The 2021 Email Marketing Lookbook. 25 of the best email marketing campaigns from 2021 2021 may not be over yet. But normal service is soon to be paused as our inboxes are inundated with festive promotions and campaigns. So, before the Christmas rush happens, we wanted to take a look back over 2021 at some of the best email marketing campaigns that have caught our eye. Some are clever, some are useful, and some just look really good. Read on to gain some inspiration for your email campaigns in 2021 and beyond. 1. Mango – Post-purchase sequence Mango emails are generally faultless. And their post-purchase sequence is no exception. Mango start out with the usual welcome email, beautifully designed as all of their communications are. However, they take the post-purchase step further than many, offering opportunities to build up Mango points by handing over more data, such as birthdays. And providing a clever personalised cross-sell campaign that promotes items that can be combined with the latest purchase. 2. LOOKFANTASTIC – VIP new year sale At the start of every year, our inbox is hit with an influx of January sales and promotions. LOOKFANTASTIC earned their place in this guide due to standing out from the January crowd. Firstly, they make their email feel exclusive by positioning their promotion as a “Secret” VIP new year sale. Secondly, each discount code is personalised and unique to the individual. And the recipient will only find out their discount once they get to the checkout. This encourages consumers to start the buying process. And also adds some fun gamification. And thirdly, LOOKFANTASTIC cleverly uses animation to show the discount code popping out of an envelope. Simple, but eye catching. 3. easyJet – Covid travel hub The travel industry has certainly had a rough time of it over the past two years. Meaning some travel brands, such as easyJet, have switched up their marketing strategy to offer something a little different. Notably, easyJet directly addressed their customers’ concerns over constantly changing travel restrictions, by promoting their very own Covid-19 Travel Hub. This helps customers to keep up to date with the latest travel information, as well as to get in touch if you have any more questions. 4. Snug – Browse abandonment Snug are one of those businesses whose brand guidelines are spot on. From imagery to copy, everything in their email exudes the Snug personality. We’re fans of their browse abandonment email in particular. Not only is it timely and eye-catching, but also offers really useful information on the rest of the collection that has been browsed. 5. Cox & Cox – Pre-Christmas update This particular Cox & Cox email may not be that much to look at. But it’s the sentiment that caught our attention. Christmas is coming earlier every year, whether we like it or not. But this year, Cox & Cox’s CEO gets in touch to tell us exactly why Christmas will be an early one in 2021. Notably, due to UK-wide supply issues, Cox & Cox are starting their Christmas adverts early so that people can get their orders in with plenty of time. Avoiding disappointment for everyone. 6. 365 games – Vinyl promotion When you think of a brand called 365 games, you don’t necessarily think of vinyl. 356 games likely know this, so they pull out all the stops with their vinyl email campaigns. They begin with a standard 2 for 1 promotion. But then they get really smart with the follow up by directly addressing what seems like a common concern that was putting shoppers off purchasing. But our favourite email in this series is their Spotify promotion. To encourage recipients to purchase vinyl, they have created inspirational Spotify playlists, based on their recipients’ interests. Such as ‘Video game soundtrack’. 7. Airbnb – Travel on your own terms easyJet weren’t the only brand looking to put customers’ minds at ease. Airbnb used personalisation to promote destinations that are within easy travel distance to their recipients. Knowing that many are opting for staycations this year. Furthermore, they specifically promote their stays which offer flexible cancellation policies. So that customers don’t have to worry about losing their deposit due to lockdown or quarantine restrictions. 8. Deliveroo – Veganuary Veganuary was bigger than ever this year, with many restaurants, shops, and takeaways taking part. We particularly loved Deliveroo’s promotion. Which focused on making their customers’ lives easier by collating all the best vegan menus and specials available in their local area. This combined with beautiful imagery and snappy copy makes for the perfect Veganuary communication. 9. Bloom & Wild – Plain text VIP code A plain text email? It’s 2021, what’s so exciting about that? We are so used to receiving marketing promotions and campaigns with bold and striking imagery, copy, and CTAs, that this plain text email actually stood out to us. Bloom & Wild are promoting VIP, early access to their bank holiday campaign. They want this promotion to feel personal. And what better way to achieve this than emulating a one-to-one email message? At first glance, this email reads as if it was sent specifically to us from Lucy, the Customer Experience Manager. Whilst we know that automation was likely at play here, it certainly grabbed our attention. 10. Nasty Gal – Halloween celebrations Nasty Gal sent us a simple Halloween email, but that’s why we love it. Over Halloween brands seem to lose track of their own style and personality. And to be honest, we get a little bored of witches and pumpkins after a while… We love Nasty Gals approach to Halloween as “glamour and misdemeanour”. The whole email is striking, incorporating a bold red colour palette, beautiful photography, and clear copy. All in keeping with their branding, whilst giving a nod to Halloween. 