Use the Best Email Marketing Campaigns That Work in 2017

One marketing venue that has continued to bring in solid results for decades is the email campaign. Successful email marketing campaigns can continue to drive new and repeat business for many years after the initial customer contact.

According to the National Client Email Report for the DMA UK, email has an average return on investment of $38 for each $1 spent. It remains one of the cheapest marketing methods that brings big returns if you follow email marketing best practices.

Best Email Marketing Campaigns Red Award Emblem

Award Emblem: Top 6 Best Email Marketing Campaigns

For smartphone users, email is the number one most popular activity, with web browsing a close second. For businesses, putting together an email marketing plan using the top email campaign best practices is a must to not only find new customers but to nurture existing ones too.

It can get confusing looking through the many email marketing tips out there because they seem to change all the time. However, there are some tried and true email marketing ideas that stand the test of time and consistently get positive results.

Did you know that 89% of marketers say email marketing strategies are their primary channel for lead generation? So how do you make your email marketing campaign work for you?

In this article, we will review the top 6 email campaign examples and explore the email marketing best practices each of them use to succeed. We’ll also highlight the best email marketing solutions you can use to get your emails out to the world and include links to some great template marketing email examples.

See Also: Top Digital Marketing Agencies | Ranking | Best & Largest Digital Media Companies

AdvisoryHQ’s List of the Top 6 Best Email Marketing Campaigns

List is sorted alphabetically (click any of the email marketing company names below to go directly to the detailed review section for that company):

Top 6 Successful Email Marketing Campaigns | Brief Comparison & Ranking

Firms with Top Email Marketing Strategies

Key Email Marketing Plan Used

Where to Sign Up for Email Campaign

AmazonCustomized Recommendationswww.amazon.com
Astrology AnswersGiving Valuewww.astrologyanswers.com
BuzzFeedPersonality Pluswww.buzzfeed.com/tools/email
Ed SheeranLess Is Morewww.edsheeran.com
Lowes FoodsPersonalized Saleswww.lowesfoods.com
PayPalRelatable Scenarioswww.paypal.com
Table: Top 6 Email Marketing Strategies | Above list is sorted alphabetically

Email Marketing Plan FAQ | What Are Some of the Top Email Marketing Best Practices?

In order to run an effective email marketing campaign, there are certain email campaign best practices that you’ll want to adopt. Each of the top 6 successful email marketing campaigns on our list use more than one of these.

If people don’t open your email or click through to your site from the links inside, then adopting some new email marketing ideas can help greatly. It’s also important to understand typical engagement rates and not give up on any email marketing solutions too soon.

For example, people don’t always click on an email campaign the first time they receive it. But that doesn’t mean they don’t like your message. Haven’t you ever saved and then forgot a sale email, only to click on a link when they send a reminder?

These statistics from Smart Insights will give you some benchmarks for things like open rates and click through rates for marketing email examples from multiple industries. These will help you gauge how well your own email marketing strategies are working.

email marketing strategies

Image Source: Successful Email Marketing Campaigns

Making sure emails are spelled correctly and formatted to fit mobile as well as computer screens are a given for any of the best email marketing campaigns. Read below for great email marketing tips that come from well-known email campaign best practices.


Personalizing an email marketing campaign goes beyond just inserting the person’s name at the top. There are several successful email campaign examples that send personalized emails with content based upon purchase habits or personal interests.

Segmented Lists

Segmenting lists that you send your best email marketing campaigns to is the first step before you start one of the more personally tailored email marketing strategies. For example, if you sell both dog and cat items, segment each group of recipients as a dog or cat owner so they receive the information most pertinent to them.

Provide Value, Don’t Always Be Selling

Selling is usually the main reason for an email marketing plan, but if you’re always making a sales pitch, your reader can be turned off. Ebooks, “how to” articles, and funny videos are all marketing email examples of giving value in between the sales pitches.

Don’t Spam

One of the most important email marketing tips is to adhere to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission CAN-SPAM Act so you don’t get into trouble for sending an unsolicited email campaign. Don’t spam also means don’t “spam” your opt-in lists with too many emails, otherwise your unsubscribe rate can increase.

Use Email for Lead Nurturing

One of the often overlooked email marketing ideas and email marketing best practices is using pre-timed emails in an automated lead nurturing email campaign. This can be a big time-saver for sales teams and increase lead closing ratios.

