You want to design an original and impactful marketing email but you’ve no idea where to begin. It’s ok, we know how hard it can be to design an email from scratch. That’s why in this article we’re showing you some of our favorite email marketing examples for your inspiration.
Email design trends are a bit like fashion trends – they are constantly changing. A design that looked great last year can quickly become outdated.
As consumers of digital media, we’re used to seeing highly curated images and flawless designs on a day-to-day basis via social media platforms – Instagram in particular. This has transformed our judgement and expectations of digital art. We’ve come to always expect bigger, bolder, and brighter – and email marketing design is no exception to this.
To ensure your emails stay fresh and modern, it’s important to keep an eye on current email marketing examples. Staying up to date with the latest email trends will help keep your ideas flowing and highlight areas for improvement.
Sendinblue wants to help you create engaging email campaigns so we’ve put together this list of inspirational email marketing campaigns for you to pick up some tips and ideas.
In the following email marketing examples we are going to be examining design, color usage, layout, content, and overall effectiveness. We will not, however, be looking at numbers (you’ll find those in our email marketing benchmarks).
New to email marketing? Go over the basics first in our article What is email marketing and how does it work?
What are the key elements of a successful email marketing campaign?
Email marketing trends come and go but great campaigns have a few steadfast elements in common.
Let’s do a quick recap of what makes a successful email marketing campaign.
A great email campaign ticks the following boxes:
- Respectful of the subscriber’s opt-in preferences: You’re sending marketing emails to this person because they gave you their express permission to do so. And if they didn’t, then not only is this practice unethical but it’s even against the law in certain cases.
- Mobile-friendly design: The text is large enough to be read with ease on a small screen and any buttons can be easily clicked with fingers.
- Clear objective: The purpose of the email is clear thanks to a strong call-to-action (CTA).
- Personalized and targeted: The mailing list has been segmented to ensure each individual receives a message that’s tailored to their unique situation and needs.
- Error-free: You’ve meticulously checked for spelling, grammar, or formatting errors; and all links are working correctly.
- Value-adding: The email brings value to the subscriber in some way – whether it’s informing them of a product or service they’re likely to be interested in (based on what you already know about them), or providing access to things like exclusive content or discounts
Further reading: 12 Elements of a Successful Email Marketing Campaign.
With these aspects in mind, let’s jump straight into our top email marketing examples!
REISS: “Put Your Wardrobe in Neutral”
This email marketing example from clothing brand REISS perfectly encapsulates the sophistication of the brand image. There are a number of email design techniques at play here to achieve such a chic vibe:
- Minimalism: The ‘less is more’ approach pays off well here. Sentences are short, CTAs are simple yet effective. Minimal text draws the reader’s attention to the CTAs.
- Putting a high-quality, clean-cut “hero image” at the beginning of marketing emails is a popular design trend in recent years. The goal of this visual hierarchy is, of course, to grab the reader’s attention quickly and draw them in. This example from REISS does exactly that.
- A harmonious color scheme: Combining earthy colors, gentle gradients, and symmetry creates an aesthetic appeal that makes the email ‘satisfying’ to look at.
Wilderness Scotland: “Spaces on our most popular trips are becoming limited”
This email marketing example from Wilderness Scotland is a lot more ‘text-heavy’ than the minimalist example from REISS. But having a lot of text can still work – it’s all about structure and spacing.
Wilderness Scotland pulls this off perfectly in this example from a 2019 campaign. The hierarchy of images and text follows a logical and harmonious structure. The company presents the reader a lot of information, but it doesn’t come across as overwhelming thanks to the layout.
Two effective email techniques are in action here – personalization and the creation of a sense of urgency through the notion of limited availability.
Another great thing about this email is it ‘scannability’. The section headings and CTAs are clearly visible and the selected images accurately represent the ideas of the content. Even if you just skim through it, you’ll still fully understand what the email is about.
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Moschino: “You left something behind”
Monochrome email designs are in right now and Moschino is certainly on-trend in this abandoned cart email.
A few things Moschino did well here:
- The big typography on the hero image immediately grabs attention and gets straight to the point.
- Color gradient: Adidas saves the darkest shade of black for the main CTA (‘Return to Checkout’), naturally drawing the eye toward it.
- Use of white spacing and symmetry makes the abandoned articles ‘pop’ off the page – the objective of the email is clear.
Bellroy : “Settled in yet?”
Bellroy, an Australian brand that creates wallets and bags, are on top of the personalization game in this email marketing example.
The email has been tailored to the reader’s specific situation (30 days since becoming a customer) and we love how the messaging focuses entirely on the customer and their experience (“Settled in yet?”, “Create your story”).
The personable and inclusive approach makes Bellroy come across caring – and this is a great way of asking a customer for feedback.
