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Inbox Inspiration: 21 Email Marketing Examples To Follow In 2022


When was the last time you checked your email? 

If you answered “today,” you’re not alone. In fact, more than 80% of Americans report checking their inbox daily, with a thundering 63% majority checking it multiple times a day.

Despite its age, email hasn’t stopped growing. The number of email users worldwide has increased every year since its inception and is estimated to top 4.2 billion by the end of 2022. 

That’s what makes a good email marketing campaign so important. Social media and paid ads are a great way to find new customers, but neither offer the level of control over your customer journey that comes with audience segmentation and a good email marketing campaign.

If you’re looking to create a successful email marketing campaign, you need to see what a good marketing email looks like. That’s why we’ve put together a list of some of our favorite recent email marketing examples from independent brands.

21 extraordinary email marketing examples to inspire you

1. Poppy Barley

The brand: Poppy Barley is a retailer with stores in Calgary and Edmonton, specializing in leather footwear and accessories, like backpacks, wallets, and purses. Poppy Barley is branded similarly to a lot of high-end retail outlets that sell similar products, but with one crucial difference⁠—its commitment to ethical business practices. 

Poppy Barley’s goal is to rethink the ethics of the fashion industry, from production to distribution. It only uses sustainable materials in its products and packaging. It only works with factories that meet certain standards for ethical production (which includes human rights, gender equality standards, and the right of workers to unionize). 

Subject: Hello, new friend!


Type of email: Welcome email

Why it works: In “Hello, new friend!” Poppy Barley wastes no time in setting itself apart from other luxury goods retailers. The header image cheekily crosses out “New York” and replaces it with “Edmonton” when labeling where products are designed. It replaces “Italy” with “Mexico” when listing where the products are manufactured. In doing this, the email makes a direct comparison to its competitors—high-fashion companies usually based in big fashion cities like New York and Milan.

This immediately sets the brand apart. Good branding is all about telling consumers what makes you different, and Poppy Barley wastes no time getting to it. The email lists what makes the company different and uses calls to action (CTAs) to direct customers to where they can find more info about what makes them different. 

Takeaway: Welcome emails are the perfect opportunity to tell audiences what makes your brand unique from your competitors.

2. Doomlings

The brand: Doomlings is a post-apocalyptic card game where players have to survive the end of the world. Each round, a new catastrophe brings about the end of the world, and players draw cards that assign them certain “traits” that can be used to defend against the catastrophe. 

Doomlings is both a game and a hobby. In addition to selling the standard edition of the game, the Doomlings ecommerce store also sells expansion packs and sleeves of cards that fans can add to their collection or trade with other players. 

Subject: Welcome to the end of the world!


Type of email: Welcome email

Why it works: Even before the recipient opens the welcome email, Doomlings’ apocalyptic tongue-in-cheek humor is apparent right away, with a foreboding, yet playful subject line that’s nearly impossible to ignore. 

Once inside, recipients are offered a discount for first-time purchases to encourage sales, given more background on the game’s founders, and shown convenient links to their product collections.

Takeaway: Know your target audience. Don’t be afraid to be bold in appealing to an audience that is receptive to boldness. 

3. Nonna Live

The brand: Every week, Nonna Nerina welcomes online audiences into her kitchen, located in a small village in Italy, for Nona Live, a cooking class where viewers are taught authentic Italian cooking. Nonna Live gives viewers the unique opportunity to be taught by an expert who’s been cooking traditional Italian dishes for decades. 

In addition to group classes, Nonna Live offers private lessons and sells her own brand of extra virgin olive oil, crafted from hand-harvested olives from her family-owned olive trees. 

Subject: HURRY! Claim your 15% off discount! ⏳


Type of email: Welcome email

Why it works: Nonna Live’s welcome email is perfect in its simplicity. By signing up to the mailing list, customers have already indicated they want to participate in Nonna classes—all they need is a little push. 

The subject line gets right to the point—claim your 15% off discount—adding the word HURRY to give the reader a sense of urgency. The email offers CTA links to book classes, invites you to meet the team behind Nonna’s videos, and gives some background information about Nonna herself and her olive oil. 

