They say that imitation is the highest form of flattery. This may or may not be true, but one thing we know is that, when it comes to small business email campaigns, imitation can help you improve your subscribe, open, click-through, and conversion rates (which, in turn, improves your bottom line).
That’s not to say you should copy another brand’s style or message. Authenticity is vital. However, imitating email marketing practices that are implemented by other companies can boost your campaign efforts.
Read on to see some examples of businesses that send email marketing messages that truly resonate with their audience. Make some (or all) of these practices your own and you’ll see similar success with your email campaigns.
Phenomenal small business email campaigns: 9 companies to emulate
There are multiple businesses that are turning out phenomenal email campaigns to their subscribers. Here are a few that stood out to us.
1. The Hell Yeah Group
The Hell Yeah Group offers financial advice and services specifically targeted toward creative entrepreneurs. One of their resources is a weekly curated newsletter that covers various articles and advice that will be of interest to their readers.
We here at Campaign Monitor love email newsletters: They build trust with your audience, establish your authority, and allow you to focus on delivering value straight to your subscribers. And The Hell Yeah Group has a great one.
They save themselves time by curating content from across the web instead of sharing solely their own original work. This also saves their readers time, too: Instead of having to scour the internet for the top stories on finance from the past week, The Hell Yeah Group does the work for them.
It’s a win-win situation for both subscribers and the folks at The Hell Yeah Group.
Despite the huge success of the luggage brand Away, they began as a simple start-up. Now they’re valued at $1.4B. How’d they do it?
They built their brand.
As Forbes points out, “Other so-called smart luggage startups have come and gone—while Away, focused more on brand than on technology, gained a foothold.”
One of the ways Away’s founders continue to build their brand is through email marketing. Customers expect great service and beautiful images from Away, and their email marketing is no different. They answer all replies and use their email as a place to build a community.
In fact, you can see how they put user-generated content to good use in this email. They use feedback and customer reviews to encourage subscribers to make a purchase, even including users’ actual photos to accompany the reviews, a great way to incorporate social proof into your email campaign.
Additionally, Away shares their social media handles in this email so subscribers can get in on the action. This ensures the user-generated content keeps coming.
3. She Shreds
Another publication sending great emails is She Shreds Magazine, a magazine dedicated to women guitarists and bassists.
They use graphics that match their magazine’s tone and design aesthetic, providing key information about the major stories they want to promote while maintaining the branding their readers recognize.
They include enough information about the stories and articles the email features to capture readers’ curiosity and to make it clear exactly what story they’ll start reading once they click on the call to action. But they don’t include so much information readers don’t need to click through to their website.
These graphics inspire clicks and reads without overwhelming the subscriber with too many options.
They also promote their Instagram profile at the bottom of their email, encouraging readers to click through while not distracting from the core message of their email.
4. Nashville Fit Magazine
Another small business killing their email marketing strategy is the Nashville Fit Magazine, sharing stories important to the fitness community in their city.
This event email manages to accomplish several things at once: They build excitement around the event, cultivate a sense of community, and share last year’s video to help drive conversions all while supporting the email’s main CTA, “register now.”
Good event invitations need to drive registrations and this email serves as an example of some of our favorite event invitation best practices:
- Include images and videos from previous events so subscribers can imagine what they’ll miss if they don’t register.
- Provide the details prospects will need to know to make an informed decision before they register, like dates and what they can expect.
- Cultivate a sense of community for your audience.
- Communicate the value your subscribers will receive when they register, not only by attending and participating in your event but also what their registration fee will earn them, like a tank and a meal.
5. Glam Corner
The Australian business Glam Corner is another example of a small business excelling in their email marketing strategy.
They know what their customers are looking for and this email delivers. The focus of the email is on the stunning image, keeping their fashion-forward subscribers engaged. The copy of the email also emphasizes the glamour and style of the new arrivals and the CTA makes checking out the newest designs at Glam Corner’s website simple and straightforward.
Email marketing is an essential tool to keep your small business’ most loyal followers informed and up to date with your brand. Major announcements—like new products, big sales, etc—might be missed due to a social media algorithm, but when your message lands right in your subscriber’s inbox, you know they’ll see it.
Girlboss sends emails to drive registrations for their events, increase traffic to their website, and keep their business goals on track.
And one of our favorite methods for building trust and delivering high-value content that benefits your subscribers is to create an email course. (In fact, we offer a couple of email courses, including an email course for small businesses.)
Girlboss partnered with BlackRock to offer this course that helps subscribers master their finances in 12 weeks, an area of self-improvement they know is of interest to their audience. Each email delivers high-value content aimed to directly benefit the subscriber, with no attempt to upsell or promote their own product.
The entire point of an email course is to educate your subscribers and make their lives easier, or help them accomplish a goal, allowing you to establish yourself—and your partners—as an authority in your field.
7. The Callaway
Creative consultants The Callaway offer a bi-weekly newsletter called The Callaway Report that shines a light on creatives in their city by sharing interviews, stories, events, music, and more.
Subscribers can easily digest this email at a glance, whether they’re checking email at their desk, in line to get coffee, or first thing after they wake up. The synopsis highlights the emphasis The Callaway Report places on content and captures readers’ interest, meaning they’re more likely to click through to the website and keep reading.
8. Finders Keepers
This email from Finders Keepers is as beautiful as you would expect from a small business that caters to creatives, and it’s chock-full of best practices.
This email keeps its most important information front and center, their events. They include in-line links so subscribers can easily access whatever information they find the most important while the main. While you don’t want to overwhelm readers with too many CTAs, these text links are a good way to ensure readers can access the resources they need.
After all, you send emails to a lot of different people who have different needs. Not to mention your subscribers won’t be in the same stage of the sales process while reading your email. That’s why it’s so important to segment your emails to ensure that each subscriber gets the information they need at the right time. However, text links are another way to include multiple resources without your email design becoming too busy.
They’ve also included original graphics created by an artist they partner with. This original content has a ton of value and provides a way to encourage their subscribers to engage and interact with The Finders Keepers on their social media platforms, linked right there in the email itself.
9. Books Are Magic
The Brooklyn bookstore Books Are Magic uses email marketing to keep their book-loving subscribers up to date with all their book news.
One of the reasons email marketing is so effective for small businesses is that email marketing is personal: It allows you to connect on a one to one level with your subscribers. Books Are Magic harnesses this power by including a short but heartfelt note to their subscribers before launching into the more promotional aspects of their email.
This note helps keep the personal touch first and foremost in their marketing messaging and, as you know, this personal touch is incredibly important to small businesses and the customers who love them.
If you ever wonder what you need to do to make your small business email campaigns yield results, study what other companies are doing. Find out what’s making them successful and then start implementing those practices into your marketing campaigns. Our email templates make it easy and simple to get started designing your next campaign right away.
The companies mentioned above actively use these best practices for email marketing for small businesses:
- Do your best to pique interest early
- Target those on your list who don’t open your emails
- Invest in top-quality copywriting
- Create an engaging call to action
- Offer frequency options to your subscribers.
Start putting these into practice and you’ll be able to create email campaigns that appeal to your audience and encourage subscribers to stick with you for the long haul.
Once you figure out how to create awesome email campaigns, the next thing you need to determine is the best time to send them to your list. We’ve done a lot of the research for you. Check out our blog to find out which time is best.