50 Best Email
Marketing Examples

Andi Coombs
Andi Coombs
Senior Content Writer

Oh, heck yeees. Email marketing is worth it.

Were you wondering that? 

You probably were.

With so many powerful marketing channels out there to reach customers, tell them interesting stories, and engage with them in ways that delight, why carve out marketing dollars for email marketing? 

For starters…

There isn’t a huge money commitment with email marketing like there is with paid ads; it’s a low-investment channel—but it does take craftsmanship (more on that later). 

We hear your buts:  Email is that outdated couch in the mudroom. 

Listen, just because it’s not shexy, doesn’t mean it doesn’t work. 

It works.

Like, it really works. 

And it’s not a dying horse either. 

Right now, about 300 billion emails hit inboxes every day. By the end of 2024, that number will climb to 361 billion. That’s astounding considering the prevalence of apps like Slack that take a chunk out of internal communication and social media networks that are glossier (Instagram), chirpier (Twitter), snappier (Snapchat), and flashier (TikTok) than email for outreach.

Hands down, though—no contest—email wins as the best marketing platform for selling your stuff

It has a staggering return on investment: 

For every dollar you spend, expect to get $42 back

A 420% ROI feels pretty dern shexy, am I right?

Email marketing ROI – Source

That return gets even bigger when you follow email marketing best practices.

But there’s a ton of ways to get it wrong

Doing it wrong lands your email in spam and hurts the health of your domain. 

Getting email marketing wrong is ew.

No worries. We got you.

That’s where this post is going. We’ll show you how to take your email list and strategize with surgical precision, starting with a breakdown of each type of marketing email.

That’s not all.

We’ve only gone and rounded up 50 eye-catching examples to inspire your next campaign and get you ready to smash it.

Ready?

Blow open the barn doors, Meredith. 

Let’s go. 

Types of Email Marketing

Email marketing isn’t a pot of porridge slopped on a separator plate. 

Email marketing is haute cuisine with experimental ingredients and meticulous presentation. 

You serve a different plate to different customers based on the lifecycle stage of that particular customer. 

You wouldn’t send a cart abandonment email to someone interested in your newsletter, for example. And someone who has purchased multiple items from you doesn’t want a cold outreach email firing to their inbox. That wouldn’t make sense.

What does make sense?

Making your customer happy by nurturing them—wherever they are in your funnel—and nudging them gently along your conversion path. 

That happens with the right email design and the right message in the right category. Give them the right goodies at the right time.

Nail that down and you’ll improve your ROI and grow your company. 

Say it with me now: Yeehaw, honey. 

Whether you’re looking for funnel-appropriate eCommerce emails or you’re in the B2B space and you want to up your cold email marketing strategy to turn it into a CTR machine, we’ve got 50 examples that walk you through how to do that. 

You already know the why. Now take a look at the how.

Okay, let’s rip these high-converting beauties apart.

Transactional trigger emails

Transactional (trigger) Emails

This is an umbrella email category. It’s a biggie because transactional emails cover any email that triggers (automation) based on subscriber behavior. You set these puppies up ahead of time and write them to be as personal as pre-written automated emails can be.

Trigger emails include these email types:

  • Welcome emails 
  • Cart abandonment
  • Support requests
  • Purchase receipts
  • Order confirmations
  • Shipping notifications

It’s no wonder these emails have a high open rate—they contain information the recipient needs. Here’s an example of a triggered order email and a triggered shipment notification from Olipop:

Olipop

Olipop triggered order email

I can glance at this email in under 5 seconds and know that 

  1. I placed my order correctly (yay me).
  2. There’s a button so I can see what I ordered at any time (convenience) 
  3. I’ll get another email when my pretty pop ships. 

That’s all this email is supposed to be—no sales pitch. Nice design. One CTA button. 

Olipop

Olipop triggered shipping email

Yay. My pop is on the way.

And I can track my order from this email. Easy.

