- “Before we move forward, do you have an example of this working for another brand?”
- “Can you show me how our work compares to other companies?”
- “Did you research any examples before putting this together?”
- “I wonder how other companies do this?”
- “It’d be cool if I could see some samples for this from another brand. If only …”
- “Is our tactical execution keeping pace with the industry?”
- Newsletter designs to inspire your own.
- Crafty copy that’ll help spark your creative genius.
- Technical concepts that make you wonder, “Why didn’t I think of that?”
Get Inspired Now With 25 Examples of Awesome Email Marketing From @coscheduleClick To Tweet
Get Inspired With 25 Awesome Examples ...... then execute your own email marketing better with these free templates:
- Email Marketing Calendar: Plan your work, then work your plan! Stop wondering when each email will send and start using a calendar.
- Email Newsletter Template: Streamline your email copywriting process.
- Welcome Email Newsletter Template: Write better welcome emails for new subscribers with this simple template.
What Makes Email Marketing So Important?To summarize it in three letters: ROI. Few marketing channels deliver greater measurable value than email. It’s a direct line to customers and leads they’ve opted into.
Have you seen these 15 interesting email #marketing stats?Click To Tweet
Manage Email Marketing With CoScheduleAnd if you’re searching for tools to help organize and execute better email marketing, get started with CoSchedule. It’s the ultimate all-in-one marketing management platform for planning and executing everything you need to get done.
Did you know you can manage email #marketing with @coschedule?Click To Tweet
What Will These Examples Demonstrate?Before digging into each example newsletter below, here’s what each will be evaluated on:
- Who sent this email? There’s a mix of major brands, media companies, bloggers, and more.
- What makes it work? From design to copy and beyond, each one offers at least one takeaway you can act on.
- How can you emulate it? Quick tips and links to external resources to help you implement what you learn.
Sample Emails From 21 Brands You KnowClick To Tweet
1. NikeThis seasonal email from Nike is just in time for summer. The design is simple, the copy is minimal, and overall, it gets right to the point. The CTA buttons prioritize the Men’s section (likely based on my demographic info when I joined their list), but were I shopping for family (say, kids), those options are presented, too. With its sand-like background color, it also invokes beach imagery.
How to Emulate This ExampleVisually, this email relies on sharp photography and creative product layout. That, combined with concise copy, leads to a crisp and uncluttered design that keeps the focus on the product. Here’s what you’ll need:
- High-quality product photography. If you have a photographer on staff, you’re golden. Otherwise, investing in a DSLR and learning the basics of photo composition may help.
- Understand how to use list segmentation. And send emails with the most optimal CTA to different segments. For example, another version of this email could have been sent to women.
Check out this great #email #marketing example from @NikeClick To Tweet
2. ThreadlessCreative clothing and decor retailer Threadless has a strong visual brand. That comes across in their email marketing. This email starts with striking imagery and an intriguing value proposition (new designs). It doesn’t waste time providing the CTA button to check them out, either. Beneath that, a giveaway offer smartly shows how their prize products might look in a living space. The “Last Chance!” copy helps build some urgency, too. The next content section shows how their shirt looks on someone actually wearing it. Plus, it incorporates a quote from the artist who designed it. This last portion at the bottom includes something creative that’s easy to miss, too. Instead of generic “UPDATE YOUR EMAIL PREFERENCES” copy, it reads “GET BETTER EMAILS.” That puts the recipient first and offers a benefit rather than a command.
How to Emulate This ExampleThreadless has exceptional visual design. Even if your company doesn’t, there are still a few things you can take away from this.
- Infuse your copy with urgency. This guide from Copyblogger will help you there.
- Use benefit-driven CTAs. Copy like “Shop Now” and “Enter Here” are clear and simple. If there are ways to more directly sell a benefit, though, consider experimenting.
- Include quotes. People love ‘em. They can also help add visual interest to your copy (particularly if you don’t have access to top-quality design).
@threadless nailed this awesome #marketing email. Check it out via @coscheduleClick To Tweet
3. Webpage FXThis Pennsylvania-based agency sometimes sends emails that are written like full blog posts. Ordinarily, you might think this goes against best practice, because no one will read the post on your site if they can get it in their email. But, is that a problem as long as they’re getting your content? That appears to be the logic here, because instead of sending readers somewhere else to read, they smartly link out to a call to action (turning three clicks from email to blog to CTA down to just two, from the email to a landing page). In-line images even use directional markup like they would in a blog post: Then, once they have the reader hooked, they let them know, “Hey, our agency can help you execute this.” It’s a great example of offering enough information to be helpful, but leaving enough out to where one might want some assistance.
