Long live email marketing, for email is the king of marketing efforts.

  • It’s cost-effective
  • You can use it to reach people at every stage of the customer lifecycle
  • It gives you the chance to showcase your brand in creative ways
  • You get valuable data from customer behavior
  • You can automate emails (and take a lot of the work out of marketing)

59% of people say that email marketing influences their purchases.
But bowing before email marketing and calling it king isn’t going to make it magically boost your customer engagement.
To have great email marketing, you need great email ideas.
And unfortunately, they don’t sell those in bulk at Costco (but God if they did…)
Where do you get all of these email ideas from, then?“increase

You’ll need a lot of them. Increasing customer engagement isn’t a one-time job.

By the end of this post, you’ll have:

  • 11 unforgettable email ideas (with killer examples) to inspire your most engaging campaigns ever
  • 5 fast ways to think of even more ideas that are so simple you’ll wonder why you didn’t think of them before

Email-palooza starts now.

The 11 email ideas you’ve been waiting for are…

Here are 11 excellent examples of email ideas:

  1. Welcome emails
  2. Giveaway emails
  3. Newsletter emails
  4. New product launch emails
  5. Feedback request emails
  6. Can’t-miss sale emails
  7. Thank you emails
  8. Subscription anniversary emails
  9. Seasonal emails
  10. Cart abandonment emails
  11. Order confirmation emails

1. Effective welcome emails

The First Impressions Email Marketing Study conducted by Ciceron said that only 39% of brands send a welcome email.
39%. As a marketer, I’m wondering how in the world that number is so high – because if you’re not sending a welcome email, what are you sending as your first email?
The first email you send is how you make your first impression.
Knowing that, how can you NOT have a welcome email plan in place?
Whether you are one of the 39% or just looking to revamp your current welcome emails, I am including 3 examples of welcome emails because they are critically important.

Create a thorough welcome series (like True Citrus)

True Citrus, a company who creates crystallized citrus products for water, drinks, and recipes, sends out this welcome email.

What we like about it:

  1. The fact that this is only 1 of 4 welcome emails from True Citrus.
  2. The copy and call-to-action

A welcome email series is far more effective than a single welcome email. This True Citrus email is the first welcome email out of a series of 4.
Based on click/purchase behavior from this send, True Citrus segments their welcome series to send a message to those that used the coupon code or a separate message to those that have not made a purchase using that code.
The copy is simple and gives the new customer a discount to make their first experience even better.
The call-to-action is not only clever but makes it clear what to do next. Shop their product, then sip their product. And you can’t lose when you use alliteration.

Make your emails personal (like Copyhackers)

Joanna Wiebe of Copy Hackers is the original “conversion” copywriter. And she has the email writing chops to prove it.

What we like about it:

  1. They personalize it
  2. It takes advantage of high engagement opportunities

The value of a personal, emotional connection with your customers can’t be understated. Harvard Business Review takes a closer look at just how valuable emotional marketing makes a customer.

“customerFully connected customers are 52% more valuable, on average, than those who are just highly satisfied. (Source: Harvard Business Review)

Did you notice that Joanna uses a first name and not just a straight-up “welcome?” Personalization is key for B2C emails – it makes them feel less “one-of-the-many.”
Taking advantage of high engagement is something that not all welcome emails do – but this one does, and does it well. Take this opportunity to offer some extra relevant content (like Joanna does).
She likely does this by segmenting her audience based on interest and which links they click. Any information you can collect on your subscribers’ interests can be useful down the line.

2. Giveaway email examples

Who doesn’t love a giveaway?
When jewelry candle maker JewelScent hosted a giveaway the week before Valentine’s Day, they grew their email list by 3,431 new subscribers AND made $18,776.49 in 8 days.
Giveaways work. People like free stuff, and that will never change.
Lucky for you, you don’t have to host a giant event to promise a little free swag. An email can do it for you.
Here are two good examples of giveaway emails.