What else is right about this other than getting brevity in the bag? Pretty pastels that are on brand… which might be one of the reasons I ordered this healthy pop in the first place; who wouldn’t want something that aesthetically pleasing on view while hydrating?

Wildist

Wildist thank you email

The email subject line is simply: Order confirmation.

That’s it. And for this type of email, it doesn’t need to be fancy. I bought this workshop, and I’m double-checking for my receipt so I can forward it to my tax app. Short and sweet.

Oh, and I also know what’s coming next: my login details. Awesome.

Honey

Honey purchase email

A clear header (Swell. I’ve got some points), a bold graphic, and I like how Honey explains when and how I redeem my points.

What if I want to check out my total points? Oh, look, a clear CTA for that.

Allergy Buyers Club

Thanks for your recent purchase email

Thanks for purchasing. Here are six helpful setup steps to get you going. Here is another product of ours you might be interested in. And, if you share the love, we’ll give you and your friend a discount on your next purchase. Textbook. This could also slide into the upsell/cross-sell email category.

Sonos

Back in stock email

A helpful back in stock trigger.

I like that I get first dibs on that product and that I get it with free shipping and easy returns up to 100 days.

I also appreciate the simple design and the button that takes me right to where I want to be.

Fitbit

Shipping email

Clever copywriting: Are you smiling? You’re totally smiling. Go camp out by the mailbox.

Ha. Okay.

I’m not going to do that, but you pulled a smile onto my face, so thanks for that.

Unsplash

Congratulations email

This email triggered when one of Unsplash’s own reached a milestone (40 million views).

It’s a little pick-me-up congrats, delivered “personally” by Annie, who also gives a sneak peek at what Unsplash is working on.

Creating feelings of belonging and pride?

Perfect.

Nurture sequence emails

Wa-effing-hoo. 

You made it past the cold email (or the landing page). The prospect liked the cut of your jib enough to click in. They converted. 

Now it’s time to nurture that lead like Email Mother Teresa. 

This is where you get them cozy—because they’re not ready to buy yet. They’re ready to understand why they might want to buy later. Do the nurture sequence right (build trust), and you’ll hand your sales team something hot.

Nurturing implies taking a new customer and bringing them into your family and treating them with kindness, and helping them however they need help.

It’s not about selling off the start.

It’s simply about being grateful they’re on your team.

Artifact Uprising

Thank you email

The Subject is simply: With Gratitude.

Artifact Uprising makes beautifully designed photo books. Their value proposition is, “We create joy by printing the stories that matter most.”

They took a chance writing a long story-like email to thank customers for being customers at Thanksgiving.

But it works.

Stories are on-brand with their product offering—plus, the story is worth reading. I read it, and I appreciate it.

Thanks for the reminder: I will make another photo book soon (even though there’s no CTA pushing me to do that).

Airbnb

Thank you email

Subject: Get a personalized highlight reel of your hosting success. 

My hosting success?

You care about how I’m doing as part of the Airbnb community? You’ve made me a personalized highlight reel of my property—just for me?

That’s touching, and I love that I can share it with guests to increase my chances of booking more people and making more money.

Thanks, Airbnb, for making me feel valued. 

Brooklinen

Thank you email

The subject line reads this: Not A Marketing Email.

Hmmm…. Okay. What is it, then?

Click. (open rate, check.)

Oh, it’s a thank you note thanking me for my patronage because Brooklinen is getting so popular that Forbes writes about them. It’s signed by what I’m going to guess is a husband and wife duo. Sweet.

Feel good vibes…. Hey, maybe I should buy another set of their amazing sheets right now while I think of it. 

This is genius.

Brooklinen proclaims right off the bat that they aren’t marketing to you. They’re simply thanking you. But what Brooklinen is really doing is putting their product in your mind because maybe that will encourage you to buy something else today.

Paravel

Thank you email

Paravel makes eco-friendly luggage. Here is a beautiful pinboard of images (from their Instagram community) that showcases their bags out in the world recently.

