It's hard to be flawless at anything in marketing, especially considering all the content trends, social platform updates, and new technologies that change the landscape. Still, one constant for a lot of brands is the email newsletter.
It's pretty versatile, and you have a lot of control over how it's designed, what content you include, who you deliver which emails to, and what triggers indicate what actions in an effective email drip campaign.
With so many possibilities in your own email marketing, it's helpful to know what other brands are doing with their newsletters. And there are quite a few brands that really pull off effective email newsletters — so well, in fact, that I actually find myself excited to open their emails.
If you're looking to learn a thing or two about effective email newsletters (or you're looking for a few new ones to add to your subscription list), check out these 10 brands and their exemplary email newsletters:
Marketing Brew is all about helping marketers stay ahead of the trends, and its email newsletters are perfect for that because they're full of educational content surrounding industry news and insights. They use a bulleted format that's sprinkled with funny gifs and cultural references, making Marketing Brew's newsletters the perfect combination of entertaining and informational.
MarketingProfs covers so many aspects of marketing, and I like that I can select which topics I want to receive in my inbox each day. There are a lot of options to choose from, allowing me to opt in to receive emails with content that focuses on B2B, new research, social practices, strategy and content creation, etc. — basically anything that I am really interested in.
The MarketingProfs email newsletter is packed with educational content, so the clickable table of contents at the beginning comes in handy when I don't have the time to sift through it all. The format is broken up into sections that highlight recent articles, important industry updates, upcoming events, and more — making it even easier to find what I'm looking for.
Airbnb is probably one of my favorites — and not just because its service is all about helping you find fun and inspiring and places around the world to stay. What makes these brand emails great is that they mirror the Airbnb site: clean and simple. They also let beautiful imagery do most of the talking.
Something I love about Airbnb's emails is that they highlight listings you were thinking about but hadn't acted on and offer other listings in case you had decided against that particular one — which shows me that Airbnb is really in tune with the buyer's journey. Below is an email highlighting the top New Year's Eve destinations.
With the amount of content we see on a daily basis, I thank the powers that be for theSkimm. TheSkimm's daily emails break down exactly what is going on in the world, and it does so in a way that's quick and easily digestible. And it's really easy to share its email newsletter content on Twitter or Facebook, which is a pretty smart way to increase engagement.
Buzzfeed is an email newsletter powerhouse that brings personalization to a new level. They have more than 20 different types of newsletters you can subscribe to that cover a variety of topics including cooking, pop culture, books, astrology, and more. My personal favorite is their “This Week in Cats” edition, which covers the best cat content on the internet each week. No matter what you enjoy in your daily life, Buzzfeed is sure to have a newsletter for it. Its ability to cater to audience's needs and interests is definitely something to take note of.
Take the guesswork out of email marketing and learn how to succeed at it with this free guide:
Vox is an awesome site for in-depth news coverage, and its email newsletter, Vox Sentences, puts a new spin on those stories. While it covers the same wide range of topics and issues, it does so in a streamlined way that offers one-sentence summaries of the key points in each article. If you're interested, you can read more by clicking on the links to the full articles.
In a world where everyone is busy and no one has the time (or the mental energy) to read through comprehensive news articles at the end of the day, Vox highlights the hardest-hitting points and delivers them to your inbox.
I always love seeing emails come through from Sprout Social. They do a great job of pulling you in with enticing email subject lines like "How often should you post on social media?"
Check out the image below to see how Sprout Social formats its email newsletters to be easily digestible and aesthetically pleasing to the eye. I like how they include summaries for each piece of content they highlight and implement creative CTA's at the end of each one, such as "Find Out Now" and "Tell Me More." This is a great way to get your readers to engage and actually click back to your website.
It seems like World Market is always having a sale of some kind, which I know because those sales are highlighted in the weekly emails I receive. What makes World Market's discounts more enticing is that it pairs those deals with content to help you make the most of them.
As shown in the example below, one of their promotional emails about discounted picture frames included an article on fun DIY frame hacks. The fact that World Market was having a sale on certain items is great, but I'm definitely more enticed to make a purchase knowing all the fun things I can create with them.
HubSpot is proof that if it ain't broke, you don't need to fix it. Its daily emails stick to rounding up recently published blog content so you can read all this high-quality, industry-specific content from one easy-to-access place. And with content this good and highly applicable for the marketing industry, HubSpot doesn't need to do anything too fancy to maintain high readership.
Anyone with something to say can use Medium. The platform has gained popularity over the years, and while it's great to know that its audience members are taking advantage of all Medium can do for them, it does make sifting through content for the exact article you're looking for a little more difficult.
To help, Medium's email newsletters deliver content to you in a clean, simple way. Medium actually sends a lot of content in each email, but it doesn't feel overwhelming because of how it's formatted. I also appreciate that the newsletter indicates about how long it might take to read each article because it helps me determine whether I should reserve a read for later when I have more time.
I love each of these emails for very different reasons, but one thing they all have in common is that their design, format, and messaging are put together with their readers in mind. If you're looking to make some changes to your brand's email newsletters, or to start one and build a subscriber base, make sure you're in tune with what your audience needs.
I'm a marketing assistant at Intero Digital's Content & PR Division, and I love all things social media. When I'm not scouring the internet for content and being a typical Gen Zer, I'm either working on my clothing business or hanging out somewhere on a lake in Missouri.