The 7 Best Email Marketing Campaigns of 2018 [Examples]
When was the last time you received an email or newsletter that was so good you actually read it? Last week? Last month? Never? The automated emails that flow into our inboxes on a daily basis are, for the most part, a nuisance. Most people send them straight to the trash without even opening them.
But once in a blue moon we actually get an email or newsletter that’s so good, we can’t help but open and read it. We may even forward it to our friends. These are the unicorns; the rarest of the rare. But what sets these emails apart from the rest?
In this post, we’ll run through our pick of the seven greatest email marketing campaigns this year. We’ll explain how they worked, why they were effective and what you can learn from them.
The Three Rules of Email Campaigns
Before we look at the campaigns themselves, it’s worth asking what makes an email marketing campaign effective. There are three main things that all good campaigns have. If you’re looking to design an effective email marketing campaign of your own, they are worth knowing.
We all appreciate receiving an email that actually uses our first name in the subject line. Yes, we know that AI wizardry is responsible and that the company itself doesn’t actually know us, but it still grabs our attention nevertheless. Personalized marketing emails that are addressed to us by name are far more likely to get our attention.
– Responsive design
Over 70% of emails are read on a mobile device these days so emails that are designed for mobile using what’s known as ‘responsive design’ are far more likely to be read. Emails that don’t load properly or fast enough usually get trashed no matter how great their content may be.
– Meaningful call-to-action
To really have an impact, emails need to have a point or a purpose that actually means something to the recipient. The best emails speak directly to us about something we’re interested in or would like to know more about.
So, here are the seven greatest email marketing campaigns we’ve seen this year.
1. LinkedIn Learning
Marketing Campaign: LinkedIn Learning
LinkedIn Learning followed all three rules with their email marketing campaign this year. Their personalized email subject lines instantly hold your attention by addressing you by your first name and offering you a completely free course specifically tailored to your preferences. What’s not to love?
Upon opening the email, you’re met with a stunning responsive design and a powerful call to action. The free course is very likely something that you are genuinely interested in (based on your LinkedIn account preferences) and therefore the call-to-action is incredibly meaningful.
We love LinkedIn’s use of text that’s the same shade of blue as their logo, making it feel instantly familiar even if you’ve never heard of LinkedIn Learning before. Their use of an authoritative fact and snappy call-to-action makes it one of the top marketing emails we’ve seen this year.
What’s the catch? Well, what LinkedIn is really hawking is a 30-day free trial of their Learning service. If you like the course sampler, you’ll need to subscribe to watch the rest. Still, this campaign offers a masterclass in how to design an ultra-effective marketing email.
2. IDG Connect
Marketing Campaign: C-Suite Insights
IDG Connect produces a popular weekly ‘C-Suite Insights’ series where it speaks with four different C-Suite executives to gain insights, career advice, and a closer look into some of the world’s largest tech companies. Part of International Data Group (IDG) – the world’s largest technology media company – IDG Connect specializes in using localized messaging to engage a global IT audience spanning 147 countries around the world.
The beauty of IDG Connect’s emails lies in their simplicity: a brief description and clear call to action make them perfect for busy subscribers skim-reading their emails. With a choice of four different interviews, people who want to learn more can quickly read or share what they want. Check out the smart copywriting and email design at work in the following example:
We love how the design of their emails matches the IDG Connect brand. The emails are represented with geometric patterns and bright colors that match the company’s website, app and social media posts perfectly. This helps all of their communications tell the company’s story.
Marketing Campaign: Introducing Portfolios
Emails from the team management company Asana come with punchy subject lines that speak directly to their customers. A recent campaign where they introduced their new feature – Portfolios – is a case in point: “Introducing Portfolios: The mission control for your team”.
Asana’s email is a great example of crisp copy with stunning graphics. Besides responsive design that works flawlessly on any computer or mobile device, the folks at Asana went one step further by turning their graphic into a gif. When you open the email, the dashboard dynamically depicts a number of goals being tracked and completed.
Before you’ve had time to scroll, a mouse gently sweeps upwards, clicks an icon and transforms the workflow to being ‘On Task.
We love this clean, simple messaging and real-time illustration of how their Portfolio solution helps with team and project management.
Marketing Campaign: Lumen5 Paid Subscription
Lumen5 is a free way of transforming articles into videos in just minutes. The service’s free ‘Community Plan’ enables anyone to turn an article or piece of writing into a compelling video. You can customize videos with a theme, text, images, gifs, and music before sharing them on social media. To get started, simply type the article URL or copy and paste the text into the dashboard. Lumen 5’s advanced AI algorithms pick out the best words and images and do the grunt work of making the video for you.