To top it all off, Nonna Live’s email is filled with social proof in the form of customer testimonials, leveraging the support of satisfied customers to help entice new ones. 

Takeaway: Discounts are a great way to increase your open rate. More importantly, this great email very succinctly gives the reader an opening that covers all of the brand’s bases while being brief enough that it invites the reader to learn more.

4. Schoolhouse

The brand: Schoolhouse is a home décor company that sells lighting fixtures (like chandeliers and mounted lamps), alongside a wide range of products and accessories, including art pieces, paintings, clocks, and bedding sets. As the name Schoolhouse implies, products draw on the fundamentals of design to create pieces that are adaptable and timeless. 

Subject: Welcome to Schoolhouse: Here’s 10% Off Your First Order


Type of email: Welcome email

Why it works: Schoolhouse’s CTA promises users a 10% discount when they sign up to receive its newsletter. In this first email, the no-nonsense subject line makes good on that promise. 

Once opened, rather than focus on a particular product, Schoolhouse makes a point of focusing on a home from the outside. It’s an interesting strategy, because what the company is selling isn’t a particular product, but a lifestyle

Takeaway: Selling a lifestyle rather than a particular product is a great tool for building brand loyalty and encouraging repeat purchases, because it frames your brand as the “go-to” for aspiring to that lifestyle. 

5. Sundays

The brand: Sunday is the day of rest⁠—a time to relax, unwind, and prepare for the coming week. This is the ethos that Toronto-based furniture brand Sundays exudes. Its branding is quiet and calming, just like the day for which it's named. 

Furniture is designed with the long term in mind. Pieces are stylistically simple and timeless, and structurally built to last. Design-wise, they’re minimalist, so they adapt to changing aesthetics. Products often come in black, white, and gray⁠—making its products stylistically versatile.

Subject: Welcome to the Dark Side


Type of email: Welcome email

Why it works: “Welcome to the dark side” is an unusual subject line for a brand that’s all about comfort, but that’s exactly why it draws the reader’s attention so effectively. Once opened, the foreboding nature of the subject line is washed away by the calming presentation of Sundays’ newest line of black oak furniture. 

The content of the email newsletter is brief, showing a couple of select pieces from the collection and pairing them with other products. Since this is a promotional email sent to previous buyers, the email cleverly offers products that complement previous purchases, rather than products that would replace them. 

Takeaway: Subject lines that offer a bit of ambiguity can grab a user’s attention, even if they seem ominous. Ambiguity creates questions in the user’s mind that can only be answered by opening the email. 

6. Brightland

The Brand: Brightland is a California-based food company that sells extra virgin olive oils and vinegars, made with no added fillers or artificial preservatives. Products are created with naturally fermented fruits grown in nutrient-rich soil.

On its packaging, Brightland uses soft hues of orange and yellow alongside a clean white bottle to conjure the crisp California sun, while at the same time showing the fresh oranges used as an ingredient in many of its products. The dual nature of this imagery works to successfully unite two ideas into one all-encompassing brand. 

Subject: Enzyme obsessed


Type of email: Welcome email

Why it works: “Enzyme obsessed” is a marketing email promoting the brand’s raw balsamic and champagne vinegars. Rather than focus on the taste, the subject line focuses on the chemistry of the product, something that distinguishes the brand from other food companies. 

It’s almost a surprise to see the email is advertising a food product, but once opened, the copy becomes more mouth-watering, describing the freshness of the oranges, blackberries, and grapes used in the brand’s signature fermentation process. 

Brightland even features a section titled “Why We’re Different,” highlighting the fresh ingredients of the vinegars in an appetizing way. Oil and vinegar are both high-commodity products, meaning there’s a ton of indistinguishable brands. By explicitly highlighting what makes its product different, Brightland gives its customers a reason to choose its product over that of its competitors. 

Takeaway: Audiences can infer a lot about your brand from the colors, email templates, and word choice you use. Even emails meant to advertise a specific product offer a great opportunity to build on your branding. 

7. Melt Cosmetics

The brand: Melt Cosmetics is a big, bold makeup company that specializes in highly pigmented, ultra-matte shades of lipstick and other cosmetics. To Melt, makeup is more than just skin care—it’s a full-fledged artform. 

