6 Examples of Great Email Marketing for Retail

A large part of our workload as marketers revolves around email marketing and nurturing relationships with customers. As someone who has worked in digital marketing for a long time, I still get excited when I think about the power of a well-executed email marketing campaign. There are many tactics you can use to leverage email marketing, from email list building to creating personalized emails that resonate with your audience. While the approach may change from company to company, the basics always apply: find the right people, create content that they want, and build a list of customers who can be nurtured over time into buying products, signing up for subscriptions, or engaging with your brand on social media.

1. Bed Bath & Coffee

A couple of years back, a coffee marketing company called Blue Bottle started creating limited edition bottles of wine, each featuring a different barista-made drink recipe. The bottles were a big hit, and as a result, the company was able to grow its revenue by 12% in 2017 and 18% in 2018.

The growth wasn’t just about the novelty of the product either, as the email marketing campaigns that were used to drive sales actually worked. The Bed Bath & Coffee email marketing campaigns focused on building excitement around the product, while also engaging with fans on a personal level.

The emails started with a short, sweet email that introduced the product and had a clear call to action in the form of a button, or a link to more information. After the introduction, the emails would often go on to talk about the specific details of the product, before pivoting to discuss other topics, such as the history of coffee or the experience of drinking coffee. This kind of personalized marketing works because it provides value to the recipient without being too salesy, and because it comes from a brand they already know and trust.

2. Hotels.com

Hotels.com, a luxury hotel chain, uses email marketing to keep in touch with its customers and encourage them to visit its websites, or use its apps. In order to do this, Hotels.com relies on a combination of automated emails and personal touches from staff. For example, the hotel chain will send out regular “newsletters”, as well as one-off emails when there’s big news about the brand, such as the openings of new hotels or restaurants.

The content of these emails is usually focused on inspiring or enticing the receiver to take action, usually in the form of booking a stay at one of the hotels or using one of the apps. Each email tends to have a different title that makes it more personal, for example: “You’re booked for a Friday night!”, or “Get ready for the weekend with these deals!”. These emails are usually sent to people who have expressed an interest in or have some connection to the brand, such as through a friend, co-worker, or social media follower.

Hotels.com also uses personal touches to tailor the content and language of its emails. For example, some of the emails will feature a handwritten note from the hotel’s founder and president, Malcolm McLean. Others will include coupons or promotions, signed by the president of the company.

3. Ralph Lauren

Ralph Lauren, the famous fashion house, uses email marketing to encourage its customers to come back and make purchases, or to refer friends to the brand. The brand gets very specific with its list of subscribers, and will often send promotions or offers that are targeted to them.

The emails themselves aren’t just about marketing either. Aside from the call to action that encourages the receiver to do something, Ralph Lauren’s emails usually include some great content about fashion, style, or lifestyle. To keep the subscribers engaged, the brand will often send out a new email every two weeks, or more often if there’s big news about the company or some new style or fashion product to promote.


LVMH, the luxury goods conglomerate, owns a number of famous fashion brands, such as Dior, Fanny by Chambré, and much more. The company keeps in touch with its customers through different methods, such as email marketing, QR code scanning on postcards, and telephone calls.

The content of LVMH’s marketing emails is varied, but often includes something beautiful or interesting about the product or service, as well as a call to action in the form of a URL, or a coupon code.

5. Nike

Nike, the popular American sportswear brand, uses email marketing to keep in touch with its customers, as well as to grow its mailing list. To grow its email list, Nike relies on offers for its products, as well as the occasional discount or special deal. But, the brand encourages people to sign up for its newsletter, as this is how it keeps in touch with its customers, and how it grows its mailing list.

The emails from Nike are typically short and sweet, with some subject lines that are funny, or highlight an upcoming event or sale. The brand also uses data from its customers to create targeted offers and discounts, and to create more relevant content.

6. Hugo Boss

Finally, we arrive at the most luxurious email marketing campaign of them all, from the luxury goods company Hugo Boss. The brand encourages customers to download a smartphone app, and use it to access special offers and discounts, as well as to keep in touch with the brand.

The content of the emails is exactly the same as you would expect from a luxury brand. In fact, they use automated email templates that aren’t much different from those of the other luxury brands we’ve discussed, with the exception of the call to action, which encourages the user to download the app, or do something else, such as make a purchase.

The app itself is fairly simple. When you open it, you’re greeted with a splash screen that highlights some of the products created by the brand, as well as the special offers and discounts they can provide. From there, you can either search for products to find out more, or you can navigate to the homepage, which brings you to a simple splash screen, with one more option: to let the brand know you’re interested in hearing more through email.

What can you learn from these brands?

If you’re looking to get started with the perfect blend of marketing and sales, these brands are perfect examples of how to do it well. You’ll notice that each of the brands we discussed above uses email marketing to some extent. Why? Email marketing is one of the most cost-effective marketing tactics available, and it gives you the ability to target the right audience, with the right message, as well as measure the results of your campaign. Plus, you’ll be able to continue the conversation with your customer, even after they’ve left the site.

With all the talk about getting consumers to come back and purchase goods or take action, it’s becoming more important for brands to establish a trust with their customers. These luxury brands put this trust in their talent for marketing, design, and sales, while also taking advantage of email marketing to engage with and influence their audience.

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