27 Creative Email Marketing Campaign Ideas

Building Relationships / September 3, 2020 / Emily Chioconi

You probably already know that email marketing is a fantastic way to reach your leads and clients. Its average return on investment of 122% is well-worth putting some time and money into, but coming up with email marketing campaign ideas isn’t as easy as it seems!

creative email marketing campaign ideas

It may seem like email marketing campaigns are simply about marketing your business, but to actually create a compelling, engaging, and effective email marketing campaign, you have to send out the right content. Think of how many email campaigns have come across your own inbox. Did you open them all? Did you act on them when you did? Or did you simply delete them without even looking?

We’re breaking down what to keep in mind when coming up with email marketing campaign ideas of your own, and you can scroll further down to see the email marketing campaign ideas for both product and service-based businesses we’re sharing to help inspire you!

How to make your email marketing campaign ideas effective

You may have a great email marketing campaign idea, but if you don’t execute it properly it’s likely to fall flat. On average, people receive 121 emails a day, so making your email stand out is very important! Before we get to the email marketing campaign ideas, let’s start with the best practices you need to know.

Set a goal or objective

What do you want to get out of this email marketing campaign? Make sure you can clearly answer this question. You want to have a clear objective for your email marketing campaign idea. You should have a central goal you want to accomplish, and, ideally, an overarching theme for the one or several emails you’re going to send. It’s not quite as simple as sending emails with the right tactics – it’s about having the right email marketing campaign idea first and then leveraging the right tactics to make it land.

Segment your audience

While your audience may be generally interested in similar things like your business or industry, they are not all the same. Remember that you’re dealing with real people, not just a list of email addresses. Segmenting your audience means breaking them down into small groups based on things like demographics, behaviours, interests, and more. As an example, you may have a segment of your audience that’s interested in investing, meaning you can target content that will resonate specifically with anyone who may be looking to invest. How you segment will depend on your audience and business, so this is where actually getting to know your leads and clients becomes invaluable.

Use personalization

Personalization goes hand in hand with segmentation. When you personalize an email, it doesn’t just mean you use your subscriber’s name in the subject line or email. It means you’re sending the subscriber relevant, useful content that is tailored for them. Using our same investing example from above, you’re focusing on an interest you know they have and providing value. This can also be as simple as sending a birthday or anniversary email! Again, depending on your audience, how you personalize will vary, but it’s a great way to signal that you’re actually listening to your audience.

Make it skimmable

No one wants to read a gigantic email with long paragraphs of text. If you’ve got someone’s attention enough to have them open your email, make the most of their time and give them an easy-to-read email. Let the subject line help by adding context and keep the copy within the email brief, concise, and written like a human. Keep your core customer in mind when crafting the message for the email campaign and write it in a tone that will resonate with them and cut through the clutter in their inbox. You can find tactics for this with Coschedule’s article, The 10 Commandments Of Writing Great Copy. Ask yourself if your reader can grasp the overall message of your email without reading the entire thing word-for-word. If they can’t, re-write it! Here’s a great example of a skimmable email from Hootsuite:

Try out A/B testing

A/B testing is simply testing out different versions of your emails with different groups of readers to see which one does better. Time to experiment! Over time, this will mean you can stop guessing about what may work and actually know what’s really resonating. When working with your own email marketing campaign ideas, you can experiment with things like which subject lines are more likely to be opened, what time and day of the week work best, and which calls to action lead to the most clicks. This is a bit more work at first, but it will help you fine-tune your email marketing campaigns until they are as effective as possible! You can easily implement A/B testing with tools like MailChimp and Direct Mail so you can try out different subject lines, copy, and images.

Be mobile-friendly

In 2020, 46% of emails are opened on mobile – this is no surprise when you consider how often we’re all on our phones. If someone opens your email on their phone and can’t easily read it, it’s already a non-starter. When you’re choosing an email marketing tool like MailChimp, Direct Mail, or Campaign Monitor, look for options that can help you optimize your emails for mobile. Preview what your emails will look like before you send them for both desktop and mobile users and ask yourself if this is something you’d like to look at. This example from Duolingo looks great on both desktop and mobile:

Don’t be spammy

If you want your audience to engage with your email marketing campaign, you need to first make it into their inbox! Even though your email isn’t meant to be spam, sometimes they will get filtered as such and never get to your reader at all. Apart from regulations you need to adhere to like GDPR, CASL, and CAN-SPAM, other things like lots of exclamation marks, using all caps, or making it difficult to unsubscribe can also send your email right into the junk folder. Spam filters can vary a lot, so check out MailChimp’s guide on how spam filters work and how to avoid them!

Email marketing campaign ideas for product-based businesses

When you’re coming up with email marketing campaign ideas for your product, while you certainly want to include a focus on the product itself, remember to think outside the box with how you communicate the value of your product and what it’s for. Aside from how it works, what problems does the product solve? What results can you expect?

Email marketing campaign ideas

You can share:

  1. Updates to your product like new features or releases
  2. Free resources, like how-to articles or guides
  3. Highlighting little-known features or functionality
  4. Gifs or videos of your product in action
  5. Tips and best practices
  6. Frequently asked questions answered
  7. A case study about how someone uses your product
  8. Available training options (like webinars)
  9. Discounts or deals
  10. Positive reviews about your product
  11. Your product being highlighted in the news, app store, etc.

Email marketing campaign ideas for professional services business

It can feel tougher to come up with email marketing campaign ideas when you’re selling a service rather than a product. You can’t rely on tips, updates, or features related to the product to share, so it’s time to get creative with how you can add value for your audience while still promoting your business and staying top of mind. All of the below email marketing campaign ideas can also be used for a product-based business!

Email marketing campaign ideas

You can share:

  1. Your favourite industry-related tools/apps
  2. A poll or survey
  3. Recommendations for who to follow on social media
  4. Your favourite industry-related podcasts
  5. Your favourite industry-related blogs
  6. Your own blog posts and social media
  7. A case study about results you’ve achieved for another client
  8. A list of your favourite industry-related books/authors
  9. Industry-related tips and best practices
  10. Positive reviews about your business
  11. Request reviews for your business
  12. Business updates like an anniversary, award, etc.
  13. A Facebook/LinkedIn Group community for your clients
  14. A free ebook
  15. A contest or giveaway (ex: a free consultation)
  16. A referral program

Whether you’re selling a product or a service, there are lots of ways to engage with your mailing list so you can stay top of mind while adding value. When it comes to email marketing campaign ideas, be innovative and remember that the end goal is to send your readers something that will help them in some way and remind them of the value you’re creating. For more marketing tips that will get you qualified leads, watch our video How To Get Better Leads And Grow Your Business:

Remember: think about your own audience and don’t limit yourself to email marketing campaign ideas that may not work for you – you know your leads and clients best! If you want even more motivation to get those creative juices flowing, check out 12 Newsletter Email Examples to Inspire Your Next Campaign, and don’t forget to follow @dayliteapp on Instagram for daily small business tips!

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