Welcome to a roundup of 2023’s most impactful email marketing campaigns! In this post, we’ll show you five outstanding examples of how small businesses are leveraging the power of email to engage, convert, and delight their subscribers.
These campaigns have set new benchmarks for email marketing effectiveness. So, from personalization to compelling copywriting, we'll also explore the strategies behind these successful campaigns.
Ready to be inspired by email marketing campaigns that are making waves this year? Let’s dive in!
Campaign 1: Welcome emails
Sending a welcome email is absolutely crucial. Imagine joining a new club and then hearing crickets when you walk in. A welcome email is like a warm hug from a new friend. It's the first email you get when you join a club or sign up for something online. Its job is to say "hi," and introduce the club, group, newsletter, or app you’ve joined.
Why does it work?
Welcome emails are your chance to make a positive and memorable first impression. They set the tone for your relationship with your audience and help establish a connection.
They also confirm that the user successfully completed an action, such as signing up or making a purchase, reducing uncertainty and increasing trust in your brand.
Introducing subscribers to your brand's offerings, products, or services also drives engagement and interest. Welcome emails pave the way for your upcoming affiliation with your audience.
Example of a welcome email campaign
We love the welcome emails from Headspace, as they do several things right.
First off, the emails have a very clean and calming design. Headspace has chosen a simple and non-chaotic template, entirely in line with the product’s essence.
The first email begins with a welcome note, instantly letting the user know that their sign-in or opt-in was successful. The mention of the brand name ensures instant recognition by users, and they’re not left wondering who the sender is.
The email lets users know their offerings quickly and provides a clear and easy-to-see call to action (CTA). What really makes this campaign shine, though, is the use of personalization. The simple addition of the user’s name takes it to another level!
Campaign 2: Promotional emails
Ok, so you got your user’s attention and even got them to sign up. They’ve shown interest in your brand, and now you have to let them know more about your offerings. This is where promotional emails come in.
Promotional emails are messages sent to subscribers or customers to promote your products, services, special offers, or events. Promotional emails can have discounts, special offers, bonus deals, or anything else that might interest your user to make a purchase.
Why does it work?
From a marketing perspective, promotional emails are important, as they drive sales and revenue directly. By showcasing products, services, or special offers, your aim is to encourage recipients to make purchases, thereby contributing to your business’s bottom line.
But, even if the user doesn’t make a purchase, these emails raise awareness about your new products or services. They keep subscribers informed about the latest offerings, ensuring the brand remains top-of-mind. They can also drive traffic to your website, opening up opportunities for engagement.
Example of a promotional email campaign
Grammarly excels at email marketing, and its promotional emails are spot on!
Who says promotional emails have to be complicated? We love the simple formula followed in these emails. These emails have three elements: the offer, the benefits, and the nudge.
The first email isn’t personalized, so it’s likely for a user who’s expressed interest in the product but isn’t currently using it or is in the free trial phase. The benefit is big, upfront, and simple: “win at writing.” There’s a non-specific blurb spanning work emails to blog posts and a discount offer with it.
In the photo above, notice how well Grammarly personalizes the next email for a user with some working experience with the product. Below the CTA, benefits are expressed in detail in a table, and the features are explicitly named.
The “today only” and “48 hrs only” offers in both emails give the user just enough nudge to click that clear CTA button. Also, note how Grammarly offers a bigger discount with the non-personalized email. It’s genius!
However, it’s best practice to personalize your emails. With a mail merge tool like YAMM, you can automatically personalize every email sent with the subscriber’s name, making it more eye-catching for them.
Campaign 3: Relational emails
Customers love buying but hate being sold to! So, you can’t sell all the time, but what do you do in the time that you’re not selling? This is where relational emails come in.
Any kind of email you send to your user to foster, nurture, or grow the relationship falls in this category. These emails are less “salesy” and more focused on providing valuable content that humanizes your brand. Newsletters are a great example of relational emails.
Why does it work?
Relational emails help establish and nurture genuine relationships with your customers. They help you go beyond one-time transactions and create a loyal and engaged customer base. They also enhance customer loyalty and increase engagement.
But more importantly, relational emails provide an opportunity for segmenting your audience based on their interaction with your email content, well-suited for different stages of the customer lifecycle. You can send them at onboarding, to new subscribers, or even to inactive customers.
Examples of a relational email
This newsletter from the productivity app Trello is a perfect example of how you can deliver value to your customer without selling.
The newsletter offers valuable tips and insights, yet they manage to integrate their products into the solutions they offer.
What’s great is how this newsletter presents an excellent opportunity for the segmentation of customers depending on the links clicked or sections engaged with.
Campaign 4: Referral emails
Your customers can be your best brand advocates. A referral email is a communication that encourages your existing customers or contacts to refer friends, family members, or acquaintances to become new customers.
The purpose of a referral email is to leverage existing customers' trust and relationships with people in their network to expand the customer base and acquire new leads.
Also, if you look at it, people of the same interests usually stick together. So, it’s highly likely that you’ll find another customer within the networks of your existing customers.
Why does it work?
Referral emails work because they leverage the power of word-of-mouth marketing, which is a cost-effective strategy compared to traditional advertising methods.
Referral marketing also generates warm leads and is more likely to convert customers. This is because they come with a trusted recommendation from someone they know.
Most offer a discount in exchange for a referral. It’s a compelling offer!
Example of a referral emails
This email from Starbucks shows the efficacy of referral emails.
It’s a myth that only elaborately designed emails get good responses. In fact, the simpler, cleaner, and easier to understand an email, the more likely your customer will understand and more likely it will resonate.
You can find countless examples of referral emails on the internet. What we love in the example above is how the headline says it all and how simply the offering is explained.
The email also has a unique diagram illustrating what you and your friends stand to gain, followed by a CTA. Simplicity always wins!
Campaign 5: Seasonal emails
Lastly, because marketers just need a reason to communicate with their audience, don’t forget to send seasonal emails. You can send seasonal emails to your customers at the start of a specific season, holiday, or event.
Tailoring your emails to the themes, sentiments, and activities associated with the event is crucial for maximum impact. The goal is to engage recipients and drive specific actions, such as making a purchase or taking advantage of seasonal offers.
Why does it work?
Seasonal emails work as they leverage the excitement associated with specific times of the year to capture recipients' attention. If your emails promote special offers, discounts, or limited-time deals that encourage recipients to make purchases, it can boost revenue during peak seasons.
Examples of a seasonal email
Starbucks takes another spot on our list because of how well they brand themselves during holidays. Take a look at this Starbucks Valentine’s Day ad.
Holidays can be a chaotic time, with your customers getting offers and discounts from all angles. A straightforward approach like this one, with a neat design and clear CTAs, might be best. It's eye-popping, but easy on the eyes at the same time.
Send out email marketing campaigns with YAMM
So there it is! Five types of email campaigns and examples to inspire your imagination. But starting an email campaign shouldn’t mean letting go of your favorite email platform. If you’re using Gmail, you should know about YAMM, an easy-to-use mail merge add-on!You can elevate your campaigns by effortlessly reaching a broader audience, personalizing messages, and tracking engagement without leaving Google platforms! Check out YAMM today.