With its focus on cutting-edge products, Melt aims to push the boundaries of what cosmetics can be. Images are close up and highly detailed, emphasizing not just the colors of the products, but the texture and design.

Subject: Slick Waterline Pencils ? 1.28.22 at 12pm PST ?


Type of email: New product collection

Why it works: For this email, timing is everything. It was sent the evening of January 27, likely being read by most recipients only a few hours before the time and date highlighted in the subject line with a calendar and siren emoji.

The subject line names a new product, but still seems somewhat cryptic. Are these products being released at that time? Going on sale? Becoming unavailable? To the reader, only one thing is clear: if you don’t open this email now, you’ll miss out⁠—which is the only thing the subject line needs to say.

Takeaway: Urgency can be a big motivator for sales, especially when combined with the fear of- missing out. Good subject lines don’t need to say much, they just need to present a question that can only be answered by opening the email. 

8. Vapor95

The brand: Vapor95 is a Los Angeles–based apparel company with an eye-catching visual style based around the vaporwave aesthetic, a genre of music and visual art that emerged in the early 2010s. Vapor95’s visual branding fuses elements of futurism from the ’80s, ’90s, and early 2000s to create a kaleidoscopic sense of nostalgia for a time that never really existed. 

Subject: Do Not Share This Email! ? Special Discount Just For You!


Type of email: Promotional (subscriber-only discount)

Why it works: The subject line lures email subscribers with the promise of a discount, but creates a sense of secrecy and exclusivity with a shushing face emoji and the request not to share it. When opened, the email invites users to vote for their favorite piece of retro tech and be entered for a chance to win their selected piece. 

In a creative twist, the way subscribers vote for their favorite is by using the discount code that corresponds to their selection. It’s clever, because it builds on their relationship with the brand, encourages them to engage with the brand, and drives sales⁠—all without ever feeling like an advertisement.

Though Vapor95 sells apparel, you won’t see any of their products in this email. That’s because the purpose of these types of email isn’t to sell a particular product, but to build a relationship between the brand and their audience.

Takeaway: Don’t be afraid to have fun with your audience. Something as simple as a discount can be made much more alluring alongside a creative twist. 

9. Who Gives a Crap

The brand: Who Gives a Crap is a snarkily-named company that sells toilet paper, paper towels, tissues, and napkins, all made from recycled materials and environmentally sustainable bamboo. 

Launched following a highly successful IndieGoGo campaign where co-founder Simon Griffiths sat on a toilet and refused to move until their fundraising goal was reached, Who Gives a Crap donates 50% of its profits to building safe sanitation resources to countries in need. 

Who Gives a Crap is branded around charity and toilet humor. Its name is the perfect combination of these two things⁠—it’s obviously humorous, but also asks a question for which the business and its customers are the answer. Who gives a crap? We do. 

Subject: “Why let a good thing go to waste?”


Type of email: Promotional (subscriber-only discount)

Why it works: In this email, the brand has partnered with Imperfect Foods, a grocery delivery service that’s committed to reducing food waste by selling cosmetically imperfect fruits and vegetables that would otherwise be discarded.

By partnering with a like-minded brand and offering an enticing $100 discount on groceries, Who Gives a Crap shows subscribers that its goals extend beyond just making money. They want to change the way business is conducted, and they’re inviting their customers along with them to do it. 

Who Gives a Crap’s products are pictures, but the purpose is not to market a specific product or collection, but to invite the user to learn more about the brand and the charitable work it does. When customers know your brand is doing good things, they feel good about buying from you. 

Takeaway: If your business is doing good things, share it! When customers know a brand is working to make the world a better place, they feel better about purchasing from it. 

10. Fable

The brand: Fable is a retailer with stores in Vancouver, Toronto, and New York City that specializes in dining essentials. Crafted from recycled clay and packaged using eco-friendly materials, its products are designed to transcend passing trends, aiming for a long-term style that matches their long-term durability. 

Subject: 2021, It’s Been Fun ?


Type of email: Newsletter

Why it works: This email, sent to newsletter subscribers as 2021 drew to a close, bids adieu to the year while highlighting everything Fable’s been able to accomplish thanks to the support of its customers. Alongside the growth of its company, it’s also been able to donate meals and holiday hampers to people in need. 

