Why We Love Email Marketing – & Some Great Examples

PACE_email marketingWe’re big proponents of email marketing. In fact, we just won an award for one of our email blasts – but we’ll tell you more about that shortly… Emails are cost-effective and, according to a McKinsey & Company study, 40 times more effective than social media for acquiring new customers. What’s not to like? Here are some great examples of email marketing done well, courtesy of our friends at hubspot.com. They’re all well done, but we particularly like the ones from Warby Parker and Dropbox. What are your favorites?

Need help with your email marketing? Contact us – we can help.

March 5, 2015 // 8:00 AM

12 of the Best Email Marketing Examples You’ve Ever Seen (And Why They’re Great)

Written by Lindsay Kolowich | @

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At one point or another, we all need inspiration to do our jobs better. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a marketing veteran who has navigated through years of changing technology or a newbie fresh out of college — we all need examples of outstanding content. It helps us get through creative ruts, make the case to our boss for experimentation, and improve our own marketing.

Most of the time, inspiration is easy to find because most marketing content is publicly available. You can scour the internet or go on your favorite social network to see what your connections are talking about.

But there’s one marketing channel that is really, really hard to find good examples of unless you’re already in the know: email. There’s nothing casual about it — you usually need to be subscribed to an email list to find great examples of emails. And even if you’re subscribed togood emails, they are often bombarding you day after day, so it’s hard to notice the gems.

Because it’s so difficult to find good email marketing examples, we decided to do the scouring and compiling for you. Read on to discover some great emails and get the lowdown on what makes them great — or just keep on scrolling to get a general feel for each. However you like to be inspired is fine by us!

12 Examples of Effective Email Marketing

1) Warby Parker

What goes better with a new prescription than a new pair of glasses? The folks at Warby Parker made that connection very clear in their email to my boss. The subject line was: “Uh-oh, your prescription is expiring.” What a clever email trigger. And you’ve gotta love ’em for reminding you your prescription needs updating.

Speaking of which, check out the clever co-marketing at the bottom of the email: If you don’t know where to go to renew your subscription, the information for an optometrist is right in the email. Now there’s no excuse not to shop for new glasses!

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2) charity: water

When people talk about email marketing, lots of them forget to mention transactional emails. These are the automated emails you get in your inbox after taking a certain action on a website. This could be anything from filling out a form to purchasing a product to updating you on the progress of your order. Often, these are plain text emails that email marketers set and forget.

Well, charity: water took an alternate route. Once someone donates to a charity: water projects, their money takes a long journey. Most charities don’t tell you about that journey at all — charity: water uses automated emails to show donors how their money is making an impact over time. With the project timeline and accompanying table, you don’t even really need to read the email — you know immediately where you are in the whole process so you can move on to other things in your inbox.

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3) BuzzFeed

I already have a soft, soft spot for BuzzFeed content (70 pictures of dogs in their Halloween costumes, anyone?), but that isn’t the only reason I fell in love with its emails.

First of all, BuzzFeed has awesomely written subject lines and preview text. They are always short and punchy — which fits in perfectly with the rest of BuzzFeed’s content. I especially love how the preview text will accompany the subject line.

For example, if the subject line is a question, the preview text is the answer. Or if the subject line is a command (like the one below), the preview text seems like the next logical thought right after it:

buzzfeed_inbox

Once you open up the email, the copy continues to be great. Just take a look at that glorious alt text action happening where the BuzzFeed logo and first image should be. The email still conveys what it is supposed to convey — and looks great — whether you use an image or not. That’s definitely something to admire.

Without images:

buzzfeed_alt_text

With images:

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4) Canva

The beauty of Canva’s emails is in their simplicity. When they come out with a new design concept, they let their email subscribers know by sending an email like the one you see below. Each one gives a brief description, shows a preview, and then encourages the reader to try it themselves. My colleague Niti (who’s an email marketer herself) is a huge fan of their emails — in fact, she says Canva’s emails have some of the best tie-ins to a product that she’s seen in any email campaign.

canva-email-example

5) Birchbox

The subject line of this email from beauty product subscription service Birchbox got my colleague Pam clicking. It read: “We Forgot Something in Your February Box!” Of course, if you read the email copy below, they didn’t actually forget to put that discount code in her box — but it was certainly a clever way to get her attention. And the discount code for Rent the Runway, a dress rental company that likely fits the interest profile of most Birchbox customers, certainly didn’t disappoint.

birchbox-email-example

6) Cook Smarts

I’ve been a huge fan of Cook Smarts’ “Weekly Eats” newsletter for a while. The company sends yummy yummy recipes in meal plan form to my inbox every week. But I didn’t just include it because of its delicious recipes … I’m truly a fan of its emails. I love the layout: Each email features three distinct sections (one for the menu, one for kitchen how-to’s, and one for the tips). This means you don’t have to go hunting to find the most interesting part of its blog posts — you know exactly where to look after an email or two.

