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12 Inspiring Email Marketing Campaign Examples to Spark New Ideas

As social media platforms rapidly grow in popularity, there are a lot of concerns over the future of email marketing. Chances are, you’ve heard someone proclaim that email marketing is dying. This is a terrifying thought, but it’s far from the truth.  

Email still boasts a ridiculously high ROI of 4200%, yielding $40 for every $1 spent. This means an email marketing campaign remains one of the most profitable options for marketers. As long as people continue to check their emails–and they show no signs of stopping anytime soon–email marketing will continue to thrive. 

However, just because 99% of email users check their inbox daily doesn’t mean your email will actually engage them. How many new emails were in your inbox today? Out of those emails, how many did you delete without even opening? How many did you leave unopened? 40% of consumers admit they have at least 50 unopened emails in their inbox. Vying for your target audience’s attention is no small feat nowadays. Not only is your competition tough, but most people instinctively clear the promotions section of their inbox without actually checking it. This is why a creative and attention-grabbing email marketing campaign is so necessary. 

What Is An Email Marketing Campaign? 

An email marketing campaign is an email or a coordinated series of emails delivered to your subscribers with a clear call to action. To appeal to your consumers, email marketing campaigns typically provide some sort of value to them such as a discount, promotion, or opportunity. Ultimately, the goal of an email marketing campaign is to engage your subscriber and develop a long-term relationship with them. 

There are various types of email marketing campaigns. The most popular ones include welcome emails immediately after the consumer subscribes to your newsletter and updates on new content releases. 

12 Inspiring Email Marketing Campaigns Examples To Inspire Your Next Campaign

Everyone runs out of ideas sometimes. It doesn’t matter how many years of experience you have as a marketer, creativity alludes the best of us from time to time. If it’s inspiration you need for your next email marketing campaign, look no further than these examples of companies with inspiring email marketing campaigns to help you generate new ideas for your next one. 

1. Netflix 

Netflix recommending programs similar to Stranger Things email
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When it comes to re-engagement and content recommendation email marketing campaigns, hardly anyone does it better than Netflix.

This email campaign is a brilliant example of how to cultivate customer loyalty. Each time a viewer on Netflix finishes a series, they invite their customer to watch more. You’ll notice that there are several CTAs on this email and very little copy. Though it breaks the rules of a traditional email marketing campaign structure, it is incredibly effective. Their use of personalized recommendations based on the user’s watch history is the reason why the term “binge watching” is a thing. Email campaigns like this one do a great job at nurturing your brand’s relationship with your consumer.

The level of personalization in this email gives the consumer the impression that Netflix is intimately familiar with their tastes and preferences. Their content recommendations clearly reflect this. This ensures a long-term relationship between the consumer and Netflix. 

2. Disney Plus

Disney Plus Groupwatch email
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This email marketing campaign by Disney Plus demonstrates how to successfully promote a new service offering.

Instead of including one clear CTA, this email includes several. Through its sleek design, the consumer’s eyes are naturally drawn to the blue CTA amidst the black background. This undoubtedly increases the email marketing campaign’s CTR. However, there’s more than meets the eye with this email marketing campaign. For one, the timing of this email is pure marketing brilliance. The service Disney Plus is offering in this email allows its customers to watch movies and shows with their friends simultaneously. It was sent to customers in the midst of a pandemic lockdown during which everyone longed for social connection. The service offered directly responds to this need. Moreover, a Disney Plus subscription is required to participate in the service. If a customer sent an invitation to use this service to a friend without a subscription, that friend would then be incentivized to sign up for one.

It probably goes without saying, but this is a superb email marketing campaign by Disney Plus. 

3. HBO Max

HBO Max abandoned cart email example
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Streaming services spend a lot of their marketing budget on email campaigns. And it shows.

This email marketing campaign from HBO Max does an excellent job of tempting the subscriber to sign up for their streaming service. This strategy is similar to the highly effective abandoned cart emails that most companies send. Instead, it attempts to convert a subscriber into a paying customer by showing content the subscriber might be interested in and offering them a free one week trial of their service.

Perhaps, most convincing of all is the promise of no commitment. Underneath the clear CTA, HBO Max informs the subscriber that they can cancel the subscription at any point in time. This email marketing campaign is extremely likely to succeed at urging subscribers to try the free, no commitment trial of their service. 

4. Medium 

Medium upgrade to access unlimited exclusive stories
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The online publishing platform, Medium, excels at email marketing campaigns convincing free users to sign up for its membership.

As you can see, the marketing team at Medium does an excellent job of including a black CTA that stands out against the white background. The email heading is well structured and the design of the email is simple and clean. Medium also makes sure to thank the subscriber for using their website for free.

What this email does especially well is highlighting the benefits of a membership to the reader without overwhelming them with too much information. There’s also a good balance of copy and images. 

