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Email Marketing Ideas for 2024 That Actually Drive Results

email marketing ideas cover image with a hand holding a lightbulb

Senders are always searching for new email marketing ideas to keep things exciting for their subscribers. And we sympathize; even the best email marketers can sometimes find themselves caught in a rut, clueless about their next campaign.

If your open rates and clickthrough rates have been slipping, you might need a new perspective on things, a shake-up to help you reset your thinking. 

That’s why we found the best email marketing ideas and compiled them here for you.



Email Marketing Ideas are the Foundation of Your Sending Concept

Developing creative and effective email marketing ideas is crucial for several reasons, as it can significantly enhance the success of your marketing efforts.

Keeping your campaigns fresh is beneficial because:

  1. Unique concepts grab attention and make recipients more likely to engage with your message.
  2. Helps reinforce your brand’s identity and keeps it top of mind for your subscribers.
  3. Can make customers feel valued, encouraging them to stay connected with your brand.
  4. Can help guide recipients through the sales funnel.
  5. With creativity, you can maximize your return on investment (ROI).
  6. Drive traffic to your website, blog, or landing pages.
  7. Email marketing ideas can help you stand out and stay ahead of the competition.

If you want all of the above to come true, this next section shows you how.


Email Marketing Ideas You Can Use Today

Innovative and entertaining email marketing ideas can unlock higher engagement rates and conversions for you. 

Instead of wasting time with generic “Product updates” or “We miss you” emails, find inspiration from the ideas we’ve curated for you below:

Email marketing ideasHow they benefit you
Send customer testimonialsCan improve engagement as recipients find the content relatable and informative.
Share your brand storyAn inspiring/interesting story can hook your recipients and build goodwill.
Send usage/product statisticsReading general product statistics or personalized usage statistics can be fun for readers.
List your most popular products/featuresThis helps promote your products and educate your readers about use cases.
Create a limited edition product/season special People love limited edition everything. Offer special access to recipients for a one-time-only product or feature.
Send a survey/questionnaire If you keep your survey interesting, you can collect product feedback as well as customer-specific data.
Talk about your sustainability effortsPeople care about the environment. Talk about your efforts to give back to the planet.
Conduct an eventHold an exciting online/offline event. It’s exciting for your recipients and can generate new leads.
Gamify your emailsWho doesn’t love games? Use gamification to send your engagement rates skyrocketing.
Top Email Marketing Ideas to Try in 2024

Let’s explore these email marketing business ideas in more detail.


Customer Testimonials: Share Relatable Content

Ever wonder why customer spotlights are popular with email subscribers? 

You should share customer testimonials because it:

  • Makes your brand human: Featuring real customers makes your brand more relatable and human. 
  • Encourages action: Testimonials often highlight specific benefits and positive outcomes from using your products or services. This can inspire other subscribers to take similar actions, whether it’s making a purchase, signing up for a service, or engaging with your brand in other ways.
  • Appears authentic: Testimonials and spotlights are perceived as more authentic than traditional marketing messages.
  • Is a good way to share relatable stories: When customers share their stories, other subscribers can relate to their experiences and see themselves in similar situations.
  • Highlights product benefits: These emails can help highlight specific features through real-world applications. This indirect promotion can educate subscribers about product use cases.
  • Encourages word-of-mouth marketing: Subscribers who see these testimonials might share their own positive experiences or refer others to your brand.
  • Drives emotional connection: Emotional email content tends to be more engaging and memorable; stories of customer experiences often evoke emotions, whether it’s joy, relief, or excitement.

And as long as you’re sharing stories, you should also share your own. 


Brand Story: Show Your Subscribers You’re Human!

A well-crafted brand story is more memorable than a generic sales pitch. It sets you apart from competitors by showcasing your unique identity and purpose. People are more likely to remember a company with a story that resonates with them.

Sharing your story allows you to be transparent about your origins, goals, and what you stand for. This authenticity builds trust with your audience, making them more receptive to your offers.

A brand story doesn’t have to be a long-winded history lesson. Use storytelling techniques to craft an engaging narrative. You can highlight interesting anecdotes, your company’s founding, or a specific product’s development journey.

Most importantly — don’t be in a hurry to send an hour-long documentary about your business.

