4 emails that customers will love — and help them love you

Sending helpful emails lets customers feel more attached to your brand, making it more likely for them to purchase your product or service.

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Is your brand easy to love? It is if your products and services are better than anyone else’s for the price. But that’s not the only way to create a lovable brand. 

Lovable brands embrace customers even when they aren’t in the mood or the market to buy. In dozens of ways, these brands show they appreciate shoppers for more than their lifetime customer value.

You can probably guess where I’m going with all of this lovey-dovey chat. A stellar brand experience is essential for creating a long-term relationship that delivers value for you and your customers. But you might not realize how email can drive that relationship.

Customers might sign up for your email program for discounts and special offers, but that shouldn’t stop you from finding all kinds of ways to show your appreciation through email while still keeping your eyes on your own goals.

Maybe you think a well-designed sales email that renders well across multiple platforms, has an engaging balance of copy and images, working links and attractive offers is the best gift you could give your subscribers. But you can package that message in many different ways that also speak to customers in different situations.

Bring the love with these 4 personalized emails

As an email obsessive, I’ve assembled a noteworthy collection of emails I love that has also helped me feel more attached to the brands that sent them. That means I’m more likely to choose them when I need the kind of products they sell. 

This illustrates my concept that successful email marketing is actually helpful marketing. When we help customers achieve their goals, they will in turn help us achieve ours. And that is a pretty good basis for a loving relationship.

These emails have two other advantages that serve your own needs, too:

  • They use first-party data: All four call on customer data that you collect directly from your customers and then display in a way that shows your customer how you use their data to send better emails. 
  • You can automate each email: Each message is a great example of using email technology to send messages that deliver value for customers but also point back to your own goals. They aren’t “set and forget,” however. You will need to keep an eye on the design, timing and data integrations to ensure they are firing correctly, with the right data, and not triggering bounces or spam complaints.

1. Back-in-stock notification

A back-in-stock notification request is a strong signal intent signal. So, customers who take the time to ask for one deserve an attractive email that reminds them when that product becomes available, right? 

This email exemplifies the basic concept of customer service. Here’s the email Cult Beauty sent to entice me back.

Subject line: Items on your wishlist are in stock

Back-in-stock notification email

What this email gets right

The subject line tells me right away that I’m getting this email because of something I did, so I know it’s super-relevant. The message itself gets right to the point and doesn’t make me wonder what I added to my wishlist so long ago. 

What it could improve 

It’s a bit generic. I love the headline on the inside copy: “Look Who’s Back” because it creates a little excitement and intrigue. It could make a great subject line, but I would want to test it before changing it.

2. Birthday greeting

Only 31% of retail email marketers send birthday greetings according to the Litmus 2021 State of Email report. So there’s a big opportunity to reach out to customers on their special day.

Ask your design team to come up with a clever design and attach an offer, as Holistic’s client, Pandora does with its birthday email below, or even share a special freebie if your budget allows it.  

Subject line: Happy Birthday, Kath 🎉 🎁

Birthday greeting email

What this email gets right

I love the deep personalization in the “Unique Gifts” section, which appears below the barcode in the original email. It reflects my initial, my star sign and other November birthday ideas.

This makes the suggested products more relevant than a cross-selling or upselling list based on past purchases.

Unique Gifts section in birthday email

What it could improve

Well, I wouldn’t say no to a Pandora freebie instead of a discount. But aside from that, this email is pretty great as it is.

3. User summary email

The two emails I shared above are for retail ecommerce brands. This email for the writing service Grammarly has a different goal: to keep me using the service regularly. 

I love tracking these numbers, partly because I’m all about metrics but also because I like to compare myself to other Grammarly users. 

Plus, seeing that number at the very bottom — how many words I wrote in the previous week — helps me keep track of my productivity and motivates me to keep working. 

Subject line: Just for you: this week’s stats + serious savings

User summary email

What this email gets right

I love all those numbers, but I especially love the visualizations that give them meaning and context. The design organizes the data into easily comprehensible, digestible categories. With one glance I can see how I performed against my previous work and how other Grammarly users stack up in comparison. 

The weekly streak data and the number of words processed since I started using the service three years ago remind me how much I value and use the service even though it’s free without being told that in so many words.

Where it could improve

Again, this email is pretty great just as it is. What do you think?

4. Purchase anniversary

In the wrong hands, an email like this could elicit a big “So what?” from the customer. Do consumers really care how long they’ve been buying from a brand? 

Like the Grammarly mail above, this email is a subtle reminder that I have purchased in the past and an equally subtle invitation to buy again, even without a specific offer attached. 

If you want to increase frequency gradually, this would be a good message to test for its effectiveness in creating incremental sales between campaigns. 

Subject line: It’s Your Nike Anniversary

Purchase anniversary email

What this email gets right

It reframes the message to focus on the benefits of being a Nike customer instead of tacking on the usual discount or incentive. 

The email’s goal is to entice me back to the site to poke around and maybe find something worth buying, such as personalized shoes. 

But it’s not all about persuading me to buy — it also points me toward free services like guided runs and workout programs. 

What it could improve

This is the only email in the group that has no personalization. If you know it’s my anniversary, could you tell me how long I’ve been a customer? 

Also, I’d be curious to know if this email would get more clicks if it switched the personal services copy (“Stay on Top”) with the “Nikes by You” copy. 

Is a pair of personalized Nikes more appealing than better workouts? It would be worth testing.

Which email would help you achieve a goal?

As love-generating as these emails could be, none of them would replace a regular revenue-based email campaign. But that’s not what they’re designed to do. 

Each one of these emails tells your customers, “We care about you even when you aren’t buying from us.” Each can give you a valid reason to be in your customers’ inboxes between campaigns. 



They might bring in a little extra revenue, but their main goal is to show the love. Which one could you try? 

Email:


Contributing authors are invited to create content for MarTech and are chosen for their expertise and contribution to the martech community. Our contributors work under the oversight of the editorial staff and contributions are checked for quality and relevance to our readers. The opinions they express are their own.


About the author

Kath Pay
Contributor
Kath Pay is CEO at Holistic Email Marketing and the author of the award-winning Amazon #1 best-seller "Holistic Email Marketing: A practical philosophy to revolutionise your business and delight your customers."

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