The header thanks the customer for being a customer and drops a note that fall bags are almost ready for purchase. Clever.

McDonald’s

Thank you email

Subject: Heroes deserve FREE Thank You meals.

Even if you’re not a frontline customer, you see that McD’s values frontline workers, and you’re going to share the deal with your friends who are.

You feel good about that.

And you might pick up some fries for lunch.

Welcome Emails

Picture yourself standing at someone’s front door. You knock. They open the door and you give them a big smile, introduce yourself, and tell them how great it is that they’re interested in your company’s product.

You’re so excited to have them on board that you want to give them a special little hello gift.

That’s a welcome email.

It’s the first impression someone gets of your company after signing up to receive news, promotions, or discounts. 

Unsurprisingly, introductory welcome emails have the highest delivery, open, and click-through rates.

This is your first (and sometimes last) chance to make the reader feel good about associating with your company. It’s important to be friendly, give them helpful info, tell them what they can expect from you going forward (to build trust), and walk away leaving behind a good feeling or maybe a discount code.

Make them excited about the next email. 

Whisk

Welcome to Whisk

The winning elements of this email shared in three well-designed sections: 

  1. Thanks for signing up. 
  2. Read blog articles here. 
  3. Here are three things Whisk can do for you. 
  4. This is our value proposition, “Whisk is the intelligent platform for connecting recipes and products to shopping and cooking,” 
  5. Here is a demo

Harley Davidson

Welcome to Harley Davidson

The welcome message isn’t a dull “Welcome.” Instead, “Ready to Ride?” plays to Harley Davidson’s clientele. After opening, the reader sees a rider’s perspective of riding a Harley (a GIF). Two CTAs invite the recipient to learn more or book a test ride. A pretty amazing first email.

Strava

Welcome to Strava

If I was new to Strava (an activity tracker), I would appreciate this walk-thru of how to get started. And I’m motivated to get started. Simple design, and no salesy anything. 

Outer

Welcome to Outer

Not only am I welcomed to the Outer community, but I feel happy after seeing this sunshiny outdoor furniture. Then I’m asked to describe my yard so Outer can send me a curated recommendation and some free coasters.

That’s nice.

I’m going to click that Tell More button for sure.

Headspace

Welcome to Headspace

White space, white space, white space. 

Why do we like it so much? 

Three reasons: Occam’s Razor, the Aesthetic Usability Effect, and Miller’s Law (three UX principles).

Occam’s Razor says the simplest solution is always the best solution. That means using the simplest design (no clutter) and the fewest words.

Aesthetic Usability Effect says that pretty things are preferred over more functional, uglier things.

And Miller’s Law says to lump your email content into chunks (with lots of empty padding in between) so readers can absorb the content.

Headspace serves up this simple welcome email with whitespace, a cute graphic, one encouraging (hooray for you) headline and a short chunk of copy that commends the reader again for taking charge of their happiness.

The “Meditate Now” button lets them get started on that happiness immediately.

Typeform

Welcome to Typeform

This welcome email from Typeform lets readers know that Getting started is simple.

Because that’s the subject line.

What follows are four clear steps and a nice graphic showing the UI (the product experience). There’s a clear direction, and the simplicity lets readers scan it at a glance. 

Spotify

Welcome to Spotify

Spotify nails this welcome email with a splash of color and four simple lines of copy, two of which allay any worries of their inbox choking up with Spotify emails:

  1. Welcome
  2. Here’s what you signed up for (irregular emails)
  3. We’re happy you’re part of our community
  4. You can unsubscribe at any time quickly.

The simpler a thing, the easier it’s absorbed, the better it converts.

Presto.

Mollusk

Welcome Aboard

Subject line: Welcome Aboard. 

Get it?

Clever copywriting gets me every time.

The graphically pleasing email pulls me down to the bottom. On the way, I see that I get a coupon, learn what Mollusk does, get why they do what they do, and learn they hold creative workshops.

