10 Email Marketing Campaigns that Will Blow Your Mind

November 30, 2016

It might seem slightly taboo, but email marketing campaigns are still among the most reliable forms of outreach for growing your business. The trick to generating response and converting leads is learning to create unique, well-targeted campaigns.

The Radicati Group demonstrated the burgeoning audience for emails in their Email Statistics Report, 2013-2017, which documented that if you add the total number of Facebook accounts, plus the total of Twitter accounts, you’ll find you are still below the total number of existing email accounts–by three times! Clearly, you can’t afford to miss out on email conversion strategies, as shown by the report’s projection of dramatic growth in sheer numbers of email accounts.

radicati-snipNeed more inspiration? Here are 10 email campaigns that will absolutely blow your mind, together with the techniques they used to convert prospects from lurkers into customers.

1. Buzzfeed uses subject lines to shock you into reading.

Brevity is the soul of wit, just as it is the center of Buzzfeed’s email marketing strategy. Their subject lines will grab you and make you click. They have mastered the art of including a preview text block to follow up on that subject line that is sure to whet your appetite for more. However, don’t think that the “…” is there by chance. These guys measure exactly how many characters they have until cutoff for the major email clients, and they shape the message to leave a preview text at a cliffhanger, so you have to click to get your resolution.

2. Uber makes itself clear and gains customers as a result.



The uber-successful rideshare company, Uber, builds its customer base by keeping it simple. The call-to-action is up front and to-the-point, and they actually save the more detailed descriptions for the full read of the email, to bring in people who are looking for more information. Their emails are also incredibly bright and visually enticing, which adds to their strength in communicating with a simple text message.

3. Nicki Minaj uses stunning visuals and an incredible presence to get her message across.

Some industries require a bit more flash than others. If your business is aimed at a younger demographic or you are in an industry that prioritizes the visual, then do not be afraid to make your emails follow suit.

Younger people communicate through memes and gifs, so speak to them in their language when you email. Her emails created a very VIP feel that appealed to clubgoers looking for exclusive access.

4. There is nothing wrong with email automation, as discovered by charity: water.

Transactional emails are at the center of a charity: water campaign. However, instead of using this automation technique to brush aside donors and potential customers, this charity actually used its resources to show donors specifically where and how their money was being spent. Although the message was generally the same to the entire audience, each person felt a singular connection to the charity because the message took the time to explain. This email campaign helped to drive repeat donations and expand the charity: water donor list.

5. Dropbox’s industry isn’t all that funny, but its emails are.

Even people who do not use Dropbox have enjoyed the humor in emails received from the company. Their remarketing messages use cartoons and emoticons in a brief message that has been proven to increase repeat usage of the product and even draw in new customers who were not users before. Humor is also a great way to sell a product that is technical in nature. Although many people can actually use a filesharing service, they would never think to unless the concept was introduced to them with a spoonful of sugar–hence, the ingenious Dropbox campaign!

6. If you have an exclusive perspective on the news, sell that viewpoint, like Rolling Stone.


A Rolling Stone email to its subscribers doesn’t have one subject line–it has nine or ten. Each of those subject lines links to a story that someone will find interesting. Playing to a greater probability helps to ensure a higher clickthrough rate, which leads to higher overall brand engagement.

7. Let your subscribers celebrate milestones with you, like TheSkimm.

If you do not want to appear to be spamming your audience, you need to come up with a viable excuse each time you email your customer base. The good part is that this excuse does not need to be serious at all, so you should create any opportunity that you can for a party. TheSkimm uses its own anniversary to bring its subscription list new offers and retain engagement.

8. Use your emails to drive a lifestyle choice, like SeaFolly.

SeaFolly is a leading brand the world over for swimsuits and beach accessories because of its ability to create a narrative around its products. The emails that customers get from this company have much less to do with selling a loss leader and more to do with the creation and maintenance of a brand. Once you get a look at the incredible pictures of beautiful people having fun, you naturally want to put yourself in the same products they are wearing.

9. Did Birchbox really forget to give you that sample?

Sometimes, an outright white lie can be your opener to ensure that you get the click that you need. Birchbox occasionally fills its subject line with a lie, saying that it forgot to give you a certain offer last month, and all you have to do in order to take advantage of it is to “click now.” Although it may not be the absolute truth, customers do benefit from looking at the email, so it ends up being a win-win situation for everyone!

10. If you have star power, why not lead from that advantage, like Adidas?

Not everyone can afford super-producer Pharrell Williams as the face of an email campaign. However, this tip is still relevant for even the smallest startups because of the social influencer trend that is taking the SMB market by storm. You don’t need a TV star to drive clicks. Small companies are getting the same benefit as the big guys by targeting their niche audience through content creators from YouTube and Instagram.

Take the best ideas from some of these winning campaigns and put them to work in your own marketing for a chance at some great results. According to Campaign Monitor, 41% of email contacts are mobile device-initiated. Keep your ear to the street for new techniques that you can utilize, because new technologies create new opportunities. You might even sign up for a few of your favorite companies’ email marketing campaigns to ensure that you do not miss out on the next email trend. Better yet, let National Positions be part of your growth strategy, and harness our expertise to develop a successful email marketing campaign.

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