8 Best Email Campaign Ideas, Examples & Templates

We get a lot of emails from businesses every day, ranging from automated newsletters to sales pitches to favor requests and so on. Most of these go straight to the spam/trash folder, or we mark them as read, or hit the unsubscribe option.

But every once in a while, an email lands in our inbox that's so good, we can't help but open and act on it. And some of the time, it's also worth sharing on social media or forwarding to a friend.

There are certain attributes common to these emails. They are personalized to the recipient, visually appealing and responsive. Plus, they also have a quick and easy call to action.

These are the kind of emails that I am going to be regularly collecting and featuring in this article. So you and I both have something to refer when we are in need of new email campaign ideas and inspiration.

Idea 1: User Generated Content/Products

email campaign idea

Showcasing user generated content/products is one of the best ideas for an email campaign. And RedBubble does it really well in this email. The featured artwork is by one of the platform's users, along with great email design.

In case you haven't heard of them, Redbubble is an online merchandise retailer selling designs from artists around the globe. This means that have to opportunity to feature talented designers in their emails, thereby connecting with potential buyers and sellers alike.

In addition to showing the artist's work, the email also tries to convey a part of his personality by featuring one of his quotes. Little things like these go a long way in creating and managing recipient expectations.

Idea 2: Industry/Market Trends

email campaign about industry trends

I have always been a big believer in thought leadership. Over and over, I have seen small and large businesses growing rapidly and gaining customer loyalty by becoming the go-to expert on a subject.

Trulia, for example, has established itself as a thought leader in the real estate space. And it's no accident but the result of emails like the one above.

By covering interesting data about real estate trends in the US, Trulia shows that it continues to keep a tab on the industry as an expert. Recipients get the message that Trulia cares in which direction real estate is heading and will keep them in the loop.

Idea 3: Events Of Relevance

rcn email campaign

Any event that can impact the use of your product or service is of relevance to both you and your audience. Hence, it may very well deserve an email communication.

One example of this is the dynamic between internet connection and bad weather. And RCN, an internet service, turned this event into an opportunity to show that they care for and are ready to serve their customers in testing circumstances.

This storm update email shows they are proactive about handling an event that may threaten their service,  and advising personal safety adds an extra touch of care.

Idea 4: Opting Out Inactive Subscribers

unsubscribe email campaign

This is an automated email a subscriber gets if he is consistently not opening HireVue emails in a row. The subject line - "Saying goodbye is never easy"

The best thing about this email is the straight shooter messaging: a simple message delivered without guilt. A light header and great CTA make it even better.

And what deserves recognition is not only the design or content of this email, but also the fact that HireVue is taking action to clean their email list.

They are preventing their email deliverability rates from getting hurt and making sure the people who get the emails are those who really want them.

Idea 5: Remind About Something Relevant

reminder email campaign

What could be better to complement a new prescription than new glasses? Warby Parker takes advantage of this connection in the above email.

It's also a great example of personalization based on something really specific and relevant. Add to this a killer subject line ("Uh-oh, your prescription is expiring") and you have a winner.

Also pay attention to the clever co-marketing near the footer. If someone doesn't know where to go and what to do about their expiring subscription, the email helps them figure it out.

Idea 6: Re-Engage Inactive Users

user retention email

It's hard to write an engaging email for people who signed up but have not been using your product or service. But the way Dropbox has managed to do it is worth noting.

They have kept their "come back" email short, cute and as non-intrusive as possible, while still conveying the value proposition that they want the recipient to remember for when they do have the need. The email is just reminding the user that Dropbox exists and how it could be useful.

Another great idea for when you're sending these type of emails is to include an incentive, like a limited duration coupon that users can avail if they start using the service.

Idea 7: Cross-Sell To Past Buyers

related product email

Guess who's the most likely to buy something from you? Correct. Someone who has already bought something from you and is happy with the previous purchase.

The above email is what the beauty product subscription business Birchbox sends to recent buyers, with the subject line: "We Forgot Something In Your February Box!"

The subject line catches attention and causes people to open the email. Now obviously, Birchbox hasn't forgotten anything but the recommended product or service is something they would really like based on their past purchase. So the recipients don't mind the trick.

Idea 8: Cover Rest Of The Story


When it comes to email marketing, many people forget there's an opportunity even after a transaction has been completed. When someone has bought, donated or taken a desired action, you can send them an email showing the impact of that action.

The more transparent you are about what happens after someone donates, orders a product or how you run your business with the money customers give you, the more trust you will gain.

Many ecommerce companies, for instance, show the entire journey of the product from their facility to customer's doorstep. Another great example is Charity: Water.

Most charities don't tell donors about the journey their money is taking and how it's helping. But Charity: Water is an exception. With easy to understand timelines and tables, it shows the donors the whole process so you they can feel good about their gesture.

Hitesh Sahni

Hitesh Sahni is a freelance writer, educator, consultant, marketer, and web designer helping people and businesses grow.
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