That’s cool.

Go ahead and view upcoming events?

Okay.

Cat Caboodle

Welcome with discount code

Straight up cuteness, easy to read, a coupon, and one big button where I can claim the voucher.

Model this welcome email, and you’ll be in great shape.

Jeni’s

Welcome to Jeni’s

Ordinarily, I would say this welcome email has too much copy.

But.

The font size is large, so it’s easy to read.

As I skim, I read that Jeni makes ice cream so good they like to bathe in it. I love the cheeky tone and the fresh colors.

I like that they have new flavors coming with organic ingredients. I’m going to keep subscribing because I’m curious about that.

And because their imagery makes me happy. 

I also love how easy it is to see my four other options at the bottom.

Cart Abandonment Emails

A shopper liked your offer, landed on your product page, and put a product in their cart. But then some sort of friction stopped them from following through with the purchase.

You’ve got yourself a cold cart right there. Dagnabbit.

So close. But no conversion. 

That’s frustrating.

The funnel worked right up to where it counted. What gives? 

It happens quite a bit. Cart abandonment rates across all industries averages to about 70%, according to Sleeknote. 

7 out of 10 shoppers ditch their cart – Source

It gets worse on mobile, with abandonment rates as high as 85.65%. The smaller screen size gets the blame. 

Cart abandonment translates to around $80 billion lost each year by eCommerce Brands.

Flip that on its head—that means there is an $80B opportunity to close those carts on a happy note.

Use cart abandonment emails to ask those almost-buyers to please go back and complete their purchase.

Because over 40% of those emails get opened.

4 out of 10 people will open cart abandonment emails – Source

Why do shoppers abandon their carts?—Source

“With $4 trillion worth of merchandise predicted to be abandoned in digital carts next year alone, cart abandonment has become a burning issue that e-commerce organizations can no longer afford to ignore.” Source

Nomad

Nomad cart abandonment

Subject line: Nomad Gear is Selling Out Quick. 

If I actually wanted that Nomad Gear and I left something in the cart because I was distracted, a subject line like this with a sense of urgency will get my attention.

I like how when I open the email I’m hit with a few different scenarios of what could have possibly happened that stopped me from throwing money at their gear. 

Cheeky. And I like it.

I also like their “Seal the Deal” call to action button. That shows gumption. They didn’t slide in a humdrum “Buy now” button. But to make it easy for me to go back and buy my stuff, there’s a convenient gigantic checkout button.

Just under it, at a glance, I can see there’s some new gear to check out. 

Aaaaand, they anticipated my objection to spending too much cash (buyer’s remorse) and eased my mind with a money-back guarantee and a bigger than usual warranty.

That gets my click.

Dote

Dote shopping bag abandonment

Subject: Your shopping bag misses you!

I like how this email avoids the word “cart,” which might trigger an ugh.

My shopping bag missing me is rather cute.

Okay, I’ll play.

I open the email where I read that my shopping bag not only misses me, it has abandonment issues. And if I don’t go back, it’ll need therapy.

What have I done? To the rescue….

Ha. Clever.

Dollar Shave Club

Dollar Shave abandonment email

Dollar Shave Club opens their box so I can peek inside. I know exactly what I’ll get if I join their club. And I can see the razors ship with funny slogans on the cartridge case and inside the box.

I like this.

Oh, and just in case I was in doubt, I can see eight reasons why I should at least try joining the club.

There. All of my doubts shaved away.

Good job.

Winc

Winc cart abandonment email

Subject: You forgot something unforgettable. 

Oh ya? Okay, I’ll click.

How could I leave that wine in my cart? It does look so yum.

Gosh, I left those bottles there because I wasn’t ready to drop that much money on wine right then.

Oh, but you’re going to give me $20 off because it’s my first purchase?

I am thirsty…. Okay. 

Headspace

Headspace abandonment email

This one wins the cart abandon trophy. 