Target emotions while creating urgency (like Birchbox)

(Source: Really Good Emails)

What we like about it:

  1. The headline copy is emotional and time-sensitive
  2. The CTA includes you

I’m not the only person who played with a cootie catcher like the GIF in this Birchbox email (right? right?).
Seeing it immediately sparked interest and emotions in me that made me more receptive to clicking on it (plus – free gift opportunity).
The “Let’s Play” CTA sounds fun! So, of course, you’re more likely to click on it. They’ve created a “game” and invited you to play with them.

Make irresistible promises (like The Knot)

I have to call out this subject line, because…yes.
Weddings are expensive and brides are stressed – do you think ANY bride is going to skip clicking on this?
And when they do, this is what they’ll find. A beautiful, free chance to win free money to bring their dream wedding to life.

What we like about it:

  1. The subject line draws you in
  2. Effective zig-zag design layout

I’m going to keep singing the praises of that subject line, because they really nailed it.
Consider the following 4 tips:

  • Make it relevant
  • Make it personal
  • Make it curious
  • Make it urgent

Your email subject line is what draws people in. It’s where you have the chance to grab attention and force people to click with the power of curiosity.
And who wouldn’t be curious about getting $3,000 for free?
Now about that zig-zag design layout
A zig-zag or “angular” layout is both enticing to look at as well as functional to order lots of information and imagery, according to Canva graphic designer Mary Stribley.
The Knot combines call-to-action opportunities, beautiful images, and simple, clear copy to make reading this email easy and enjoyable.

3. Newsletter emails

Newsletters are an extremely common practice for brands (and a good one at that). But that doesn’t mean good newsletters are easy.
Ramit Sethi, author and owner of I Will Teach You To Be Rich, knows the value of a dollar (and how to teach others about it). He also happens to be skilled at copywriting and marketing. Every email he sends is content-rich and helpful.
His expertise might be finance, but Ramit Sethi can also take you through developing a great newsletter step-by-step.

How to write emails that get opened with Ramit Sethi
Now you can check out this example from Land O Lakes.
Sometimes emails aren’t about what you want from your customers (a purchase), but rather what you can give them (value).
A newsletter email like Land O Lakes does just that.

Give value beyond your product (like Land O Lakes)

Land O Lakes has a newsletter called “The Measuring Cup” (cute, right?).
The email itself is just as cute.

What we like about it:

  1. Inviting images
  2. Immediately attainable value

Seasonally-relevant emails are all the rage during high-volume ecommerce times like Halloween, Christmas, and Black Friday. They give you a chance to get creative, which is what Land O Lakes did.
First, they focused on images (a picture is worth a thousand words).
People process visuals 600,000 times faster than text. You only have a few seconds to capture attention after someone opens your email, which means speed is important.
An image sets the mood and helps convey the ideas in the copy. Right away, a bright, high-quality image in the theme of the season catches the opener’s eye.
This newsletter gives double the customer value by showcasing:

  • The non-obvious uses of the product (because few people will eat sticks of butter)
  • Multiple recipes in the email (with a full snapshot view)

I wouldn’t mind seeing that cupcake (and its recipe) show up in my inbox.

4. Product launch announcement emails

You’ve got new products! Time to tell the world.
But who in the world will find this new product interesting and useful?
Maybe it’s targeted towards…

  • Men
  • Women
  • Men and women
  • Families
  • Children
  • Singles
  • Millennials
  • Carnivores
  • Vegetarians

How do you decide?
Audience segmentation can help you with this, but sometimes your new product launch emails can serve multiple audiences.
No one likes to be left out, so when they added new items to their menu, Pret didn’t let that happen.

Be audience-inclusive (like Pret)


What we like about it:

  1. It’s audience-inclusive
  2. It teases information to prompt clicking through to the site

Being audience-inclusive lets you extend your reach while still being targeted.
In this case, Pret targeted their new product towards vegetarians.But they made a point to mention that it’s still a great product for people outside of the target.
There’s an advantage to only teasing content in an email rather than including absolutely everything in it. If you tease your content well-enough, it can increase the chance of a click-through to your site.
Pret used an enticing image and included just enough detail in their copy to make clicking a natural next step.

5. Customer feedback email

You never know until you ask.
That’s why you should simply ask for feedback via a survey. But here’s the thing.
A lot of people ignore surveys.
This can