Sounds too good to be true? The catch is that videos made with on the free plan are limited to 480p resolution and come with a Lumen5 credits scene on their final slide. If you want to remove it, you’ll need to upgrade to one of Lumen5’s paid plans – Pro, Business or Team. Besides eliminating the final credits, you also unlock an expanded library, custom theming, watermarks and different formats, all in eye-popping 1080p resolution.
So, how does Lumen5 promote its paid plans? With one of the best email marketing campaigns we’ve seen.
The genius of Lumen5’s campaign is that it selects articles from your RSS feeds and then automatically makes the entire video for you. It then emails you to let you know. Check it out:
We love the powerful subject lines of Lumen5’s emails and, as they are based on your RSS feed, they’re all but guaranteed to be something you’re interested in. The use of bold colors and shapes that match the Lumen5 homepage helps to build brand consistency.
Lumen5’s ‘freemium’ approach to video content creation and email marketing incredibly powerful. They offer their subscribers something genuinely useful without giving them the hard sell. After all, if people aren’t bothered about the resolution or the final credits scene, they still get awesome videos entirely free. Lumen5’s email campaign is hands down one of the best we’ve seen all year.
Marketing Campaign: Mailtrack Pro Promotion
If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you may remember our post last month where we picked out our choice of the 8 best Gmail extensions that you can install right now. In that post, we raved about Mailtrack, a free, easy-to-use extension for Gmail that lets you easily track emails and get read receipts. Mailtrack offers a simple check mark system that lets you instantly see whether emails have been opened or read by their intended recipient.
As great as Mailtrack is, the free version includes the tag ‘Sent with Mailtrack’ on all of your emails. That’s fine if you’re using it on a personal account, but not so great for work emails. The company’s latest email marketing campaign offers users the chance to remove this text by upgrading to the paid Mailtrack Pro service.
We love this email for its short, cleverly-concise copy and fuss-free design – proof that you don’t always need snazzy graphics or gargantuan marketing budgets to get your message across. Check it out:
In terms of an effective campaign – this email checks all the requirements. It addresses you personally by your first name, it offers something useful and it has a powerful call-to-action that readers don’t need to scroll down to see.
Marketing Campaign: ‘BuzzFeed News’ Newsletter.
If you love BuzzFeed’s witty content and want to subscribe, you’re spoiled for choice. It has a huge range of newsletters and offers everything from news updates to cooking tips and even daily pictures of cute dogs delivered directly to your inbox. There’s something for everyone.
BuzzFeed’s emails always land in your inbox with attention-grabbing subject lines and matching preview text. If the subject line is a command, the preview text will provide the next thought. If the subject line is a question, the preview text usually provides an answer. The copy quality is awesome and the read and share rate is consummately high.
7. Loom Network
Marketing Campaign: PlasmaChain and Zombie Battleground Promotion
Lastly, we’ve chosen Loom Network’s engaging marketing campaign for the upcoming Zombie Battleground game and PlasmaChain network. The marketing geniuses at Loom consistently knock it out of the park with their addictively engaging email series – heck, we actually look forward to receiving them.
Loom is behind the world’s first scalable blockchain game, Zombie Battleground, and are also developing an EOS-like DPoS sidechain for Ethereum DApps called PlasmaChain.
To market their latest developments, Loom has put together one of the greatest email marketing campaigns we’ve seen all year. We love Loom’s use of images and sassy copy in the subject line.
Loom always keeps their copy concise and on point with great use of gifs and smart images. Check out the example below:
Email Campaigns with BitBounce Ads
If you’re looking to design your own email marketing campaign, be sure to check out our new service BitBounce Ads. BitBounce is a spam email prevention tool that currently helps millions of people around the world keep spam emails out of their inboxes.
Our users value their time but are always eager to learn more about new products, causes, launches, and events. That’s why we developed BitBounce Ads to help companies connect with our audience via paid email marketing campaigns.
As an advertiser on BitBounce Ads, the majority of your ad spend is sent directly to the email recipient, creating a favorable impression of your brand from the start. Because of this, BitBounce Ads sees far higher engagement and conversion metrics when compared with standard campaigns.
If you’re looking to start a paid email marketing campaign that actually converts, contact us!