11 Creative Email Marketing Examples to Inspire Your Own Program

abstract illustration of email screen surrounded by various symbols
Published on
Sep 26, 2023
Written by
Kayla Ellman
Kayla is a Senior Content Marketing Manager at Attentive. You can find her binge-reading, baking from her (rapidly growing) cookbook collection, or exploring local hiking trails.
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Send emails that ‌get opened and drive results with a little help from these examples and strategies. 

Email is an essential part of any well-rounded marketing program and tech stack. You can use it to build awareness and relationships with customers, deliver valuable content, and, of course, generate revenue.

But if you’re a marketer who manages email for your brand, you know that it takes time to come up with effective messaging and strategies that drive the results you want. And, sometimes, you just need a bit of creative inspiration.

We’ve pulled together 11 email marketing campaign examples to spark ideas and help you get the most out of your program.

What is an email marketing campaign?

An email marketing campaign is a single email or sequence of emails sent to a list of subscribers to achieve a certain goal. They’re typically scheduled in advance, based on your marketing calendar, and designed to promote your products, special offers, or other updates that aren’t too time-sensitive.

Email marketing campaigns are great for increasing your website traffic and driving purchases. But they’re also a chance to build relationships with your customer base by sharing your brand story, product education, and content that showcases your aesthetic and values. 

You can send campaign emails to your entire subscriber list, or you can segment your list to target specific customer groups (the latter is highly recommended to help boost performance). 

What is a triggered email?

Rather than being part of a scheduled email campaign, a triggered email is sent to an individual subscriber based on a particular event or action they take. Think: welcome emails to new subscribers, timely browse and cart abandonment reminders, and post-purchase messages for recent shoppers.

These types of emails allow you to drive ongoing engagement and revenue, without a lot of manual work, by targeting subscribers with relevant content at the right moment. 

Triggered emails are also ideal for creating meaningful interactions that increase customer loyalty and retention. For example, you can use them to automatically send subscribers birthday discounts, offer rewards when customers reach VIP status, or re-engage someone who hasn't bought in a while.

In research done in partnership with Forrester, we found that Brands can achieve $2.2M of profits from triggered and campaign email by year 3.

Tips for running a successful email marketing campaign

Follow these steps when planning an email marketing campaign to get the most out of your efforts. (Pro tip: these apply to triggered emails too.) 

  • Start by defining your goals. It's important to have a clear understanding of what you want to achieve with each email you send, plus how you’ll measure success (e.g., click-through or conversion rate, total revenue generated), so you can plan accordingly. This is also a good time to decide if you want to A/B test any part of your email, like the subject line, call to action button, or images. 
  • Decide who you want to reach (or not reach). Use segmentation to make sure you’re targeting the right people based on their behaviors, preferences, and purchase history. Doing this ensures that your campaign will resonate with recipients and can also improve your deliverability rates.
  • Pick (and personalize) your content. Once you know what you’re promoting (e.g., new product launch, flash sale) and who you’re trying to reach, start crafting and designing your campaign. Make sure all the content is relevant to your target audience and aligns with your objectives.
  • Review and test your campaign before pressing send. Proofread your email copy, and double-check any technical elements, such as links and images, to confirm that everything looks good and works as expected. 
  • Track your email’s performance. Keep an eye on open rates, click-through rates, unsubscribe rates, and other metrics so you know how your campaign is performing. This step is essential to both measuring success and identifying areas where there’s room for improvement in the future.

11 real email marketing examples to inspire your program

Seeing what works for other brands can help you come up with new ideas and strategies to try. Borrow some inspiration from these real campaigns and triggered emails sent by our customers.

1. Three Bird Nest: ​​Giving new subscribers a warm welcome

triggered welcome email example from Three Bird Nest

Three Bird Nest, an online boho clothing boutique, welcomes new subscribers to "the flock" with a bright and friendly email that reflects their brand voice and style. They highlight the benefits of being a "Love Bird"—like getting early access to new arrivals, exclusive items, and sales. Plus, the brand encourages new subscribers to take advantage of their first perk (20% off) and start shopping.

Remember: Your welcome email (or series of emails) is a chance to lay the groundwork for long-term loyalty. Use it to introduce new subscribers to your brand and show them what their experience will be like as your customer. 

2. Kodiak Cakes: Introducing website visitors to their epic products

session abandonment email example from Kodiak Cakes

Abandonment journeys let you automatically reach out to subscribers after they leave your website. But what’s the best way to recapture their interest if they didn’t check out a specific product page or add anything to their cart? 

Kodiak Cakes created a session abandonment journey to encourage ‌these potential customers to come back and shop. The triggered email features some of the brand’s most popular breakfast items—to point someone who doesn’t know what to buy in the right direction, and hopefully, inspire them to make their first purchase. 

3. Cozy Earth: Encouraging shoppers to take a second look

cart abandonment email example from Cozy Earth

Cozy Earth engages high-intent shoppers with a cart abandonment email that puts the product they had their eye on front and center. The luxury bedding and loungewear brand sends these timely, triggered reminders to subscribers who add a product to their cart but don't check out, to get them to take another look and convert.

