Everyone’s inbox is busy. So if you want to grab and keep the interest of your subscribers, you have very little time to do so, and your emails have to be great. Hours of effort creating visual content and engaging copy can be lost if your email subject line is weak, fails to stand-out, and doesn’t motivate your subscribers to open the email. 

You want your messages to be the best they can possibly be, but there’s a lot that goes into the overall success of your email marketing. How do you ensure you’re paying mind to each part appropriately, and doing so in a way that creates a great email that is read and converts? The first step towards effective emails is addressing each component that has a hand in their overall success. And it doesn’t hurt to check out the brands that lead by example. 

What Makes a Great Email?

Effective email campaigns are not an accident. Here are the various components that contribute to a successful email:

  • Subject Line: This is your only chance to make a first impression. In fact, 47% of email recipients open emails based on the subject line alone. Short, concise, and creative is your best bet here.
  • Personalization: The more you can customize your email content to a particular audience, the more relevant it becomes. This can be done by segmenting your leads and sending them content that is consistent with where they are in the buyer’s journey. 
  • Responsive Design: 73% of companies prioritize mobile optimization when creating email marketing campaigns. If your content is not mobile-friendly and responsive on the go, your message won’t be seen.
  • The Right Call-to-Action: Don’t ever forget to ask your audience to do something. That’s the entire point of the email. Strong CTA’s effectively convert. 

Okay, now that you know the areas of your emails that matter the most for success, let’s take a look at some brands out there that do a solid job at email marketing. Here I’ve listed six that know how to delight and convert with their emails. Enjoy! 

Six Brands That Send Great Emails 

1. Spotify

Who doesn’t love getting an email from Spotify? This music streaming app makes listening to music a memorable experience by putting playlists together for you, based on your listening history and preferences. Their emails take personalization to a whole new level, even creating playlists for you to enjoy with your pets. Who thinks of that? Plus, they always have cute images, fun colors that really pop, and keep it simple with basic copy and a call-to-action.

2. BuzzFeed

BuzzFeed keeps it simple by making you giggle in the subject line. I once received an email with the subject line “21 Puppies so Cute You Will Literally Gasp and Then Probably Cry.” If that doesn’t pull you in, nothing will. 

The company also focuses on the preview text, which is critical for padding your open rate. A neat trick BuzzFeed does is they make the subject line a question and then the preview text the answer. It’s a cool way to start a conversation.

3. TheSkimm

TheSkimm is a great daily email roundup of all the important things happening around the world. Completely unbiased and filled with information, they use funny phrases, movie quotes, and casual language, which can bring balance to heavy news, and make the email easier to read. 

They’ve also mastered customer engagement by sending out anniversary and thank you emails. It feels much less salesy when a company spends a little dough just to appreciate you. Emails are triggered by milestones in their CRM to ensure consistent engagement. TheSkimm also uses this opportunity to promote their referral program. So, it’s two birds, one stone.

4. MarketingProfs

This brand knows marketing, and they customize emails based on consumer preferences. Users can select which topics they want to receive in their inbox each day with a ton to choose from, like:

  • New Research
  • B2B
  • Social Practices
  • Strategy
  • Content Creation

Basically, anything you tell them you want to see. The number of articles in each email varies depending on what’s available, but you’ll never be receiving something that’s not tailored to your interests. 

5. Airbnb

Airbnb is very in tune with the destinations you’re looking at, and it shows in the email content. Planning a weekend in Chicago, for example? Airbnb will remind you of where to stay and things to do nearby. Their emails are clean, simple, and enticing, and the content is directly connected to listings of interest to you. They make planning a trip super easy and fun. 

6. The Hustle

The Hustle is a daily newsletter that delivers entertaining and informative business and tech news. They go beyond the surface of a headline to provide a deep dive on hot topics with a twist, giving readers insight into the most interesting stories to share around the watercooler.

Instead of focusing on building out web content, The Hustle puts everything it has into The Daily – a curated roundup of the most impactful news for professionals delivered every morning M-F, as well as The Sunday Story – deep dives on company founders, case studies, and interesting trends you should know about. Stories link to source material, rather than back to their website, and their main CTA is to “Share the Hustle”. The focus is completely on delivering value through their newsletter. With over 1 million subscribers generating over $10 million a year as a result, it’s a strategy that pays off.

Take a page out of these six brands’ playbooks and create emails that are more creative, more compelling, and more engaging.