The best email marketing campaigns of 2013

After crunching some numbers around email volumes this holiday season, we happened on a trend that won’t come as a surprise to most email marketers: Over the past few years, the average number of campaigns our customers send is growing… but on an aggregate level, engagement is going down.

At Campaign Monitor alone, we’ve seen the average number of campaigns our customers send grow by 17% in 2013 - and the average number of recipients per campaign grow 10%.

Recipients per campaign and campaigns per customer from 2008 - 2013

Recipients per campaign / Campaigns per client

So we're sending more email to more people than ever before. Intuitively, these stats make sense. We’re all recipients of email marketing, and can experience first hand the reality of inbox clutter. At times, I’ve had hundreds of unread emails across my personal and work accounts. And who hasn’t tried desperately to get control over their inbox by selecting all unread emails and deleting them in one swoop?

On the other hand, the role of email in my marketing plans has grown in importance over time. But executing great email campaigns - the ones that look beautiful, render perfectly across different clients and devices, and generate great responses - is getting more and more difficult. In fact, as email volumes have gone up we've seen a correlating decline in average click through rates.

Average click-thru rate from 2008 - 2013

Declining click through rate

That’s why we compiled 100 of the best email marketing campaigns of 2013 into a free eBook, alongside tips on design, content and marketing strategy.

Our top 100 campaigns of 2013

This eBook features a collection of great campaigns to help inspire and improve your email marketing in 2014, including:

  • High performing email newsletters with open rates of more than 50%.
  • Examples of great design, including beautifully responsive newsletters.
  • Emails that go against conventional email marketing best practices and still drive top results.
  • Campaigns that saw 20% improvement in open rates from A/B testing.
  • Brands that consistently use the latest design techniques and email marketing strategies, and more.

There’s no denying email marketing is evolving, sometimes more rapidly than the marketing and design communities can keep up with. New regulations, deliverability challenges, rendering issues, list hygiene problems, changing design and coding requirements, more sophisticated marketing techniques: these are the constants in the world of email marketing. Our collection of 100 of the best email marketing campaigns is a celebration of the agencies, brands and marketers who have met these challenges head on.

We’re sure this compilation of beautiful designs, clever techniques, and strong results will inspire new ideas for your own email programs this year. Enjoy!

Get the eBook

Posted by Agata Celmerowski

12 Comments

  • Andrew
    28th January

    Great data, thanks!

    > as email volumes have gone up we’ve seen a
    > correlating decline in average click through rates

    Hm, this correlation =/=  causation. Perhaps the drop in CTR% is due more to the growth of mobile, where people are (probably) less likely to click. Can you publish the historical CTR% of desktop users?

  • Agata Celmerowski
    29th January

    @Andrew, glad you enjoyed it! You’re right, we’re only pointing out a correlation here - not intending to imply that the increase in volume is the only (or even the primary) reason click through rates have dropped over the years. Digging into this more and taking a look at response rates on mobile vs. desktop over the years would certainly be an interesting follow up… stay tuned.

  • James
    29th January

    I have to admit, your eBook being setup as spreads makes it really difficult to read Adobe Reader. And printing 65 colors pages isn’t really the best idea.

    It’s beautiful though!

  • Adam Murphy
    29th January

    Fantastic resource there! Look forward to sitting down with it over a nice cup of tea :)

  • Kevin
    29th January

    Thanks for the ebook!  Upon initial glance already noticed some testing ideas for our email program.

  • Sara
    5th February

    It’s the best gift for us Agata, Thanks for sharing to us this valuable ebook.

  • Miguel Sánchez
    11th February

    Great campains! Very inspirational.

    -Páginas Web

  • Steven Eastwood
    12th February

    Very impressive.

  • Elnaz
    12th February

    Nice ebook indeed. I enjoyed reading it.

  • This Is Common
    13th February

    Just came across this ebook and its a great read! some inspirational email marketing ideas at last..

  • Blackbox Design
    26th February

    It is always great to see a great collection of work, especially in the email marketing category.

  • Campaign
    27th February

    Interesting campaigns.
    Fantastic resource, thanks.

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