11 Promotional Email Examples & How to Write One in 2021
Chances are you’ve read that for every $1 spent on email marketing, you can make $44 in revenue.
However, you are not the only marketer who knows about this.
Because every marketer is aware of email marketing’s high ROI, your prospects’ inboxes are often full of the same promotional emails. You need to find ways to stand out and get your emails opened and clicked.
Writing powerful promotional emails is the key to converting your subscribers into customers, as well as increasing your revenue day after day.
In this blog post, you’ll learn:
- What is a promotional email?
- 11 best promotional email examples
- 1. Sales promotion emails
- 2. Product launch emails
- 3. New arrival emails
- 4. Limited-time offers
- 5. Subscriber-special offers
- 6. Content promotion emails
- 7. Seasonal campaigns
- 8. Event announcement emails
- 9. Free resource promotional emails
- 10. Emails that reconnect with inactive customers
- 11. Giveaway emails
- 9 tips for writing a promotional email
- The bottom line
What is a promotional email?
Simply put, a promotional email is a type of email that businesses often use to promote their products, services, offers, and campaigns.
Unlike transactional emails that inform recipients about their account or order information, promotional emails are used to convert your subscribers into customers, and customers into brand advocates.
Generally, promotional emails can take various forms, such as sales promotion emails, weekly newsletters, and customer retention emails, among others.
11 best promotional email examples
Let’s take a moment to reflect on these 11 expertly crafted promotional email examples, while considering how you can adopt - and adapt - their special techniques to your benefit.
1. Sales promotion emails
If you are running a sale and are excited to tell the world about it, email is likely your go-to channel.
As your subscribers already showed an interest in your brand by signing up for your email list, promoting your current or upcoming sales is a surefire way to convert them.
The Banana Republic is a typical example of how you can promote your sales:
Using the exact discount amount in its subject line and highlighting that its sale is happening now, Banana Republic invites you to immediately open this email:
With the pre-title “Cooler Days Ahead,” the brand gives you a logical reason to shop from this sale and purchase winter clothes while they are at a lower price. The remainder of the email helps you more by recommending relevant products that are appropriate for the winter.
By curating some of its products in the promotional email, Banana Republic gives you a good place to start browsing from, in case any of these winter clothes can catch your eye.
2. Product launch emails
Whether you are preparing to release a new product line, or feature, product launches are exciting.
By delivering product launch emails, you can evoke curiosity, engage your subscribers, and keep your brand top-of-mind. With the right promotional emails, you’re able to give your new product a boost from day one.
Below is an example by Casper:
Most of us love a good underdog story with a happy ending.
Casper’s subject line evokes a similar feeling where they turn something unexpected around. As a result, you open its email and find out that they are promoting a new product.
Casper positions its current mattress as a groundbreaking product. However, unlike other brands that simply explain how awesome their new products are, Casper focuses on the extra mile it goes for customers and cements itself as a market authority.
Given that not all of us launch cutting-edge products daily, sometimes announcing a new product category works just as fine.
3. New arrival emails
While product launches do not happen every other day, new arrivals are often a good excuse for marketers to promote their own products and engage their email list.
Let’s look at this example by Chairish:
Using a humorous tone, Chairish sends this promotional message to its subscribers as if they are giving an important piece of news. But when you open the email, you learn that it is a new arrival email. It also adds a few category links to this email, so you can start browsing from one of them easily.
4. Limited-time offers
No one wants to miss out on a good opportunity.
By creating a sense of urgency and triggering fear-of-missing-out (FOMO), limited-time offers can nudge customers to make a quick decision on a potential purchase.
Take a look at the subject line sent by Tarte:
Tarte wisely uses the word “flash” that already implies urgency while combining it with the use of emojis to make its subject line stand out. The use of numbers also helps it grab attention and prove that the offer has a strict time limitation.
Using emojis, numbers, and persuasive words, Tarte implies urgency by all means and motivates you to open this email.
Tarte announces its flash sale on a particular product category in this email and limits it by only 6 hours. If your customer base is not as large as Tarte’s or in different time zones, consider giving them more time.