Fable’s copywriting makes it clear that none of this would be possible without its customers. There are no product images, collection highlights, or calls to action. Instead, Fable takes this opportunity to turn the focus solely on what it (with the help of the reader) has been able to accomplish.

Takeaway: Your customers are an important part of the growth of your brand. Showing them appreciation will go a long way in building a meaningful relationship. 

11. Immi

The brand: Immi is a food company specializing in health-conscious, instant ramen. Founders Kevin Lee and Kevin Chanthasiriphan (the Kevins) grew up cooking and eating noodle dishes while working along-side their families in Taiwan and Thailand. 

After seeing family members develop health conditions arising from poor nutrition, the Kevins were inspired to create a more nutritious instant ramen dish that was just as flavorful as the noodles they ate growing up. 

Subject: You’re in the running ?


Type of email: Welcome email

Why it works: Instant ramen is beloved for its convenience and bold flavor, but tends to contain a lot of sodium and little nutritional value. By focusing on the added nutrients of its product, Immi immediately sets itself apart in a crowded market in its welcome to new subscribers. 

Subscribers received this email after entering a sweepstake to win a year of free Immi, but the contest isn’t the focus of the email. Instead, Immi uses the email to outline the story of the product, connecting that story to the product’s main selling point: its nutrition. 

Immi’s brand story works well from a content marketing angle, because it highlights why its founders decided to develop the product in the first place. Seeing what makes Immi different from other brands is fundamental to understanding how the product came to be. 

Takeaway: Don’t be afraid to tell your story. Oftentimes, the story of how a brand came to be can highlight what makes the brand different from the competition.

12. Marine Layer

The brand: Marine Layer is an apparel company with stores in cities all across the US. In its 10 years of operation, the company has developed more than 100 custom fabrics, all with a commitment to using recycled materials.

Marine Layer is all about comfort, specializing in casual-wear. Its branding brings to mind a laid-back surf shop on a sunny California beach. Its tagline, “Somewhere else awaits,” seems to beckon customers to get away from it all and just unwind. 

Subject: Get what you actually wanted.


Type of email: Promotional

Why it works: This email was sent to subscribers just after the holiday season. Its subject line, “Get what you actually wanted,” seems to wink at the customer who’s likely just been through an exhausting couple of weeks, giving them permission to turn their attention to themselves. 

Inside the email is a short message reminding subscribers they don’t have to fake enthusiasm anymore, with a few product shots and a clear CTA button that links to its store. Marine Layer doesn’t need to say much more—doing so would betray the effortlessness of the brand. 

Takeaway: Keep an eye out for moments that unlock creative opportunities. Automated emails are great for giving you time back, but not every sales opportunity can be automated. 

13. Mejuri

The brand: Mejuri is a Canadian retailer of fine jewelry, alongside leather goods and jewelry care kits. Jewelry is commonly given as a gift and often marketed as a product being purchased for someone, but Mejuri takes a different approach that helps set it apart in a crowded industry.

Subject: Gift Your Damn Self


Type of email: Promotional

Why it works: Tapping into holiday burnout, its subject line, “Gift Your Damn Self,” celebrates the idea of rewarding yourself for a job well done. Mejuri’s marketing email was sent just after the holiday season, perfectly timed to align with the overall message of its brand. 

Self-love is at the core of Mejuri’s branding. Founder and CEO Noura Sakkijha gives an explanation of the company’s ethos on its About Us page:

I founded Mejuri because I saw a jewelry industry that was built for men gifting women and not women celebrating themselves. To me, the truest expression of Mejuri is mutual uplift: all of us supporting each other, and you, our community, feeling empowered to invest in yourself and, in turn, the community around you.

The email is focused on treating one’s self, which is perfectly aligned with the messaging of the brand. The timing of the email, following a long holiday season, makes that message even more resonant. 

Takeaways: Timing is everything. Try sending a message that resonates with your audience the moment they see your email.

14. Sixty Hotels

The brand: Sixty is a chain of hotels with locations in Beverly Hills and New York. Sixty’s branding is all about elegance and taking in the nightlife of the neighborhoods where their hotels are based. 

