The Best of the Email Swipe File


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A swipe file is a record of your top-performing campaigns that you return to for learnings and ideas. It was this concept that inspired us to create the Email Swipe File on Pinterest, where we share the emails and landing pages
that excite and impress us. In this report, we highlight the 20 examples from the pinboard that we most hope you’ll steal, test, and make your own.

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The Best of the Email Swipe File

  1. 1. The Best of theEmailSwipeFile2013
  2. 2. A swipe file is a record of your top-performing campaigns that you returnto for learnings and ideas. It was this concept that inspired us to create theEmail Swipe File on Pinterest, where we share the emails and landing pagesthat excite and impress us. In this report, we highlight the 20 examples fromthe pinboard that we most hope you’ll steal, test, and make your own.Explore bonus Swipe File content online →The Best of theEmailSwipeFileKristina HuffmanDesign Practice LeadExactTarget@ETDesignThe wide screens of desktops are being rapidly replaced by more modesttablet screens and challengingly small smartphone screens, and thepixel-precision of mice is being replaced by fingers on touchscreens.This transition is having a dramatic effect on email design and usheringin a variety of new tactics.In the era of email engagement, greater relevancy has become imperative.Personalization is one of the key ways that marketers can make theirmessages more personally relevant to their subscribers.Triggered emails are among the most successful emails you’ll ever send.Their outsized ROI has inspired some marketers to explore ways to makethem ever better—with longer campaigns, smarter content, and better triggers.Content marketing is having a major influence on product marketers, who arerealizing that advice, tips, and customer inclusion create more engaging emailswith fewer discounts.While marketers are constantly gaining new tools to make their emails moreeffective, they shouldn’t forget the fundamental design tactics that have continuedto be effective for years.On their own, the examples on the following pages are inspiringand thought-provoking. However, together they represent five trendsthat define where great email marketing design is headed:Mobile-FriendlyPersonalizationTriggered SophisticationEditorial VoiceInspired Fundamentals
  3. 3. • 20132013 • The Best of the Email Swipe File4 5KickstarterType:Promotional emailSend Date:January 8, 2013Subject Line:The Best of Kickstarter 2012View the Kickstarter email on Pinterest →View similar pins:The email is super simple and super straightforward.With a headline, three sentences, and a three-character call-to-action, the email provokes interestand propels the subscriber to the rich, slideshowlanding page.- Chris Studabaker, Regional ManagerMeetup →Tumblr →Mobile-Friendly
  4. 4. • 20132013 • The Best of the Email Swipe File6 7Mobile-FriendlyTOMS ShoesType:Promotional emailSend Date:April 12, 2013Subject Line:New Ballet Flats free shipping on all orders!View the TOMS email on Pinterest →View similar pins: Starwood →The really interesting thing about TOMS’ use ofresponsive design in this email is that the hero imageis animated only in the narrow screen version, withthe shoes changing as the feet push back and forth.They are serving up a mobile-sized gif instead ofcramming a desktop-sized gif onto a mobile screen,keeping load time as quick as possible.- Kristina Huffman, Design Practice LeadREI → UGG →
  5. 5. • 20132013 • The Best of the Email Swipe File8 9MoosejawType:Promotional emailSend Date:January 7, 2013Subject Line:It worked for Obama...View the Moosejaw email on Pinterest →View similar pins:A catchy, intriguing, topical subject line introducesa mobile-friendly, plain-text email that’s well-suitedto convey the concise message. Both this email andthe text-heavy emails of the campaign season arereminders that plain text can still be very effective,particularly in the age of mobile.- Laura Earley, Associate DesignerIcelandic Tourism Board →Mobile-Friendly
  6. 6. • 20132013 • The Best of the Email Swipe File10 11Designed in nice screen-sized chunks with largeimages and big buttons, this “mobile aware”email is perfect for tablets, but still functional onsmartphones. Unlike many brands, this UK retaileralso made their navigation bars at the top andbottom of their email mobile-friendly.- Abul Kashim Siddique, Senior Design ConsultantReissType:Promotional emailSend Date:April 14, 2013Subject Line:Textured Summer Knits + London Lives VideoView the Reiss email on Pinterest →Mobile-Friendly
