Are you the kind of learner that needs to see theory put into practice in order to really understand it? Ya, us too. That’s why we’ve written this blog – to help you apply the lessons you learned in How to Write a Great Email and Intro to Email Marketing to real-life email examples.
We’ve always loved curating content. It started early with journals of our favourite quotes, and magazine cut-outs of our favourite scenes, fashions and articles. The last decade our Pinterest boards have been jam-packed with our favourite mac&cheese recipes and “fall outfit” ideas.
Today, our new favourite content to curate has been emails. We keep folders of emails we love. Single emails, email series, and trigger campaigns. Today, our little dream world lives in an email folder and there’s a few reasons for this:
So this week, we want to share some of our favourite emails with you! (P.S. We aren’t paid to endorse these brands, we are happy followers and/or customers of these brands and just want to share their great work building a brand around awesome products/services).
That’s right, we’re opening up our sacred “Folder of the Good Email” to help demonstrate how brands are successfully implementing email marketing to grow their businesses.
These are actual emails we’ve received that had at least one of the following effects on us: joy, entertainment, laughter, increased confidence, and also a glad willingness to invest our money (without feeling that yucky, scarcity feeling about it).
Of course you’re welcome to join our email list too if you’d like to see how we’re building a profitable email marketing strategy.
But in the meantime, put on your flapper dress, get your dancing shoes on and remember the password “Jitterbug” – because you’re about to strut into our “favourite emails” folder like you’re sneaking into a swanky 1920s-prohibition-era speakeasy … be cool guys, walk in there like you own the place and you’ll be good.
We’ve chosen email samples from brands we love getting emails from because they’ve earned our trust over time with consistent, quality emails that deliver value, and make us feel like we’re being spoken to personally.
We’ll highlight a few now in various types of email campaigns so you can see the theories at work!
In their first email Everlane keeps a short and sweet message about what makes them different (one of the main reasons why people are investing in their clothing line). The value they delivered in this first email is to reaffirm our aspirational identity as “conscious shoppers.” It makes you feel good to spend a little more to invest in quality and ethically-made items.
And they knew me well; their regular sequence was seasonally appropriate as the following emails were Holidays-focused. With Christmas shopping on my mind, and wanting to be sourcing gifts that would not harm people or the environment, these emails were perfectly timed and resulted in a purchase (in this case, even without a discount code).
We learned about Joybird while listening to Armchair Expert, right around the time we were looking for furniture solutions as pet-owners (ie. I had naively thought our light grey couch would be totally fine as the owner of an energetic, 75-pound Labradoodle).
What got me to sign up for their email list (in a record 0.5 seconds) was this lovely incentive:
Whereas Everlane focused on building an aspirational identity, Joybird goes right for buying incentives (not a bad thing if you know that’s what your audience wants!) After signing up for their list, the discount codes and softer call-to-actions like “free swatches” gave us the opportunity to start our journey without pulling out our credit cards just yet. Giving us the opportunity to “see and feel” fabric swatches before we placed our order was a great way of minimizing any sense of risk we might have felt.
Oh and one more thing that shows they know their audience. In their second email, they immediately absolved me of my pet worries by addressing the objection upfront: pet & kid-friendly fabrics. They’ve already made me feel significantly less risky about the lifespan of my furniture investment with this simple statement. This is ultimately what made me click through to their website to do some shopping, without imagining what my dog might eventually do to their beautiful pieces.
A lot of people have mixed feelings about Abandoned-Cart sequences. They fear these campaigns are too pushy and sales-y. Of course, any email written in the wrong way can be sales-y and pushy and won’t work. We would never recommend anything icky!
But this trigger series from Native is an excellent example of how to helpfully nurture almost-customers into a purchase they’ve had time to think about. We’ve mentioned before that there are different kinds of shoppers, and not all consumers are impulse buyers. Most people need time to think it through, to feel 100% confident… or, to come back to it when our credit card isn’t all the way across the room away from our cozy spot on the couch (it just feels so far away when your dog is lying on top of you and you’re in the middle of “The Great”).
So, if you aren’t staying with your customers during that “on-the-fence” time you’re missing an opportunity to remind them that you exist, and that you want to help them! It’s not that they won’t buy a product, they’re just going to spend the money on your competition.
P.S. Oh — and it worked! See proof below:)
This next one is all about a “paradigm shift” – helping your audience see things from another, more impactful perspective than what they’re used to.
We’ve been following Cheekbone Beauty ever since purchasing a couple of their products for the first time 3 years ago. We love receiving their regular emails, and this was one that brought a valuable “paradigm shift” to our inbox on Earth Day.
Their words made their email stand out among the other messages, because of the reminder that Earth Day isn’t a “new” concept – it’s an ancient way of existing in the world that began long before Western culture. This reminded us that Earth Day is about more than just buying a t-shirt with an eco-friendly message from an Instagram ad. This email brought more than just information on how their business is eco-friendly – it brought a valuable mind shift to this day as well as I thought to myself, “Why the heck would I ever buy lipstick from anywhere else? Sustainably made, packaged and it’s bringing social change.”
My undying loyalty to Cheekbone Beauty’s lipstick was affirmed in this email. I remembered again that my purchase was more than just a normal transaction – it’s inviting me to participate in a vitally important, longstanding legacy.
The one you’ve probably been waiting for… and also the one that usually gets away. You’ve nailed nurture email-writing, you love sharing freebies, you love sending stories … but now that it’s time to actually sell something, you want to hide under a rock, and actually find yourself wishing it will get buried in people’s inboxes.
IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE THIS WAY!
Your work is important. You are worthy of taking up space in this world. You’ve been working on a product or launching a service, and you need to tell people about it.
We adore this sales email from Alex Elle…
As Alex Elle beautifully demonstrates here, you do not need to be shy about selling! Telling your audience (who is following you because they love you) that you are proud of your work is not arrogant, or lacking humility – it shines with healthy confidence, self-esteem and worthiness. And you know what else? It gives your followers the same permission to feel proud of their work and worthy in their own skin too.
Because we don’t do imposter’s syndrome here.
One more thing! We also loved that she took a moment to shake things up – people are so used to reading about “pre-ordering” books, that they usually just skim through a sales email knowing what’s coming. But Alex interrupts the robotic-email scanning mentality in this email by asking the question “why pre-order?”
A good question! I had never thought of this before and it stopped me in my tracks. Learning about why pre-ordering benefits me as a consumer AND the author who laboured this book into the world with so much love really mattered to me. Since this email, I’ve never looked at the words “Pre-Order this book today” in the same way!
Every week, we’re trying to move you closer to beginning. To break it all down for you so you don’t have to be scared of it anymore. Email marketing is not impossible, or only for big brands. It’s not scummy or too sales-y.
Quite the opposite, we would argue that good email marketing is the most honest, authentic and trustworthy form of communicating with your customers. You’ve seen it here! These emails did not force us to spend money where we didn’t want to. In none of these emails were we begrudged about pulling out our credit cards.
We felt good about it. We still feel good to this day about the money we’ve invested in these brands over time. And to sum it all up, a great email marketing series does more than just sell things:
Any questions for us? Connect with us here.