Since then, I've been collecting examples of email marketing that are awesome to be used in a sequel to that post. Be it lovely design, captivating copy, or just a great use of the medium, please enjoy the following companies' great email marketing.
And, hey, sorry it took two years to collect more examples. I just didn't want to sign up for a bunch of email lists in the hopes they might send something remarkable -- this post's the real curated deal, baby!
1) Klout Nails Hyper-Personalization
I don't know Bob personally, but Klout knows we're connected, and that he's asking questions about areas that align with my subject matter expertise. That's good personalization, to be sure. But it's made even better because Klout knows most people like being needed. If someone needs your help, you get to be a superhero -- you need help with a content strategy for your SaaS company!? I'M ON MY WAY, BOB!
2) Hipmunk Performs an Email Marketing/Blogging Mashup
This is like the lovechild of an email newsletter and a blog post, with some cute chipmunk action peppered in.
Any seasoned content marketer knows people don't read everything you write, and list content, in particular, is created to be scanned. This email is basically the headers from a blog post put in an email, with a CTA at the end for you to take a next step. It's brilliant in its simplicity.
Maybe we should all start blogging like this, eh?
3) The Atlantic Apologizes With Remarkable Copy
Sometimes you write something, hit publish, and carry on with life. Other times, a squad of commenters is ready to tell you everything you did wrong. For those other times, follow Alexis' lead, who turned a mistake in a scientific newsletter blurb about a submarine exploring a hydrocarbon sea on one of Jupiter's moons into a hilarious mythological, pun-filled apology of astronomical proportions. Well played, Alexis.
4) Litmus Hacks Video in Email
Some audiences love video, but the idea of embedding a video in email can be a scary proposition. What if the video doesn't play? What if it's broken? What if it gets caught in a filter? That's why I love Litmus' hack here -- they took a still from the video and added the little "play" arrow icon we're familiar with. So, users will click to play, and the video will play -- but its on their website.
5) Animated GIFs: TOMS Knows How to Use 'Em
I love me a good animated GIF, but frankly they're often misused to the point of distraction. This email is aesthetically beautiful and accented with lovely animated GIFs that add to the design instead of taking away from it.
6) Bare Necessities Perfects Their Opener
Performers know the importance of a strong opener. It sets the tone for the show, grabs people's attention, and reassures the audience that you're in control.
Email marketers have taken that concept and applied it to the email subject line: You gotta hook 'em up front. This ecommerce shop stood out from the clutter of X% OFF, TODAY ONLY, EXCLUSIVE DEAL, and actually used some humor and colloquial language to get clicks.
7) UrbanDaddy's Ain't Too Bad, Either
UrbanDaddy constantly wins my heart over with their email subject lines and copywriting, but this one really took the cake. They've adapted to the email medium, and in an email where there's actually a contextual explanation for doing so (they were promoting a privacy-related product).
K.I.S.S. From the subject line, to the layout, to the design, to the call-to-action. Tumblr has a bunch of blogs. Some of them are brilliant. They want to show them to you. It can be as simple as that.
10) UncommonGoods Proves GIFs Can Serve a Practical Purpose
You know when you plan to do your holiday shopping in November, and then you actually do it like three days before instead? UncommonGoods planned for that, sending an email with the subject line "When Will It Arrive?" Already, the email's incredibly helpful. But then, instead of simply listing out the arrival dates, they made use of an animated GIF to explain the relationship between order date and arrival date.
This email is the inbound marketing in a nutshell: Helpful, well-formatted content intersects with timeliness and relevancy to drive business.
Hope you enjoyed the roundup of well-executed email marketing. Which companies constantly impress you? Check out some more of our favorite HubSpot marketing email examples.
Originally published Jun 25, 2014 8:00:00 AM, updated June 11 2021