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35 Creative Email Marketing Ideas To Help You Stand Out

Published February 7, 2022
/ Updated April 27, 2022

An effective email marketing campaign can help you build relationships with leads, and turn them into paying customers. To help guide you to success, here are 35 email marketing ideas that you can steal to ramp up your campaigns.

1. Run A/B Tests On Your Email Subject Lines

Whenever you craft an email, write two different email subject lines and test what language causes your audience to open your message. Use that winning data to help format future headlines and get into the mind of your audience.

Learn more about how to A/B test your email subject lines with this Campaign Monitor post.

2. Make Your Email Copy Skimmable

Improve your clickthrough rate and readability by breaking down your emails into short sentences.

Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Keep your paragraphs short, three sentences max.
  • There should be no more than 25 words per sentence.
  • Don’t be afraid of one paragraph sentences.

We follow this format all the time at CoSchedule. Check out one of our emails:

Make your emails skimmable

3. Send A Weekly Email Newsletter

E-newsletters allow your list members to see what’s new with your products or company. However, this is not your one stop shop to push your products all the time. According to HubSpot, your newsletters should be 90% educational and 10% promotional.

4. Write Attention-Grabbing Subject Lines

Your open rates hinge on the quality of your subject lines. So, if you want to succeed, you’ve got to make ’em good!

Test your email marketing subject lines

AppSumo shared their 10 best email subject lines and the open rate for each.

5. Put Email Opt-In Forms On Your Website

You drive a ton of traffic to your website, and you want them to remember you after they leave the site. Emails are a great way to do that, and your website is the perfect place to collect those email addresses.

Include more email marketing opt-in forms on your site

The above example from Rarelogic shows how they give visiting customers the chance to get on their email list.

6. Gate Your Downloadable Content

One way to increase your email subscriber list is giving your subscriber something in exchange for them giving you their email address. Below is a great example from Wishpond’s eCommerce Strategy Guide. Until a user fills out the form, they can’t access it.

Create gated content to earn email signups

7. Round Up Your Best Content & Send It In An Email

Why not extend the life of your content and round up your best posts for the week and send them to your email list?

To build a roundup email, you’ll need to:

  • Gather your content that you published for the week.
  • Look at what’s already going over well with your audience. Maybe one piece of content has more social shares or comments than the other. Stick those towards the top of your email.
  • Title each piece of content and write a short description underneath recapping what the post is about.

After that attach your email list and send. It’s that easy.

8. Survey Your Email List For Feedback On Products, Content, & More

Surveys are a great way to check in with your audience and get their opinion on products your company is producing, content your marketing team is creating, or thoughts on what’s going on in your industry.

Tools like Survey Monkey are resources that you can use to format questions and collect data all in one place.

9. Encourage Email Sign Ups With A Social Media Campaign

One way to get people to subscribe to your newsletter, sales list, etc. is to add sign up links to your social media messages.

To do this:

  • Step 1: Grab your sign up form link.
  • Step 2: Enter it into Google Analytics URL builder. This will help you track how many people are signing up for your emails from your social posts.
  • Step 3: Shorten the link using bit.ly.
  • Step 4: Add the links to your social posts.
  • Step 5: After your posts have been published check your Google Analytics dashboard to see how your posts did.

10. Write CTAs In Your Content To Drive People To Sign Up For Your Newsletter

If your marketing team is publishing online content, add in a CTA to get your readers to sign up for your weekly newsletter or subscribe to your email list.

Include email signup ctas in your content

Above, you can see how Hubspot uses a slide-in CTA that resembles a chat window.

We broke down how to write the best call to action statements in this blog post.

11. Segment Your Email List & Target Them With Content They’d Want to See

Giving your audience content that they want to see lets you cut through the noise and show them what they’re looking for.

Segmentation allows you to:

  • Better connect with your audience
  • Identify active (and inactive) users
  • Increase open and click-through rates
  • Lower bounce and unsubscribe rates

This Hubspot article will help walk you through how to properly segment your list.

