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28 Email Examples to Inspire Your Email Marketing Strategy [CASE STUDY]

email examples

Email examples are all over the web, and it’s no secret that a comprehensive email marketing strategy can significantly impact your online business.

But as your shoppers are inundated with numerous emails daily, you’ve got to make your messages stand out. After all, around 200 billion emails are sent and received every single day!

email examples

To help you out, we’ve compiled 28 inspiring email examples that cover each part of the sales funnel from the moment a shopper opts in all the way through to post-sale.

We’ve collected email examples that span the entire online sales process including examples of:

  • Welcome series
  • Browse abandonment campaigns
  • Cart abandonment campaigns
  • Transactional (order confirmation) emails
  • Post-purchase campaigns
  • Retention campaigns
  • Newsletters and promotions

Use the sales funnel to the left to navigate through each campaign type and view these inspiring email examples and our pro critiques to help implement your next email marketing campaign.

Welcome Email Series Examples

You successfully convinced your shoppers to subscribe to your email list. Now what? The Welcome Email is the perfect message to introduce new opt-ins to your brand, build loyalty from the get-go, and encourage a quick first purchase.

According to this infographic from SmartInsights, Welcome Emails can generate 320% more revenue than regular promotional emails in addition to achieving impressive open, click-through, and conversion rates.

Fab – Highlight Your Appemail example

Email Example Critique: Fab does a great job highlighting perks such as free shipping and returns in addition to making it easy for new subscribers to set their email preferences off the bat. Showcasing the Fab app makes it easy for shoppers to download Fab for their smartphones, building continuity and cross-device engagement.

Karen Millen – Boost Your Brand

email examples

Email Example Critique: This welcome email from British designer Karen Millen has nice imagery and branding. The only question is, is it enough to encourage shoppers to make that first purchase?

Target – Push Your Discount Programemail examples

Email Example Critique: It’s no secret that Target has always done a fantastic job at branding. In this welcome email, the focus is on value and discounts positioning the REDcard front and center which boasts free shipping and 5% off every purchase in addition to clearance items promoted directly below.

Michael’s – Display Your Discounts Smartlyemail examples

Email Example Critique: This welcome email makes a nice attempt to let new subscribers know what they can expect to see in their inbox, however placing the discount below the fold may not be the best use of email real estate.

Welcome Email Key Takeaways

  • 74.4% of shoppers expect to receive a welcome email when they subscribe. [source]
  • People that read at least one welcome message tend to read more than 40% of their messages from the same sending brand during the next 180 days. [source]
  • Welcome emails tend to average open rates that are 50% — 86% higher than newsletters. [source]
  • Use welcome emails to show shoppers who you are and why shoppers should buy your products. Make it easy for them to complete that first purchase by emphasizing special offers and unique selling points that are hard to ignore.

Browse Abandonment Email Examples

Send browse abandonment emails to shoppers who view your homepage, category, product, or site search pages yet never made their way to your cart page. Browse abandonment campaigns can be personalized to match the behavior of your shoppers which makes them especially effective at driving traffic back to a site and converting more sales.

Since around 95% of eCommerce traffic never even makes it to the cart page, browse abandonment emails can be especially effective at generating up to 80% of the revenue that comes from your lifecycle email marketing campaign.

J. Crew – Category Browse Email

 email examples

Email Example Critique: This is an example of an email that would be sent to a shopper who viewed the “shirts and tops” category on J. Crew. Nice, high quality imagery plus related categories displayed below. The only thing missing from this browse abandonment email is personalized recommendations from the browsed category to increase the changes of this abandoning shopper actually returning.

Fresh Photos – Product Browse Email

email examples

Email Example Critique: This is an example of an email that would be sent to a shopper who browsed specific products yet did not add any of them to a cart or purchase. The product images with the number of other shoppers who bought the same product is a nice touch but might be more effective if placed above the fold.

Calvin Klein – Site Search Email

 email examples

Email Example Critique: This is a great example of an email that would be sent to shoppers who searched for the terms “shirts” and “dress shirts”, displaying product recommendations related to their search in the hopes to bring that shopper back to complete a sale.

Illy – Homepage Browse Email

email examples

Email Example Critique: This is an example of an email that could be sent to shoppers who browsed the Illy site but never got any further down the sales funnel. It’s nice that Illy is offering a discount at the bottom of the email, and their placement of social icons at the bottom of the email is smart. The top of the email, however, is a bit busy for an email that’s focused on directing shoppers to make a purchase.

