Email marketing has an ROI of 3200% for businesses and brands. So email marketing works. But only some email marketing campaigns do.
Especially given that users exchanged over 300 billion emails in all of 2020. So, what can you do to make your email stand out from the clutter? What goes into the making of a successful email marketing campaign?
Everything you always wanted to know about creating effective email marketing campaigns but were afraid to ask—ALL answered here!
What is an Email Campaign?
If you’ve been wondering what an email drip campaign is for a while, let’s clear some air about email campaigns and their usefulness for a brand’s marketing strategy. Without getting into complex definitions, let’s just say that email marketing sends emails to existing and potential customers at its most basic level.
An email marketing campaign is a series of emails with a common end goal in mind. These emails could be sent in an automated fashion (in which case we call it an autoresponder sequence), or they could be sent out as a weekly or monthly newsletter blast (also called eblast).
The overall objectives behind an email marketing campaign are usually education, entertainment, or a potent mixture of both.
When done right, an email newsletter campaign lets you build deeper relationships with your subscribers over time, which eventually translates into increased leads and enhanced sales for your business.
Why is Email Campaign Important?
Email marketing continues to play a pivotal role in the marketing mix in this digital age.
As the most profitable channel for a business, email campaigns help you connect and engage with potential customers. It allows you to build long-lasting relationships and drive sales. Here are some reasons to run email campaigns for your business:
- Increase brand awareness;
- Drive customer engagement with the brand;
- Boost website traffic;
- Generate more interested leads;
- Nurture these leads toward a sale;
- Sell more products and add more revenue to your business;
- Email helps you to convert & nurture leads.
And it helps you do all of this at a meager cost (as compared to the paid ad ecosystem or advertising) and, more often than not, on complete automation.
11 Email Campaign Examples We Enjoy
There are many types of email campaigns, so choosing one that will help you achieve your business goals is essential. Here are some email campaign examples based on the different types:
Welcome emails are one of the most important emails you will ever send. It sets the foundation for the future relationship with the subscriber. Here’s an example of a great welcome email by Last Crumb:
The welcome email is great at creating an instant connection. The personalized letter with an appealing header image makes the reader feel special. The talk about brand values in the welcome email is an excellent idea, as most consumers are attracted to brands with a strong ethos.
Why does this welcome email work?
- Relatable and warm email copy;
- Simple and minimalist design;
- Reassurance and confidence towards brand values;
When are welcome emails used?
- When someone signs up for your email list;
- Just after the first interaction with your brand;
- When a new user makes a purchase.
Monthly newsletters are personal letters a brand or a business sends to subscribers. Generally, newsletters have a common theme and reach out to users on a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly basis. Here’s a great example of a monthly newsletter by Scott’s Cheap Flights:
The company sends a monthly newsletter touching on a relevant topic and sharing its take on the issue. The newsletter email discusses the issue and shares relevant stuff, articles, blogs, and more for the reader, just like a magazine.
Why does this newsletter email campaign work?
- Reminds users about your brand or business;
- Adds value to subscriber’s life consistently;
- Shares things that they’d love to read on a regular basis.
When to send email newsletters?
- Regularly, at the end or beginning of every month or week.
Promotional Email Campaign
Promotional email campaigns tell subscribers about your latest offers, sales, discounts, or deals on your product range. It’s a great way to remind them about you, generate interest, and increase sales by luring customers to buy. Here’s a great example by Gold Belly:
The refreshing email has a striking and eye-catchy design. Plus, the reference (and social credential) to Martha Stewart is an ice-breaker, making the subscriber consider buying from the brand. The promotional email has excellent offers, a subject line that stands out (Banana Pudding on Sale — Martha Steward APPROVED! ), and great CTAs to make an impact.
Why does this promotional email work?
- Attention-grabbing subject line;
- Beautiful email design;
- Social proof embedded within the email;
- Great and contextual offers that tempt users to make a purchase.
When to send promotional email campaigns?
- Before you plan a big sale or promotion campaign;
- When you want to generate incremental sales revenue;
- Every time you add a new product or collection to your eCommerce store.
