A Few Great Email Campaigns

Following my previous articles about a few great law firm websites and how to create a drip email campaign, this article shares my file of great email campaigns that have come through my inbox.

The most important feature for each of these is an immediate impact, which usually accomplished through great color or imagery – your eye responds much more quickly to these. Consider how quickly you go through your inbox. Regardless of how much time and effort you have put into your message, no one will hear it unless you first capture their attention.

Mercedes product launch

When they are about to launch a redesign, Mercedes knows that everyone just wants to see what the car is going to look like. In the first three seconds, my eye notices the Mercedes logo, spends a moment on the car, then notices their special incentive. It is simple and effective – do not expect to accomplish anything more than this in an email.


White House informative email

The Obama presidential campaign used email brilliantly. This message conveys the authority of receiving an official letter from the White House and is the cleanest use of an all-text email I have seen.

Apple welcome email

No one does marketing better than Apple. Within moments of buying my iPhone, I received this message with further instructions. The focus of the email is the client’s focus: my new iPhone in all its photographic glory.

West Elm product info

West Elm is the younger and more modern version of Pottery Barn and their emails reflect this perfectly. Once again the photos are the focus in this email, displaying an appropriately modern room featuring their products with a sale offer just below.

Red Envelope sale

When a sale or promotion is your message be sure to convey it loud and clear. Red Envelope does this in large simple text on a brightly colored background to capture the reader’s attention. A few suggested items are offered below if the reader were interested to read further.

The best overall tip for developing great email campaigns is to keep it simple. Understand your reader’s limited time and attention span and hope for capturing ten or twenty seconds, max. With this in mind, pull them in with great graphics or colors and do not expect them to read a long article. Stick to a single, straightforward message and make it obvious.


  1. Avatar Jay S. Fleischman says:

    Karin, great information. Bear in mind, however, that HTML emails have a far lower deliverability rate even when using a double opt-in. Though some providers (AWeber and MailChimp spring to mind) have a better real-world deliverability overall, plain text gets through spam filters far more easily.

    Yes, even double opt-in emails go to spam from time to time. You can minimize the chances, but you can’t avoid the problem entirely.

    For that reason, I have always used a double opt-in as well as plain text. It ain’t pretty, but it gets through and delivers my message in a far more reliable fashion.

  2. Avatar Karin C. says:

    Thanks, Jay! I agree that images can be tricky, but that it’s really important to use them to convey your message more rapidly than just text alone. I rarely read an all text email.

    I have a hard time with the “ain’t pretty, but gets the job done” argument – I would rather not send something that doesn’t visually represent my message and/or brand. So to cover this issue, I always use a program like MailChimp which will auto send a text email along with any HTML email I send to users who only accept text. I can also track who opened which version and the rate of delivery, so I know that my HTML version is the version most of my readers open.

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