Even if I don’t want to learn how to calm down right now, I will put buying a meditation app on my do-later list.

Why?

Because of the contrast of the copywriting to the brand.

I’m not expecting humor from a meditation app. “If you got distracted, that’s OK.” This, I expect, because the messaging is on-brand.

But then…

“We all get distracted sometimes—squirrel!”

Oh hell naw, headspace.

You didn’t just go and do that. I’m in.

Peaceful new me, here I come. 

Newsletter emails

81% of B2B marketers prefer newsletters to other methods of content marketing.

Email newsletters drive traffic to your content (your blog articles, for example). Shoot for 90% industry-related substance and 10% promotional content in a newsletter email. 

Share a mix of company or product updates with both short and long-form content, but keep it short and speak directly to your fans.

Resist the urge to sprinkle in multiple CTAs, and tuck urgent CTAs away entirely. 

Stick to one action button (because everyone appreciates direction).

Build trust.

And provide an unsubscribe link to keep your list healthy—and because recipients appreciate that.

Indeed

Indeed newsletter

Subject line: NEW—12 Jobs With High Job Satisfaction Rates

Do I want to know what the most satisfying jobs are out there? I do if I subscribed to Indeed’s newsletter emails.

I’ll also appreciate the six career-related recommendations in the next section (that I can skim in under 5 seconds). And I love that they care about my opinion about their content. That tells me that they’re listening and want to tailor what they send to me.

That keeps them in my inbox, and I’m not going to unsubscribe.

Packlane

Packlane newsletter

This newsletter gives email subscribers a sneak peek into the topic of episode three of their vlog, “Word on the lane.”

The copywriting grabs, “This could be the most clever and creative packaging we’ve ever seen,” and under the Watch Now button (that I can’t wait to click), there’s a link to more examples of awesome custom package designs—yes, please.

I can even click a CTA that lets me apply to have my package design featured in a Packlane vlog. Inspiring.

Barrel

Barrel newsletter

In Barrel’s June newsletter, they feature three brand stories with clever headlines and bold imagery. They use this template every month, so I know what to expect, and I get to see if I’m interested in paraphrased copy and clever headlines. I have two choices, “Learn More” and “Visit Website.”

What more could you ask for?

Content and Promotion Emails

You’re nurturing the client with helpful newsletter-type emails, and they dig your stuff. But every now and then, it’s a good idea to drop a promo email in their inbox. Coupons, subscriber-only discounts, VIP exclusive content, new product releases… that kind of stuff.

They’ve come to like your brand, now give them a chance to buy it.

Typemates

TypeMates incredibly long (awesome) promo email

I’m addicted to fonts.

The subject line of this promo email lets me know I can save 50% off Sombra, a new font by TypeMates.

Hooray.

When I open the email, I’m hit with a fontstravaganza.

Is this promo email too long? Yes.

Did I scroll all the way to the bottom, totally admiring the artwork and the accumulating special offers?

Yes.

Because I’m addicted to fonts. I wouldn’t have subscribed if I wasn’t.

And I’m going to grab “Millik.” It’s only 30% off (not as good as the 75% off offer farther down), but it’s the item I like most out of the catalogue—which is what this tasty promo email is. 

Tattly

Tattly promo email

My daughter draws on her skin with pen, and it makes me cringe.

She recently upgraded to drawing on her skin with henna pens. So I was all over ordering temporary tattoos when she asked me about Tattly. I signed up for Tattly news from their home page because I couldn’t resist the 20% off my first order for doing so.

It turns out I love the cute, colorful emails they send (not very often… only when there’s a seasonal or event promo).

Oh, look, free shipping. Bonus. 

Vimeo

Vimeo promo email

Whaaaaat?

I’ve been thinking about upgrading to premium anyway, and now if I do, I get a camera that’s going to send my videos over the top?

Feature, feature, feature (cool, thanks.) and then…

What’s behind door number two?

Another way to save.