Seasonal Email Campaign
Seasonal email campaigns are great for engaging users during the holidays or summer, especially when you’ve relevant offers or products. Seasonal email campaigns should be contextual and geared towards selling seasonally relevant products or services—for example, warm clothes during the holiday season. Look at the following example by Lululemon:
The email is sent during the winter when everyone appreciates cozy joggers and winterwear. The timing of the email, the warm vibe, and the relatable email copy make it a tremendous seasonal email campaign.
Why does this seasonal email work?
- Relatable and witty copywriting;
- Great and contextual offer, relevant to the reader;
- Warm color tones and photography.
When to send a seasonal email campaign?
- During the start of the holiday or winter season;
- At the end of the year, as seasons greetings;
- At the start of the summer season promoting your ‘summer essentials’ range, if any.
Re-engagement Triggered Email Series
Triggered email campaigns or sequences are sent based on user activity or action. For example, an order confirmation email after a user buys something from the website. Here’s a great example of a triggered email series by Freshly.
The email is triggered based on the online behavior of the user and is sent to customers who’ve not ordered in a long time. The interesting and rewarding limited-time offer is a sure way to re-engage and win back lost customers. The subject line for this email — ‘Get $6.16 Dinners When You Come Back, Fam!’ is intriguing enough to make someone open the email.
Why does this triggered email series work?
- Contextual offer sent at the right time;
- Engaging hook (subject line) topped with a valuable offer;
- Simple yet powerful CTA button prompting the user to give the brand a second chance.
When to send triggered email campaigns?
- To win back lost customers when they’ve not ordered in a long time;
- To cart abandoners after they’ve left without checking out;
- To engage users after they’ve checked out a particular product or page on your website.
You can set up and automate a re-engagement campaign using the campaign automation feature within Sender. Just set out the conditions to trigger the email and let Sender nurture your leads on autopilot.
Nurturing Email Campaigns
Nurturing emails are sent to nurture prospects, influence them to buy something, or even aim at inactive prospects or customers who have not engaged with your brand for some time now.
The key purpose is to move them further into the buyer’s journey and make them buy something from your store. Here’s an example from Wix:
Wix used the special sales offer as a reason to nurture inactive or trial users to convince them to upgrade to a paid plan. Nurturing emails are a great way to break the ice, address apprehensions, or entice them, as Wix did with their email campaign. You can consider sending re-engagement emails like we miss you emails as a reactivation or nurturing attempt before segmenting a subscriber or trial user into your churn list.
Why does this nurturing email work?
- Great offer, addressing the price apprehension to upgrade;
- Countdown timer, adding a sense of urgency to act;
When to send nurturing email campaigns?
- During the awareness and consideration stage of the buyer’s journey;
- When someone has been on your list for some time but hasn’t spent anything on your store.
Abandoned Cart Series
Cart abandonment is a big problem for the eCommerce industry. According to the most recent estimates, 57-84% of carts are abandoned across different industries. This translates to massive losses for eCommerce businesses.
Automating a cart abandonment email can be profitable to win back your customers and increase your sales revenue. Here’s an interesting cart abandonment email template example by Luxy Hair:
This interesting email is an excellent attempt to return the shopper’s attention to the Luxy Hair store. The witty one-liners in the header with a bold CTA button to complete checkout is enough to convince them to give their pick a second thought.
Why does this abandoned cart email work?
- Witty copywriting in the header;
- Clear reasons to rethink the purchase as a separate block;
- Special ‘buy now pay later offer within the email.
When to send abandoned cart email campaigns?
- Few hours after the cart is abandoned;
- Second follow-up a day after cart abandonment;
- Third follow-up after two days of abandoning the cart.
Post-purchase Drip Campaign
A post-purchase drip is an email sequence that’s triggered in the event of a sale. Post-purchase campaigns are designed to thank the user for the purchase, ask for feedback, or even upsell by providing personalized product recommendations.
