6 Best Email Campaigns of 2020 and What You Can Learn from Them for 2021

If you’re hoping to harness the power of email marketing to boost sales and drive your business in 2021, it helps to learn from the best. 

We’ve gathered five of our favorite email campaigns of 2020, from top brands like Starbucks and Airbnb, to inspire your next digital marketing project. 

Each of these campaigns provides tangible lessons on email marketing strategy, like the power of design, the importance of tight copy, and the power of asking for your customer’s opinion. With these creative ideas and tried-and-true tips for success, you’re sure to see an impact from your next email marketing push.

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What You Can Learn from the Best Email Campaigns

1. Wool and the Gang Entices With Curiosity-Inducing Headlines 

Crochet and knitting kit company Wool and the Gang uses creative, curiosity-inducing headlines to inspire customers to open their emails. One sample? The simple phrase: “Plans tonight?” 

For their predominantly Millennial audience, using a commonly texted phrase make this email seem like a note from a friend, rather than a sales tactic. By using the same language as their audience (and asking a question), Wool and the Gang makes it hard to resist the urge to see what’s inside.

They back up their creative headline with fun content, using a GIF that plays on their iMessage theme. This email campaign is proof that you don’t need fancy footwork to get customers to open your promotional email – just speak to them in their own language. 

Wool-and-the-Gang-Email

2. Headspace Keeps Their Copy Simple 

You might expect long-winded reflections on meditation from mindfulness app Headspace, but their email marketing campaigns are startlingly concise. Headspace uses friendly graphics, a clean color palette, and to-the-point copy to direct users toward their app, share promotions, and provide mindfulness tips. 

The simple use of copy is powerful because it doesn’t overwhelm readers. Instead, the brand comes across as helpful, positive, and mindful of your time. The result is an email campaign that shows Headspace believes in the power of their product. 

headspace

3. Starbucks Uses Design to Inspire 

Starbucks knows you aren’t opening their emails to read about vanilla caramel lattes – you just want to drink one. That’s why they have an image-focused approach to their email campaigns. 

Friendly fonts, a consistent and soothing color palette in their trademark evergreen, and high-quality images of their products are the focus of their promotional emails. And because they know customers are looking for any excuse to stop in and buy a drink, they put promotions (like a 50% off coupon) in large font so they’re easy to find. 

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Starbucks’ email marketing is proof that sometimes you don’t need a lot of language to create the best email campaign. Simply remind consumers how much they love your product. 

starbucks

4. Buzzfeed Makes Their Content Customizable 

To reach your audience, make it easy for them to get exactly what they want. This is Buzzfeed’s innovative approach to email marketing. 

As a news and entertainment site with a huge number of verticals, Buzzfeed knows that their readers might not want to see everything they have to offer. As a workaround, they’ve created themed email marketing campaigns for sections like politics, books, and parents, and make it easy to subscribe to only the lists that interest you. 

Why is this important? It shows that Buzzfeed cares about customers actually reading their content, as opposed to just filling inboxes with their brand. And if content is targeted toward your customer, they’re more likely to interact with it. 

buzzfeed

5. Airbnb Asks for Customer Opinions  

One of the foundations of email marketing is knowing your audience, which is why Airbnb frequently asks their customers to share their opinion via short surveys. 

Rather than focusing their energy on promotional email campaigns, Airbnb asks for feedback, like this email, which asks a customer about their booking experience. The simple design and short copy are mindful of customer time, making them more likely to click into the survey. 

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Do you love being asked for your opinion? So do customers because it means it shows someone cares about what they think. Airbnb takes a customer-centered approach to their digital marketing by focusing their efforts on gathering data, a valuable lesson for any aspiring email marketer. 

airbnb

6. Tuft and Needle Uses Email to Re-Engage Prospects

Abandoned shopping carts are a gigantic problem for online retailers. Mattress company Tuft and Needle decided to solve that problem with better digital marketing. 

When users abandon their shopping carts on the Tuft and Needle site, they’re sent a series of short emails on the mattress buying process, beginning with Tuft and Needle acknowledging how painful it can be to buy a mattress. 

They’re not afraid to be candid with customers about their buying experience, and they attempt to address potential customer concerns by reminding them of their guarantees and return policies, so people can buy with confidence. 

Tuft and Needle also spends time educating customers on how they compare to other brands and factors to consider when making their purchase. The tone is informative and friendly (not salesy), leaving readers feeling like they received good advice.

tuft-needle

Train to Create the Best Email Campaigns Today

Simplilearn’s Digital Marketing Associate Master’s Program prepares you to become a complete digital marketer. One of the world’s fastest-growing disciplines, this digital marketing certification course will increase your job market value and enable you to handle email campaigns for 2021 and beyond.

Learn how to give people content that can enrich their lives and give them a positive experience. Match their interests with your business value to ensure that you are creating the best email campaigns that will endure.

About the Author

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Simplilearn is one of the world’s leading providers of online training for Digital Marketing, Cloud Computing, Project Management, Data Science, IT, Software Development, and many other emerging technologies.

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