I love the color contrast of this promotional email, and I feel like Vimeo’s got me by giving me something better than my smartphone to level up. Done. 

SmartPress

SmartPress content email

Subject: For the Love of Laminate: Soft Touch Sends a Sensory Message

You had me at “For the love of laminate.”

But if you didn’t, I’m curious what’s so soft about this to the touch. Oh, cool. It’s a suede-like coating I can touch.

Well, now I want to order a sample pack.

Scroll, scroll…

What?—perforated window decals?

Okay, I’ll read the article. 

Jot

Ohhhhh. This is going to revolutionize my coffee game.

What is Jot even saying?

One tablespoon of 20x concentrated coffee?

Do I press it?

I click this link to get a walk-thru (because, though concise, it wasn’t obvious to me)—and here, that works.

Ps. the website was even more impressive. 

Blurb

Blurb content email

When my 10-year-old son asked me what he looked like as a baby recently, I realized I had done that thing parents do to their third child.

My oldest has four glossy-covered baby books. My second child has two. My son has none. Now he’s struggling with his identity. Okay, he’s not, but geeeez, time to make him a baby book.

I snooped around Shutterfly and Motif before picking Blurb. Only, I don’t have time to make it right this minute. So I’m gathering intel on how to make the most rocking baby book of all time.

And this newsletter email does the trick: bold colors, education, and a link to learn even more tips. Blurb can continue to land in my inbox. 

Wildist

Wildist content email

I’m an amateur photographer—aren’t we all now?

Smartphones do a lot for us today—no struggling with apertures and depth of field. Just touch where you want your focus and drag the background blur up or down. Easy.

But… there’s always room to improve your game. Wildist holds photography workshops for outdoor photography.

“Inspired by the outdoors, we make immersive online workshops with field-tested photographers.”

I love this email newsletter with its beautiful photography and three quick tips. I am ready to dive back in, and thanks for that not-pushy CTA. 

Howler Brothers

Howler Brothers content email

Howler Brothers craft limited run, high-quality clothing and goods inspired by surfing and fishing—the kind of stuff you wear or use on a boat or around a fire pit.

This email makes me want to start drinking cocktails at 11 am.

Why?

Because I love the design of the tiki glasses showcased right at the top and then… I can’t wait to try the concoction recipes in the email attached to the rugged faces of staff members.

Shop now? I’m in.

Judy

Judy content/promo email

Subject: Doomsday prep = easy.

Playing off the pandemic. How dare they?

They made me laugh, though. I’m curious about what their doomsday plan looks like, so I’ll probably click that button and, when I do, I head to their site with a coupon code for 10% off.

Textbook.

Mineral

Mineral promo email

What is that person doing?

Oh. They’re balancing on a rock.

I get it. That’s the name of their first product (that’s 20% off). I like the email layout, and I’m curious about the other formulations in their fall/winter sale.

There isn’t much content in this one, but I love the product, so I’m going to check out their promotion—a simple and effective email.

Outer

Outer promo email

It is raining when this email hits my inbox with this subject line: We’ve reinvented the outdoor sofa.

Outdoor sofas are something I use in summer when it’s sunny. I like sunny days, so I open it.

I see a gorgeous outdoor sofa and I read about how 90% of Americans spend their lives indoors. The rebel in me wants to rebel against that stat.

I’m going to click the button to get more details about how I can enjoy being outside… by sitting. 

VRBO

A contest. Yay.

The subject line is “Win the Winter.”

I want to know what that means. Inside the email, I like that I learn about the sweepstakes as I scroll down in a downhill ski Z-pattern with subtle gifs and full-width moving gondolas—a brilliant touch.

The background image is excellent, and the only CTA is “Enter to win.”

Okay. You win.

I want to win.

Greendigs

Greendigs content email

Subject line: Greendigs’ Decor-Forward Plants. 

I have to check this out. I want to learn how to bring my decor to life with plants.