Such campaigns can come in a series of 2, 3, or more emails and can be spread over weeks after the purchase. Here’s an example of a post-purchase email by the cosmetic brand Tarte Cosmetics:
The email is sent a few days after someone makes a purchase, thanking and appreciating them for buying something from the store. The charming compliment and vibrant color theme will surely create a strong brand recall in favor of the brand.
Why does this post-purchase drip sequence work?
- Appreciation for the shopper right in the beginning;
- Subtle upsell with personalized recommendations for complementing products;
- Peppy and refreshing color and email design.
When to send post-purchase drip email?
- After someone completes a purchase in your store.
Upselling email campaigns are designed to offer an upgrade to your existing customers. The core purpose of sending an upsell email is to re-engage the buyer, tempting them to spend more on your products. Good upselling techniques increase the customer lifetime value for a company. Here’s a great example of an upsell email by Bokksu:
The email has a clear and straightforward proposition — additional savings of $89 when someone upgrades + 15% off. Something hard to miss for an existing customer. Topped with the add-on offer, the urgency angle (10 days only) will tempt many subscribers to upgrade instantly.
Why does this upsell email work?
- Clear and straightforward upsell benefit;
- Additional upgrade offer topped with a copy that invokes a sense of urgency;
- Clever CTA button with a subscript offering additional support for upgrade assistance.
When to send upsell email campaigns?
- Periodically during the buyer’s engagement lifecycle with your brand;
- Every time an existing shopper tries to search for premium offerings (or access locked features).
Have you ever visited a local supermarket where sales guys are trying to convince you to buy something or the other? That’s a cross-selling tactic — luring interested peeps by showing products they might like. In the world of eCommerce and email marketing, cross-selling involves sending contextual product recommendations that the customers might end up buying. Look at the following email by Ralph Lauren:
The email is sent to a carefully segmented list of buyers who bought something from the store. The email shares recommendations to complement their purchase and complete their look. How the email is designed + the subject line ‘Complete your Look Now’ will drive engagement and potential sales, too.
Why does this cross-sell email work?
- Scheduled to be sent at the right time — just after someone has completed a purchase;
- Contextual product recommendations without the frills of a complex design or confusing options.
When to send cross-sell email campaigns?
- After someone has completed a purchase in your store;
- Periodically, based on the buyer’s shopping behavior on your website.
Birthday & Anniversary Emails
Who doesn’t like birthday or anniversary wishes? Well, your subscribers sure do. Running a birthday or anniversary email campaign is a great way to tell your subscribers you care. You can share special offers, gifts, or samples as birthday gifts. Here’s a great example by L ‘Occitane:
The email warmly wishes the subscriber and offers a gift for every birthday purchase. The beautiful design and a valuable offer will show the recipient that the brand has really considered sending this wish. Plus, the contextual recommendations are a cherry on top.
Why does this birthday email work?
- Free gift and shipping offer on birthdays;
- Contextual shopping recommendations based on buyer’s likes and dislikes;
- Cheerful and celebratory email design.
When to send birthday or anniversary email campaigns?
- On birthdays or anniversaries of your subscribers (Segment your list based on birthdays or anniversaries beforehand).
Announcement Email Campaign
An announcement email can be a great way to involve your subscribers and customers about the latest happenings within your company. You can send company updates, new product launch information, acquisition details, funding news, or share news of any other major milestone. Look at this email by Wellfound (formerly AngelList Talent):
The email informs the users about the rebranding effort and the new brand identity. It also shares what’s in it for them and asks them to check it out themselves. The personal note, along with an assurance that things will be better than before, worked wonders for this campaign.
Why does this announcement email work?
- Simple language that instills confidence in the new entity;
- Clarity of thought and expression;
- Prominent CTA button sharing what’s next for the reader.
When to send announcement email campaigns?
- When there’s a company-wide update to be shared with stakeholders;
- On the launch of new verticals, products, or ventures;
- In case of an acquisition, achievement, or even failure.
Holiday Email Campaign
Holiday emails are fun as shoppers have ample time to consider their options. Sending them promotional emails during the holidays is a great tactic to increase your sales. Such email sequences aim for maximum revenue generation with the help of holiday discounts and great offers.
