Do you really know how to run an email marketing campaign that works?
Or are you guessing…
In today’s blog, we will walk you through 14 email marketing campaign ideas that are proven to drive sales.
Like most digital marketers, you probably understand the importance of email marketing. That’s understandable, because statistics show that it’s very effective.
- 80% of retail professionals said that email marketing drives customer acquisition and retention
- 77% of people prefer to get promotional messages via email
- 86% of consumers want to receive emails from companies they do business with
- 59% of B2B marketers say that email marketing is the most effective channel for revenue growth
And there are more stats where those came from.
Sometimes, though, it’s not always easy to come up with the right campaign for your brand. It can be challenging to find just the right message that will help you connect with potential customers and convince them to open up their wallets.
That’s why it’s a good idea to look at the successful email marketing strategies of other companies. You might find a few that can imitate.
Use social proof in your email marketing campaigns
It’s likely that you’re already using social proof on your homepage. Why not use it in your email marketing messages as well?
Grammarly did that to great effect. The company embedded a tweet in the email body as an incentive to get some additional subscribers.
In the tweet, a user channeled Carly Rae Jepsen with this prose:
We just met. And this is crazy. But I just signed up
To Premium because I love you. Maybe.
Ok, definitely. But it didn’t rhyme.
Silly? Yes. But authentic? Also yes.
If you’ve got some love coming your way on social media, copy and paste the text into an email message. That might just give people the incentive they need to move a little further down the sales funnel.
Email marketing campaigns that are professionally done will increase CTR’s
We’re far enough along in the Information Age that you can leverage the wonders of modern technology to reel in more customers. One of the ways you can do that is by sending an email that looks like it was designed by an artist.
Of course, in order to make that happen, you’ll likely need to hire a digital artist. Find someone who can put together an aesthetic that will appeal to people in your target market.
What does a great design do? It tells people that you’re serious about your brand. Beyond that, a fabulous design enables you to outshine your competition.
Perhaps most importantly though, people want to look at an email that’s designed professionally.
For an example of a beautiful email, take a look at this layout from Craft.
And yes, there’s a bit of controversy with this suggestion. Some marketers are under the impression that the best marketing emails are delivered in text-only format with Courier font (see: Settle, Ben). But if you’ve been trying that method and not getting anywhere, what do you have to lose by making a change?
Get a GIF for email marketing campaigns
We often use animated GIFs to communicate emotion online. They’re usually much larger and easier to comprehend than emojis.
You should consider using them occasionally in your email marketing. They’ll put a human face on your marketing efforts and might even get a few laughs.
Comedy is good in marketing when it’s not controversial.
Once you’ve settled on a marketing message for your next email campaign, look for a suitable reaction GIF to include in it. You might earn a little bit of additional goodwill and a higher response rate.
Chipotle once sent out an animated GIF of its burrito bowl with a joke:
Q: What do you call a tortilla chip that works out?
A: A macho nacho.
Be careful with that kind of humor, though. Chipotle can get away with it because of the nature of its business.
Email marketing campaigns with personalized subject lines have a 26% higher open rate
You might think that a great way to connect with your contacts is by sending holiday wishes every December. While there’s certainly nothing wrong with that, keep in mind that countless other companies are doing the same thing.
Your message could get lost in the crowd.
On the other hand, not as many companies send birthday wishes to contacts every year. You can make your brand stand out by doing that.
When you send a Happy Birthday email, you can also include a personalized subject line. For example: “Happy birthday, John!”
That’s a really great idea because emails with personalized subject lines have a 26% higher open rate than non-personalized emails.
Take a look at this example of a Happy Birthday email below from Harpoon Brewery.
Speaking of birthday wishes, how will you know the birthdates of your customers if you don’t have that info? You might need to collect it.
And how do you do that? With an email asking people to update their profiles, of course.
Here’s an example of Overstock doing just that.
Finally, you can also intentionally send people an email a week late that apologizes for missing their birthday. Here’s an example of Need Supply tackling that strategy.
Find your most popular content and create an email marketing campaign around it
If you’re doing a lot of content marketing, then you’ve already got plenty of material for an email blast. Just curate the best content from the past week or so and include it in your message.
Take a look at your analytics. Which articles have the most visits? The most shares?
Find your most popular work and put it in an email. Include a linked title and article synopsis. Be sure to add a “Read more” button for people who can’t see that the title is a hyperlink.
Feel free to use the featured image as well. Take a look at the example below to see how Freshbooks did it.
When you curate content, you not only generate more interest in your emails, but you also get more clicks on your site as people read your best blog posts. It’s a definite win-win.
Pro-tip: if you’re selling anything related to food, curate some great recipes and send them out occasionally. Be sure to include recipes that use your products.
Make it easier for people to shop for your products in your email campaigns
If you want to land more sales, make it easier for people to shop for your products. In fact, why not let people shop within your email?