The imagery is great, and I want to click on all the article links, starting with low-light plants, because… can I actually put a plant in my bathroom like that and have it live?

I want to LEARN MORE.

And I want to SHOP NOW. 

Valley Cruise Press

Valley Cruise Press promo email

Valley Cruise Press makes “cool stuff with good design” like this cute beach blanket.

I love the single photo that shows off the featured product (right down to the pretty sandaled feet at the bottom).

I also adore the color play.

And I feel special that the discount is VIP. 

Upsell/Cross-Sell emails

These emails show your customers love and give them choices based on their preferences. Did you just buy a succulent? You might like this terracotta pot. Or this crocheted plant hanger.

Upsell emails stir curiosity and push buyers to purchase something that will upgrade (or augment) prior purchases.

Sometimes, they simply raise awareness about (promote) sister companies. 

Casper

Casper upsell email

Do I want to learn how to reset my sleep schedule when daylight savings time effs with it?

Yes, I do.

Especially with five quick tips right there in the email to try (and even more if I click the button).

Do I want to buy any of the three items that would also help me get my sleep on track? Not two of them. But the Glow Light’s pretty cool. I’ll check that out.

And if I forward the email to a friend, I’ll get a $75 Amazon gift card if they buy something. That might pay for my GlowLight.

This upsell email has a lot of yes.

Copy this.

VRBO

VRBO contest email

Subject: Enter Vrbo’s $5K Vacay, courtesy of HomeAway.

Too hard to resist opening.

It’s a cross-sell between HomeAway and VRBO. The headline is a clever play on the giveaway, a free vacation to Breckinridge, Colorado. No purchase necessary. The only CTA is Enter Now.

Okay. Twist my arm.

Epic

Epic upsell email

Giving your kids the gift of curiosity is a pretty good upsell at just $5.99 per month.

At 40% off, I’m going to buy in and be the most amazing mom ever, fostering my kids’ love of learning.

Especially since I can see there are over 40 000 titles. 

WeTransfer Plus

WeTransfer crossell

WeTransfer is an awesome file transfer app I’ve used for a long time.

I’ve always loved the bold, beautiful backdrops their website uses to spruce up the single action users land there for (to upload large files). And now they’re sharing those beauties.

Hooray.

I also love reading that I don’t have to zip my files anymore.

Bonus.

It doesn’t get much simpler than this: strong headline, white space, bold color, one action.

I’m a happy subscriber.

Cold outbound emails

This email marketing category is a doozy. 

You have to do a lot of everything right with this type of email because the person at the other end of that email doesn’t know you exist and doesn’t want you knocking on their door with a half-assed bland offer that makes their back molars clench together. 

This one requires a focused touch, persuasive copy that isn’t salesy, some humor, and a creative offer. 

Mix those together and test out what subject line grabs attention best. Refine that. Repeat.

The universe is slightly against you here: it takes multiple knocks on the door before it’s opened (or locked permanently)—or smashed apart with an axe straight out of a movie. 

So what’s the best piece of advice we can give here? 

First, this: 

Don’t spray and pray. 

Going in guns blazing with every potential customer without digging in first to find a problem you can fix for them is like handing your audiences those axes that chop down doors. 

Do your research. Do you have more than one customer avatar (persona)? Segment your list and write variations of your cold email to match their goals. 

Then this: 

Put time into the subject line, or you’ll be dead in the inbox. 

This is your hello smile. A robotic subject line is bad body language. Personalize it. Make it sound genuine. Make it a question that’s specific to your prospect.

Next, this:

Give before you ask.

As a guest on our BoostSauce podcast, George Vitko from reply.io said this: “be human—build rapport before gradually introducing value.”

In that same podcast, Sujan Patel, Co-founder at Mailshake, broke it down in plain language when he said (paraphrased), “everybody’s going to ask for a dollar, so you might as well go in and be different. Do your homework. Build a relationship. Take the ask out of it and focus on building a connection first.” 