Typically, such campaigns run during Black Friday, Cyber Monday (BFCM), Christmas, New Year, and other holidays email marketing campaigns like the one below:
This simple email is straightforward and doesn’t expect the recipient to buy anything. Instead, it asks them to check out what the company has prepared for them. The simplicity and intrigue would have surely driven many clicks on the CTA button.
Why does this holiday email work?
- Friendly and warm holiday greetings;
- A relatable and intriguing introductory text to drive engagement;
When to send holiday email campaigns?
- During Black Friday, cyber Monday, or holiday weeks;
- When you launch holiday offers and deals.
Creating an Effective Email Marketing Campaign
Designing successful email marketing campaigns can be fun but challenging too. Here are a few tips and best practices to help you design and send effective email marketing campaigns:
1. Understand Your Target Audience Well
Work through this backward by listing all of the problems your product or service solves, and then create your Buyer Persona by seeing what types of people have this problem.
- Identify their needs, desires, and expectations;
- Conduct market research about what pain points are most critical;
- Document your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) based on demography, psychography, behavioral, and geographical parameters.
2. Create an Accurate List of Interested Prospects
You need good input to get great output. So ensure that your opt-in forms and popups are highly optimized for relevancy based on buyer persona. This will help you capture the most-interested prospects and leads:
- Optimize your forms and opt-ins for high-conversion;
- Add your popup forms on relevant pages;
- Regularly clean and update your email list.
Also read: What is a Prospective Customer? Definition, Examples
3. Segment Your List
Categorize your email list into categories based on the audience’s motivation to buy, common characteristics, or general parameters. You can use documented target audience profiles to segment your list based on the following:
- Demographic characteristics, like age, gender, etc.
- Geographical factors, like city, state, or regions they live;
- Behavioral segments based on their online activity or behavior on the website;
- Psychographic factors like their needs, goals, expectations, and drives.
4. Clearly Understand the End Goal
Define the goals of your email marketing strategy beforehand. Basically, what do you want to achieve by running email campaigns? Ask yourself:
- Why are you running email campaigns?
- Do you want maximum downloads of a particular resource, more consultation call bookings, or flat-out sales and direct revenue?
- What will be the end result, and how will it impact your business’ revenue?
5. Chart the Prospect’s Buying Journey
Identify touchpoints where they will likely need education, information, and handholding. These touchpoints are where your emails fit in. Often, it will take deep research and more than a single email to understand what they want, but this will help you to:
- Get an idea of the timeline for which your campaign will run;
- Identify opportunities to personalize your email campaigns;
- Stay relevant and contextual.
6. Create a Compelling Subject Line
Your subject line is the first thing a prospect will notice. Moreover, it’s the only thing that will entice them to click on your email. So, always pay extra attention to creating subject lines. Your subject lines should:
- Consist of action words or reasons to click;
- Be personalized;
- Invoke FOMO, urgency, or curiosity;
- Not contain common spam words.
7. Spend Time on Content and Copywriting
Your content is the fuel that runs your marketing campaign. So, always use language and tone that aligns with your buyer personas.
- Keep the copy direct and unambiguous;
- Use many bullet points;
- Break down your email copy under headers and/or sections.
8. Design Your Email Newsletter
Use a powerful email marketing tool with an in-built, drag-and-drop email design editor. The design should be attractive, colorful, and have a lot of engaging or interactive elements.
- Mix and match different design elements;
- Always follow your brand theme and guidelines;
Sender features a high-quality drag and drops editor that allows you to design your HTML email newsletter from scratch. Often you can do this using pre-made templates without having to write a single line of code or work with a mockup, graphics editors, for that matter.
9. Add Relevance with Email Personalization
Use your buyer personas to contextualize your emails and personalize your emails. It will help you stay relevant and drive conversions. Use email marketing automation tools to schedule your emails automatically so subscribers receive the right communication at the right time. You can personalize the following elements using custom fields and tags:
- Email subject lines;
- Preview texts;
- Email copy.