Subject: We're A Pretty Great Back-Up Plan


Type of email: Promotional (time-sensitive deals)

Why it works: As omicron was spreading throughout the US, a lot of travelers were forced to cancel their travel plans, leaving them stranded right around the holidays. The subject “We're A Pretty Great Back-Up Plan” is almost self-deprecating in a way that seems out of character for a chain of hotels branded on elegance, but it speaks to readers on a very personal level.

The email isn’t trying to get customers to change their plans, but to make the most of the situations they’ve found themselves in. It speaks to a very specific user, who at this particular time period may feel defeated and like they have no options. 

Takeaway: Seize the moment! Showing up for your customers in a time of need will showcase your empathy and make your brand unforgettable.

15. Allbirds

The brand: The New Zealand–based company is the first footwear brand to craft its products using fabric made from sheep’s wool. Its products, built with sustainable materials and developed to provide optimal comfort, are sold in stores all over the world.

Subject: You Never Forget Your First


Type of email: Win-back email

Why it works: This email was sent to users that signed up to Allbirds mailing list but haven’t yet made a purchase. It works because it understands who its audience is and speaks directly to their needs. 

The cheeky subject line is an attention grabber (your first what?), but once opened it makes a pretty good case for why subscribers need to try out its product. Allbirds shoes are made from a super-soft wool fabric that no other company has developed, and are unlike any shoes you’ve worn previously. 

Takeaway: When emailing subscribers who have yet to become buyers, consider what might be causing their hesitation. Sometimes a gentle reminder of what makes your product different is just the nudge they need to make a purchase. 

16. Zenni

The brand: Zenni is an optical retailer based in San Francisco that sells prescription eyeglasses aimed at forward-thinking, tech-savvy consumers. Zenni’s uses digital “try-on” tools to make it easy for users to see how the product looks when worn, and even offers the ability to customize frame measurements to create a pair of glasses that’s more fitted to their facial shape. 

Subject: ?  Get These Glasses, They Go with Everything!


Type of email: Promotional

Why it works: The subject line is almost too clever for its own good, winking at the fact that Zenni’s offers a wide-range of product customization options. It doesn’t refer to a specific product, but to all of its products, which offer so many customization options that they truly go with anything

The actual copy in the email is brief. Glasses are a product where individual purchases might be more spread out, so the goal of the email isn’t necessarily to get buyers right away, but to keep Zenni’s at the top of their minds for when they do need to buy a new pair. 

Takeaway: Recent buyers might not be in the market for another purchase, but keeping your brand at the top of their mind will make sure you’re first in line when they are. 

17. Better Packaging

The brand: Headquartered in New Zealand, Better Packaging sells sustainable packing supplies: satchels, envelopes, labels, stickers, tape, and garment bags. In other words, mailers

Subject: We’re giving away 6000 mailers


Type of email: Promotional

Why it works: The promise of “mailers” doesn’t seem tempting coming from a marketing email. The term typically conjures up images of unwanted flyers and brochures left stuffed in your mailbox. But that’s what makes the subject line so clever. 

Better Packaging isn’t talking about junk mail, but its actual product. Better Packaging’s main demographic is other business owners. This email, sent in October 2021, just before the holiday season, starts by offering sympathy to these merchants, because their busy season is also Better Packaging's busy season. 

The email does include information about a giveaway, which is a great way to encourage brand engagement, but first and foremost, it offers camaraderie. Better Packaging knows how stressful the coming months will be for their customers, and they want them to know they’re here to support them. 

Takeaway: Taking the time to acknowledge your customers’ main pain points will make them feel heard.

18. Good Guys Don’t Wear Leather

The brand: Founded in Paris in 2011, Good Guys Don’t Wear Leather is a footwear brand that sells a wide variety of vegan-leather footwear. The aim of the Good Guys brand is to create cruelty-free footwear that doesn’t use any animal products, is sustainable, and ensures fair working conditions in its supply line. 

Subject: Thanks for visiting our Shop!


Type of email: Abandoned Cart

Why it works: This email is an abandoned cart email, meaning the intention is to recover lost sales. Rather than focus on a product or the cart in the subject line, Good Guys instead thanks its customers for visiting its store. 

