Inspiring Examples for Successful E-mail Marketing Campaigns

|Natalie Chan

Let’s begin with a few thought-provoking email marketing statistics:

  • 21% of email recipients, consider opt-in emails as spam.
  • 35% of email recipients open an email, based solely on the subject line.
  • 84% of people 18-34 use an email preview pane.
  • 35% of business professionals check email on mobile devices.
  • 44% of email recipients have purchased products they saw first in an email marketing campaign.

As a website owner or online marketer, you are likely to rely on email marketing as an avenue for marketing your business. While email marketing is not a new concept, the factors that make a campaign successful have changed drastically over the last couple of years—meaning that you must actively seek out fresh new ideas.

While some of the statistics above are inspiring, others are a cause for concern—meaning that they must all be considered when writing and developing your email marketing campaigns. The 3 businesses below are shining examples of email marketing campaigns done right.

Example #1 BuzzFeed

BuzzFeed is the king of shocking and catchy headlines, which are designed to leave their readers wanting to learn more—and BuzzFeed has successfully transferred their signature method of attracting attention into their email marketing campaigns. The goal of their emails, is to direct subscribers back to their primary website to read or learn more.

Here are just a few email marketing tips and ideas you can borrow from BuzzFeed:

  • They refer to their emails as a weekly “Newsletter”, making them sound more informative than sales centered.
  • During the subscription process, subscribers are able to select from over 16 topics they want to receive weekly emails about—such as Style, Animals, Business, Food, and Entertainment.
  • When subscribing, it clearly states how many emails will be sent each week for each topic the subscriber selects when opting-in—most are just 1-2 times per week.
  • The “Newsletters” are short and sweet, and focus primarily on the headline and an image or video.
  • They typically contain no more than a few sentences, and most prompt you to click a link to read the article in full on BuzzFeed.
  • The layout of the emails is always centered on the screen, making them easy to read in their entirety—within just a matter of seconds.
  • The call to action is always there, but is always subtle, such as asking a question—whose answer is found by clicking on a button, or a link that directs subscribers to a full article they can only see a short snippet of.


BuzzFeed’s email marketing methods are always successful, because readers have selected the topics they want to receive—and the headlines are always intriguing.

Here is an excellent example of a recent email marketing message from BuzzFeed, which is difficult to ignore.

Buzzfeed Video- Email Campaign

Example #2 Luxury Garage Sale

Luxury Garage Sale is another place you can look for email marketing ideas. This is a business that operates a high-end consignment store, but they have an ecommerce website—as well as a separate eBay store.

Here are just a few email marketing tips you can borrow from Luxury Garage Sale:

  • The images are the message. Luxury Garage Sales posts minimal text within their emails, and limits their text to just 1-2 sentences, or an internal caption.
  • They know their clients, want to see stunning images of the clothing and accessories that is for sale. This is why they feature only a handful of images per email, and ensure that the accompanying graphic design highlights each of their featured articles of clothing or accessories.
  • Each accessory or article of clothing has an individual link, which directs readers back to a larger selection of each category.


Here is an excellent example, which had the headline of “One More Day To Save On Chanel!”

One More Day To Save On Chanel

Example #3 Orbitz

Orbitz is one of the most recognized names when it comes to booking online travel. While many businesses rely on their email marketing as one of their secondary streams of traffic, it is one of Orbitz primary streams of repeat traffic.

Here are just a few email marketing tips you can take from Orbitz:

  • The headline clearly states what subscribers can expect to find within their email. For example, what percentage they will save, a precise dollar amount for flights out of their home city, or how much longer the sale will last.
  • Even if the headline refers to car rentals, the internal email contains links to all of their other travel services such as Cruise, Hotel, and Flight.
  • The graphics and imagery are designed in a manner to engage the reader, and inspire the desire to travel. There is often minimal text—and the text is a simple, clear, and to the point.


Here is an excellent example, which had the headline of “Save an Extra 20% – Hello Promo Code!

Orbitz Email campaign

A Few Additional Email Marketing Tips To Keep In Mind

Above are a few shining examples of successful email marketing campaigns. While they have some things in common, such as they are all designed to be responsive (aka mobile compatible)—they are all unique. Below are a few additional tips to keep in mind.

  • Your emails must be responsive.
  • The text does not need to be a formal written letter or message, in fact a formal approach will likely decrease your level of success.
  • Visual imagery is a must—whether it is photos, videos, infographics, graphs, charts, or creative graphic design.
  • Ensure all of your images have external links, and utilize buttons for a more visually appealing external link.
  • Utilize a tool that allows you to design your emails within creative templates for online newsletters or email marketing.
  • Do not email more than 1-2 times per week, otherwise you run the risk of your interested subscribers viewing you as spam.
  • Include a creative call to action.
  • Test each campaign to see what your subscribers respond to best. Pay close attention to whether they open more emails that have videos, photos, short text, or longer text?
  • At the top or bottom of the page, include buttons to your social media platforms.
  • Don’t just focus on sales, but focus on fun too.


Above are a few examples you can utilize, to turn your stale email marketing campaign into a refreshed, modern, and highly successful conversion tool.

Natalie Chan

Natalie Chan

Natalie manages Customer Retention for Outbrain Amplify. Prior to Outbrain, Natalie spent most of her career focused on connecting brands... Read more

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  • naresh| June 15, 2015 at 5:17PM

    nice article.

  • RKINFO| September 5, 2016 at 7:19PM

    Nice Article I Would Like to Share Something About this Topic Low Instant 1 click : This point is very important because you have to be very clear that you do not want to have 150,000 emails to your mailing list if they are people who have no interest in your services or if they somehow do not interact with your project. It ‘s good to let people disenroll and when wants to do, it is very easy. In each of your posts should incorporate a link for them to unsubscribe.


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