4 Email Marketing Examples for Your Next Retail Campaign

February 2, 2021 - 12 minutes read

Examples of how to win with email marketing, plus lessons, advice, and 4 bonus tips.


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Digital technology is evolving at a head-spinning rate. The likes of marketing automation, chatbots, and VR may be on the rise but there’s one slightly more traditional digital marketing medium that still stands tall today—email.

Yes, email marketing is still a powerful promotional tool for any eCommerce or retail business owner. Here’s why:

  • 73% of millennials prefer communications from brands via email, particularly in the eCommerce or retail sector.
  • 80% of business leaders believe that email marketing significantly boosts customer retention.
  • 59% of marketers confirm that email is their most significant source of ROI.
  • A mix of studies show that email marketing is one of the biggest drivers of customer retention.
  • In retail or eCommerce, the fashion sector earns the most success from cart abandonment followup emails, closely followed by sports & outdoor, health & beauty, and consumer electronics.


“Email has an ability many channels don’t: creating valuable, personal touches—at scale.”—David Newman, marketing expert


From these insights alone, it’s clear that email marketing is an effective way of engaging with your audience, increasing customer loyalty, and growing your revenue—if you get it right.

To inspire your efforts and lead you to success, here are five essential email marketing campaigns you need to know about.

Let’s go.


1. PayPal—“Split The Bill”


With a clean minimal design and its branding clearly displayed at the head of the email, PayPal’s ‘Split The Bill’ marketing email instantly grabs attention.

Here the copy is clear, concise, and tells the reader exactly how they will benefit from using the app before offering visual instructions on how to use it. Once the reader has scanned the instructions, the call to action (CTA) button leads the recipient to the next stage of the journey.

This simple yet intuitive email marketing example makes it easy for the reader to understand how the app can help them with minimal thought or effort. It’s marketing communications like this that contributes to PayPal’s healthy year over year growth.

Lesson:  When you’re producing your marketing campaign emails, keep your designs clean and simple. If any design element, image or visual dilutes your messaging or makes the email confusing in any way, remove it and start again.


2. Blurb—“Creative Design Tips”


This email marketing example from custom book and creative printing provider Blurb is vibrant without distracting the reader from the core message.

Blurb’s short yet punchy subject line tells its creatively-minded email recipients exactly why they should open the email. Once you engage with the email content, the email’s sleek newsletter design creates a sense of brand authority while offering access to aspirational yet practical tips or ideas.

As you navigate your way down the email, Blurb offers a referral bonus incentive to spark further engagement and increase its email marketing ROI.

Lesson: To enjoy maximum success from your marketing emails, you should ensure your subject line offers immediate value to your target recipients. And, you should ensure your email content taps into your audience’s specific interests, preferences or pain points.

That said, rather than sending out mass emails to your entire subscriber list, you should place your audience into segments based on demographics, previous purchases, browsing behavior or interests. In fact, businesses that use segmented campaigns see as much as a 760% boost in revenue.

To help you segment your customers effectively, check out our step by step guide to creating effective buyer personas.

3. Redbubble—“Your Order Has Arrived”


Custom gift and merchandise retailer Redbubble is excellent at engaging their customers and sparking interest at every stage of the buyer journey.

This email is actually a notification about an order arrival. The image above is located just below the ‘order has arrived’ message and offers a quirky, accessible reminder of Redbubble’s main brand values.


Just below the ‘brand values’ visual lies a curated selection trending product recommendations tailored to the recipient’s tastes or interests. An excellent way of building consumer trust and encouraging repeat sales from a simple, functional email communication.

Lesson: Rather than sending out emails to encourage a purchase, you should use your functional emails (order dispatched, order arrived, ‘how did we do?’, etc.) as an opportunity to showcase your brand values, build trust, share exciting communications, and offer tailored product tips, suggestions or recommendations. Doing so will increase customer retention while boosting your bottomline over time.


4. Feeding America—“How We’re Ending Hunger”


Charity organization Feeding America leads strong with transparent information and emotive messaging as soon as you sign up as an email subscriber.

This clear and factual infographic shows the reader exactly how the charity’s processes work as well as how their contributions will help. 

The email’s emotive copy also creates a sense of urgency and empathy while inspiring positive action (in this case, making a donation or engaging with Feeding America via social media):

“With help from people like you, Feeding America stops billions of pounds of wholesome food from going to landfills, and makes sure it winds up reaching the hungry families who need it most.”

Lesson: This may be an example from a charity, but this transparent and emotional approach to email marketing works incredibly well in retail or eCommerce. Honesty is one of the most essential qualities consumers look for in today’s brands: demonstrate your commitment to transparency and you will increase your chances of people investing in your business.

Visuals that offer an insight into your methods or processes, company stats or facts, customer quotes or testimonials or behind the scenes content are all effective ways of building an instant connection with your customers as soon as they subscribe. And doing so will significantly boost your chances of encouraging repeat purchases.

If you deliver your content with a real sense of emotion, you will drive your message home. To help you win with impactful email copy, read our guide to generating sales with emotive marketing techniques.

Signing up is a powerful signal of intent to buy. Send them emails until they do.” – Jordie van Rijn, email marketing specialist


4 Extra Email Marketing Tips

These creative examples of email marketing offer some essential lessons for retail or eCommerce business owners.

Email truly is still a powerful promotional outlet and to help make your campaigns as impactful as possible, here are four additional tips to consider:

Use power words

When it comes to email copy, more often than not, less is more. To drive engagement and inspire your readers to take action, you should consider using marketing power or action words in both your subject lines and body content.

You can use this glossary of marketing power words as a guide when producing your email content.

Use preview text

Many business owners and marketers overlook this simple yet effective email function, but it’s worth using to your advantage.

Preview text appears in more subtle font formatting next to the main subject line and offers a little more context on the content of the email.

You can use preview text to build on the messaging in your subject line and hook your readers in…for example:

Subject line: Get your dream winter coat today.

Preview text: Browse our brand new range of winter coats and enjoy 20% off.

As you can see, the main subject line is concise and demonstrates clear value while the preview text builds upon the message and incentivizes the reader to click-though. A match made in heaven.

Try emojis

While they were once seen as tasteless, emojis are woven deep into the fabric of our everyday communications. Almost everyone uses emojis and most people love them, to some extent.

Brands that use emojis in their subject lines see around a 56% boost in their email open rates. Try using emojis in your email subject lines and sparingly in your body content, and you’re likely to boost engagement  rates.

Work with the right tools

To effectively manage your campaigns and use all of these email marketing techniques to your advantage, you need to work with the right tools for the job. Using the right email marketing or eCommerce platform for your email communications will boost your productivity and increase your success. Here’s what to look for in an email marketing tool for your business:

  1. It’s designed for retail or eCommerce 
  2. It’s integratable with your existing tools and CMS and offers automation features
  3. It’s equipped with solid email data analytics and insights
  4. It’s got features that make building and designing your emails easy
  5. It’s equipped with personalization features and can help you create better subject lines
  6. It’s fully optimized for the mobile browsing experience
  7. It’s effective for segmenting your audience
  8. It’s cost-effective and offers genuine value for money

Over to you. Now that you know how to approach email marketing and you have some pretty amazing examples at your disposal, it’s time to get out there and start connecting with your customers.

Contact us to find out how we can help you improve your retail or eCommerce business and for more priceless advice, read all about how to increase your revenue through upselling.