How to Create the Best Email Marketing Campaigns

How to Create the Best Email Marketing Campaigns

The @ symbol There is no shortage of posts and articles to read that tell you the best practices for email marketing. We even have a few of our own. I know that when I’m looking for guidance on how to do something, it’s so much easier when you can see a physical example of what to do. So for email marketing, it’s a lot easier when you have a set of examples highlighting the best practices we talk about. Here are some examples of great email marketing campaigns and what they are doing right.


If you didn’t already know, Hulu is an online video-streaming service that has recently launched a paid subscription plan for popular movies and television shows. They are pretty much a direct competitor of Netflix. I receive lots of emails from them, and  I like the simplicity and design of their templates. Specifically, their calls-to-action and the task they want users to perform after opening the email are very clear. Check out the body of their email below. Notice how important messaging is not displayed as an image but as plain text. They only have one button for you to click through to their website. There is no ambiguity or confusion. If I want to check out BBC classics, that is what I will get.

A hulu email marketing campaign

Also check out the consistency of their subject line with the body of the email. If I am interested in BBC television shows (which I’m not), I would click on the email. What do I get when I click? Low and behold it’s information about BBC television shows, not a bunch of other information that I don’t care about.



Even though Mashable is a news organization, I wanted to point out one thing they do really well on a consistent basis, which is calling attention to personal conflict. They do it well in their subject lines, and they do it well with the compilation of stories that they put together for their email content.

Even though retail and service-based organizations don’t produce shocking news stories, they can take a page from Mashable’s approach. If you are a business producing content for the web, you can always put a twist on your content that reflects pop-culture or that, in some way, draws attention to personal conflict.

Check out their subject line below. Who couldn’t resist clicking on this to see if they might be doing one of those things on the internet that could be considered illegal?



They also do a good job of being consistent. The first thing you see is the story that caused you to open the email in the first place. Indeed, scandal and the indiscriminate search for miscues is what makes stories on these sites so attractive. You can also leverage this as a business by shaping your content in certain ways and then promoting them as such.



When you just send out emails about your business talking about your products and services, no one really cares. If you are going the next step and offering sales or discounts, recipients may be marginally impressed. When you create content that they can use, however, they sit up straight and pay attention. In other words, no one will care about your message unless there is something in it for them.

Esurance does this pretty well with their eNewsFlash. Recently I saw an email with a very compelling subject line. It was a question asking if electronic forms of car insurance proof are allowed in my state. I didn’t know, and — being a tech-savvy person — I kind of wanted to know, so I clicked on the email.


Esurance delivered, showing me a nice graphical representation right at the top of the email of all the states where digital forms of insurance ID cards are acceptable to show to a police officer when I get pulled over (my state was not one of them – darn!)


It is this kind of content that consumers find valuable. It is also the kind of content that stays in the mind of the consumer later on down the road when they go to make a purchase. Prospects who are not yet customers of Esurance may even refer back to the company for information when they eventually shop for car insurance.

Seeing real examples of campaigns that provoke interest and are well configured helps marketers in their own marketing efforts. When we can visually place best practices with real-life examples, we can more easily create effective email marketing campaigns.


Do you have any examples of email campaigns that are done really well? Let us know by leaving a comment below.  

Shawn Manaher

Shawn Manaher is the founder and CEO of The Content Authority. He's one part content manager, one part writing ninja organizer, and two parts leader of top content creators. You don't even want to know what he calls pancakes.

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