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Whether it’s from their favourite store, a service they use or perhaps a local non-profit they follow, people are likely being sent multiple email marketing messages every day.

And as one of the most popular forms of marketing, email marketing can be highly effective in generating sales and increasing brand engagement.

But not every email is created equal. To entice someone to click on your email and then engage, you’ll need to be intentional with its content and design. According to the communications and marketing leaders of Forbes Communications Council, implementing at least one of the following nine elements is a good place to start. Below are some of the most innovative email marketing campaigns these experts have experienced or seen, and why they think the inclusion of these elements was such an effective approach.

1. Digestible Summaries With In-Depth Options

The best email marketing campaign I’ve ever seen was by two separate companies that had their whole business model built around newsletters. They took the news in a particular industry for the day and transformed it into a list of headlines that were categorized vertically. They understood that useful newsletters provide digestible summaries of the market with the option to deep-dive on topics. – Alfie Dawson, Bordeaux & Burgundy

2. A Highly Personalized Experience

Stanley Black & Decker has won our household loyalty with expertly tailored emails. For example, the notes I receive are sent in the evening, written in my mother tongue (Spanish) and showcase product recommendations and imagery aligned with my love for small home projects. Meanwhile, my husband receives an entirely different email experience. This thoughtful approach keeps us deeply engaged. – Adriana Gil Miner, Iterable

3. A Seemingly Counterintuitive Theme

Patagonia launched a campaign, “Don’t Buy This Jacket,” which encouraged customers to think twice before buying another jacket. It was focused on environmental responsibility and mindful purchasing. The result wasn’t massive sales, but it received positive media coverage and brand awareness. Brilliant! – Cade Collister, Metova

4. Effective AI Implementation

I’ve received personalized videos thanks to AI. I had a brand send me a personalized lead generation email, which allowed me to schedule a consultation. When I scheduled the appointment, a personalized video gave me a step-by-step process to prepare for the video appointment. Then, after the video, it gave me a recap and a “thank you.” – Ken Louie, MetroPlusHealth

5. Ongoing Tasks That Prompt User Engagement

One good example is a multi-week email sequence that presented a new product task for customers to complete each week. The progression gently nudged users from onboarding to feature exploration to product stickiness. Tasks and sequencing were based on usage data from existing satisfied customers, and the goal was reducing time to value—a simple concept based on a deep understanding of customer behaviour and value. – Rekha Thomas, Path Forward Marketing LLC

6. The ‘Nine-Word Email’

The most effective email campaigns are the ones that, ironically, look like normal emails with no design. The nine-word email campaign mimics the phrasing of an executive, so it works extremely well in gaining responses from decision makers. In addition, avoiding images creates the illusion that the email has been sent in a one-to-one manner rather than one-to-many, making it feel more personalized. – Patrick Ward, Formula.Monks

7. Stories Mixed With ‘Why I Need It Now’

Mixing helpful storytelling content with “why I need it now” content tends to work. Recently, I received an email with a video in it that was pretty powerful. As always, if it is not opened by a human, it doesn’t matter. Focus on personalization and the subject line—I often add the “group” in as well. It is time consuming, but at mid to end of funnel, that is where to put the time in. – Mollie Barnett, The SMART Co.

8. Free Value

The best email marketing campaigns have one thing in common: free value. They deliver information via a mini-workshop, a video series, downloadable PDFs, templates and more. When the recipient opens an email in the campaign, they not only get tremendous value at no cost but also an understanding of the particular benefit the product or service provides. – Melissa Kandel, little word studio

9. Customized Recommendations

Netflix’s recommendation emails utilize personalization that goes beyond using your name; they analyze the shows you watch and create tailored emails with suggestions you’re likely to love. This approach is effective because it adds value to every email and compels you to click. You can adopt a similar approach by tracking on-site activity or purchases and sending customized product recommendations. – Maria Amalia Rojas, Nord Comms

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Feature Image Credit: GETTY

Sourced from Forbes

Communications, PR, public affairs & media relations executives from Forbes Communications Council share first-hand insights.

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