How to Emulate This ExampleThis is simple:
- Write your email like a typical how-to blog post. You can get help on that here.
- Then, drop a relevant and high-value call-to-action into your content. Here’s what you need to know about writing compelling CTAs.
Check out this creative email #marketing format from @webpagefxClick To Tweet
4. HotjarPlain text doesn’t have to be plain. This example from Hot Jar uses appealing fonts and color coordination to make a simple email promoting a podcast episode look great. Below, they tempt listeners to click with a free t-shirt offer (and use some simple visual styling to make things look a little more interesting): David’s mugshot even uses a color filter effect to make it stand out.
How to Emulate This ExampleThere’s not much to this one but it works exceptionally well. Even if you’re not a design wizard, you can still make your plain text emails look anything but boring.
- Pick two or three colors to use. Ideally, ones your brand already uses. You can learn all about color psychology in marketing (and snag a free HEX color chart) here.
- Use the HEX color codes in the post linked above to pick colors you know will look good together. Never mind if you think you have an eye for what looks good. That post will keep you on the right track.
This #email campaign from @hotjar sets a great example to follow:Click To Tweet
5. Siege MediaHere’s another example of an awesome plain text email. It keeps things skimmable by using single-sentence paragraphs and getting right to the point (this especially makes reading on small phone screens easier).
How to Emulate This ExampleThis is even more simple than the Hot Jar example before. Simply use a color that’s used in your logo or branding, and adjust the color of your link highlighting and buttons in your email service provider. Keep your copy tight and concise, and you might be surprised how much better your email looks.
This email #marketing example from @siegemedia shows plain-text doesn't have to be boringClick To Tweet
6. NintendoThis email from Nintendo makes creative use of an embedded GIF. Not only does it look cool, but it ties in well with the Nintendo Labo’s marketing tagline: Directly beneath that is a CTA with a cardboard-like texture, invoking the Labo’s cardboard design: Next, it shows off some things that can be created with the Labo: The last call-to-action is for a contest that plays off creativity and gets the reader engaged:
How to Emulate This ExampleYou might not have the brand recognition of Nintendo. But, don’t let that stop you from turning this awesome email into actionable inspiration:
- Experiment with GIF email headers. GIF Maker from GIPHY is a great free tool for doing this the easy way. This guide from Lifehacker offers more options, from free to Photoshop.
- Incorporate visual elements from your product in your email design. The Labo is a cardboard kit that can be turned into all kinds of different devices. So, the email uses a cardboard-like backdrop texture. Think about what colors or textures your product invokes and collaborate with a designer to incorporate them.
Want to do #email #marketing like @NintendoAmerica? Get started with some inspiration here:Click To Tweet
7. The VergeHere’s another example of plain text being anything but plain. By using a stylish yet understated header, an interesting font that fits their tech-centric aesthetic, and a little bit of color (borrowing the pink shade from their visual identity system), the Verge makes their daily email update look awesome.
How to Emulate this ExampleThere are a few things going on here that can easily be replicated:
- Use a consistent header graphic: Try creating one with Canva or work with your design team to create something simple.
- Change your linked text color: Make it match your branding.
- Keep your copy conversational. Rather than just blast out links, each edition of their newsletter opens with a light and conversational intro.
Here's how to make roundup #email newsletters more interesting like @vergeClick To Tweet
8. Think With GoogleAs this email from Google demonstrates, sometimes less is more. If you have something specific to share, sometimes focusing on that one thing is the way to go, rather than weighing down your email with extraneous content.
How to Emulate This ExampleIf you have something important to share, or something that’s a priority to drive traffic toward, send a simple email promoting nothing else but that one thing. One headline, four sentences, and a button should be all you need.
How does @ThinkwithGoogle keep #marketing emails simple yet compelling?Click To Tweet
9. StarbucksWelcome emails don’t have to be complicated to be effective. This one from Starbucks is visually appealing and clearly communicates when the recipient can expect.
How to Emulate This ExampleIf you don’t have welcome emails set up for new subscribers (whether a single message or a conversion-optimized email flow), create one. Get started with Scott Cohen’s guide.
