The magic behind five brilliant email marketing campaigns

Written on 19 May, 2014 by Verity Meagher
Categories Email MarketingTags emailemail marketingsocial media

Social sites like Twitter and Facebook may grab the majority of the headlines, but email remains one of the most powerful marketing tools around. Learn from these five brilliant email marketing campaigns and the companies who've mastered the medium.

1. BuzzFeed

Best known for quirky lists and fun quizzes, BuzzFeed has proven that an action-packed newsletter will hook readers in no time. Back in 2012, when BuzzFeed's Newsletter Editor, Dan Oshinsky, launched the site's first human-curated newsletter, everyone around him was saying the channel was dead or dying.

By creating a daily email packed with humour, interesting snippets of information, snappy headlines and handy preview text, BuzzFeed has turned that assumption around. The biggest factor in BuzzFeed's success has to be the human touch that ensures the daily newsletter features cherry-picked content that’s sure to offer mass appeal.

2. RunKeeper

RunKeeper's real success story was in creating a triggered email campaign designed to win back customers who'd gone quiet. After a set amount of time, inactive customers are sent a simple yet engaging email containing tutorial-style instructions to help them get started.

The email serves as a nice reminder of what the app does and why it's useful and is a great way to coax reluctant customers to make the most of it.

3. Brain Pickings

By knowing its audience and understanding exactly what they're looking for, Brain Pickings manages to write a newsletter that breaks the rules – and is better for it. Most email marketing professionals will tell you that your emails should be short and sweet and they're right – unless you're an information driven site like Brain Pickings.

The team realised that it's the in-depth knowledge and fascinating facts that Brain Pickings' audience loves and used that to craft long, entertaining and information heavy missives.

4. Uber

On the opposite end of the scale is Uber. The urban travel app knows that its customers want facts, deals and easy access to information. Not only do its newsletters include all of these, but its emails are designed to highlight all of the relevant details perfectly.

That said, the app doesn't stick to simple and plain all the time, it also has a habit of creating hilarious and timely holiday campaigns, like its National Cat Day email shot. Rather than follow the crowd last Halloween, the company partnered with great companies to offer both pictures of cats and the chance to hook up with a kitten in real life in a headline grabbing campaign.

5. NoshOn.It

NoshOn.It came up with an excellent way to add some real benefit to email subscriptions, and encouraged customers to sign up in droves by starting a newsletter that delivers a new recipe to your inbox every single day.

Featuring a simple, eye-catching design and great, actionable content every single day has made NoshOn.It a company to keep an eye on. The stroke of genius is the amount of effort that the company puts in to finding unusual and unique recipes to share with its subscribers.

Take a few tips from some of the most attention-grabbing email campaigns around and see if you can boost your subscription numbers.