10. Follow a Standard Format and Ensure Compliance
It’s a good practice to have a standardized format in your email campaigns to stay memorable, maintain a recall, and stay compliant with anti-spam regulations such as GDPR. Your email campaign format should mandatorily include the following:
- Email footer with a detailed signature
- Your postal as well as reply to address;
- Option/link to unsubscribe.
11. Check Your Emails for Responsiveness
Always test your campaign for deliverability and responsiveness. Your campaign should look, feel, and appear the same across all mobile devices and platforms.
- Use a mobile responsive design;
- Break down email layout into sections to ensure high readability;
- Test your email campaigns for responsiveness and deliverability.
12. Always Measure Email Campaign Success
Email marketing solutions help you to track important metrics to optimize your email strategy accordingly. You should always track the following campaign metrics:
- Open rate;
- Clickthrough rate;
- Bounce rate;
- Spam score;
- Conversion rate.
Key Takeaways: Email Campaigns
- Start scheduling email marketing campaigns to get the most out of your marketing efforts;
- Always segment your email lists to personalize your marketing campaigns;
- Align your email marketing campaigns based on your overall business goals;
- Use email marketing software with marketing automation capabilities to trigger and schedule automated campaigns.
- 7 Best Email Marketing Services in 2023 (Free & Paid)
- 40+ Newsletter Popup Design Examples That Inspire
- 9 Best Mailchimp Alternatives for 2023 (Incl. Free Competitors)
Email Campaign FAQs
How Does an Email Campaign Work?
An email campaign is a sequence of messages delivered via email to your audience list. Every campaign has a common theme generally, but that can change based on your goals and the audience’s needs. When planned right, an email campaign generates high ROI, increases leads, and boosts customer satisfaction.
A good email marketing campaign starts with determining the goals and objectives for your campaign. It then looks at the audience you want to target and their needs. The next step is determining what type of messages resonate with them. After that, you design the message and set up the campaign. The last step is testing the campaign to measure its performance.
How Do I Start an Email Campaign?
You can start an email campaign easily by defining the goals you want to achieve, picking a marketing automation tool, planning content, and selecting an email list. Most email marketing tools help you plan everything from starting and executing it in a streamlined fashion. So, picking a marketing automation tool should be the first step to starting an email campaign.
How Do You Write a Successful Email Campaign?
While writing email copy for an email campaign, you should always consider your audience’s interests and preferences. Keep everything concise, hit directly to the pain points, and pay special attention to the subject lines, pre-headers, and CTA copy. Create attention-grabbing hooks that entice readers to open and interact with your email.
How to Create an Email Campaign?
Creating and designing an email campaign is easy when you have a drag-and-drop email builder like Sender. Use the email builder to design your email newsletter from scratch, or use a readymade template and customize it according to your need.
How to Measure the Effectiveness of an Email Marketing Campaign?
Measuring the campaign’s effectiveness helps determine the ROI of an email campaign. You need to track metrics like open rates, clickthrough rates, bounce rates, spam scores, conversion rates, and time spent reading the email to understand the effectiveness. Everything that gives you data about your reach, engagement, and impact on lead/sales pipeline/revenue. An email marketing tool can easily track opens, clicks, and conversions.
What is the Best Time to Send an Email Campaign?
The best times depend on the kind of email campaign and your industry. The best time for B2B email campaigns is when people are in their offices. Based on performance data, the best time to send emails is between 9:00 am and 11:00 am. Any day or time – weekends, early mornings, late nights, or public holidays don’t work that great. For B2C campaigns, the best days to send an email campaign are Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.
Also read: Best Time to Send Emails in 2023: By Email Type
How to Design Email Campaign Templates?
Use an email marketing solution with a drag-and-drop email builder and a template library like Sender to easily design your email campaigns. A drag-and-drop email builder lets you create impeccable designs without coding. You can also use the in-built email template library to choose a high-converting email template for your campaigns quickly.
Anmol Ratan Sachdeva is a content marketer and small business consultant who has a strong grip on topics like marketing automation, research, email marketing, and content marketing. He loves to write about starting, improving, and growing a business.