Check out this simple yet effective #email #marketing example from Starbucks (plus 20 other brands)Click To Tweet
10. Humble BundleYou might have an awesome offer that your audience wants to act on, but just not right now. This example from entertainment media subscription service Humble Bundle gives recipients the option to be reminded about the offer, rather than having to take action right away. Clicking the Remind Me link directs users to the same landing page as the offer button on the left, but prompts this pop-up: Clicking the link ensures you’ll get a follow-up email.
How to Emulate This ExampleCreate a call-to-action that’ll either send your email again at a later date (before the offer expires) or adds recipients to a list segment to receive a reminder. Here’s how to use click segmentation in each of three popular ESPs:
How can you use email reminders like this example from Humble Bundle?Click To Tweet
11. LifehackerEmail newsletters often link out to multiple articles in a straight line. Lifehacker breaks theirs up using content blocks of various sizes to make it more visually interesting. Note the block for sponsored content here, too:
How to Emulate This ExampleThis is as simple as creating a newsletter design that uses content blocks of differing sizes. Don’t go too overboard, but starting with a single column width for your most important content, then including ads, sponsored content, related link, and other content in smaller boxes beneath that is a good start. Limit yourself to two or three different formats.
Check out this #email newsletter example from Lifehacker (and 20 other brands)Click To Tweet
12. LeadPagesThe best email marketing often feels like a conversation. This copy from LeadPages nails it. The message opens with a relatable anecdote, then leads into what the email is all about.
How to Emulate This ExampleWrite your copy as if you’re talking to an actual person. If you’re struggling to break the grasp of corporate-speak from your copy, start with this great guide from Copyblogger.
How can you make email copy more conversational? Follow this example from LeadPagesClick To Tweet
13. ZapierWant to get people to open an email? Imply they might have a problem they’re unaware of, then offer a solution. This email from Zapier uses a little bit of empathy to soften the blow, too, relating the fact that the writer themself struggles with that same problem. Nobody wants to feel like they’re the only one.
How to Emulate This ExampleThis email follows the classic Problem-Agitate-Solve (PAS) copywriting formula:
- Problem: Identify something your audience struggles with.
- Agitate: Remind them of how much that problem is a pain.
- Solve: Promise a solution.
How can empathy make email more engaging? Check out this example from @zapierClick To Tweet
14. TrelloCTA button copy like “Read More” and “Click Here” are common and, well, boring. This email from Trello uses much better action-driven copy that’s unique and relevant.
How to Emulate This ExampleAvoid the temptation to write boring button copy and think of something more interesting. But, don’t jump to something creative for creativity’s sake. Make sure you’re asking people to do something relevant to the task at hand. For example, if you were writing a button to drive email signups, instead of “Signup Here,” you could try something like “Be Smarter” or “Learn Our Secrets.” Something that implies a benefit for the recipient.
How does @trello make email button copy more compelling? Check out this example:Click To Tweet
15. CopybloggerThis email from Copyblogger mixes up different types of content to hook readers in and give them what they want. It opens with a nice conversational intro: Followed by a clean and crisp CTA: And additional content blocks with new and related articles: Note that the button copy encourages engagement by asking recipients to comment in addition to reading.
How to Emulate This ExampleFollow this email content format:
- Conversational lead story. This is the piece your subject line should promote.
- A relevant call-to-action. See if you get more conversions placing it near the middle of your email.
- Related content. This can be a mix of your own content, or curated sources.
- Hooks the reader in with casual and conversational copy.
- Includes a CTA in the middle of the email, where they’re more likely to see it, rather than near the end.
- Includes tons of relevant content, so the reader is more likely to find something they’re interested in, even if the lead story doesn’t hook their interest.
How can marketers format emails like @copyblogger? Check out this example (plus see samples from 20 other companies)Click To Tweet
16. BonjoroBonjoro does a great job of giving their emails personality. The copy is brisk, light, and conversational. Their graphics are well-designed and aren’t afraid to have a little fun. It’s all understated yet crisp, dabbling in humor without going overboard. Check out this header and intro copy: Followed up with an embedded video: And a graphic that works in some nice Mario fireballs and fun copy: This is great because it shows off the company’s quirks while sharing valuable info.
