December 31, 2015 Filament Email Marketing Specialist

Top 10+ Emails of 2015

New Year’s is a great time to look back over the past year and reflect on where we’ve come from and where we’re going. In that spirit, we’ve put together our top ten (or so) emails that highlight the top trends and tips from 2015 to give you some concrete ideas to work from and goals to work toward in 2016.

10. Customer-Focused Email

In 2016, you’ll want to be sure your email marketing is focused on the customer and their wants and needs. Joss & Main does a great job in the example below, which focuses on sharing information the customer can use rather than the sale.

Subject Line: Frame your view with…

Joss & Main Customer-Focused Email

9. Integration

Email can be an important tool for upping your social media presence. This example from West Elm does an excellent job of inspiring subscribers to engage with them on Instagram by highlighting pics from their customers.

Subject Line: Want some Insta-inspiration?

West Elm Email + Social Media Integration

West Elm Email + Social Media Integration


8. Visual Storytelling

They say that a picture is worth a thousand words. If that’s the case, then cool animation must be worth a few mil. Take a look at the example from West Elm. We’ve included a 3 images to show their cool holiday animation in stages.

Subject Line: Gift Of The Day: 40% off holiday lights!

West Elm Visual StorytellingWest Elm Visual StorytellingWest Elm Visual Storytelling

Our second example of visual storytelling comes from the Gap. We wanted to include this example because it shows how to use a graphic treatment of text in a fun and inspiring way. You don’t always need to have an image to tell a story visually.

Subject line: tomorrow is going to be huge!

Gap Email

And we had to include this one from West Elm too since it’s so darn cute.

Subject Line: You’ve GOT to see this. OMG. OMG. OMG.

West Elm Email Graphic Text

7. Relevance

This example from Express illustrates the importance of timeliness to relevance. Plus, it stays on-brand with Express’s characteristic sassiness.

Subject Line: Game on! Get $25 off every $75 – today only

Express Email Relevance

6. Mobile

In order for emails to do their work effectively on mobile devices, subscribers need to be able to read them and click on the links easily. Here’s a great example from T.J. Maxx that gives you both. It sure doesn’t hurt that it’s visually compelling either.

Subject Line: Toys they want, prices you’ll love.


T.J. Maxx Mobile Email

5. Automation

Email automation can be as simple as a welcome email—like the one below from Lululemon Athletica. Or it can encompass a variety of emails, including reengagement campaigns and abandoned shopping cart emails.

Subject Line: thanks for signing up!

Lululemon Athletica Automated Email

4. Building Relationships

REI does a great job in this email inspiring subscribers to engage with them. It includes a number of other tops trends as well including integration with social media and visual storytelling.

Subject Line: The Best Backpacking Moments of the Season (So Far)

REI Email

REI Email

Here’s a second example from West Elm. (Yes, them again—because their emails are that good!) It’s a great example of using email to connect with subscribers in real time in order to provide experiences that inspire them to be part of creating your brand. Plus, it’s a beautifully designed email with lots of visual appeal that translates well onto mobile devices.

Subject Line: Reminder – You’re invited! Pop-Up Shop with Emily Quinton

West Elm Pop-Up Shop Email

3. Optimize Across the Customer Journey

In 2016, be sure you’re creating a consistently great user experience at every touchpoint that your customer encounters your brand. Take, for example, the following email and corresponding landing page for Plow & Hearth’s fun slot-machine themed campaign. It’s a great example of delivering a seamless content experience.

Subject Line: 1 more chance to save up to 25%? You’re already lucky!

Plow & Hearth Email


When you click-through to their website, you see the spinning slot machine for great follow-through on their creative concept.

Plow & Hearth website

2. Personalization

It’s always nice to get an email with items handpicked for you based on your preferences, especially with a site like Etsy that has so much to choose from.

Subject Line: Fresh Shops

Etsy Email Personalization

Because personalization is so important in email marketing, we’re including a second top email for this category. In this email example from Lowe’s, the personalization piece is in the subject line rather than the body of the email.

Subject Line: 4 for $10 Mulch for the Best Landscape in Portland

Lowe's Email

1. Redesign

At the top of our list, we thought we’d highlight an email redesign. Our favorite this year comes from Target. They’ve made an effort to improve their email marketing campaigns with a mobile-first philosophy and stunning visual appeal. Check out the before and after versions below.


Subject line: 20% off KitchenAid appliances.

Target Before Email


Subject Line: 20% off ❅ sweaters ❅ outerwear ❅ & accessories for all.

Target After EmailTarget After Email

We hope you’ve found some helpful inspiration in these examples that will drive your email marketing to success in 2016 and beyond.

Learn more about Filament and how we can help you create emails your customers will open, interact with and share with others.

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