In the age of fast ads and content marketing, does email still hold a place in consumers’ interests?

The answer is a resounding YES.

Email marketing can be a form of customer care that encourages loyalty and makes your best clients feel your sincerity.

Contrary to popular belief, email marketing isn’t just a bunch of standard templates to fill in with customers’ names. It ranges a wide span of methods, including direct mail, newsletters, advertisements, and promotional offers.

This marketing method is especially helpful for startups and other small businesses who may want to widen their reach without necessarily cashing out too much on advertising funds. However, it can also benefit already established businesses in the same way that loyalty packages can engage interested customers.

Fortunately, while email may seem to give way to more popular online marketing techniques like viral video and infographic sharing, it still has its place in attracting customer attention.

These 10 brands in our list have some of the best email marketing campaigns which prove that good old fashioned email isn’t dead yet:

1. Airbnb

Create a personalized introduction email.

Airbnb’s emails are clean and simple, from design to content. The subtle branding gives way to customer relevance. The best part about this campaign, however, is in the introductory email.

Why it works: The key to email marketing is personalization, but not in the usual “Dear [insert name here]” way. There needs to be an organic feeling to the message you’re sending them. But before you get there, you need to establish yourself first through an introduction.

Sending a welcome message to customers, especially those who are still new or potential ones, can boost engagement. Personalization plays a big role in email marketing, so make sure to leverage this as much as possible.

2. Help Scout

Give your readers freebies or information they want.

Not all brands give away freebies, and when they do, there are certain loopholes in the execution – the brand voice isn’t evident, it isn’t relevant to the customer’s interests, or both. This is why it’s necessary to really flesh out both your brand identity and target audience before setting out on campaigns.

Help Scout does this with its free e-book offer, delivering emails specifically to engaged customers who are interested in knowing more about their customer service techniques.


Why it works: Customers are always eager to know what your business has to offer them, not the other way around. An interesting freebie like this one hooks their attention right away and gives your product or service some exposure.

Remember to tap into this potential by offering something extra in your next email campaign. Don’t feel bad about the giveaway. If people like your work, you reel them in further through a follow-up email.

3. Banana Republic

Provide a slow reveal and lead audiences back to your site.

Banana Republic’s exclusive giveaway to previous customers is engaging in both visuals and content. It offers subscribers to a sneak preview for a promo catered specifically to their preferences.

The catch: the customer needs to click the email and move to the site to see it. Piquing both customer attention and making use of personalization, this campaign is an ingenious way to improve customer engagement.

Why it works: This campaign puts together the best parts of an effective marketing campaign we’ve previously mentioned: personalization and customer incentives. People want free things that cater to their specific interests and needs, but you wouldn’t want to give it to them straight away.

Tease customers a bit and reveal only the right amount of information with a personalized incentive that requires a follow-through. This effective method is sure to pique their interest and lead them to your site.

4. PayPal

Craft an email campaign that will resonate with your audience.

PayPal’s incentive email marketing campaigns don’t cater to a specific customer, but they do talk about shopping sprees, splitting the bill, and other financially relatable scenarios. For its target audience, this is an interesting email that will immediately catch their attention by calling to their sensibilities.


Why it works: On the other end of the marketing spectrum, there’s relatability. While tailoring your campaigns for a very specific audience, or an individual in the case of email marketing, can really get you in on that specific niche, choosing to relate to a general experience can give you just as good an advantage.

In this marketing campaign, PayPal taps into common financial experiences people encounter. This is relevant to both their niche and to the target audience’s interest. In a way, it hits two birds with one stone. Utilizing this campaign style can get people interested in your services by tugging at their heartstrings.

5. Rip Curl

Use power words in subject headings to propel readers into action.

The Australian sports brand uses some simple yet really powerful email headlines. One of those that stand out is “Join the Revolution”. Perhaps the secret is actually in its conciseness. Without being overly dramatic, Rip Curl’s email marketing headlines manage to tug at people’s interest in being part of something bigger than themselves, or engaging in a totally new activity.