How to Emulate This ExampleLet your company’s personality shine through in your email copy. Whether that’s light and fun, or authoritative and serious, make your emails sound like who you are. This video from Pixel Ink does a great job explaining how to understand brand tone and voice:
How can you infuse personality into your email newsletter copy? Check out this example from Bonjoro (and get tips from 20 other brands):Click To Tweet
17. Bird DogsMen’s shorts company Bird Dogs aren’t afraid of getting NSFW. Not an approach that works for everyone, but works extremely well for reaching their audience. Here’s a fairly tame example of their sense of humor: And their creative approach to product naming conventions:
How to Emulate This ExampleShorts aren’t the first thing most people think of when they think about … well, anything, ever. Unless you’re getting dressed for a summer day, most of us don’t care that much about shorts. So, if you have a product that’s mostly utilitarian, or just something that’s not super jump-off-the-screen exciting, make it not boring. That can be as simple as writing loose copy that feels like it came from a real person, to making full-blown comedy what you stake your brand on (you need to be good if you’re going to go this route).
How can email marketing make ordinary product categories more interesting? See how Bird Dogs does it here (and get 20 more tips from real brands)Click To Tweet
18. MozillaIf you subscribe to lots of email newsletters (and most marketers probably do), it can easy to forget who or what exactly some things are that end up in your inbox. While Mozilla is extremely recognizable, you might not be familiar with their IRL Podcast. So, they smartly include explainer boilerplate copy at the end of their email promoting each episode, reminding you what this specific thing from Mozilla is all about:
How to Emulate This ExampleIf you send emails to promote a recurring content series (like a podcast, YouTube show, or something else), include something at the end reminding recipients what it’s all about. This will help build awareness around your series or show and help people separate those emails from your other newsletters, offers, and general email content.
People get a lot of email. How do you remind them who you are (in case they might have forgotten)?Click To Tweet
19. Book RiotBook Riot packs a ton of information and value into their events newsletter. The intro copy is fairly standard: Followed by some sponsored content (an easy way to monetize your list): After that is an extensive listing of book-related events: Including more events for touring authors: Plus events that are upcoming: The way they keep this all from getting too repetitive is to break up the formatting in each section. Each one looks distinct, and the events are listed in order of priority. Then, at the end is a well-designed CTA graphic: Overall, this packs tons of content into a well laid out newsletter.
How to Emulate This ExampleYou can cram a lot of content into an email newsletter without it feeling like too much, as long as the visual layout is broken up to be easily skimmable. Organize content into groups and give each section its own formatting style.
How can you make long email newsletters easily skimmable? Follow this example from Book RiotClick To Tweet
20. MicrosoftWant to get people engaged with your email? Make it fun and interactive. That’s exactly what Microsoft does with its rewards quiz emails. Each email features quizzes around a different theme, giving recipients a chance to earn Microsoft Rewards points they can redeem for prizes, coupons, offers, and more. After the opening question (which typically features some striking photography) there are a few more chances to win points, too:
How to Emulate This ExampleMany email service providers integrate with quiz platforms that make creating newsletters like this easy. If you’re a MailChimp customer, consider using Fyrebox:
Change up your emails with quizzes. Here's how Microsoft does it (and you can, too)Click To Tweet
21. AdobeWhat if you have different tiers of customers who might be interested in similar yet different products from you? One option is to include two CTAs side-by-side and let them choose which offer is most interesting. In this example from Adobe, there are two different versions of Photoshop with identical pricing, but with different feature sets aimed at different needs.
How to Emulate This ExampleTry offering two similar yet different products in one email to the same audience. This can help identify which is more popular, or just increase conversions by giving recipients a choice in which product to go with (rather than deciding the offer they got didn’t fit their needs).
If you offer two similar products to different customer bases, how do you target both with one email? Follow this example from AdobeClick To Tweet
How to Execute Better Email MarketingIf you’re looking for more learning resources on email marketing, there are tons on the CoSchedule Blog. Continue your learning with these posts:
- The Best Email Marketing Frequency Based on 20 Studies
- The Email Copywriting Process You Need to Get More Conversions
- How to Make an Email Newsletter Your Customers Actually Love
- 21+ Easy Ways to Build an Email List That Will Skyrocket by 140% in 1 Year
- What 10 Studies Say About the Best Times to Send Email
- The Best Way to Organize an Effective Email Marketing Strategy
- The Best Email Calendar Template You Need to Manage Marketing Newsletters
- The Best Free Email Marketing Software You Should Use