12. Give Fans Extra Incentive To Subscribe To Your List With Access To Exclusive Content

As a consumer, when you purchase a product, you have decided that exchanging your money is worth the product that you’re buying. The same goes for the content gathered for your email address.

Create exclusive content to incentivize email signups

These CTAs from Getsitecontrol help readers realize the value of giving up their email address.

Check out this post on our blog on how to create killer content upgrades.

13. Cater To Your New Email Subscribers With A Series Of Introductory Emails

Retain your audience members by sending them a series of emails that help them learn what to expect when they’re part of your list.

Your email series could look something like:

  • Introductory email. This should thank them for subscribing and explain what to expect when they’re part of your list.
  • Follow up email. You could use this email to help segment them into different lists by asking what problems they’re experiencing, or what information they need from you.
  • Second check-in email. As your subscriber continues to receive emails from you follow up after 30 days to see how they’re getting along.
  • Final check-in. This email is the last personalized email that they’ll receive from your team to make their subscription fit what they’re looking for from you.

14. Send Your Emails At The Best Times

Make sure that your email doesn’t end up in the trash unopened by sending them at the best times. According to 10 different studies the best times to send your email are:

The best days to send emails

15. Let The Seasons Inspire Your Email Content

If your team is struggling to come up with ideas to send to your email list, let the seasons guide you.

Use seasonal holidays to inspire email copy

Take this email Alpha Chiropractic sent during the holiday season. As you can see, this is very effective without being over the top or cheesy.

16. Use Strategic Emails To Push Holiday Sales

Black Friday sales ring a bell for anyone? Or maybe your organization goes all out for the fourth of July weekend. Those holidays and their sales can help drive your email content.

Use tools like the Time and Date Holiday Calculator to find different holidays to run sales and emails around.

Tip: Use CoSchedule as your email marketing calendar to plan seasonal campaigns in advance.

17. Recap What Happened In Your Industry Each Week

If your organization is focused on one industry, recap what’s been going on to keep your audience informed and up to date.

To keep track of what’s going on, use tools like Feedly to curate content and choose top stories to share with your subscribers.

Share industry recaps via email newsletter

Then you can add in keywords, publications, and topics that you want to curate content around.

If your company has a ton of products on the shelf why not highlight your best sellers with a “Best Of” email?

Create best of content for your email marketing ideas

This email from Lush is a great example. It shows how marketing emails can drive traffic towards the products you want to sell and help create a feeling of missing out or FOMO.

19. Remind Your Customers About Offers & Other Sales

If you’re inclined to forgetfulness, odds are your audience is, too.

This example from Vero sends a reminder while also giving an incentive to order now (free shipping).

Email marketing ideas share reminders with your audience

These don’t need to be large over the top emails, just a simple nudge that says “Hey, we have some fun stuff going on over here.”

20. Experiment With Plain Text & Designed Emails

To grab the attention of your audience, experiment with plain text and designed emails.

Check out this post from Canva to learn how you can design jaw dropping emails with their tool.

Plain text emails should not be forgotten and Limitus breaks down how to craft the best ones and why they should be a part of your strategy.

21. Send Your Email List A Coupon

Sending your email list a coupon boosts customer loyalty, can help you grow your email list, and improves email ROI. In fact 82% of people are more likely to continue using a retailer that offers loyalty programs and regular deals.

Share coupons through your email newsletters

Soma sends each person on their email list a coupon right when they sign up as a way to incentivize making a purchase.

22. Personalize Your Emails

91% of people say they’re more likely to make a repeat purchase after a positive experience. This is why personalization is important.

Email marketing ideas personalize your emails

Spotify is constantly personalizing playlists for listeners based on what their top tracks are. Emails like this have higher open and click-through rates while also increasing value for their users.

23. Announce Contests & Giveaways

Giveaways allow you to get valuable information about leads and boost sales.

Share contests and giveaways through email marketing

This marketing email lets the recipient know that by making a purchase, they will be entered to win their big gift basket. This is a simple way to increase short-term sales, and the campaign practically pays for itself.