5. Airbnb 

AirBnB dream of something different email campaign
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Airbnb does a good at rekindling wanderlust within their subscribers during a pandemic with this email marketing campaign.

Its design is clean and well-structured. The amount of copy in the email is minimal so as not to take away from the gorgeous images. Airbnb’s marketing team makes the wise decision to focus this campaign more on the images of the various places their subscribers should consider for their next stay. They purposely recommend places that are based in nature to be mindful of social distancing concerns. Furthermore, what little copy they include in this email is brilliant.

One thing that stands out in particular is a message about their COVID-19 response to reassure any concerned subscribers that their safety is prioritized.  

6. Uber 

Uber safety standards email
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This email campaign by Uber is a great example of their design consistency as a brand.

Uber’s email marketing campaigns are known for its simplicity and this one is no different. There are few images and little copy used in this email, yet it delivers Uber’s intended message. They do an awesome job at highlighting keywords in a different color. This allows customers to quickly scan the email and understand its purpose.

In this case, the purpose of the email marketing campaign is to inform customers of the actions. Uber is taking to ensure their safety during the pandemic. 

7. Spotify

Spotify annual wrapped email
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If you use Instagram, chances are, you’ve come across this email marketing campaign by Spotify on someone’s story.

Every single year, without fail, Spotify customers share their yearly wrapped stats on their social media platforms. This is a testament to the power of this email marketing campaign. The design is extremely minimal and there’s very few words overall on this email, and yet, it is incredibly effective because of personalization. Who wouldn’t love to open an email about themselves? This email marketing campaign excels because Spotify deeply understands their customers and their music listening habits. 

8. Apple 

Apple buy a Mac or iPad for college and get AirPods
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Apple is another company that loves simplicity in its email marketing campaigns.

Although there are some large bodies of text in this email, it does a good job of balancing it with images. Its smartest move, however, is using the free offer as the header of the email. This improves the chances of the subscriber opening the email and engaging with it. The email marketing campaign also does an excellent job of scattering other free services and offers throughout the rest of the email.

9. Headspace 

Headspace email marketing campaign example
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Headspace is another company that does an amazing job at staying true to its brand design.

All of their email marketing campaigns utilize the same colour scheme as its brand design. This email is a great example of an event email. In addition to asking the customer to choose a topic, it encourages re-engagement with the RSVP CTA. Headspace does an awesome job of reaffirming their consumers that they care and value their opinion. Moreover, by continuing to urge them to engage with their service, Headspace is building a strong long-term relationship with subscribers. 

10. Starbucks 

starbucks email marketing campaign example
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There are few companies that do email marketing campaigns as well as Starbucks.

The structure of this email is impeccably clean. The colour scheme stays true to the brand’s design while it smoothly incorporates pops of bright colours to highlight a product release. This email marketing campaign excels at encouraging its subscribers to try the new product through the promise of free samples. They include several other smart CTAs in this email such as the option to sign up for the Starbucks rewards program. The copy does a great job at concentrating on the value the program offers its customers such as free coffee, other free drinks, and free food. 

11. Skillshare 

Skillshare 40% off a year of premium membership
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Skillshare does a lot things well with this email marketing campaign.

For starters, they smartly choose to use the subheading for the discount offer. This entices the consumer to continue reading and consider signing up for the premium membership. Another brilliant marketing move is to include member reviews in hopes of convincing the reader to follow through with subscribing to premium. The CTAs also pop out from the rest of the email and reinforce the discount offered to the consumer. 

12. Postmates 

Postmates free delivery on your next order
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Postmates is another company with highly effective email marketing campaigns.

They rely heavily on an image of delicious food to re-engage their customers. In addition to utilizing the power of delicious-looking food, Postmates often offers discounts or free delivery in their email marketing campaigns. This strategy is proven to be effective at persuading customers to return to the app and take advantage of the offer. 

Did These Email Marketing Campaign Examples Inspire You?

Hopefully, these examples of amazing email marketing campaigns sparked an idea for your next one. Each of these campaigns captured the attention of their audience for varying reasons. Some relied on eye-catching design while others stood out due to a personal touch. Remember that there’s no shame in borrowing the strategies of companies that are proven to be effective. In fact, it’s wise to do so. Once you’ve successfully pulled off your email marketing campaign, you can take your engagement to the next level with an email marketing funnel. Creating an email marketing funnel for your brand is a great way to maximize your efforts efficiently and ensure you keep in constant contact with your consumers. 

Author Bio

George J. Newton is a digital marketing manager and content writer for Write my research proposal and Dissertation writing service. He has a very patient wife of over ten years, who is his biggest supporter.

Hero photo by Kyle Glenn on Unsplash

Looking for some ideas to improve your email marketing? Check out these 12 email marketing campaign examples and what you can learn from them
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