12 Best Email Marketing Campaigns to Try in 2023

18 Apr
12 Best Email Marketing Campaigns to Try in 2023

If you’re sending an email to a friend, you could probably get away with dashing off a couple of lines in a blank email before hitting send.

But if you’re emailing your eCommerce customers, the bar is a lot higher. After all, you want your email marketing campaigns to drive you RESULTS!

We’re talking about:

  • Greater brand awareness
  • Improved customer relationships
  • More sales

To achieve all these, you’ll need to engage your customers with only the very best email marketing campaigns. And because we’re rooting for you, we’ve shortlisted 12 such campaigns for you to swipe for your store right away.

Keep reading as we share deets on how these campaigns work, plus relevant email marketing campaigns examples to get your creative juices flowing!

1. Promotional emails

How promotional emails work

As their name suggests, promotional emails help you…promote!

And they can promote anything, really.

Whether you want to publicize a brand-new product, a revamped service offering, a limited-time sale, or even the fact that you’ve overhauled your store layout, a promotional email can get the job done.

Examples of a promotional email

To create an effective promotional email, feature what you’re promoting at the front and center of the email.

For example, Google’s promotional email for its Pixel 7 smartphone includes a huge image of the phone at the start of the email. There’s no way you’ll miss it.

promotional email marketing example

And if you’re offering a sweet discount code for an item you’re promoting, state this discount code prominently in your email, too. Make it as easy as possible for your contacts to snag the discount for themselves!

This is exactly what Greendigs has done here:

promotional email marketing example

2. Relational emails

How relational emails work

Unlike promotional emails, relational emails are less salesy.

Their main aim is to nurture your relationship with your contacts so they will grow to like your brand. Over time, your contacts may even start to regard your brand as a trustworthy authority in the industry!

The result of building such customer goodwill? Your contacts will be more confident to shop with you than your competitors.

Example of a relational email

We love this relational email from Gainful:

relational email example

With Gainful selling personalized health supplements, it’s a no-brainer for its emails to address common health topics. And this email covers an issue that contacts will easily relate to: combating stress.

The email provides quick tips for relieving stress and also encourages contacts to follow the brand for more tips. In all, it’s an email filled with value that demonstrates Gainful’s nutrition expertise!


3. Customer survey email campaigns

How customer survey email campaigns work

There’s no better way of learning what customers think of your products than asking your customers themselves. Customer survey email campaigns help with just that, where they’ll seek your customers’ feedback on their shopping experience with you.

Customer survey email campaigns also let you get more customer reviews at scale! Simply set up your email platform to automatically send a customer survey email campaign after they’ve placed an order with you.

Examples of a customer survey email campaign

Here are two customer survey email campaigns that illustrate two different—but equally awesome—marketing strategies for making use of customer feedback.

First, here is Edible Beauty Australia’s email:

customer survey email example

The email asks contacts for feedback, which the brand uses internally to develop new products. A cool $25 off their next purchase also incentivizes contacts to share their thoughts.

Next up, here is J.Crew’s customer survey email campaign:

customer feedback email example

The email lets contacts leave separate eCommerce customer reviews for each item in their order. These reviews then appear on J.Crew’s online store to help potential customers make informed decisions on buying these items for themselves!

4. Re-engagement email campaigns

How re-engagement email campaigns work

As much as we’d love for your contacts to open and click links in every single email, this doesn’t happen.

That’s because people might get busy and stop opening the emails they’d signed up to receive. Sending a re-engagement email campaign can remind them to continue engaging with your emails!

Just be careful when sending emails to contacts who seem to have one foot out the door…

If they mark your re-engagement email campaign as spam, your sending reputation could get hurt. We recommend checking out our list of best practices for re-engaging unengaged contacts before you get started.

Example of a re-engagement email campaign

Even members of your customer loyalty program may need re-engaging from time to time. This is why MeUndies has crafted this email:

re-engagement email example

For context, MeUndies members enjoy discounts of up to 30% on every order—which they may want to apply to the brand’s newly launched robes and slipper offerings!