I also love Cook Smarts’ “Forward to a Friend” call-to-action in the top-right of the email. Emails are super shareable on — you guessed it — email, so you should also think about reminding your subscribers to forward your emails to friends, coworkers, or heck, even family!

cooksmart-email-example

7) Dropbox

You might think it’d be hard to love an email from a company whose product you haven’t been using. But Dropbox found a way to make their “come back to us!” email cute and funny, thanks to a pair of whimsical cartoons and an emoticon. Plus, they kept the email short and sweet to emphasize the message that they don’t want to intrude, they just want to remind the recipient that they exist and why they could be helpful. When sending these types of email, you might include an incentive for recipients to come back to using your service, like a limited-time coupon.

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8) Paperless Post

When you think of “holiday email marketing,” your mind might jump straight to Christmas, but there are other holidays sprinkled throughout the rest of the year that you can create campaigns around.

Take the email below from Paperless Post, for example. I love the header of this email. First, it provides a clear call-to-action that includes a sense of urgency. Then, the subheader asks a question that forces recipients to think to themselves, “Wait, when is Mother’s Day again? Did I buy Mom a card?” Below this copy, the simple grid design is both easy to scan and is quite visually appealing. Each card picture is a CTA in and of itself — click on any one of them and you will be taken to a purchase page.

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9) Stitcher

Humans crave personalized experiences. It’s science. When emails appear to be created especially for you, you feel special — you’re not just getting what everyone else is getting. You might even feel like the company sending you the email knows you in some way, and that they care about your preferences and making you happy.

That’s why I love on-demand podcast/radio show app Stitcher’s “Recommended For You” email. I tend to listen to episodes from the same podcast instead of branching out to new ones. But Stitcher wants me to discover (and subscribe to) all the other awesome content they have — and I probably wouldn’t without their encouragement.

I think this email is also quite a brilliant use of responsive design. The colors are bright, and it’s not too hard to scroll and click — notice the CTAs are large enough for me to hit with my thumbs. Also, the mobile email actually has features that make sense for recipients who are on their mobile device. Check out the CTA at the bottom of the email, for example: The “Open Stitcher Radio” button prompts the app to open on your phone.

stitcher-email-example

10) Turnstyle Cycle

When I got this email from spin studio TurnStyle Cycle, I felt like I was reading an email from a good friend.

Design-wise, they kept it simple: a branded header followed by plain text and a simple footer. But the copy was what caught my eye. It’s friendly, yet sincere: “We know you are busy and would hate to see you miss out;” “Please let us know if we can help accommodate in any way possible;” “Feel free to give us a call – we want to help :)”. Plus, they provided me with the exact details I needed to know — a reminder of what I’d signed up for and when, the expiration date, and a phone number to reach them.

The only thing missing here was a CTA button directed at the class schedule; but otherwise, the genuineness of the email copy really stuck out to me and made me feel close to the brand.

turnstyle-email-example

11) Poppin

Your customers want to hear from you about exclusive deals and other ways they can save money. Offering coupons and discounts via email can be an effective tool for both customer acquisition and customer loyalty. I think office supply vendor Poppin did a great job with this email where they offer a 15% off promotion. The bright, bold colors and soft fonts match their cool, modern branding, and the design is simple with four distinct calls-to-action. Plus, I don’t know about you, but I always love a good pun.

poppin-email-example

12) Drybar

Sometimes, the best emails have the simplest designs. Design-wise, this email takes the cake. It’s super easy to scan, making it easy for you to digest what it’s about. The copy is simple but clever and aligns perfectly with their brand. And they are telling you exactly what you need to know about the new product; nothing more, nothing less. Because this email is about driving awareness of a new product rather than converting someone to become a lead or customer, that’s all you really should be noticing. So hats off to Drybar for using design to better communicate its message!

drybar-email-example

 

What makes a good agency? Good clients.

It takes good clients to make a good advertising agency. Regardless of how much talent an ad agency may have, it is ineffective without good products and services to advertise.” (Morris Hite, Former Chairman, President & CEO, Tracy-Locke)

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Morris L. Hite, Former Chairman, President & CEO, Tracy-Locke

What a great quote from one of the ad industry’s giants. Back in the day, in the golden age of advertising, Morris Hite built Tracy- Locke into the preeminent advertising agency in the Southwest, with a client list that included Frito-Lay’s Doritos Tortilla Chips, Dr. Pepper, Haggar Slacks, Borden Dairies, Mrs. Baird’s Bakeries, Texas Instruments, Comet Rice and Imperial Sugar. Hite is a member of the Advertising Hall of Fame and you can read more about his life and career here.