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Email Marketing Plan FAQ | What Sites Can I Use to Launch an Email Marketing Campaign?

You have a lot of choices from email marketing solutions providers for launching the best email marketing campaigns with well-designed marketing email examples in template form.

Some of these services even offer a free trial or free service up to a certain list size. Here’s a few options for formatting and sending successful email marketing campaigns:

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AdvisoryHQ’s Selection Methodology

What methodology does AdvisoryHQ use in selecting and finalizing the credit cards, financial products, firms, services, and products that are ranked on its various top-rated lists?

Please click here “AdvisoryHQ’s Ranking Methodologies” for a detailed review of AdvisoryHQ’s selection methodologies for ranking top-rated credit cards, financial accounts, firms, products, and services.

Detailed Review—Top-Ranking Best Email Marketing Campaigns

Below, please find a detailed review of each site on our list of top email marketing strategies. We have highlighted some of the factors that allowed these firms with successful email marketing campaigns to score so highly in our selection ranking.

Amazon Review

Amazon has grown from selling just books online to becoming the largest online retailer in the U.S. Their ultra-personalized email marketing plan is one of the reasons.

Amazon cleverly upsells and promotes related products through their email campaign examples that are based upon their user buying habits. Not all businesses can deploy this type of sophisticated email campaign, but there are definitely some great email marketing tips everyone can use.

Email Marketing Strategies to Learn from Amazon’s Email Marketing Plan

Amazon - email marketing plan

Image Source: Amazon | Marketing Email Examples

Upselling Based Upon Past Purchases

An effective tool in Amazon’s email marketing best practices is promoting an upsell based upon past buying or browsing behavior. They’ll often send emails about similar items to those customers have bought or viewed.

You can employ this in your email marketing campaign by tagging “related items” in your shopping cart, like a garden planter with a packet of seeds, and then using that as a way to promote upsell items in your email campaign a few weeks after a purchase.

Ask for Reviews

One of the other email marketing tips you can pick up from Amazon is to ask for reviews of an item after it’s been purchased. This helps boost consumer confidence on a website and also lets the customer know you care what they think.

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Astrology Answers Review

Something that Astrology Answers does better than most in their email campaign examples is to provide value to their email readers. Who doesn’t want to know what their horoscope is for the day ahead?

While many email marketing solutions will tell you to avoid sending emails too often so people don’t opt-out of your list, Astrology Answers is one that sends daily or sometimes twice daily emails, but the value keeps people sticking around.

Email Marketing Strategies to Learn from Astrology Answers’ Best Email Marketing Campaigns

Astrology Answers - marketing email examples

Image Source: Astrology Answers | Email Marketing Ideas

Not Selling All the Time

Astrology Answers is able to get away with a more frequent email campaign schedule because they provide value, and the “selling” is not put up front. Their emails begin with the value-added horoscope, then farther down in the email, they include hosted ads. The “value up front” is one of the best email marketing strategies.

Regular Timing

Another email campaign best practices they use is to always send their horoscope email the same time each day. This builds trust with the reader. They also have set their email marketing campaign for a morning delivery, since people would naturally want to read their horoscope for the day in the morning.

BuzzFeed Review

Everyone loves a little humor and personality in their inbox. But infusing a consistent personality in email marketing strategies is easier said than done. BuzzFeed is one of the email campaign examples that does this very well.

Throughout their website, social media posts, and best email marketing campaigns, they keep the same “in your face” catchy headlines, meant to engage. Their consistent and quirky personality also keep people subscribed and clicking though, per their email marketing plan.

Email Marketing Strategies to Learn from BuzzFeed’s Successful Email Marketing Campaigns

BuzzFeed - email marketing campaign

Image Source: BuzzFeed | Email Marketing Tips

Excellent Segmenting

When you first get to BuzzFeed’s newsletter signup for their email campaign, you immediately see how well they do segmenting. They ask right off the bat about the areas of interest a person has, which ties into their overall best email marketing campaigns.

Clickable Headlines

BuzzFeed is known for their clickable headlines, such as “13 Reasons The ’70s Weren’t That Great”. This is a strategy you can use as well in an email marketing plan. Using lists to convey content is a great way to engage readers and keep things short and sweet in your email campaign.

Ed Sheeran Review

Musician Ed Sheeran isn’t a particularly flashy artist. He’s one that lets his amazing music speak for itself. And both his website and email marketing plan are a perfect reflection of this simplicity. 