The email’s subject line is also designed to pique their curiosity. Its copy of “For Members’ Eyes Only 👀” tempts them to open the email and learn what exclusive offer is available to them.

5. Cart abandonment campaign

How cart abandonment campaigns work

Some customers put stuff in their shopping carts but do not check out. And with around 70% of carts being abandoned in this way, that’s a lot of lost revenue!

A cart abandonment campaign reminds customers of these items and nudges them to complete the transaction. To send such emails, though, you’ll need to have obtained the customer’s email address in your email platform.

For example, entice customers to register for a store account using their email address in exchange for a discount. It also doesn’t hurt to ask customers for their email addresses on your cart and checkout pages.

Example of a cart abandonment campaign

AWAY’s cart abandonment campaign is clean and simple:

cart abandonment email example

The email lets contacts know that they’ve left something in their cart before providing details on these items. Mentions of a 100-day trial, free shipping, and returns also attempt to reduce any risks contacts may feel when committing to the purchase.

(Find more abandoned cart email examples in our other article!)

6. Email drip campaigns

How email drip campaigns work

Ever had to deal with a leaky tap? Then you’ll know how water pressure causes the tap to steadily release water droplets. (Drip…drip…drip.)

And email drip campaigns work similarly. They’re sent to contacts based on pre-configured triggers, timing, and intervals—which would be the “water pressure” in this case.

Email drip campaigns can comprise a steady stream of emails “dripped” out over a time period. They can also consist of just one email!

There isn’t a hard-and-fast rule on the ideal number of emails in an email drip campaign, so go with what works best for your eCommerce email marketing efforts.

Example of an email drip campaign

Cleancult has an ace email drip campaign strategy worth taking notes from.

When a customer signs up to Cleancult’s email list, they’ll first receive this welcome email:

email drip campaign example

The welcome email introduces Cleancult’s unique selling propositions—to get contacts feeling good about shopping with the brand!—and also offers a discount code for contacts to get 20% off their order.

Cleancult subsequently “drips” its contacts this email, which shares how the brand is contributing to environmental sustainability:

drip email campaign example

If contacts are persuaded that using Cleancult products helps them do their bit for the environment, their natural next step is to buy these products.

Hence the next section of the email, which features Cleancult’s products (and prominent “Shop Now” call-to-action buttons)!

7. Seasonal campaigns

How seasonal campaigns work

These are campaigns revolving around:

  • Holidays, such as Christmas and Halloween,
  • Events, such as Pride Month and Black Friday/Cyber Monday, and
  • Seasons, such as spring break.

Seasonal campaigns are often tied to special occasions because people tend to be more inclined to shop then. If you launch a sale during these periods, you might experience a nice revenue boost!

Note: There’s probably a special holiday or festival going on somewhere in the world every day of the year, but you don’t have to launch a campaign for each of them. Target only the holiday seasons that your customers are likely to celebrate.

Examples of a seasonal campaign

Urban Outfitters UK has a striking Black Friday/Cyber Monday seasonal campaign that immediately grabs your attention:

seasonal email campaign example

Meanwhile, Anthropologie FR has opted for a classier look for its Christmas seasonal campaign, which is no less appealing to the eye.

seasonal email marketing campaign

8. Educational emails

How educational emails work

Educational emails share information on topics related to your offerings, helping contacts understand issues such as:

  • How to use your products
  • How your products can help them
  • Why they should use your products (instead of a competitor’s)

By sharing such valuable information with them, you nurture the customer relationship. (See the discussion on relational emails above!) Educational emails also establish your authority as an expert in your space, which is helpful for building trust and goodwill.

Finally, educational emails can remove potential sales objections such as “I don’t think I need this” as contacts learn how your products can address their pain points.

Examples of an educational email

This email from Cat Person contains five concise facts about cats that feline lovers may be keen to find out:

educational email marketing example

But if you have a lot to share with your contacts, you may want to provide a sneak peek in your email before linking to a blog post for further reading. Frank Body has done just that in this educational email:

educational email marketing campaign

9. Referral email campaigns

How referral email campaigns work

Every customer who is a fan of your brand is also a potential advocate for it—all you have to do is ask.

