All marketers experience creative ruts every so often. Rather than wade through the block without any sort of exit strategy in mind, savvy marketers know that these situations provide an excellent opportunity to find new inspiration, and develop new techniques into their method. All great products are, to some extent, based on emulation. Observing others do good work and taking lessons from them is the best way for marketers (or people working in any field) to grow.

Inspiration is normally easy to find, but it can be a little challenging when it comes to email marketing. In this case, you simply need to be subscribed to an email list in order to find the right emails to get your creative gears turning. While there is an unending spectrum of quality brands on the internet delivering solid marketing through email (which is good news for you), we’ll start you off with three brands who do great work in the field.


Uber beautifully incorporates the concept of simplicity in their emails, letting subscribers know about their promotions and deals by sending a clear message with a brief initial description, and paiting it with an easy call-to-action. This is perfect for subscribers that quickly skim the email (which, let’s face it, comprises the large majority of consumers today). For readers who want to learn more about the subject matter, Uber includes a more detailed (though still pleasing to look at) unpacking of how the promotion works. Additionally, the design of their emails is consistent with their brand, represented by geometric patterns and bright colors like their app, social media photos, and website. Brand consistency is the important marketing tactic that uber absolutely nailed — all of their marketing assets serve to tell the company’s story.


At a certain point, Dropbox was experiencing a significant lull in their usage. In response, they sent out an appeal to their subscribers simply asking them to come back to their services. The crazy part is that it actually worked! Dropbox managed to find the sweet spot between relaying their intended message while sparking a favorable reaction in their subscribers. Thanks to an emoticon and a pair of whimsical cartoons, Dropbox found a way to make their “come back to us!” email cute and funny. The cartoons featured a ‘Before’ picture of the Dropbox logo as a dilapidated cardboard box textured with cobwebs and chipped at the corners. Next to that is the ‘After’ picture, showing the Dropbox logo atop a green hill, with flowers blossoming around it as a crisp file is dropped in. The email’s text included a quick reminder of the Dropbox services that consumers were missing out on, as well as the option for a refresher course in the software if needed. Dropbox’s email marketing tactic was bare, clear, and it actually worked.


BuzzFeed’s preview text and subject lines are consistently short and to the point, packing a clever punch. The preview text tends to accompany the subject line — for instance, in emails where the subject line is a question, the preview text will serve to answer it. It’s a wonderful, simple system that works throughout their campaigns. The evidence of BuzzFeed’s marketing efficiency can be observed by the mere fact that (essentially) everyone knows BuzzFeed. The copy within their emails is singularly impressive as well. The message still relays what it is intended to, and looks great by working in tandem with the well-selected images.

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