Hello again, world! It’s time for another segment of Emails That Do Work. I’m your host/blogger, Julie. Every month, I dive into our Benchmark Community to find and review client email templates with strong elements that successfully engage their readers and promote their message. As thrilling as it sounds, I’m pretty much staring at an opened browser with too many tabs to count. But onto my favorite part – writing about it! Let’s get started.


Right off the bat, I’m going to applaud Brandignity for having both a unique and functional business name. But are they backing up their brand as much as their name does? From the looks of their website at brandignity.com, I would have to say yes, yes, a million times yes! Based in Florida, Brandignity is a white hat search engine optimization (SEO) and marketing firm that aims to help clients develop their brand and market their businesses’ websites online.

Why it works:

  • Cleanliness: If I were to section off an email into categories like design, layout, and content, Brandignity wins in all three. Walking through a crowded store can be both a daunting and discouraging task. Barely making it to the checkout line without screaming bloody murder can really stain your experience at that retail establishment. Brandignity’s email is the complete opposite of that. It guides the reader’s eyes with a very symmetrical and mobile-friendly layout, stacking different articles and updates on top of one another. To simplify reader experience, the contrast between the black section blocks versus the white background call attention to the article topics, which are set in different colors. What really makes this email clean and consistent is the establishment of viewing pattern. The reader can glance at the top portion and already “predict” what is to follow.
  • Familiar Environment: Business emails are an extension of your company’s brand. They’re like cyber versions of your sales reps, coming into your clients’ inboxes to check in on a client and leave a virtual business card behind. If you expect your employees to dress the part, then have your emails do the same. Brandignity’s emails are a great example of this. Take a look at their website and compare it with their emails. Not only do they use matching typefaces/fonts and color schemes, but they also set their company’s tagline (“No Science / No Secrets. Just Internet Marketing.”) at the top of their emails. Yes, the same tagline that populates Brandignity’s home page. This is a very clever way to establishing familiarity with the reader. The reader’s eyes will hit the tagline and think, “I remember that. I know where it’s from. I can keep reading because I opted in on these emails.”

Hoteles Buenaventura

Hoteles Buenaventura is a hotel, spa and beach club with properties in both Puerto Vallarta and Mexico. Their properties consist of the Villa Premiere, the Buenaventura Grand, and the Hacienda hotel and spa beach club. For today, we’ll focus on this particular email for the Villa Premiere, a luxury boutique retreat located in the heart of Puerto Vallarta.

Why it works:

  • Balance: There’s a great balance between photos and content. If we keep digging, there’s an even greater balance within the content, between sales pitches and actual details that inform the readers. What does this mean? It means that there is just as much imagery as there is text. It’s nothing new to state that readers are more receptive towards visuals, and Hoteles Buenaventura takes it one step further by moving their photos up towards the top fold to catch the reader’s eye. Let’s move on to my comment about a balance within the content between sales pitches and actual information. The content within the email is divvied up into two folds. The top fold carries all the sales pitch, and the bottom fold houses all the flight and pricing details to back up their marketing. This practice makes complete sense. It is straight-forward, and gives readers the discretion to keep reading if it’s something they are interested in.
  • Details: Hoteles Buenaventura’s emails also list very specific pricing and flight details. This validates the sales pitch at the top portion of the email with more concrete information below, adding substance and legitimacy. The deals are more obtainable and readers don’t have to visit the business’s website to explore any further when it’s laid out in one neat little package…or email.

Toby’s Sports

Toby’s Sports is incorporated under the name Quorum International, along with its brand marketing and distribution arm, Sports Resources Inc. What began as a children’s toy store in 1978 and later shifted into skateboard sales, owner Roberto Claudio shifted the business’s focus onto sports retail when management observed the growing demand of sporting goods. The store was re-launched from Toby’s Forms and Shapes to what is now known as Toby’s Sports, both named after Claudio’s son.

Why it works:

  • No Beating Around the Bush: With emails being checked more and more often through mobile devices, we can safely assume that time is of the essence when reaching out to our subscribers. What I liked about this email is how much information a reader can get just from a simple glance. And that means one thing: Toby’s Sports made every word count in their promo email. Let’s take a look at the layout. About 60%-65% of the email is imagery. The headline, products, logo, and negative space take up the remaining area. Yes, they even left room for nothing but blank space. A great example of what I can call both an email marketing and life lesson – if you don’t have anything else to say, stop talking.
  • Imagery With Purpose: More often than not, I see a lot of promo emails and updates with too many stock images that have no business being there. Before you go crazy on the downloads from your favorite stock image website, ask yourself a few questions. Does the image relate directly to my content? Or is it just something pretty that could fill in the empty space? The imagery in this email showcases not just any sportswear products, but the actual products being promoted. To make things even easier (as if they haven’t already), Toby’s Sports links each of those products with a number to match to the description names below.