a suitable person to help your Saas business grow.

And get curious enough to ask about his special offer.

Marta Kusinska, Email Marketing Manager at GetResponse

29. Carnival Cruise Line

creative email campaign scroll down 1. creative email campaign scroll down 2.


Promotional email campaign


The email by Carnival Cruise Line is a sheer delight for the subscribers, with its creative presentation. They have followed all the email marketing best practices and created a visually impressive design that is sure to kindle wanderlust in the subscriber’s mind.

The subject line: Deposits are taking a dive. (See what they find down there!) along with the preheader text: Get reduced deposits starting from $50 per person for sailings through December 2020 are interesting enough to capture the attention of the subscribers and make them open the email.

The header image and text are crafted in such a way that the recipients are compelled to scroll through the entire email.

Finally, when they reach the bottom of the email, the sea floor with beautiful fishes usher them in. (Animation couldn’t have been used better.)

The email ends with a clear CTA “Search All Cruises”.

All in all, it sets a great example of how travel industry emails should be. Inspired already?

Kevin George, Head of Marketing at EmailMonks

30. Phrasee

content update email phrasee.

Email sharing the latest content from Phrasee blog and other places on the Internet.

Subject line: Is it hot in this inbox, or is it just you? 😍


I always look forward to Phrasee’s content emails. I love their tone of voice and love how – as a B2B tech company with a really serious product used by huge brands – they stand out from other brands in the space just by the way the speak to their audience. Because, hey, marketers just wanna have fun, too! Couple that with gifs and a very specific type of humor – and it’s a perfect Thursday read.

They’re also great at what a lot of emails keep missing – which is creating meaningful preheaders that go together with the subject lines. I always feel like the subject line + preheader duo is so underrated (and too many companies don’t ever go beyond “Read this email online” in their preheader), while it can be a great open rate booster.

Plus, I find it awkwardly satisfying to find a pickup line in my inbox sent by a brand I actually like!

Karolina Kurcwald, Chief Wordsmith at GetResponse

31. Litmus

live twitter feed email litmus.


Email invite to a conference.


This one is a no brainer.

What’s the best way to get people to get excited about your email design conference?

Show them an amazing email invite that’s using coding tricks you haven’t experienced before.

And that’s exactly what Litmus does with their email invitations.

One time, they added animated videos in the message background. The next year they’ve added a live Twitter feed showing peoples’ reactions to their campaign.

This email is among the best ones I’ve ever seen being deployed on a larger scale.

Feeling inspired?

If you’ve scrolled down this far, that means you saw over 30 great marketing email examples.

You’ve probably noticed some interesting:

maSome of them had great copy, others were all about the design, and then there were those that were just entertaining.

In other words, there’s no one way to make a great email marketing campaign.

It pays off to follow the best practices, but without talking to your audience and checking your analytics reports, you won’t know for sure if a campaign was successful.

So, what’s the next step you’ll take?

My recommendation is that you start designing your email campaigns, A/B test them, and keep optimizing them to achieve the best possible results.

And if you didn’t know that yet, GetResponse can help you with all of that.

30+ Best Email Campaigns and Why We Loved Them.

Related posts

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