You can also include other helpful content in your cart abandonment emails, like promoting free shipping and free returns, including snippets of customer reviews, or adding a row of product recommendations. 

4. Beachwaver: Helping customers get ready for back-to-school

back to school email campaign example from Beachwaver

Curling ironing brand Beachwaver launched a fall haul campaign over the summer to get shoppers excited for the back-to-school season. They dropped new bundles with hair tools, haircare, and accessories, plus a discount code for an extra 25% off. The email included an image of a model getting their hair styled with Beachwaver products, to show how students could get creative with their back-to-school looks.

There are plenty of marketing moments that you can use to engage your audience throughout the year. Get creative and have fun with your campaigns to keep customers thinking about and buying from your brand.

5. Clove: Tapping into the “Barbie” buzz

Barbiecore email campaign example from Clove

Brands and consumers alike are obsessed with the "Barbie" movie marketing strategy, which ushered in a summer of hot-pink everywhere. Clove, a brand that makes sneakers for healthcare workers, has lots of colorways with pops of pink and wanted to join in on the fun. They created an eye-catching email campaign, prompting customers to check out their collection of shoes featuring the season’s hottest hue and channel their inner “Barbiecore.”  

Don’t be afraid to jump on trends that feel authentic and relevant to your brand. It's a fun way to show your brand’s personality and feature some of your existing products in a new light. 

6. The Laundress: Bringing back one of their beloved products

Product launch email campaign example from The Laundress

When The Laundress, a luxury laundry detergent and fabric care brand, re-launched their Delicate Wash, they shared the news with their email audience to build excitement (and drive purchases). They also took the opportunity to talk about the product’s updated formula, celebrate the signature fragrance, and share the benefits of using it to clean delicate wardrobe items, while showing off the beautiful packaging. 

7. Thread Wallets: Putting the Maui community first

Maui Strong email campaign from Thread Wallets

Thread Wallets organized a donation campaign to directly support Maui wildfire relief efforts. The lifestyle and accessories brand shined a spotlight on their collaboration with native Hawaiian-born artist Jack Soren, urging customers to buy something from the collection to support the cause. For every purchase made from the collection in August, Thread Wallets pledged 100% of the proceeds to the Hawaii Community Foundation’s Maui Strong Fund

If you launch a campaign to support a cause that’s close to the heart of your brand, make sure to follow up with your customers to let them know how their support will make a difference, and how much they helped raise.

8. OLLY: Delivering personalized recommendations with Attentive AI™

Personalized product recommendations email example from OLLY

Gummy vitamin and supplement brand OLLY used Attentive AI to launch an experimental email series that generates personalized product recommendations for their customers. With Automated Campaigns, they're able to send tailored emails to each of their subscribers at a regular cadence, without having to spend a lot of time creating them. The results? OLLY's automated emails performed just as well as their standard marketing emails, and generated over 40% of a typical month's email revenue for the brand.

9. Revel Nail: Cross-promoting their other marketing channels

post-purchase email example from Revel Nail

After someone makes a purchase, nail dip powder brand Revel Nail sends them a triggered thank you email with a collection of content to help keep them engaged. They cross-promote their other marketing channels, like their Facebook group or YouTube channel, where customers can get the latest tips and tricks. They also tailor some of the content based on what someone buys, such as linking to specific video tutorials or instructions on their "Learn" page. 

The idea is to keep the relationship with recent shoppers warm so your brand stays top of mind between purchases. Take a page from Revel Nail’s approach, or consider sharing care instructions, recommending complementary products, or promoting a rewards program. 

10. Cheese Brothers: Sending subscription status updates 

Transactional email example from Cheese Brothers

With the Attentive Email and Recharge integration, Cheese Brothers—an online artisanal cheese delivery company—can send important transactional updates to their Cheese of the Month Club members. That includes timely notifications like subscription confirmed, upcoming charge, charge failed, and subscription skipped. 

Recharge also integrates with Attentive SMS, which allows the brand to send these transactional messages on a customer's preferred channel.

11. Vanity Planet: Cleaning up their email list with sunset segments

sunset journey email example from Vanity Planet

Vanity Planet created a sunset journey to identify and re-engage subscribers who haven’t opened emails or made a purchase in a while. The beauty care products and devices brand starts by sharing some of their newest arrivals, then sends a follow-up email with an exclusive offer for 25% off. In the same email, Vanity Planet also gives these subscribers the option to opt-out. 

While this approach may seem counterintuitive, sunset journeys are a great way to clean up your email list. You'll either successfully renew a subscriber's interest in your emails, or be able to remove an inactive subscriber from your list. Making sure you're only sending messages to people who want them will ultimately help improve your deliverability and engagement rates. 

Email marketing resources to bookmark (for now or later)

Whether you're a beginner or a seasoned pro, here are some essential resources to help you craft your next email campaign or take your current strategy to the next level.

Ready to boost your revenue from email? Learn ‌more about ‌Attentive Email today.

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