Browse Abandonment Email Takeaways

  • Use the on-site behavior of your shoppers to personalize browse abandonment emails and get them back to your store after they’ve left without completing a purchase.
  • Make sure to always match the frequency and tone of your emails to the level of purchase intent a shopper has exhibited towards a particular product.
  • Display personalized product recommendations to give shoppers more buying options and increase CTR by over 30%.
  • Keep calls to action simple and direct matching the behavior of each shopper for best results.

Cart Abandonment Email Examples

Cart Abandonment Emails are great at bringing back lost shoppers to your site. If a shopper took the time to get all the way to your cart page then its clear he’s showing high purchase intent. In that case, don’t let him slip away so easily. Send cart abandonment emails to help shoppers complete a purchase.

According to Business Insider, cart abandonment emails that are sent within a short window of time after a shopper abandons a cart tend to average a 40% open rate and a 20% click-through rate.

Ghurka – Large Product Image + Personal Tone

email examples

Email Example Critique: This cart abandonment email from Ghurka has a nice personal touch coming from an actual person at the company plus the large, high quality product imagery is on-brand and great for CTR.

2. Dyson – Less is More

email examples

Email Example Critique: This cart abandonment email example from Dyson is simple and direct. When it comes to cart abandonment emails, sometimes less detail is more effective.

3. Doggy Loot – Create a (Friendly) Sense of Urgency

 email examples

Email Example Critique: This cart abandonment email from Doggy Loot is cute and on-brand. The tone expresses urgency without being too pushy. The cute dog and language to match helps achieve the balance.

4. Urban Outfitters – Mention Shipping Offers

email examples

Email Example Critique: Urban Outfitters has a strong brand and email design to match. The only thing is that the cart display is so far down on the email, it’s questionable whether shoppers will click through and return to their carts. The saving grace of this email is that they highlight their “free shipping on orders over $50” policy which addresses on of the top reasons for cart abandonment in the first place: shipping costs.

Cart Abandonment Email Takeaways

  • Display the actual products left behind in each shopper’s cart to make it easy for the shopper to come back and complete the purchase.
  • Create a sense of urgency with the tone of the email to encourage shoppers to act fast.
  • Think about what prevents shoppers from completing a purchase and tackle those issues, like shipping and customer service call outs, within your cart abandonment email to put shoppers at ease.
  • Keep the focus on returning to the cart so that shoppers don’t get distracted with other, less lucrative calls to action.

Transactional Email Examples

These are the one-to-one emails containing information that completes a transaction or process completed by your shopper.  Think: order confirmation and shipping confirmation emails. Because these emails are sent to shoppers who have just purchased on your site, they offer you, as a merchant, the opportunity to leave a lasting impression on the recipients that can even lead to additional conversions.

Although confirmation emails tend to be one of the least developed customer touchpoints in the sales funnel, they boast an average CTR of 12 to 20% which is around 5x the rate of bulk mailings.

Philosophy – Display All the Right Elements

email examples

Email Example Critique: This order confirmation email from Philosophy may look jam-packed with info, but it’s got all the right components to both satisfy the shopper’s need for critical post-purchase information and offer multiple opportunities for the shopper to come back to the site and hopefully complete an additional purchase.

Amazon – Make it Easy For Your Shopper

email examples

Email Example Critique: Amazon definitely gets it right with this order confirmation. Related product recommendations encourage the shopper to buy more, and the “track your package” button makes it easy for the shopper to keep tabs on the purchase.

Kickstarter – Encourage Social Sharing

email examples

Email Example Critique: This Kickstarter order confirmation email is great because it uses social sharing to encourage buyers to promote the product when the purchase is fresh in their minds.

Warby Parker – Build Trust Through Simplicity

email examples

Email Example Critique: Totally on brand, this order confirmation email from Warby Parker found on ReallyGoodEmails.com is unique with its super clean layout and large text. Presenting order information clearly builds trust, which is key.

Transactional Email Key Takeaways

  • Clearly display all the order and shipping information shoppers need to know they can trust that their order is safe.
  • Since the purchase is freshest in the mind of your shoppers at this point, use confirmation emails to upsell or cross-sell shoppers by displaying related product recommendations that match their purchase.
  • Transactional emails have 8x more opens and clicks than any other type of email and can generate up to 6x more revenue. – [source]

Post-Purchase Email Examples

Post-purchase emails help generate repeat purchases and build brand loyalty by helping your customers reconnect to your brand. Send these emails to follow up recent purchases while your store is still fresh in your shoppers’ minds.