5. Subscriber-special offers
Your potential consumers are at different stages of the buyer’s journey.
While your first-time visitors might need more information before buying from you, a special discount code might work better for a prospect who is already on your email list. Treat your audience with the right incentives, and you will not only turn them into your customers but also brand evangelists.
For example, OUAI knows how to appreciate its existing subscribers with a special deal.
Triggering FOMO with its subject line, OUAI leaves you almost no option but to open its promotional email.
OUAI invites its customers (that they call “loyalty members”) to shop with a special discount code. While doing that, the company evokes your greed by using CTAs (calls-to-action), such as “ Get one of everything,” “Fill your bag,” and “Don’t be shy.” Besides, the company highlights the exclusivity of the offer by naming its discount code “loyalhighness19.”
If you do not want to reduce the perceived value of your products, you can choose a different incentive, such as free samples or free shipping, to persuade your subscribers.
6. Content promotion emails
Sometimes you don’t need to create unique landing pages or have fancy promo codes for every promotional email you send. The weekly Performance Tip email by WordStream is a good example of simple content promotion.
WordStream uses a branded header with appealing imagery to orient the reader to what type of email it is. The title is in large font at the top so that readers will know immediately what they’re investing their time in.
There’s a lot of text, but it is broken up by bullet points to make it easily skimmable. Lastly, there is an obvious CTA at the end to send readers to the full post.
7. Seasonal campaigns
Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Black Friday, Halloween, Christmas, or whatever holiday you just made up… There is always a holiday around the corner waiting for you to take advantage of.
Seasonal campaigns not only attract new prospects to your website but also help engage your existing subscribers. For example, offering holiday gift guides during the peak of the holiday season is an excellent strategy to guide your potential customers into better buying decisions, as well as a subtle way in order to promote your products.
Origins has a brilliant freebie idea that can make holiday shoppers’ lives easier.
Knowing that it is the season to buy gifts for your loved ones, Origins saves you from the trouble of wrapping gifts on your own or paying extras to get your items wrapped.
With every order, the company offers you both free shipping and gift wrapping. This is a really smart alternative to discounts, especially during the holiday shopping season.
Another excellent example of seasonal marketing campaigns is from Harry’s. Its promotional email uses a genuine sense of humour and conversational tone of voice in order to upgrade its trial users on Valentine’s day. Harry’s does a great job at making a tenuous link with the occasion and its offer.
You can see its:
- Intriguing subject line, which is playful and conversational
- Strong, beautiful imagery which looks hilarious and grotesque
- Clear CTA implying action and the benefit at the same time
- Easy-to-digest and scannable
This promotional email shows a different perspective on Valentine’s Day and proves you don’t have to go with the flow. A less conventional approach can sometimes be more engaging.
8. Event announcement emails
You have 2 options when it comes to announcing events via emails. You can include your announcement in an existing email (e.g., a newsletter) or deliver a separate email dedicated to your announcement. Both can work well, and we have examples of each.
Firstly, this is an example of integrating the announcement into an existing newsletter. The writer sells the conference, but he doesn’t go overboard. Why? Because if you have already subscribed to the newsletter, you already know ConversionXL does excellent work.
Next, KISSmetrics delivers its email with the sole purpose of announcing its webinars. It is rare that startups are willing to share their challenges, so they get your attention from the beginning. Its story builds your interest before sealing the deal with a CTA.
9. Free resource promotional emails
This example from Zoom doesn’t include a discount or sale but rather a variety of free resources. Promotional offers like this keep customers engaged with your business and your products, helping to foster customer loyalty.
We can see a branded header and a benefit statement (that they call “host meetings like a pro”) right off the bat. There is also a concise copy about each resource and a large orange CTA, making clear the next step to take.
10. Emails that reconnect with inactive customers
How can you reconnect with - and crucially win back - your inactive customers in an effective and non-intrusive way?
Let’s look at this email example by Dropbox. It combines humor, creative brand imagery, as well as concise copy that highlights its best features to great effect. Also, it plays cleverly on one of modern life’s most sobering feathers - losing our treasured photos and files that we forgot to back up - but in a non-threatening and comfortable way.