Keep these tips in mind as you create content about your brand:

Brand content guidelinesHow to stay focused
Align with your target audienceTailor your story to resonate with your ideal customer’s values and needs.
Focus on the emotional impactElicit emotions that connect with your audience, such as inspiration, hope, or determination.
Keep it visualUse images and videos to complement your written story and enhance engagement.
Don’t forget your CTAInclude a clear call to action at the end of your email.
Brand Content for Email Marketing: Guidelines

Send Interesting Usage Data or Product Statistics

Do you know the emails Google Maps sends you about the locations you visited this year? Or how many miles you drove? People love usage statistics because they’re like a trip down memory lane. 

As customer usage data may only be available in the case of an app or service, you can’t send usage statistics about a product. What you can do is share interesting statistics about a product with your customers. We’re going to share sample campaigns for both of these scenarios next.

How to Create an Email Campaign About App/Service Use

For this example, we’ll create an email campaign for the users of a hypothetical language app called Zuolingo. The goal of the campaign is to generate engagement by showcasing the user’s personal journey within Zuolingo.

  1. Write a good subject line: “You’ve Achieved a Lot with Zuolingo This Year.”
  2. Craft the content: Use an infographic or data visualization that showcases their usage statistics. Include metrics like:
  • Total time spent using the app,
  • Most popular languages,
  • Goals achieved or milestones reached within the app,
  • Positive changes their app usage has resulted in (quantify if possible).
  1. Tell a story: Weave a short narrative around the data. For example, “You’ve spent a total of 10 hours learning Spanish on Zuolingo. That’s like mastering a new language in your sleep!”
  2. Use a strong CTA: Encourage them to continue their progress or explore new features based on their usage patterns.

This is the kind of email campaign that recipients would be excited to read because it gives them insight into how they’re using an app or service. 

How to Create an Email Campaign with Fun Product Statistics

For this example, we’ll create an email campaign for the customers of a hypothetical doorbell camera company called Zing. For this campaign, we will use humor and surprising product statistics to entertain readers.

  1. Write a good subject line:Zing Launched a Year Ago. Here’s How It Has Impacted 5 Million Users.”
  2. Craft the content: Use creative visuals like infographics, funny memes, or even cute animations to present the data. Present product statistics in a lighthearted and engaging way. For example: 
  • “Did you know? Enough Zings have been sold to build a wall to the moon (but don’t worry, we’re keeping them on Earth… for now).”
  • “Our users have recorded more than 1 billion seconds of video using Zing, which is a grand total of 31.7 years.”
  1. Tell a story: Use the data to highlight the success and popularity of the product. You can share a chart about which country uses the doorbell the most, or what percentage of American homes use Zing.
  2. Use a strong CTA: Run a contest asking users to share their funniest or most creative uses of Zing. Feature the winners in a future email.

While you aren’t sharing user-specific data in this example, a reader would be curious to know more about the popularity and adoption of a product they personally use.

Examples of Email Campaigns with Usage Data/Product Statistics

Grammarly Usage Statistics Email
User data from Grammarly

In this campaign, Grammarly emails users interesting information about how they have been using the plugin/app. It visually represents how Grammarly customers have benefited from Grammarly and how they fare against other Grammarly users.

ClearScore user statistics email
ClearScore email with user stats

ClearScore email is another example of using user data to show a year-end summary of how this person uses ClearScore’s services. The insight can be useful and is definitely something readers would be interested in, especially since it’s related to spending habits.

Athletic Brewing Product Statistics
This beer brand shares their numbers with their email subscribers

 In this Thank You email, Athletic Brewing shares statistics about their brews that recipients would find interesting. They share data like their annual revenue, the number of barrels they produced, the awards they won, and other firsts.


Top Picks and Personalized Recommendations: Aim for Conversions

Combining top-selling products with personalized recommendations in an email campaign can be highly effective for boosting engagement and driving sales. 

For this example, we’ll create a hypothetical makeup company called Laymebine. The purpose of this campaign is to raise awareness about popular Laymebine products, push recommendations, and achieve a good conversion rate.