24. Utilize Social Proof

Social proof gives your audience a reason to buy your products. After all, if others love the product, chances are they will love it, too.

Use social proof in your email marketing copy

In their email, Barkbox includes how many happy customers they have. This encourages other pet owners to sign up for a subscription, or risk missing out on what so many others love.

25. Introduce New Products

You can generate instant hype and revenue for your new product by letting your email list know about it.

Share new products in your email marketing

Casper sent this email to get the word out about their new dog mattress. This example shows just how simple a product launch email can be while still being effective.

26. Send Product Sneak Peeks To Get Your Audience Excited

Similar to introducing a new product, sending a sneak peek allows your audience to take a look while still maintaining an air of secrecy and excitement.

Share sneak peeks of new products in your email marketing content

Glossier does a great job at hyping up their new products by  sending “exclusive” marketing emails about exciting, upcoming products.

27. Use Video To Engage The Recipients

83% of marketers feel the importance of using videos within marketing efforts is on the rise. With social media apps like Tik Tok on the rise, it’s no surprise why.

Using videos can increase the click-through rate of your emails and create a more personalized experience for your recipients.

To learn more about how to provide value for your subscribers, check out this Actionable Marketing Podcast episode.

28. Optimize Your Emails To be Mobile Friendly

61.9% of email opens occurred on a mobile device, so you want to make sure your emails are mobile friendly.

Luckily, we have some tips on how to do that:

  • Shorten up your subject line
  • Use pre-header text
  • Make the type size readable
  • Use small images
  •  Make sure your CTAs are prominent and clickable

29. Share Company Updates

Emails that share company events help create a sense of transparency and trust between the employees and employer. You could also send information like this to your consumers if it affects certain products to let them know about news that pertains to them.

Share company updates in emails

TechCrunch and HP give us this example to show how to approach a change in management update.

People subscribe to your emails because you share relevant information. Give them more of what they want by sharing your favorite blog or podcast episodes.

Sharing your podcast with your email list can:

  • Help you expand your reach
  • Strengthen your relationship with your readers
  • Connect more with your listeners
  • Convert email subscribers to podcast listeners
  • Give more valuable content to your subscribers

Mailerlite offers advice with a podcast email marketing guide to get you started.

31. Promote Your Referral Program (If Applicable)

You can create strong relationships with your subscribers and boost customer loyalty by promoting your referral program.

Share your referral program via email newsletter

This example from ​​Morning Brew breaks down their referral program and incentivizes readers to bring in people they know. By making it a competition (only the first 2,000 readers get the prize) they make their referral program stand out.

32. Share A Free Ebook

Giving your readers a free Ebook provides value to your subscribers and keeps them interested in your company.

Share your ebook through email marketing

Above is a great example from Easypurl. You can use this tactic to lead more subscribers to your site while providing them with content they actually want.

33. Include Clear Calls To Action

A prominent call to action button catches your readers’ eyes and encourages them to act. After all, if they can’t see it, they can’t click on it.

Include clear calls to action in your emails

The marketing software Emma, sends email with call to action buttons that have bright, contrasting colors. This helps it stand out from the rest of the text.

34. Provide A Way For Them To Opt Out

Not everyone is going to love your emails, and that’s okay. You need to make sure they have a way to unsubscribe.

Unsubscribe links are not only required by spam laws, but they also protect your emails deliverability.

Include an opt-out button in your emails

If readers can’t find your unsubscribe button, chances are they’ll just mark your email as spam. Including an unsubscribe link helps you maintain a clean email list while avoiding customer frustration.

35. Follow Up With a Thank You Email

In 2020, 82% of consumers in the U.S. said they stopped doing business with a company due to “poor customer experience”. Giving your customers a “thank you” email goes a long way in establishing a positive first impression.

Follow up with thank you emails

Thank you emails don’t have to be big and elaborate. This example from Hudson’s Bay shows how simple emails can let customers know they are appreciated.