11. Eve – Sleep advice We love Eve’s approach to nurturing. Instead of product promotions and sell, sell, sell, Eve take an educational approach. Sleep is something many of us struggle with. Especially as the past 18 months have been trying, to say the least. So, Eve help their recipients out by promoting their favourite sleeping tips that they are posting throughout October. Complete with an exclusive offer or two. 12. B&Q – Gardens Outdoor space has been a blessing for many of us over the past 18 months. Something that brands such as B&Q are all too aware of. To offer a little inspiration for aspiring gardeners and customers who are desperate for some fresh air, B&Q have put together this handy email with links to all their relevant garden items. We particularly like that their focus is on the ‘fun’ elements of being in a garden, including paddling pools and spas. 13. Lick – Nurturing series We always look forward to emails from Lick. As a brand that is focused on colour and design, they embed this in every one of their beautiful emails. Their nurturing series is no exception. But as well as looking great, Lick includes some genuinely useful information. Such as brand updates, customer reviews, and home inspiration and advice. 14. Alexander Hotels – Upsell campaign When booking an exciting hotel getaway, it can be easy to get swept up and spend a little more. Alexander House makes the most of this upsell opportunity, by promoting the chance to upgrade suites in the run-up to a booking. They begin with a more standard promotion for upgrading, tempting their recipients with the other rooms available. If this is not of interest, they follow up with “Bid for an Upgrade”. Offering recipients the chance to spend a little extra, and get a great upgrade. This is a perfect strategy for quieter booking periods. 15 Shoe Zone – Shoeversary Everyone loves an anniversary email. But we particularly loved this playful campaign from our customer Shoe Zone. Instead of waiting for a birthday to roll around, Shoe Zone uses the anniversary of the first purchase as something both you, and the brand, can appreciate. And to make the occasion even more special, they offer 10% off to help you celebrate. 16. Pour Moi – Sexy sustainability Who said sustainability couldn’t be sexy? Certainly not Pour Moi. Sustainability is a hot top for many brands and consumers alike. We love how Pour Moi tackles this challenge whilst remaining true to their personality and brand offering. 17. Royal Mint – Father’s Day Here is an email that we would like to see more brands sending. For many, Father’s Day and Mother’s Day can be an incredibly difficult time. This certainly isn’t helped by being inundated with email campaigns around this period. The Royal Mint show a little empathy by checking in with their subscribers to see if they’d rather not hear about Father’s Day. This takes little effort but is incredibly conscientious. And goes a long way to building brand rapport. 18. ASOS – Browse abandonment ASOS is another brand that simply does consistently great emails. Browse abandonment is an automation that we don’t see used enough. It’s perfect for re-engaging those casual shoppers, and encouraging them further down the buying cycle. ASOS offer a fun, tongue in cheek, browse abandonment email. Complete with all of the styles that were being browsed. We also love their subject line: “We see you scrolliiiin’” – nice touch! 19. Farrow & Ball – Painting tutorial As well as staycations and making the most of outdoor space, home improvement was also big on the agenda for many during lockdowns. Simple home fixes became popular weekend activities. And Farrow & Ball make the most by offering (sometimes, much-needed) advice on how to paint kitchen cabinets. This is a great way to spark inspiration for home improvements, as well as subtly promote their own products. 20. Uber – Vaccinating the UK During the pandemic, many brands made efforts to be sensitive and empathetic to the challenges their customers were going through. Uber, however, took this one step further by covering the costs of travel for customers going to vaccination centres. We love this email because despite doing a great thing for their customers, Uber aren’t patting themselves on the back. Instead, they are thanking their recipients for their ongoing support. And promoting the benefits of working together through difficult times. 21. AO – Post-purchase review Asking for reviews and testimonials post-purchase isn’t only beneficial for the business. It also shows the customer that their opinion is cared about. And gives them an opportunity to offer feedback. A lot of feedback emails we see are fairly basic and uninspiring. However, AO really caught our eye with their bold banner image and engaging copy. All perfectly on brand. 22. Cult Beauty – Happy Birthday Whilst we love a Birthday message, many of these emails can feel fairly generic. Which doesn’t exactly give us that warm, fuzzy feeling on our special day. However, Cult Beauty really hit the spot with their Birthday email. To begin with, the email is beautifully designed. With a striking GIF banner image and playful colours. Secondly, Cult Beauty offers us a little birthday gift with a personalised 15% off code. They even include instructions for how to use the discount, which is a nice touch. And thirdly, Cult Beauty goes on to personalise the email with suggested items based on the customer’s past browsing and purchasing history. 23. Surfdome – Current affairs We have a lot of respect for brands who promote their own values. It shows confidence, and also supports their customers who hold similar beliefs. Surfdome achieves this by sending out an email that is solely focused on promoting updates around the issues that they really care about. Including links to posts they have put together surrounding current affairs. 24. Airbnb – Discover England At a time when many people were desperate to get away, but were facing travel restrictions, Airbnb stepped up with their personalised emails promoting local stays. The pandemic has encouraged many to explore their local area. And this email was incredibly helpful in doing so by promoting top rated homes within England. 25. Sheertex – Sheertex Lab Sheertex are a really fun brand, and this email showcases that. Their USP is the resilience of their hosiery. But instead of simply reiterating this over and over again, Sheertex put their tights to the test in a series of ‘lab’ experiments. This email mirrors their fun personality perfectly. With bright colours and playful copy. You can’t help but be engaged. Feeling inspired..? Wow. Turns out there have been a lot of great emails already in 2021. If these communications have gotten your creative juices flowing. Then why not get in touch with us to find out exactly how you can execute email like these brands have? Our team of creative experts are always on hand for a chat.