  7. 7. • 20132013 • The Best of the Email Swipe File12 13PersonalizationJetsetterType:Preference centerView the Jetsetter preference center on Pinterest →View similar pins:Jetsetter’s preference center collects subscriberpreferences for ‘Destinations’, ‘Activities’, and ‘Scenes’,all of which are vital to creating highly targetedtravel offers. Their preference center also addressesthree of the most common reasons that subscribersopt out­—too many emails, irrelevant emails,and change of address.- Andrea SmithDesign Lead, Content Marketing →
  8. 8. • 20132013 • The Best of the Email Swipe File14 15FitbitType:NotificationSend Date:April 23, 2013Subject Line:Your Weekly Progress Report in Fitbit!View the Fitbit email on Pinterest →View similar pins: LinkedIn →Through their wireless trackers, scales, and mobiletools, Fitbit collects a lot of information abouttheir users’ activities, diet, and sleep. To keep yourprogress top of mind, Fitbit sends you a summary ofyour stats from the past week. They also email younotifications when you earn badges for reachingcertain milestones.- Hannah Kleyn, Design ConsultantPersonalization
  9. 9. • 20132013 • The Best of the Email Swipe File16 17Lowe’sType:Progressive profiling emailSend Date:March 13, 2013Subject Line:Version 1: Personalize your savings this springVersion 2: A Quick Question to Customize Your EmailsView the Lowe’s email on Pinterest →Looking to gather data to power some segmentedseasonal messaging, Lowe’s sent this tablet-friendlyprogressive profiling email asking subscribers abouttheir plans for the spring. The home improvementretailergeo-targetedtheemailtoareaswherespring hadarrived and also ran a subject line A/B test to betterunderstand what would compel the most subscribersto provide more information about themselves.- Amanda Monroe, Associate DesignerPersonalization
  10. 10. • 20132013 • The Best of the Email Swipe File18 19PersonalizationIVCiType:Promotional emailSend Date:Q2 2013Subject Line:IVCi conversationView the IVCi email on Pinterest →While most emails work best as HTML emails,we’ve found that drip emails are the most successfulwhen they’re in a rich text format, which makesthem appear as though they’re a one-to-onecommunication between a sales rep and a prospect.This email from IVCi is short, conversational,and includes a personalized signature to enhancethe impression that the email is coming directlyfrom a sales rep.- Mathew Sweezey, Marketing Evangelist
  11. 11. • 20132013 • The Best of the Email Swipe File20 21Triggered SophisticationZulilyType:Welcome email seriesSubject Lines:Welcome 1: Get shopping credit! Invite your pals to join zulily tooWelcome 2: Go ahead ... play favoritesWelcome 3: Anytime. Anywhere. Take zulily with you.Welcome 4: Calling all social butterfliesWelcome 5: Smart shopping is your superpowerView the Zulily series on Pinterest →View similar pins: Crate Barrel →Target →With the vast majority of marketers still sendinga single welcome email, Zulily is well ahead of thecurve with this five-email welcome series that seeksa closer relationship with new subscribers by askingfor referrals, asking about their favorite brands,and promoting their mobile app and social presence.- Andrea SmithDesign Lead, Content Marketing ResearchWelcome 1Welcome 2Welcome 3Welcome 4Welcome 5
  12. 12. • 20132013 • The Best of the Email Swipe File22 23Not only does this email use responsive designto target Foursquare’s highly mobile users,it is triggered by check-in patterns that involveairports and locations outside of my normalstomping grounds.- Kristina Huffman, Design Practice LeadFoursquareType:Welcome home triggered emailSend Date:March 2013Subject Line:Welcome back from your trip! How was it?View the Foursquare email on Pinterest →Triggered Sophistication
  13. 13. • 20132013 • The Best of the Email Swipe File24 25CrutchfieldType:Browse abandonment emailSend Date:November 2012Subject Line:Digital SLR Cameras: Our top picksView the Crutchfield email on Pinterest →This browse abandonment email tries to get at thereason why you didn’t purchase in the same way thata good store associate would. It features the productyou browsed, but then also suggests a new arrival,featured price drop, top-seller, and customer favoritein case you were looking for the newest product,the best deal, or social validation.- Chad White, Principal of Marketing ResearchTriggered Sophistication
  14. 14. • 20132013 • The Best of the Email Swipe File26 27This email does a great job of drawing you in.The subject line makes you wonder what the toptweet was, and the email makes you wonder which ofthe topics shown was the top tweet, all with the goalof enticing you to click through.- Chris Studabaker, Regional ManagerTwitterType:Promotional emailSend Date:December 20, 2012Subject Line:See the most popular Tweet of 2012View the Twitter campaign on Pinterest →View similar pins:Barnes NobleEditorial Voice