For example, if you’re sending out an email introducing a few new products, include the product name, image, detail, and price right in the body of the message. Of course, you should also throw in an call to action so customers can add the product to their shopping cart.
Boom. People who look at that email can make a purchase without shopping on your website.
Here’s an example of an email from Bonobos. The company advertised a 25%-off sale for shorts and let people click on their size within the message.
Think about how you can make it that easy for your own customers to shop via email.
Simplify your email campaign with a single call to action
Sometimes less is more. If you’re sending out emails with a number of clickable elements and not getting anywhere, maybe your contacts need something simpler.
Try a short message with a single call to action.
Why is that so effective? It doesn’t confuse your audience. They also won’t get distracted by reading other content and looking at numerous clickable links and buttons.
Here’s an example from Amazon Local of an email with a short, sweet message and just one call to action.
Use email marketing is to bring inactive customers back
Another great way to use email marketing is to bring inactive customers back into the fold.
Create a list of people who bought from you a while ago but haven’t done so in a while. Then, blast out an email to them with a coupon code and some copy that entices them to become customers again.
Remember: one of the best way to use email marketing is to retain customers. Also remember: it’s generally much cheaper to find a new customer than it is to keep (or reacquire) an existing one.
Dropbox is a cloud service that offers online storage. The company sends emails to customers who haven’t used its service in a while. Take a look at the example below.
As you can see, Dropbox puts a little bit of humor into its message. That’s a great way to help customers become active again.
Here’s another, similar email from women’s clothing boutique Missguided.
Offer freebies in your email marketing campaign
If you’re looking for a great way to reach people who are towards the top of the sales funnel, consider giving away a freebie.
People love free stuff.
Blast out an email with the word “free” in the subject. You’ll likely find that your open rate increases dramatically.
Then, in the message body, offer a freebie with no obligation.
If you’re selling products, offer a sample at no charge. If you’re selling a service, offer access to the service for a limited time for free.
When you do that, you’re following the very basic “Green Eggs and Ham” principle of marketing. You’re getting people to try it so that they can be sure they like it.
Here’s an example of an email offering a freebie from Pinkberry. Note that’s it’s also another example of reaching out to lost customers.
You can also give out free products or limited services for testing purposes. That way, you’re killing two birds with one stone: you’re getting a testers and you’re promoting your brand among potential customers.
Here’s an example of Estee Lauder offering free product testing.
A great subject line as well to get people to open the email
Sometimes, it pays to create a curiosity gap.
If you haven’t tried it yet, throw out an email message with a call to action that just begs to be clicked. Obviously, you’ll need a great subject line as well to get people to open the email.
Take a look at this example from J. Crew. It reads: “Holy Guacamole. Click here for something major.” It includes a big picture of an avocado in the center of the message.
In case you’re unaware, J. Crew is a clothing store. What does guacamole have to do with clothing?
Nothing. That’s the point.
It’s so out of place that people click on the call to action button to find out what J. Crew is really promoting.
Here’s another tempting promotion. It only shows half of the discount number. Recipients have to click on the link to see how much they can save.
If your customer abandons their cart, remind them in your next email marketing campaign
Sometimes, customers get almost to the point of completing a purchase but don’t quite bring it across the finish line. They abandon their shopping cart with products still in it.
Why? There could be many reasons. Sometimes people change their mind. Sometimes they get distracted. Sometimes they do some comparative shopping.
Whatever the reason, you need to get those customers back. Why not send them an email reminding them about the abandoned cart?
Offer an incentive for them to complete the sale. Consider including a coupon code or an option for free shipping.
Here’s an example of that kind of email marketing from TopShop.
Dramatize your email marketing campaigns to inspire people to click through
“This Link Will Self-Destruct in 24 Hours.”
That sounds pretty ominous, doesn’t it?
Guess what, though: it also gets clicks. Some of those clicks are likely to lead to conversions.
Think about how you can dramatize your marketing campaigns to inspire people to click through.
Create a campaign that will enable people to become quick customers
People are busy. Wouldn’t it be great if your email could save them some time?
Create a campaign that will enable people to become quick customers so they don’t have to shop around on your site for a half hour (or more).
Here’s an example from J. Crew. The company enables its customers to “copy this outfit” with just the click of a button. That way, they don’t have to shop separately for the top, pants, cardigan, and shoes.
Use Clever Call to Action Text In Email Marketing Campaigns
Another way to add some humanity to your marketing is with the use of non-standard call to action text.
If you’re thinking about putting “Click Here” on your CTA button, think again. Take some time to brainstorm up a much more marketable phrase.
Take a look at the InVision example below. The company uses text like “The Sweet Spot,” “Say Hey,” and “Use Your Words” in its CTA text.
That makes the message seem less formal than many other marketing messages.
Wrapping Up Email Marketing Campaigns
When it comes to email marketing campaigns, the devil is the details. If you can really dial in each of the elements, you are going to see better returns. Need help with email marketing, contact us today.