13 Exemplary Email Marketing Emails You Have To See

We all know that email is an elite marketing channel. But that doesn’t mean it’s an easy channel to use.

Over 14 billion emails are sent worldwide every day, and there are hundreds of unopened emails competing for your customer’s attention.

And if you lose that fight for attention…you lose clicks, conversions, and revenue.

Today’s post will help you cut through the clutter and snag the attention of your customers. We’ll dissect 13 exemplary email marketing emails and look at how they get people to act, and more importantly, how they get people to click-through and buy.

Let’s go.

1. Hipmunk’s Benefit Driven Bullets

Hipmunk’s email below has a great design, and its visual content carries an emotional impact. But what makes it exemplary is the benefit driven bullet points it fires at customers.

The email is promotional, but doesn’t selfishly ask people to buy. Instead, it tells them what’s in it for them. It’s benefit driven.

2. J.Crew’s Ugly Wrapping

This email checks a lot of boxes.

As well as humoring subscribers at the beginning, the email shows a large amount of consideration for its subscribers. It does this by giving them alternate options (one of which creates urgency with a 50% discount); and also finishes by letting subscribers know that there’s a store near them, which makes the buying decision easier.

3. “You’re Kind Of Like This Fat Dude I Know”

In their book “Made to stick”, Chip and Dan Heath found that we all have a little guessing machine in our brains. It constantly tries to guess what’s going to happen next. And as long as everything goes according to plan, we remain bored or uninterested.

A powerful way to snap people out of their boredom and jar them into attention, is to break their guessing machine. How? By deliberately going against what they’re expecting.

Email marketer Ben Settle does a great job of this. He uses odd subject lines that make you want to open his emails.

I mean…who wouldn’t open an email that calls them a “fat dude”?

Does this mean you should call your subscribers fat dudes too? No.

But it does mean that you should try to anticipate their expectations, and counter them.

4. amit’s Powerful Email Combo

People love to read success stories and case studies, and are suckers for lists.

This email from Ramit Sethi is an effective combination of all three.

5. Motivational Fuel From Make A Living Writing

This email is not just a compilation of tips. It’s an inspirational story that lights a fire under the recipient’s butt and shows that his dreams are possible. And that’s what makes it exemplary.

6. DropBox’s Polite Reminde

Triggered emails are proven to boost conversions, and Dropbox does an exemplary job of using them:

So makes this triggered email so good?

  • It’s simple
  • It’s short and sweet
  • It feels sincere
  • It tells people how they will benefit
  • It’s helpful
  • And it’s polite. Not “pushy”

7. Loft’s Concern For Customer

By asking their preferences for future emails (in a considerate manner), Loft does a notable job of showing customers that they care. Which is a big deal when you consider that 89% of consumers will do business with a competitor after receiving poor customer service.

8. The Rip Curl “Revolution”

The email form Rip Curl asks recipients to “join the revolution”. Which feeds their desire to be a part of something bigger than themselves, and helps them imagine who they will become with the product.

9. Edutainment From The McMethod

This email from John Mcintyre of the McMethod podcast is a well-done example of edutainment. It provides an interesting and valuable lesson, and ties that lesson back to how the subscriber can benefit from his services.

10. Amazon’s Personalized Suggestions

Amazon sent me this email after I was browsing for business and marketing books. And guess what? I ended up buying because the email contained offers that suited my interests.

Retailer Totes Isotoner boosted conversions by 7000% when using this same technique.

11. Copyblogger’s Use of Scarcity And Urgency

People love a good deal, and are usually eager to save money.

This Copyblogger email capitalizes on both desires.

For a limited time only, the email offers the chance to save $500 on tickets. This creates a sense of urgency and scarcity, which makes subscribers want to seize the opportunity and grab a ticket.

12. DryBar’s Kick-Ass Design

The design behind this email is simple, scannable and captivating. It succinctly grabs attention, arouses interest and desire, and invites the subscriber to act. All without lengthy paragraphs of copy.

13. Ash Ambirge’s Ass-Scratching Conundrum

As copyblogger eloquently put it…email “moves the conversation about your business to a more personal environment — the in-box.”

It’s impossible to connect with customers if you sound like straight-backed, tight-lipped, pompous professor who’s trying to sell something. That’s why your email copy should cause customers to relate to you and your business.

One of my favourite examples of relatable email copy comes from Ash Ambirge. Her fiery personality leaps out of her emails, which are populated with plenty of f-bombs, witty remarks, and tangents that usually manage to sculpt a grin on your face.


The individual emails you deploy are the backbone of your email marketing; strengthening those emails will boost your click-throughs, conversions, and revenue. And, as we’ve seen above, great emails tell a story, put the subscriber first, offer value, focus on clarity, and sometimes shock subscribers.

What’s your favorite email example above? Share with us in the comments below.

Hassan Ud-deen is a geeky content marketer. Follow him on Twitter.

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