Enter referral email campaigns, which encourage your contacts to spread the word about your brand with their family and friends. These emails also often dangle a discount or special offer to reward customers whose referrals lead to new sales for you.

So save the money on hiring influencers. Tap into your base of loyal customers to raise your brand awareness instead!

Example of a referral email campaign

Here, we’ll refer (pun totally intended, sorry) you to Surreal’s referral email campaign:

referral email marketing campaign

The brand’s use of the word “bribe” in its email copy and subject line is fantastic. The word has a secretive edge to it, which gets contacts keen on learning what hush-hush deal they’re being offered:

Namely, that contacts who refer Surreal to their friends will get a discount on their next order. Their friend will also get $5 off their own first order!

10. Upsell and cross-sell emails

How upsell and cross-sell emails work

Upselling and cross-selling your customers is an effective method of increasing the amount of revenue you generate from each customer. While you may already feature relevant upsells and cross-sells on your store’s product pages, did you know you can also upsell and cross-sell customers in your emails?

A sophisticated email platform can keep track of your customers’ orders to generate upsell and cross-sell emails personalized with other products they may like.

You don’t need to dedicate entire emails to upsells and cross-sells, either. Instead, you can feature upsell and cross-sell products in your emails to customers about other matters. Just check out the examples below to learn what we mean.

Examples of an upsell and cross-sell email

This email from Quince lets contacts know about products that are now back in stock—including specific items that they may be interested in:

cross sell / upsell email example

A delivery notification email is also a good place to recommend products that complement your contacts’ new buys. That’s what Vuori has done here:

cross sell email example

11. Customer retention emails

How customer retention emails work

Acquiring a customer is no easy feat, so it’s a pity if they buy from you once and then never again. Even if they don’t need to order anything else from you right now, keep the relationship going so they’ll shop with you again when they need to.

Here, the trick is to send customer retention emails that help you stay in touch with your contacts and at the top of their minds. Include a mix of educational information, discounts, promotions, and more, that your contacts will find valuable (so they don’t unsubscribe).

In fact, many of the email marketing campaigns we’ve discussed above can qualify as customer retention emails!

Examples of a customer retention email

Clive Coffee sends this email to customers who have just purchased its brewing equipment:

customer retention email campaign

By offering a discount to its coffee-making classes, the brand encourages the customer to make an extra purchase—and therefore continue being a customer for longer!

But if the customer hasn’t engaged with you for a while, your customer retention email might come in the form of a brand re-introduction. Here is Explore Cuisine’s, for instance:

retention email marketing example

12. Transactional campaigns

How transactional campaigns work

Transactional campaigns are emails that facilitate the completion of customer orders. They include emails that:

  • Inform a customer that they’ve created an account with your store
  • Confirm a customer’s order
  • Alert a customer that their order has shipped

Your eCommerce integration, such as BigCommerce and Shopify, will typically help send such transactional campaigns on your behalf.

Given their transactional nature, these emails may also seem more boring compared to the other email marketing campaigns discussed here. But they ensure a smooth customer experience, which in turn keeps customers happy. So don’t overlook them!

Examples of a transactional campaign

This email by MUD/WTR helps customers access their store account:

transactional email marketing example

And if you order something from Cometeer, you’ll receive this order confirmation email:

transactional email example

In line with Cometeer’s space-themed brand voice, the email uses wording such as “Shipment initiated.” It’s a good example of how you can add color and personality to your transactional campaigns!

Grow your campaigns with email marketing automation

Promotional emails, cart abandonment campaigns, seasonal campaigns…the list goes on. By referencing the best email marketing campaigns—and best email marketing examples!—we’ve shared here, you’re on your way to expanding your customer base, nurturing your customer relationships, and supercharging your sales.

And if you’re fretting over whether you have to send your marketing emails manually: you don’t. (Phew.)

A powerful email marketing automation platform like Sendlane can help put the execution of your email marketing strategy on autopilot. You’ll be able to (automatically) send your customers the right emails at the right time, no matter how many customers you have!

You can test all of our email and SMS automation features on your store for free, too! 

Sign up for a 60-day free trial here.

Email Marketing Campaign FAQs

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