Repeat customers tend to spend 500% more than new customers, and although they make up only 8% of site traffic they account for around 40% of your revenue.

Zulily – Referral Program

email examples

Email Example Critique: Zulily is all about their referral program with this post-purchase email. They make it easy for shoppers to share by including a total of 5 different ways to click through and invite friends in addition to incentivizing shoppers with credits.

Pottery Barn Kids – Related Product Recommendations

email examples

Email Example Critique: This post-purchase email is a great example of how you can continue the sales process post-purchase. Pottery Barn Kids takes a personalized approach by offering product recommendations that are related to a previous, recent purchase.

Mark & Spencer – Ratings and Reviews

email examples

Email Example Critique: Ratings and reviews can really impact your business. This post-purchase email is a terrific example of how you can ask your customers to rate and review recent purchases while the sale is still fresh in their minds.

Sephora – Social Sharing

email examples

Email Example Critique: This post-purchase email from Sephora is awesome because it gives shoppers multiple options to share and save their beauty picks on social media plus it offers helpful, pro-inspired content to establish Sephora’s brand as a true industry leader.

Post-Purchase Email Takeaways

  • Re-engage recent customers while your brand is at the front of their minds with post-purchase emails.
  • 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations, and 72% of consumers say positive customer reviews make them trust a business more, according to Profitero.
  • Use a friendly tone thanking shoppers for their recent purchases.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask shoppers to share their purchase on social media or submit a review. Shoppers like to help brands they love.

Retention Email Examples

Retention emails are sent to customers who may not have interacted with your brand in a while. Win-back campaigns and replenishment campaigns are powerful messages to get those shoppers back onto your site after some time has passed.

Follow up campaigns like retention emails can average an extremely high open rate of well over 40%. – [source]

Starbucks – We Miss You, Here’s a Discount

email examples

Email Example Critique: Simple, straight to the point. We miss you, here’s a discount. Who wouldn’t want 15% off their coffee purchase?

Clinique – Replenishment Campaign

email examples

Email Example Critique: This is an excellent example of a replenishment campaign that uses high quality imagery and multiple cross-sells.

Brickell – Refer a Friend Program

email examples

Email Example Critique: Brickell’s referral program email is a perfect example of how you can easily encourage your best advocates, your customers, to share your brand with their friends by simply offering a few bucks off their next purchase.

eBay – Rediscovery Campaign

email examples

Email Example Critique: Another win-back campaign using a discount to re-engage with past customers. eBay does a great job of making it easy for customers to claim their discount by including detailed instructions for checkout (although it may seem obvious…).

Retention Email Takeaways

  • Acquiring a new customer is 10x more expensive than selling to repeat customers so retention emails are a great way to get more bang for your buck.
  • Use win-back campaigns to offer dormant shoppers a special offer or discount making it easy for them to complete a repeat purchase.
  • Replenishment campaigns are perfect for increasing your customers’ lifetime value, based around the standard purchase cycle for your products or a customer’s individual average order frequency.

Newsletter & Promotional Email Examples

Newsletters and promotional emails are often considered a given when it comes to email marketing for eCommerce, and especially with Gmail filtering out promotional emails from the inbox, it’s critical to make your newsletters and promos stand out with captivating content for your shoppers.

Although newsletters and promotional emails tend to have a very low conversion rate, they can be extremely effective at building brand awareness and loyalty. 

Yoyo – Large, HQ Imagery

email examples

Email Example Critique: Awesome imagery and nice showcase of special offers related to shipping, delivery, and returns. The best sellers as product recommendations are a great way to offer shoppers multiple options.

iShop – Display a Testimonial

email examples

Email Example Critique: Although buried below the fold, iShop displays a customer testimonial to help shoppers feel safe to complete a purchase.

Grainger

email examples

Email Example Critique: This promo email from Gainger is both informative and helpful by making it easy for customers to share products.

4. Southern

email examples

Email Example Critique: In this promo email, it’s all about the brand and the fun(ny) tone.

Promotional Email Takeaways

  • Get your shopper’s attention by starting things off with a deal or a giveaway.
  • Establish your brand an industry leader by offering advice and helpful content.
  • Include social media call outs to offer shoppers an opportunity to engage with your brand off-site.
  • To make your newsletters and promos engaging make sure that your content is relevant and on-brand.

Check out these email marketing tips and best practices to help you implement your next email marketing campaign.