11. Giveaway emails
Last but not least, giveaways work like a charm to gather leads, drive engagement, increase sales, and promote products. How you promote your giveaway emails, though, is as important as the prizes you offer.
By combining website popups with your emails, you can ensure that your giveaway reaches as many potential entrants as possible.
You can see a typical giveaway promotion email like this one.
9 tips for writing a promotional email
In this last section, we’ll show you 9 useful tips to write a promotional email effectively. Let’s explore!
1. Focus on your benefit/ value
Don’t focus too much on the promotion and its features at the expense of its benefits. Instead, the link for your offer should take readers to your landing page, describing the promotion’s features and terms in more detail.
The body of the promotional email should clearly identify why your promotion is of value to the reader and emphasize the ultimate benefits.
2. Send from a person
In addition to your subject line, the “From:” field can have a significant impact on whether your promotional emails get opened or moved to the trash bin. Instead of using your company name, you should use your (or a teammate’s) name to add a more personal touch.
If you send your promotional email from a person, make sure to include an attractive and professional email signature. This should include the name, role, company contact information, social media handles, and a photo. This will add a nice personal touch to your promotional emails and help your readers feel more connected to your brand.
3. Introduce your promotion in your subject line
Do you know that nearly 50% of emails are opened solely based on the subject line?
That said, when including the promotion in your subject line, strive to be catchy, conversational, and compelling. Besides, be aware that some words and phrases can trigger spam detectors, such as “free,” “discount,” etc.
4. Use preheader text
You can see three layers of information before opening an email: sender name, subject line, and preheader text. Though just a few words, preheader text can be the final influence over whether a recipient opens your email.
Use this limited space in order to provide essential detail about your promotion that will clarify the email’s purpose and attract readers. Preheader text appears in various forms depending on which email client and device you are using. Sometimes it appears below your subject line, and other times right after it.
5. Brand your header
Your header is the very first thing a customer sees upon opening your promotional email, so make sure it is clean, professional, and appealing. You could use a standard simple header with your company logo, name, and brand colors, or leave space for text so that you can include the name of your promotion.
6. Break up the body of the email
Depending on your offer, the body is going to vary in length. Regardless, a wall of text is an obvious way to get your reader to click the “X” and trash your email.
So, keep the body of your promotional email concise, as well as break up lengthier blocks of text with bullet points, images, or links, so it is easier for your readers to digest.
7. Add visuals
No email is complete without appealing and captivating imagery. You can use stock photos or try using your own images. It doesn’t take much time; it is an easy way to authenticate your brand and also helps break up the text.
Just don’t go too overboard with them. Your promotional emails should be exciting but not overwhelming. Plus, your images should complement, rather than distract away from, the CTA.
8. Include a CTA
You must include a loud (but not obnoxious) and clear CTA in your promotional email. Most converting promotional emails have a nice flow that can lead readers to the desired action.
Including the CTA at the end of your promotional email is not necessary, as long as it is clear and easy to spot. You may also include your CTA twice if the email is long enough. That way, your option is always in view even if the reader has scrolled.
9. Make your email mobile-friendly
Finally, if you want to increase your user base, it’s essential to make all your promotional emails mobile-friendly.
Making your email mobile-friendly means optimizing it to look great on desktops, mobile, and tablet devices. Your promotional emails need to be responsive so that they look great on a wide range of devices.
The best way to optimize your promotional emails for mobile devices is by either using pre-made mobile-ready email templates or code your email to be mobile-friendly. The latter method is time-consuming and requires some technical knowledge.
With AVADA Email Marketing’s appealing email templates, you can quickly create and customize your emails in a way that attracts attention. The platform helps your promotional emails look great on every device.
The bottom line
Using email marketing to communicate your special offers, promotions, and deals is definitely worth your while. Just make sure to follow the guidance and tips above so that you maximize your results.
We hope that our post has helped you a lot. With 11 promotional email examples, you can learn useful things to apply to your next campaigns. Thanks for reading, and good luck!