Your aim here is to converse as if chatting with a friend (and don’t forget to offer some sort of praise): 

“Hey, I saw your whatever wherever and I wanted to say—cool. Best I’ve seen…” 

Make the “whatever” part specific to that company because relevancy + benefit wins. 

Check out the company on LinkedIn. What are they up to? Talk about that. Check out their website. Do you see a pain point you can fix? Reach out and offer something helpful (no strings attached) around that problem to open a conversation. 

But how do you craft that cold email? 

You use a formula.

The first challenge is writing a subject line that gets opened. The second challenge is writing body copy that gets a reply.

The cold email blueprint

  1. Offer value with no strings attached (give before ask). 
  2. Make it clear how your low-commitment, high-value free offer is a benefit to them. Convince them that what you’re offering makes sense.
  3. Back that up with credibility so they know you know what you’re talking about.
  4. Paint a picture of what solving that problem will mean to them in time or dollars. This is called the BAB technique.

BAB (Before—After—Bridge)

Before: Here’s your world now

After: Here’s where you would be if you solved this problem

Bridge: Here’s how to get there

This works because people are generally motivated to fix a pain point.

Here is the blueprint in action:

Example of a cold outbound email

Subject line: I saw something on your eBook landing page that I can fix (as a thank you)

Hey, Devin

I listened to your podcast yesterday on this topic, and I loved your focus on whatever. I downloaded your eBook on whatever from your landing page. Thanks so much.

While I was there, I noticed some things that might be causing some [insert pain point].

I made a short video that steps you through how to fix it if you’re interested (no strings attached). 

If you make that change, I think you’ll be able to double your conversions

We made the same change on this page and they saw a 4x increase in conversion rate  in this amount of time.

Thanks again for the awesome eBook. 

Can I send that video your way?

Eduardo the Magnificent

Notice something we did right at the end? No, not tacking “the magnificent” to the sender name—don’t ever do that. 😂

We left the email open-ended with a question.

In other words, we asked for a reply. 

Why? Because no reply puts you back to square one—do you hear the axe on the grinder in the background?

Our second last piece of advice when writing cold outbound emails is to follow a heat ladder approach.

The heat ladder approach

Go after your best cold opportunities first (the hottest potential in the pool of cold outreach). 

Who are these customers?

  • Previous customers
  • Lost opportunities (qualified lead)
  • Lost leads (lead not yet qualified)
  • Reverse IP reveal with intent criteria (like Clearbit Reveal)
  • Email newsletter engagement
  • Competitor reviews (customers who already work with a competitor will be more open to listen to you)
  • Net new list buying (this is where most people start)

Our last piece of advice? 

Test everything

Split test audiences, subject lines, body copy, and offers to get higher and higher performance.

Try it out. Then tell us if the blueprint worked for you. Need help? We’re here. 

The Email Marketing Cash Cow

Email marketing is not only an essential part of your marketing strategy, it’s a cash cow. To up your game, categorize your emails and design them with the “3Bs” in mind: brevity, blunt, basic.

Pick a bold illustration or color, put as few words on it as you can manage, and be clear about the purpose of it with your CTA.

It’s calculated science. It takes practice. 

At KlientBoost, we engineer every email marketing campaign to convert using a recipe of these elements mixed just right:

  • Copywriting Research
  • Full-Funnel Views
  • Dynamic Content Creation
  • Conversion Rate Optimization Design
  • Prospect Targeting
  • Conversion Improvements
  • Full Deliverability Audits and Improvements
  • List Hygiene
  • Personalization
  • List Segmentation
  • Subject Line Improvements
  • Open Rate Increasing
  • CRM Connections

The more you work at it, the more opens you’ll get. 

The more opens, the higher the CTRs, the happier the responses. 

As happiness grows, so do loyalty and brand awareness. And with that comes a higher email marketing ROI that you can put in your piggy bank.

Did these examples inspire you? 

Have you come across a great email marketing example recently? 

Share it with us.

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