The content of the email is personalized. It starts with the abandoned product and the copy delicately reminds the recipient of the purchase they almost made. It also provides a convenient link to return to the shop and complete the order. 

Good Guys avoids being too pushy or demanding about sending the customer back to its store. The effect is that the email feels less like a salesperson that won’t stop bothering you and more like a helpful friend checking in. 

Takeaway: Recovering abandoned carts takes tact. To customers who genuinely have an intention of buying your product, it should feel like a polite reminder. 

19. Pacifica Beauty

The brand: Pacifica Beauty is a cosmetics company that specializes in vegan and cruelty-free products. It focuses on sustainability and even has a program where it recycles used plastic to create razors and toothbrushes sold on its site.

Subject: The wait is over!


Type of email: Back-in-stock

Why it works: This email is a stock alert, meaning recipients have signed up to receive a notification when a particular product is back in stock. Customers who sign up for stock alerts had the intention of buying your product, but since they’ve been waiting, a good back-in-stock email needs to follow-up and recover that enthusiasm. 

Pacifica’s subject line, “The wait is over!,” inspires an immediate sense of excitement, aiming to peak the reader’s curiosity and reignite their interest in the product. The personalized email contains an image of the abandoned product, and the email copy is minimal, acting as a gentle reminder with a no-pressure “Check it out” call-to-action button.

Takeaway: Excitement is infectious. Showing enthusiasm about your products will rub-off on your customers. 

20. Brightland

The brand: This is California-based oil and vinegar brand Brightland’s second entry on our list of the best email marketing examples. 

Subject: Back in stock: LUSH ?


Type of email: Back-in-stock

Why it works: Brightland’s second entry on this list is meant to notify customers that its fast-selling Lush strawberry vinegar is once again available for purchase. There are times when a back-in-stock email works best as a simple, gentle reminder. This is not one of those times. 

Brightland’s Lush strawberry vinegar is one of its most popular products. It can take time to produce and sells out fast, when more stock becomes available. It’s worth getting excited about. 

The subject line is a little coy, opting to use an emoji in place of the word “strawberry” and leading with a reticent “Back in stock” that seems paradoxical next to the loud capital letters forming the word “LUSH.” For fans who’ve been waiting, it reads like a secret code

Brightland knows that scarcity is a vital marketing tool. The phrase “out-of-stock” can sometimes be seen as a negative, but by framing the lack of stock as a result of the product’s popularity, Brightland makes the most out of the situation. 

Takeaway: Don’t be afraid to give your products the attention they deserve. Using urgency and scarcity can help activate your customers’ fear of missing out and encourage them to make a purchase. 

21. Skull Bliss

Skull Bliss is a home décor company that sells wall sculptures made from real cattle skulls. The stunning pieces are hand-carved by highly skilled Balinese artists, using traditional Balinese crafting techniques that can take years to master. 

The pieces are one-of-a-kind. A single piece can take days to make, and the intricate decoration is nothing like home décor available in traditional shops. 

Subject: We did a little negotiating for you…


Type of email: Abandoned cart

Why it works: In this abandoned cart email, Skull Bliss opens with a willingness to negotiate down its price. It’s no surprise that most customers abandon carts because of the price, and since this product can get a bit pricey. They know exactly what the reader is looking for. 

Skull Bliss’s offering of a 50% discount is intriguing, because it’s a huge discount. Skull Bliss’s products aren’t easy to come by, and potential customers in receipt of the email feel like they’re getting a deal that’s almost too good to be true. 

Takeaway: Adding a discount to an abandoned cart email is a great strategy for recovering lost sales.

Get inspired and create a stunning email marketing campaign

Email is one of the oldest forms of digital marketing, but despite its age, it remains one of the most crucial. Few people use every social media platform regularly, but nearly everyone has an email address, and that's what makes a good email marketing strategy so important. 

No social media platform allows you to fully “own” the customer journey from start to finish the way email does. Social media and online ads are a great way to find new customers, but email marketing is crucial to holding onto them.

This originally appeared on Shopify and is made available here to cast a wider net of discovery.
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