The Anatomy of a Great Email

Seventy-Five percent (75%) of companies agree that email offers “excellent” to “good” ROI and 89% of marketers value email as a relevant means of reaching conversion goals. We’ve hand picked 10 well-executed email campaign designs that include the right combination of content, layout, and strategy that marketers can look to for inspiration.

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Email Campaign Designs for Welcome Messages

Every email campaign should have one single conversion goal. This could be a free download, a purchase opportunity, or a sign-up for a webinar. This Poppin welcome email prominently displays its call-to-action in the top-third of the screen to ensure it won’t get overlooked. It stands outs with a visually-appealing design, a color scheme that is on-brand, and relevant imagery.

email campaign designs poppin

Subject Line: We Love Making New Friends

A couple of other on-point features in this Poppin welcome email are the list of benefits subscribers can expect (listed just below the “Get Psyched For” headline”) and the exclusive coupon.

Ways to Improve this Email

One glaring missing component in this welcome email is personalization. Addressing your contact by name, particularly a new customer, is key to making a personal connection in a conversational tone and building trust. It also helps the reader ensure that this message is for them.

Finally, it’s very helpful to let subscribers know when they can expect to hear from you. If you mention this on the signup form, reiterate it in your welcome email.

Email Campaign Designs for Product Updates

“A picture is worth a thousand words” holds true when it comes to digital marketing since ninety percent (90%) of information processed by the human brain is visual. In the Campaign Monitor email below, they took advantage of visual cues to retain their reader’s interest. The before-and-after diagram is a relevant image that illustrates their new product update and goes hand-in-hand with the rest of the email content. It is strategically placed as a break in the middle of the text to increase engagement, and the copy is clear and to-the-point — speaking in terms of benefits to the reader.

Subject Line: Introducing a Breakthrough in Mobile Email Marketing

Ways to Improve this Email

Including the company’s privacy policy in emails that welcome new customers or introduce new updates or products is a wise maneuver to put any concerns to bed before a new lead forms a relationship with a brand. This is an effortless addition that should have been incorporated into this Campaign Monitor email template, to avoid throwing away a conversion due to unnecessary anxiety or reduced brand credibility.

Email Campaign Designs for Invitations

Almost 2 billion (1.9 billion) non-spam emails are delivered each day, so developing an email subject line that entices readers to open your email is necessary to stand out in an overflowing inbox. This Spotify email has a subject line with a clear and explicit message, so readers know what to expect when they click to open. Moreover, they used the phrase “you’ve been invited,” which frames this invitation as a valuable and exclusive offer that will inspire action among readers. Additionally, the link is presented both as text and a button.

Subject Line: You’ve Been Invited to Join Spotify Family

Ways to Improve this Email

Spotify could have easily added a personal touch to this invite by including the recipient’s first name in the subject line. This is a simple approach to foster a more meaningful connection with customers and is proven to increase click-through rates a result.

In addition, this email fails to incorporate any form of social media sharing links. Clearly displaying social media links is an easy way to increase the likelihood of content being shared with potential new leads with little to no effort on the company’s behalf. This can be achieved in one of two ways: by providing links that prompt readers to follow company social media accounts, or displaying “share” links that encourage readers to promote content to their peers through their own social network.

Email Campaign Designs for Announcements

Once the receiver’s attention has been hooked with an engaging subject line, it is important to immediately address what the email is offering by displaying a value proposition. This Chick-Fil-A One announcement email includes this component in the headline and briefly sums up how this offer is valuable to the reader. This email campaign design also makes use of a creative pun with a matching, relevant graphic to capture the reader’s interest.

Subject Line: A Whole New Way To Chick-Fil-A is Coming

Ways to Improve this Email

Placing an actual employee’s name and address in the sender field is guaranteed to improve click-through rates and establish a closer connection with leads. This email could further be improved by adding some personal touches like including the sender’s signature or photo.

Email Campaign Designs for Customer Appreciation Messages

Personalization increases email clickthrough rates by 14%, so taking the time to include your recipient’s name is really a no-brainer. Tradegecko employs this easy technique in this customer appreciation message by reinforcing how much they cherish their most devoted clients in order to strengthen their relationship with them. This personalized campaign does a great job of making this particular client feel special by using language that places value on them, rather than the company. Also, the messaging is consistent and compelling, stating why a review is helpful. As a result, the recipient will be more likely to leave some feedback and chances are, it will be a superstar review.

Finally, the warm tone conveyed by the phrase “we like you too” and the altruism offered by helping others make a better choice really creates an emotional connection with the reader.

email campaign designs

Subject Line: Could you please help us with GetApp?

Ways to Improve this Email

This email neglected the opportunity to use a second call-to-action at the bottom of the email. Using this strategy is a simple way to provide more information or promote an additional offer. The key to successful use of a secondary call-to-action is to ensure that it goes hand in hand with the email content but does not take away from the primary call-to-action.