Write an Enticing Subject Line

The subject line has to get straight to the point.  For example: 

  • “Here’s the Laymebine Lip-Tint Women Across the World Love.”
  • “Your Choice of Lip Gloss is an Insta-Fave! Discover Other Products You Will Love”
  • “Shopping for a New Foundation? Try It Out in Our New Virtual Beauty Studio”
  • “Most Laymebine Customers In Your City Chose THIS Mascara — See Why”

Craft the Content

Briefly explain that the email features both top-selling products and items specifically recommended for them based on their past interactions. For the top sellers, showcase 3-5 top-selling products.

Remember:

  • Use high-quality images.
  • Highlight key features and benefits.
  • Clearly display prices.

Add Personalized Products

Below this, you can share the “Handpicked Just for You” section. 

Here, insert dynamic content blocks with personalized recommendations based on subscriber history/browsing habits. Don’t forget to add short quotes from happy customers about the products. If possible, include social proof — number of items sold or customer ratings.

Write a Compelling CTA

Since the goal of the campaign is to convert customers, use an enthusiastic and convincing CTA. 

Top Picks/Personalized Recommendations: An Example

Everlane Top Sellers Email
Everlane shares its top-selling winterwear with its email list

This email from Everlane is clearly pushing for more sales by sharing its most popular products, and they state it clearly at the top of the email. They share 5 of their top-sellers and the chances of converting subscribers are quite high.


Limited Edition/Season Special: Power of FOMO 

Using limited edition or seasonal products in your email marketing campaign can create a sense of urgency and FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) that drives engagement. 

People love an opportunity to try/buy something unique that won’t be available again anytime soon. By cleverly planning your campaign, you can achieve stellar engagement metrics and conversions.

Start by building anticipation with a teaser campaign leading up to the product launch. Use email marketing to share sneak peeks, behind-the-scenes glimpses, or early access opportunities for loyal subscribers.

Clearly communicate the limited availability of the product. For example, use a countdown timer. You could also use phrases like “limited quantities” to encourage immediate action. Highlight the exclusivity of the product and the potential regret of missing out on this unique opportunity.

Weave a narrative around the product’s creation or purpose. Is it inspired by a specific season or event? Share the story behind its design. And use professional photos or videos to showcase the product’s aesthetics and functionality.

Don’t forget to promote your limited-edition product on social media platforms and link back to your email campaign for maximum reach!

Limited Edition Email Campaign: An Example

Impossibrew Limited Edition Beer Email
Impossibrew launched a one-time-only beer for its third birthday

People love rare experiences. They also love limited edition products, which gives them a sense of exclusivity. This email from Impossibrew combines both — a special beer for a special occasion, never to be repeated again.


Email Surveys: The Dark Horse of Engagement!

Email surveys can be a powerful tool for engagement and are often more popular with subscribers than you might think!

Here’s how you benefit by sending surveys to subscribers:

  1. You get valuable customer insights.
  2. Helps you improve customer experience.
  3. Well-designed surveys can boost engagement.

If you’re wondering why your customers will bother with filling out surveys, here are 4 convincing reasons:

  • Surveys give subscribers a platform to voice their opinions and know their input is valued. This can be motivating and make them feel like part of a community.
  • Surveys can be completed online in a short amount of time. This convenience makes them less intrusive than other marketing tactics.
  • Surveys can be clubbed with incentives like discounts or entries into contests which can further increase participation.
  • Many subscribers appreciate the opportunity to contribute to positive change within a company.

Send those survey emails and watch your engagement metrics boom!


Talk About Sustainability; People Are Listening

Consumers are increasingly becoming environmentally conscious. Studies show a growing number of people are willing to switch brands based on sustainability practices. 

By highlighting your sustainability efforts, you connect with this growing segment and position yourself as a brand that aligns with their values.

Sustainability is not just a trend; it’s the direction businesses are moving in for the long term.

Sharing your sustainability initiatives with your email subscribers offers a bunch of advantages for your brand:

  1. When you showcase your efforts, you connect with their desire to support eco-conscious businesses.
  2. Sharing your initiatives shows you have nothing to hide and are committed to making a positive impact.
  3. Your emails reach those who prioritize sustainability, making them more receptive to your brand and products.

Ensure you sound genuine — readers can easily tell the difference between “greenwashing” and honest brand voices. In your emails, showcase eco-friendly materials, production processes, or packaging to drive sales aligned with your values.