On the topic of feedback, notice how the email contains a built-in survey. Did you know that interactive emails are one of 2019’s email design trends? It’s a quick and simplified way of getting engagement from subscribers without them having to leave their inbox. We predict that you’re going to be seeing a lot more of this kind of intelligent email design in the future.
This is also a great example of a mobile-friendly design. Bellroy chose a font size large enough to be read on a small screen and created survey buttons that can easily be tapped by fingers.
Listrak: “[Tomorrow]Beyond the Inbox: Social Acquisition”
Bright, vibrant color gradients are popular colors to use in 2019 and we love the way Listrak incorporates this into their webinar reminder email (an essential element of any webinar marketing plan).
What we like about this email:
- It gets straight to the point by putting the most important information first along with the CTA.
- Putting the questions in the form of social media posts is original and relevant to the webinar topic.
- The headshots help create a personal connection and serve as a reminder that the webinar will be hosted by actual real people. In today’s tech-driven world, a little human touch goes a long way.
Backcountry: “Thanks for joining our community”
We’ve seen it in previous email marketing examples and we see it again in this onboarding email from Backcountry. We’re talking about full-width borderless images.
This design trend is still going strong in 2019 and we understand why Backcountry would use it. The goal is to stimulate the visual senses and create an expansive feel – ideal for an outdoor clothing company!
The mid-action nature shots trigger the imagination and inspire the reader. In somewhat of a contrast, the sleek 3D images of the telephones show modernity, conveying a brand image that combines adventure and innovation. This is an effective way for Backcountry to introduce subscribers to their brand and values.
The example of social proofing also caught our eye, as seen in the call to “Be #Goatworthy”. Backcountry portrays the ‘goatworthy’ person as a passionate adventurer, appealing to your emotions to become this person. This is a clever way to encourage subscribers to join your online social communities and increase traffic via your brand hashtag.
(With over 700,000 mentions of #goatworthy on Instagram, we can assume this strategy worked well for Backcountry ?)
Overall, this makes for a useful introduction email because it sets the subscriber up to do three important things: download the app, get in contact with a customer service representative, and join the online community.
Gucci: “See all the Looks: the Spring Summer 2019 Fashion Show”
Gucci makes fantastic use of color in this email marketing example advertising their spring/summer collection.
Color is an important factor in your email design and it’s worth keeping up to date with color trends. It’s yet another of way of showing that your brand is current and relevant.
Did you know that the 2019 Pantone color of the year is Living Coral? Well, going by the coral-colored coat in the hero image of this email, it looks like Gucci got the memo.
The flower illustrations add originality and creativity but it was the eccentricity of the fashion statements that really grabbed our attention in this email.
If we’re going to take away one lesson from this campaign then let it be this: If you have the opportunity, be as creative and ‘out there’ as possible!
Clear: Your 5 Summer Guest Passes Are Here ☀️
We like this email marketing example from biometrics company Clear because it’s simple, effective, and makes use of vibrant colors.
According to Canva, 2019 trend colors include anything ‘vivid’, such as electric blues and yellows for a modern and futuristic feeling. Clear nail the trend with this email, proving that even with the simplest of content, using the right colors can bring your email to life.
We mentioned earlier the importance of adding value for the reader. Here, the value is evident (a loyalty reward in the form of guest passes). This is a great example of how to strengthen relationships with existing customers and drive conversions through referrals.
True Citrus: “Welcome to True Citrus”
This is a great email example because:
- It’s perfect for reading on a mobile device – look at the large, well-spaced font and ‘finger-friendly’ CTA button.
- It presents an obvious added value for the reader (discount code).
- The useful links, though numerous, don’t overwhelm the reader thanks to their neat and spacious layout.
Adidas: “Ultraboost All Terrain, Illuminate your Run”
What we love about this campaign from adidas is its use of stunning imagery, minimal text, and CTAs that are short and punchy. It’s the perfect email for scrolling through quickly when you’re short on time.
Using alliteration (e.g. “Restore your core”, “Calling all creators”) is clever from a copywriting perspective as it makes the CTAs more memorable.
Apple: “Find the perfect gift for that special someone”
When it comes to gadgets, we are particularly drawn to what’s new, shiny, and futuristic.
Apple plays on this expertly in this Valentine’s campaign using 3D images, metallics tones, on-trend colors, and high-quality open composition images (where an object extends beyond a border, stimulating the reader to imagine the rest of the object).
The copy and overall vibe is fully on-theme for Valentine’s day, making this a great example of how to do email marketing for a holiday or special day.
Ready to design your own marketing emails?
We hope this list of email examples has given you the inspiration and ideas to start creating your own awesome marketing emails.
Sendinblue’s built-in ‘drag and drop editor’ makes it easy to create your own original designs (no need to call in a graphic designer!). We also have a large selection of templates available for you to customize. You can use all these features for free when you sign up to Sendinblue.
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Further reading: 7 Email Marketing Best Practices to Succeed in 2019