Email Campaign Designs for Promotions

If a reader has made their way to the bottom of your email, it means they are invested in what your business has to offer. This Brooklyn Linen email successfully makes use of a secondary call-to-action that allows customers to further engage with their brand. Notice how the email is straightforward and doesn’t go overboard with links. Most importantly, the second call-to-action doesn’t directly compete with their main conversion goal, by offering a referral discount in addition to a direct link to shop more on their retail site. Implementing this technique will boost engagement and provides an opportunity to suggest personalized offers tailored to the buyer persona.

Subject Line: It’s National Relaxation Day!

Ways to Improve this Email

Promotional emails should include pricing and/or a discount to entice readers to click. In this case, where Brooklyn Linen is offering a referral discount, it would have been helpful to include a direct button link to the coupon and to also list the coupon code in the email.

An awesome email loses its value if it never gets opened. Crafting an attention-grabbing subject line is crucial to maintaining excellent click-through rates. This subject line fails to address the reader’s concerns and does not fully disclose what offer the email contains. To make improvements, different language could be used to encourage immediate action and entice readers to click open. A good example of a new subject line could be something like, “Check out the new cozy quilt collection you’ve been dreaming of.”

Email Campaign Designs for Apps

Concerns about personal privacy are legitimate and not everyone will feel comfortable handing out their personal information online. This Hootsuite email puts its reader’s mind at ease by providing a direct link to their privacy policy. An adequate privacy policy should directly address what the company plans to do with customer information and reassure new leads that their business can be trusted. Since a welcome email is one of the first direct encounters a new lead has with a brand, Hootsuite was wise to include this link.

Subject Line: Welcome aboard! Let’s get to it

Ways to Improve this Email

This Hootsuite email correctly incorporated a secondary call-to-action that doesn’t compete with its primary conversion goal. However, this call-to-action gets lost among the text and could easily be overlooked by people that might be interested in this offer. It is imperative that a call-to-action button gets noticed upon every read, by standing out against the email copy and using language like “now” or “today” to create a sense of urgency and drive immediate action. Finally, the call-to-action should clearly state what they can expect when the button is clicked — “Jump In” is too vague.

Email Campaign Designs for Curated Content

Maintaining consistent company branding reinforces who you are and helps readers relate to your content, enhancing the overall experience they encounter with your brand. This Flywheel campaign uses clean and basic design elements that match their company website and uses an email template that incorporates the company colors, logo, and overall “feel” of the brand to set the tone. The vibrant pink color scheme makes the logo and background image pop, making it a very visually-appealing design.

Subject Line: 25 free ebooks to help you grow your design business

Ways to Improve this Email

An email contact list contains prospects and buyers across various stages of the buying cycle. Segmenting this audience is an efficient solution to reach individualized target markets directly and increase conversion rates through tailored campaigns. Instead of promoting a general set of newly available ebooks, Flywheel could have looked to its clients’ demographic data, buyer personas, purchase history, and engagement to curate narrow and customized ebook suggestions for different segments of their client base. This is a proven way to boost email performance metrics and increase the likelihood that a customer will take action.

Email Campaign Designs for Shipped Orders

This Firebox email demonstrates a great execution of an order shipment email that highlights key components that must be included. It distinctly outlines specific product details, date of purchase, the order number, a link to track the order, and information on missing deliveries and the company return policy. Furthermore, this email goes above and beyond to provide top-notch customer service by displaying a map and different options to get in touch with an assistant.

email campaigns design

Subject Line: Your order (#XXXXXXX) has been dispatched

Ways to Improve this Email

Whenever possible, emails should be personalized to nurture leads and deliver tailored messages to the buyer persona. In this Firebox email, they missed a unique opportunity to use this customer’s purchase history to suggest similar products the customer might be interested in. This is a strategic way to use data to your advantage and suggest a customized offer that will loop customers back into the shopping cycle. In addition, incorporating a referral link is a no-effort tactic to increase your chances of being handed new leads.

Email Campaign Designs for Data Reports

Generating personalized content for individual clients and segments is a highly efficient tactic to nurture your leads. Seventy-Two (72%) percent of B2B firms claim that crafting individualized and relevant content is a top priority. This Mint data report specifically outlines one client’s expenditures and budget and also provides multiple links to direct them to engage with their account. Even when you are sending out text-based emails, use metrics based on audience behavior, purchase history, and interests to tailor your content toward your buyer persona.

Subject Line: Can you guess your top spending categories last week?

Ways to Improve this Email

Including an “unsubscribe” link is the final touch to drafting the perfect email. Although this might seem like a minor detail, neglecting to include it violates CAN-SPAM regulations and could potentially lead to enforced fees or a lawsuit. Although this Mint email campaign includes directions to log in to change email preferences, 47% of readers will be inclined to send this message to their spam folder instead of searching for the hidden link (Sherpa 2010 Email Marketing Benchmark Report). Avoid the severe damages or complaints you could face and make sure your unsubscribe link is prominently displayed in all of your email campaign designs and permits a user-friendly unsubscription process.

Editors Note: All email images are courtesy of ReallyGoodEmails.

Wrap-Up: Download the Email Campaign Checklist


Before you launch your next email campaign, use these email campaign designs for inspiration in conjunction with our free Email Campaign Checklist with a list of best practices.