By openly communicating your efforts, you can turn sustainability into a positive force for your brand.

Example of an Email Leveraging Sustainability

Outer Sustainability Email
Outer tells its readers about its efforts to protect the planet in this email

This campaign from Outer aims to spread word of the company’s “green” efforts as they announce a tree-planting initiative. As a furniture company that sells products made of wood, this is a good way of easing the guilt of buyers who may be concerned about rampant tree-cutting.


Conduct an Online Event: Create a Community

Organizing an online event via email can get your subscribers excited to participate. And benefits can also go well beyond just solid engagement rates from your event invite emails. 

Compared to static emails, online events allow for in-depth discussions, presentations, and demonstrations. This provides a more engaging and informative experience for subscribers. Real-time interaction through live Q&A sessions keeps subscribers interested and allows them to get their specific questions answered.

The best part of online events is that they eliminate geographical barriers. Subscribers from anywhere can participate, expanding your reach and fostering a more inclusive experience.

Ensure you track metrics extensively during the event — many online event platforms provide valuable data on subscriber engagement, such as attendance duration, participation in polls, and Q&A activity. This allows you to gauge the effectiveness of your event and tailor future content accordingly.

Conducting online events offers a compelling way to transform your email subscriber list from passive recipients into active participants.


Gamification: The Secret to Explosive Engagement

If you haven’t tried gamification yet, this needs to be at the top of your list.

Gamified emails are exciting for customers; they always achieve impressive engagement rates when done right.

You should run a gamification campaign because:

  • They make emails fun and engaging, which boosts open rates and click-throughs.
  • It incentivizes action by encouraging subscribers to take desired actions.
  • Strengthens brand relationships, creates positive associations, and builds loyalty.
  • It’s useful for data collection, helping you personalize future email campaigns.

Let’s review examples of gamified emails you can customize for your needs.

Gamification Campaigns in Emails

If you’re looking for inspiration, try any of these:

Send gamified emails with this:Why your users will love it
Roulette/Spin the wheelThis crowd favorite is addictive for readers as they can’t resist the opportunity to spin a wheel and win a prize.
Progress bars or levelsCreate a game with trackable progress. It reels subscribers back in, consistently. 
Vegas-style slot machineSlot machines can be a lot of fun for your recipients as they keep attempting to win bigger prizes.
Scratch cardsNo one can resist a scratch card. Ensure they win something small, at least.
QuizzesTest the knowledge of your readers. Send your readers a series of quizzes to participate in with lots of prizes.
PuzzlesSimple puzzles related to your product can greatly increase engagement from your recipients.
Gamification ideas for email marketing

Example of Gamification in an Email

Gamified Email from Barista and Co
Here’s an exciting gamified email from Barista and Co.

Here’s a great way to get people to click! This secret envelope from Barista and Co uses mystery to get people to participate in their campaign. Tracking clicks can also help you segment them for future campaigns.


Campaign Refinery: Helping Your Ideas Reach the Inbox

You can be an incredibly creative email marketer, but even the best content is wasted unless the subscriber sees your emails in the inbox. This is why so many email professionals choose Campaign Refinery.

Our deliverability rates are the best in the industry, and this is thanks to our commitment to best practices and a rock-solid understanding of what email providers love. 

We also integrated gamification into our platform. And we’ve achieved success with it, too — our campaigns have clocked open rates of 76.37% and a 72.76% click rate!

Besides these amazing features, you also get:

  • Automated list-cleaner: Never let problematic email addresses drag down your sender reputation again; our tool sniffs out invalid emails and takes them out.
  • Automation builder: For great campaigns, you need great automation. Designing automation workflows at Campaign Refinery is a breeze, no matter how many branches you want to create.
  • List management tools: Mastering segmentation is the secret to excellent results. This is why we added the best segmentation tools.
  • Analytics: Accurate metrics help you refine your strategy. With our analytics dashboard, only see the numbers and trends that matter.
  • Evergreen Flash Sales: Want to use a powerful combo of FOMO and discounts? You can do that through our Evergreen Flash Sales function, which forces people to act now.

If you truly care about email performance, Campaign Refinery is where you find it. Apply and join us!

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