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15 Campaigns to Give You Inspiration for Data-driven Email Marketing Campaigns

Six months ago we compiled a list of 20 great lifecycle email campaigns and the response was fantastic. Since then we’ve seen some fantastic campaigns from B2C and B2B business alike: campaigns that implement email marketing best practice and raise the bar.

These 15 campaigns will give you inspiration for data-driven email marketing campaigns that get results. Learn from the best online businesses out there and make your campaigns shine.

1. Emirates pre-flight upgrade email


Emirates kicks off the list with this email, sent a few weeks before an international departure. By using their data they have singled out customers that are a) traveling a long distance, b) traveling economy, c) traveling soon and d) on an aircraft with and upgrade available. The copy to ‘make us an offer’ likely gets a lot of click-throughs: it’s different from the usual ‘Pay $X to upgrade now’. Don’t forget that using a future activity as the trigger point for an email is a great opportunity to upsell or re-engage customers.

2. Hackpad email to users that ‘activate’


Hackpad send out this awesome email when you create your fifth ‘pad’. In the Hackpad world this is a sign of activation: it’s a sign you’re fully engaged with the product.

Every SaaS company should be sending something like this. Not only does it congratulate the recipient but it encourages them to check out another popular feature. This not only gets them back to Hackpad’s site but is genuinely helpful and encourages the customer to try something they may not have used yet. If they like it, there’s every chance they’ll be a customer sooner and for longer.

3. Clarity.fm repeat engagement reminder


If you take a call on Clarity.fm, the savvy marketers there will be sure to follow up with this email campaign. When developing your lifecycle emails it’s important to reflect on Dave McClure’s infamous AARRR metrics.

Clarity nails the retention ‘R’ with this email. For anyone that has had a call via Clarity, you’ll know that there is often a ton of follow-up questions and ‘homework’ coming out of your calls. This email takes advantage of that fact and is a genuinely useful reminder to touch base with the mentors you’ve spoken to.

4. YouTube 5%


A great data-driven email, YouTube used this email to target customers that had watched any of 2013’s trending videos. The goal here is to get viewers that would be considered ‘tastemakers’ or ‘influencers’ to re-watch something they may have enjoyed early in the year and get them to share it again, perhaps even to ‘brag’ that they’d seen it first.

5. Flex battery is low


This is a simple email. It’s not sexy, it doesn’t even have a digital call to action…but there is something magical about the way the physical device on my wrist virtually sends me a reminder when it’s battery is low.

This campaign is an example of surprise. How can you surprise and delight your customers with something as helpful as this email from FitBit?

6. Activate your bonus activation email from Mouseflow


Mouseflow helps you track your customers’ on-site mouse movements. They have to ensure their customers install Javascript on their website and they use this campaign to help get them over the line. This is more unique than other activation emails we’ve seen recently as the call to action asks customers to ‘claim their bonus’. In a way, the bonus is artificial. It’s designed to get customers installed faster and it’s worth it to Mouseflow to reward the users that do install the Javascript with a little extra as, ultimately, there’s a much higher chance they’ll activate than if they don’t get the Javascript installed at all.

7. Canva account


A SaaS classic, this personal welcome email from Canva nails it. Short and sweet, it gets the job done.

Lincoln Murphy over at [Sixteen Ventures] recently updated his article on SaaS welcome emails, including mention of the Personal email. Read Lincoln’s advice, it’s fantastic.

8. LinkedIn connect with contact


If, at any point, you use LinkedIn’s Address Book import feature then you’ll notice a list of LinkedIn contacts that ‘aren’t yet on LinkedIn’.

If any of these contacts every join, you’ll get an email like the one above. The idea is to help seed the new user’s profile with a flurry of new contacts straight away, as well to increase your own network. A win-win for you, the new use and LinkedIn, this is a quality campaign.

9. Facebook inactivity email


At Vero, we use Facebook’s retargeting and ad features, though sparingly. This campaign from Facebook appears to have been targeted after I had not logged into our Facebook business account for a period.

All three calls to action lead to the exact same page: a guide for getting started with Facebook’s ad targeting tools. The focus and aim of this campaign are perfect for B2B lifecycle email. Targeting customers that are active users but may have gone a little quiet or have not used a particular feature is the perfect way to build up engagement or make more money.


We all know that Amazon sends some of the best email marketing around and this campaign is no exception.

A little different to some that I’ve seen before, this campaign is sent when you browse or buy in a particular category and the recommendations are very accurate.

11. BigCommerce before Christmas emails


The following email from BigCommerce was sent just before Christmas. We’ve got a few demo accounts for BigCommerce for testing. This campaign gets a mention, not because it’s particularly data-driven in it’s copy, but because of BigCommerce’s approach to it’s delivery.

Check out these from addresses:


It looks like BigCommerce assigns individual customer service representatives to each account. This is a great way to spread the load and create a truly personal experience. What a fantastic example.

12. CodeClimate weekly emails


CodeClimate is a very useful application for a company built on technology. Their notification emails are great for two reasons: 1. they’re clear and direct, and 2. they don’t make you go back to the website to get value from them. This particular example is twice as good, as the team at CodeClimate have dynamically inserted a notification that your trial is about to expire. This is how you should be doing trigger-based, transactional email.

13. Pocket top 1% of readers email


Pocket’s year-end email is reminiscent of LinkedIn’s top 5% of user’s campaign last year. The copy of the email gives it a personal touch despite the fact that Pocket has over 7.5 million users, making the top 1% a rather large 74,000. Using data to create a personal message is powerful and there is no doubt you could use your own data to create an email just like this.

14. FitBit data summary email



Another example from Fitbit (crushing it here) is this 2013 summary email. Pulling data for each and every customer and combining it with some cheeky copy gives this campaign a unique feel. “A turtle would take 364 days to skateboard that fast” is a fantastic way to present data and a great example of fun copy.

How can you combine a positive, fun tone with customer data to create something different?

15. PayPal money in account



Paypal have been working extremely hard over the last year to improve their branding and online toolset. This email is an interesting one. It was triggered when the account had a positive balance that had not been touched for a while. The call to action is a little vague but this is an effective email to remind inactive customers that do have the ability to make purchases or send money that they shouldn’t forget about their Paypal balance.

How can you target inactivity and segment out users that can take positive action immediately?


So there you have, 15 great campaigns that you can learn from.

Want to see more? Check out these 10 email marketing campaigns analyzed to increase conversions.

What other great campaigns have you seen recently in your inbox?

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