The 2013 Academy Awards of Email Campaigns

February is a busy month for awards, giving us the Golden Globes, the Grammys and the Oscars.

In honor of awards season wrapping up, we wanted to recognize some worthy email campaigns we’ve seen last year and this year. And not only that – we wanted to give you some ideas for your own emails, too.

Email marketing doesn’t always have to include a sales pitch. If you’re stuck for clever ideas, subscribe to some of the newsletters mentioned below.

Take a peek at our nominees and get some creative ideas for your own emails.

Best Writing – Seven Sentences, “Why Your Age Is Just A Number In Your Head”

Seven Sentences is proof that you can make an impact without lots of paragraphs.

The daily newsletter communicates bits of creative inspiration in just seven sentences each issue.

Red Carpet Inbox Tip
A wall of text isn’t always glamorous – or effective. Try paring down your article lengths for simple elegance.

Best Visual Effects – DailyCandy, “Looks That Stop Traffic”

DailyCandy went bold last year with a side-scrolling email that grabs attention. The animated arrow tells readers what to do and the call to action encourages more forward motion:

Red Carpet Inbox Tip
Let your email design break the mold once in a while. Your readers’ eyes get trained to your normal layout. Shaking up your design a little bit can give important announcements a bigger impact.

Best Directing – We Love… “Save Santa” and “The Lonely Hearts Club”

We Love… is a UK-based ad agency that sends a weekly newsletter with updates on their projects. But they also run some inventive promotions on big holidays.

For Christmas, they led an effort to save Santa, whose kidnapping had been arranged by a weary Mrs. Claus who just wanted a vacation. They designed their emails like a tabloid and invited readers to crack the case by sharing Santa sightings on Pinterest.

On Valentine’s Day, We Love… invited readers to cheer up Simon, who had his heart broken. Guys could share their best pickup lines and girls could say something nice about Simon. They displayed the most creative responses on the microsite.

The cleverest part about Simon? He was a front for recruiting new hires for We Love.

Red Carpet Inbox Tip
Holiday promotions can really make your brand shine. Get creative and make it interactive – Instagram contests, Pinterest boards, a shareable game. You can break away from your usual style with a themed template to get readers in the spirit.

Best Picture – Fotocrush, “Crush of the Month Club”

Fotocrush’s “Crush of the Month Club” started out as a simple calendar of the month, with a new printable, 3D calendar sent out to email subscribers every month.

That evolved into “Crush of the Month,” expanding into other art printables and desktop wallpapers sent to readers once a month.

The “Crush of the Month” club is a great example of content marketing – it’s a subtle reminder of their brand and their product (3D creations for ad campaigns) and delivers something fun and useful to their customers.

Red Carpet Inbox Tip
You don’t have to email something every day – or even every week – to make your brand memorable. Sticking to a regular schedule and sending something fun or valuable can make a bigger impact than a daily newsletter.

Who Are Your Winners?

Hopefully these tips and emails have inspired you to embrace a new design or send content you hadn’t thought of before.

Do you have a favorite newsletter or emails that inspire you? Share with us in the comments!

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  1. Barb

    I would like to nominate the RED LOTUS LETTER by Katie Weber.

    In these difficult times of this planetary shift, Katie sends emails that inspire us to keep our lives balanced and in order.
    With her help and guidance given in her emails, I know that my life is smoother, and easier, simply because of the Feng Shui tools that Katie makes sure we have available. Her tips and ideas are always beneficial, never something to discard.!
    EVERY piece of information that Katie sends out is ALWAYS of use to us who follow Feng Shui.
    For her dedication to her passion of Feng Shui, I believe Katie deserves an award.

    2/26/2013 3:50 pm
  2. I would like to nominate the Red Lotus Letter by Kathryn Weber. Her timely advice and recommendations for feng shui are very easy to understand and implement, which is so relevant these days. I’d highly recommend you check out her site and you’ll be hooked as well.

    Regards – Tim

    2/27/2013 5:32 pm
  3. Barb and Tim-

    Thanks for your comments – it sounds like Kathryn really knows her target audience.

    Are there any other email campaigns that inspire you or give you creative ideas for your own marketing efforts? That’s the discussion we’re trying to open up here. :)

    2/28/2013 2:23 pm