Mr. Hite’s unique thinking and philosophy helped Tracy-Locke pioneer a number of distinctive accomplishments for clients. Working with E.R. Haggar, Hite coined the word “slacks” in 1940. He helped bring Elsie the Cow to life through television advertising for Borden and helped Frito-Lay build the Doritos brand.

His perspective on clients is right on the mark. Hite’s quote shows that he realized something vital to the success of any agency: we’re nothing without our clients. Good clients. Over the years at PACE, we’ve worked with a number of leading publicly traded and privately held companies across a variety of sectors – and we’ve been fortunate to work with some of the best in the business. In fact, many of our client partnerships have spanned decades – a true rarity in the world of advertising. We do well to never forget that it all begins with good clients, offering good products and services. That’s what makes a good agency. Thanks to all those we’ve had the honor to work with and serve for over 65 years now!

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Digital on the Rise

PACE_DIGITAL-MARKETING-TRENDSDigital marketing is unstoppable. The current issue of Ad Age is dubbed “The Digital Issue,” with some very interesting stories and features on the meteoric rise of digital, which they call the “unquestionable future of marketing.” At the same time, they warn that some companies and brands may be close to overdosing on it, looking at digital as the savior for any and every problem they face. Globally, 24% of ad budgets are now going to digital. But it’s still difficult to draw a direct line from digital spending to real results for most companies. What is the proper allocation? Is it an “inexpensive miracle drug” as some companies believe, or should it be treated as part of a balanced media regimen? We’re for the latter, but we encourage you to take a look at the article (“Overdose?”) on adage.com and see what you think.

A new survey from Strata, a developer of media buying and selling software, as reported on multichannel.com, provides some more fuel for the meteoric rise of digital. The survey finds that 81% of ad agencies are paying more attention to digital advertising than they were a year ago (we certainly are), and 41% expect an increase in digital ad spending during 2015. 35% of the agencies polled saying their clients are increasing their budgets from last year; that’s a 50% uptick in expectations from just two years ago. It’s a very interesting shift occurring in real time – exciting and unpredictable at the same time. Click here to see more of the survey results.

PACE_digital-marketingWhat are you seeing in crystal ball of digital marketing?

 

How Do You Know if Advertising Works?

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Legendary ad man John Caples

“There is no better test of an advertisement than whether or not it actually sells the product! In fact, it is the only true way of determining if your advertisement works.” — John Caples, Advertising Hall of Fame

Truer words have rarely been spoken in marketing circles.

John Caples was a legendary ad man (Mad Man) who is probably best known for writing one of the most famous advertising headlines ever when he was a young copywriter in 1926:

”They Laughed When I Sat Down at the Piano but When I Started to Play!”

The copy that followed was long. Several hundred words long, designed to solicit students for a correspondence course at the U.S. School of Music. And the ad was an instant and classic success, inspiring many imitations over the years.

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The ad that changed an industry

Caples went on to become an expert in direct-response advertising. According to his obituary in the New York Times:

Mr. Caples was credited with pioneering many aspects of advertising, including copy testing and extensive research. He debunked humorous advertising copy, saying that ‘only half the people in this country have a sense of humor, and clever ads seldom sell anything.’ He also advised copywriters to ‘use words you would expect to find in a fifth-grade reader’’ because ‘the average American is approximately 13 years old mentally.’

Mr. Caples was elected to the American Advertising Federation’s Hall of Fame in 1977 and passed away in 1990. But his pioneering thoughts and practices about advertising live on.

At PACE, we adhere to some of Caples’ big ideas about advertising – including the quote above. What’s the point of advertising if not to sell product? To move people to action? In fact, it’s a philosophy we’ve adopted in one of our own agency taglines:

At PACE, we move people.

Another time, in a more cutesy way of conveying this and to reflect our agency specialization in working with real estate clients, we said:

 PACE brings faces to spaces and places.

In other words, the ads and marketing campaigns we create at PACE are strategically developed to get results. To move people. To bring faces. To generate real traffic. Real results.

We’ve been doing this for over 65 years now: providing successful, results-oriented marketing solutions for our clients. The tools have changed over the years, but we remain adept at moving people through targeted marketing strategies, compelling creative, and meticulously executed campaigns across a mix of marketing channels. Simply put, we moving consumers to take action. Getting them from their place to your place. Actively engaging with your business. And buying. Some call this “direct response.” We prefer to call it action-oriented marketing. And it’s at the heart of every campaign we develop.

We’d like to think that Mr. Caples would be proud.

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