  15. 15. • 20132013 • The Best of the Email Swipe File28 29More marketers are taking a “content first” approachto selling. This J. Crew email does an excellent job ofleading with advice on etiquette and style to buildtrust and to give their subscribers the confidenceto move forward with purchases.- Mike Diekhoff, Design ConsultantJ.CrewType:Gender-segmented emailSend Date:July 1, 2012Subject Line:Female Version: My favorite summer whitesMale Version: Shoes are required. Socks are not.View the J.Crew emails on Pinterest →View similar pins:Editorial VoiceNFL Shop →Neiman Marcus →
  16. 16. • 20132013 • The Best of the Email Swipe File30 31PandoraType:Promotional emailSend Date:April 12, 2013Subject Line:Thanks to You: 200 Million StrongView the Pandora email on Pinterest →View similar pins:Infographics were the biggest new trend inB2B marketing last year. This year we’re seeinginfographics make their mark on B2C marketing,as in this Pandora email, which includes interestingfigures on their growth.- Chris Studabaker, Regional ManagerEditorial VoiceBarnes Noble →JetBlue →
  17. 17. • 20132013 • The Best of the Email Swipe File32 33Levi’sType:Promotional emailSend Date:April 9, 2013Subject Line:Denim Die-Hards‫‏‬View the Levi’s campaign on Pinterest →Partnering with fashion website Refinery29 to gettheir interpretation of 501 jeans for the photo gallerypresentation in this email is just the beginning ofthis social-driven campaign. Subscribers are asked,“What’s your interpretation?” and encouragedto upload photos of themselves styling 501s,and ultimately asked to vote on a Pinterest-inspiredlanding page to determine which finalist is the winner.- Tana Babcock, Design ConsultantEditorial Voice
  18. 18. • 20132013 • The Best of the Email Swipe File34 35Havaianas AustraliaType:Promotional emailSend Date:April 18, 2013Subject Line:Disney for BIG Kids!View the Havaianas Australia email on Pinterest →View similar pins:This Australian sandal-maker did a great jobof recognizing a wonderful opportunity to useanimation in a delightful way, making clever use ofthe Cheshire Cat’s penchant for mostly disappearing.- Lindsey O’Donnell, Design ConsultantInspired FundamentalsHome Depot → Bed Bath Beyond →Animation
  19. 19. • 20132013 • The Best of the Email Swipe File36 37Jack SpadeType:Promotional emailSend Date:March 21, 2013Subject Line:Watch Out! $98 Graphic Watches Are InView the Jack Spade email on Pinterest →View similar pins: Jonathan Adler →Sephora →Clean simplicity is the new sweet spot for emaildesign and this email delivers by keeping theheadline and call-to-action above the fold and usinga mix of illustration and product shots to intrigueand get subscribers scrolling.- Anna Meier, Design ConsultantInspired Fundamentals
  20. 20. • 20132013 • The Best of the Email Swipe File38 39CB2Type:Promotional emailSend Date:December 1, 2012Subject Line:get her thisView the CB2 email on Pinterest →View similar pins:Gift guides are a major selling tool during the holidayseason. CB2 takes this concept and turns it intoa fun, interactive decision tree that all starts withrating the gift-recipient on a scale of 1 to 10. It’s hardto resist following every path to its recommended gift.- Ryan Alvis, Design ConsultantInspired FundamentalsCanadian Tourism → Tiffany Co. →
  21. 21. • 20132013 • The Best of the Email Swipe File40 41AnthropologieType:Promotional emailSend Date:March 15, 2013Subject Line:Denim on the rise | Free shippingView the Anthropologie email on Pinterest →View similar pins:This email proves the adage that a picture’s wortha thousand words by making it super easy to seeat a glance the difference between Anthropologie’sdifferent denim styles. For good measure, they alsoinclude some words, offering advice on what to wearwith each style.- Chad White, Principal of Marketing ResearchInspired FundamentalsThe White House →Lands’ End →
  22. 22. • 20132013 • The Best of the Email Swipe File42 43Bendon LingerieType:Promotional emailSend Date:May 8, 2013Subject Line:Something extra for you: buy any 2 items, get the 3rd free.View the Bendon Lingerie email on Pinterest →View similar pins:Rather than seeing image blocking as an obstacle,this Australian lingerie retailer saw it as anopportunity to use a mosaic of color blocked tablegrids to send a simple heart-shaped message.While many marketers use mosaics to emulate theimages-on creative, Bendon Lingerie chose not tobe limited by that.- Kirk Barlow, Senior Deliverability Marketing ConsultantInspired FundamentalsOrbitz →Mothercare →Images offImages on
  23. 23. View the Email Swipe File on Pinterest →View the Facebook Swipe File on Pinterest →exacttarget.comWant more?