Anyone that subscribes to his email campaign receives personal and low-key emails that convey simple messages. They employ some of the similar email marketing ideas as former president Barack Obama, whose email marketing strategies are famously known for the “Hey” subject line.

Email Marketing Strategies to Learn from Ed Sheeran’s Email Marketing Plan

Ed Sheeran - email marketing tips

Image Source: Ed Sheeran | Email Marketing Best Practices

Less Is More

Ed Sheeran’s email marketing strategies are the epitome of less is more. You won’t get several paragraphs of text to read through, which make the message you do get that much more impactful. One of the best email marketing tips you can take away from this is that you don’t have to use a lot of words to get your point across.

It’s Personal

Notice how the email doesn’t even have to use your name to make it feel like you’re Ed’s best pal. One of the email campaign best practices at work here is that they use simple language to make the readers feel it’s meant just for them (i.e. the opening, “Hey guys”).

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Lowes Foods Review

Lowes Foods is a grocery store based in the Carolinas, but that has managed to set themselves apart from larger chains due to their hometown style and unique mail and email marketing plan.

They employ a consistent brand message that emphasizes a local theme and makes people feel like they’re part of the Lowes Food Family. Theirs is one of the successful email marketing campaigns that incorporates cross-channel marketing.

Email Marketing Strategies to Learn from Lowes Foods’s Email Marketing Plan

Lowes Foods - successful email marketing campaigns

Image Source: Lowes Foods | Email Marketing Strategies

Personalized Sales

This is another great example of using purchase data in the best email marketing campaigns to personalize an offer to customers. Lowes Foods has a “your specials” area of their weekly sale emails that pick up on past consumer purchases, which gives their email campaign a better chance of getting another sale from that same customer.

Cross-Channel Marketing

One of the other excellent email marketing tips you can glean from this company is their excellent use of cross-channel marketing. Both their email marketing plan and the postcards they mail out to local customers carry the same look and same friendly hometown brand message, which makes both more effective.

PayPal Review

Most people instantly recognize PayPal as one of the largest payment solution providers to use for online transactions. But even though they process $315.3 million in payments daily, they still make sure they have the best email marketing campaigns in place.

PayPal is another large company that recognizes the importance of effective and successful email marketing campaigns to keep both old and new customers engaged and reminded of all the services they offer.

Email Marketing Strategies to Learn from PayPal’s Best Email Marketing Campaigns

PayPal - email marketing best practices

Image Source: PayPal | Successful Email Marketing Campaigns

Relatable Experiences

When PayPal decided to promote how easy it was to split the bill with their PayPal app, they used successful email marketing campaigns that illustrated relatable experiences, like having dinner with friends.

You can incorporate this same type of email marketing best practices by using storytelling when talking about your product or services. Use a problem and solution based illustration for a more relatable email marketing plan.

Time-Saving Automation

If you’ve ever bought or sold using PayPal, you’ll note they use their email marketing strategies for automating simple tasks, such as sending confirmations when a payment has been made or when sending an invoice. This is both time saving and an excellent example of the best email marketing campaigns that automate communications.

Read More: Top Small Business Marketing Ideas to Grow Your Business

Conclusion—Top 6 Best Email Marketing Campaigns

Planning email marketing strategies may seem intimidating at first, but if you employ email campaign best practices from the start, it can be much less daunting. Using just a few of the top email marketing tips, you can greatly increase your conversion rates.

Whether you go for the less is more email marketing plan or choose to drill down into consumer buying behavior and use upselling as one of your most successful email marketing campaigns, you have plenty of tools to choose from.

And with email marketing solutions like Constant Contact and Mail Chimp, which are very inexpensive to use, you have nothing stopping your best email marketing campaigns from bringing in new clients and continuing to nurture existing ones.

The important thing to remember is that email marketing strategies are still number one when it comes to a return on investment for your marketing dollars. Therefore, it makes sense to utilize an email marketing plan fully while integrating some of these email marketing tips to make it even stronger.

AdvisoryHQ (AHQ) Disclaimer:

Reasonable efforts have been made by AdvisoryHQ to present accurate information, however all info is presented without warranty. Review AdvisoryHQ’s Terms for details. Also review each firm’s site for the most updated data, rates and info.

Note: Firms and products, including the one(s) reviewed above, may be AdvisoryHQ's affiliates. Click to view AdvisoryHQ's advertiser disclosures.