Why it works: When it comes to email marketing, first impressions do count. According to digital marketing guru Jay Baer, 35% of email recipients base their first impression of an email on the subject heading.

Using impactful words can move people to action. These strong phrasings rise above the daily pleasantries of generic email templates. Take a tip or two from Rip Curl’s powerful subject heading to jolt clients off their seats and click on to the next part of the email.

6. Drybar

Keep it simple.


Drybar’s minimalist design is evident in the visuals of its product promotion emails. In a nearly all-white backdrop, save for a few pastel outlines, products are showcased to the customer. The brand definitely makes use of the space around it to do one thing alone – promote content.

Why it works: Experts from Scholar Advisor say that 65% of the population claim to be visual learners – being able to communicate your brand in any marketing campaign through visuals is definitely a must. In this example, Drybar exudes the minimalistic simplicity of its brand in one ecommerce email.

While a simple style may work for some brands, note that it may not wholly communicate your brand’s voice. Following the example above means you’ll need to find out what visuals work best to pique people’s interests but at the same time introduce your brand to them.

7. Kate Spade

Provide customers with opportunity for feedback.

Right above Kate Spade’s promo offer email is a sign that reads “Penny for your Thoughts?” This largely advertised slogan immediately catches the customer’s attention before anything else. In a pastel backdrop, the bolded words jump out at you before “25% off” does.


Why it works: In order to keep their attention, you’ll need to acknowledge loyal customers. There are several ways to do this. In previous points, we’ve mentioned offering customer incentives tailored to their specific buying patterns or habits. Another effective method would be to ask for feedback.

Customers want to be heard, and in a customer-centric industry, you need to be able to cater to every concern that might arise. Address this in your email campaign by adding a feedback prompt. If you’re really dedicating an email entirely to customer commentary, you can even attach a feedback form where they can voice out their opinions on your brand.

8. Harry’s

Use email marketing opportunities to build customer loyalty.

Utilize every opportunity to engage (though subtly) the customer. Harry’s order arrival email has been profiled by Shopify as a perfect example of this assertive strategy. In its transactional email, Harry’s not only mechanically announces the arrival of the customer’s order, it also includes a little something extra, like a bit of educational know-how related to the brand.

Why it works: You don’t have to always enclose educational trivia like Harry’s does in its campaign – admittedly, it may be a distinct style to their brand. However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t also take the opportunity to customize every email and engage your customers. Instead of generic congratulatory emails, tap into the analytics to see how you can personalize your next customer email for better engagement.

9. Amazon

Tap into your analytics to provide email recommendations based on engagement or buying behavior.

As one of the world’s largest online stores, Amazon’s email marketing campaign taps into its customers’ specific purchasing habits. And it lets them know this. In its campaign, Amazon includes recommendations based on customer preferences. Now that’s a great way to make use of data.

Why it works: This is a reiteration of the previous points on personalization, but specifically for retail. Although Amazon may make use of the old “Dear [name]”, it also really appears to know the customer, again, based on previous purchases and engagements with the brand.

Customizing recommendations specifically for buyers in ecommerce marketing emails catches their interest by letting them know you care.

10. Buzzfeed

Ensure a consistent brand voice.


Buzzfeed is a site well-known for the way it hooks its readers through catchy headlines. Well, its email marketing campaign is no exception. Notice how the brand incorporates its quirky and fun voice in the content of its email newsletter, pointing to specific reader preferences.

Why it works: In the same way you need to identify your specific brand identity to leverage it in visual representations, the same brand voice needs to be present in the written content of your email campaign. This is the best way to avoid slipping into an oblivion of generic templates.

Bottom-Line: It’s Personal

The majority of the best email marketing campaigns tap into the customers’ specific wants and needs. You can also do the same with the data at hand. Transform a boring old email into something worth another click.

Make sure your brand voice stands out in the content, visuals, and overall presentation of the email. Get personal and acknowledge customers to ensure long-term engagement and better returns.

Note: The opinions expressed in this article are the views of the author, and not necessarily the views of Caphyon, its staff, or its partners.

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