The inbox can be one hell of a crowded place. Signing into your Gmail account can often feel like the email equivalent of a stampede. Inboxes can sometimes seem like a place of constant bombardment, packed with promo and spam.

The average office worker receives 121 emails per day, so ensuring your email campaigns stand out from the crowd is vital when forming online relationships with your customers. Varied and unique emails that excite your subscribers are a great way to ensure consistent high open rates while also enabling your brand to cut through the noise.

So, what do users really want? Emails with purpose, emails that are honest and emails that are exciting. 

Here are our four favourite promotional emails from this year; with exactly the right balance of purpose, honesty and excitement:

Ryanair – The Irresistible Subject Liner

Although not rated for their email design, Ryanair do come up with some very memorable subject lines. Unafraid to use humour, they arguably get right the most important part of an email campaign - the subject line. After all, getting the receiver to open the email in the first place is half the battle, right?

So, what can we learn from Ryanair? By using humour, relating to topical subjects and being a little braver than the rest, we can do our open rates a huge favour. The more commercial your subject line, the more standard you become… and standard never stands out.

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Nike – The Aesthetically Pleasing

Sometimes, less is more (apart from when it comes to chocolate cookies, in that case, more is always more). Nike are great at making an impact with simple and minimal content. Their habit of single topic emails with singular CTA’s ensure key messages are easily communicated and digested by the reader.

Nike also uses photography incredibly well in their email campaigns. Striking imagery gives the campaign an artistic feel, and their content is so graphically pleasing that it’s far more likely to resonate with the reader.


Firebox – The Articulate One

When it comes to copy, Firebox don’t say much, but what they do say, they say well.

Relying heavily on imagery to tell a story, and using soft and playful graphics to set a scene for their emails, combined with well chosen copy, Firebox manage to strike just the right tone. Perhaps controversially, they’re also unafraid to drop the ‘F Bomb’ every now and again, but this is well aligned with their brand and makes them feel relatable, real and casual. They’ve decided the sort of relationship they want to have with their customers and have kept the tone and language light and fun to make that possible.


MOO – The All Rounder

MOO love the use of a good GIF.

Eye catching, a little different and very entertaining, MOO’s promo emails guarantee to provide you with that little bit extra and bring a colourful ‘pop’ to your inbox.

But, what do we like best? Their variety. Ever changing it up, MOO distinguish themselves with unique emails week after week - always providing the reader with something new. After all, there’s no easier way to disengage a reader than to bore them with repetitive, dull content!


It is one thing to get your subscribers to open your email, but getting them to scroll to the bottom, is another challenge. Many brands nail the first part but fail on the second, whereas Moo are focused on making their content entertaining from top to toe as a means of establishing an authentic connection with their customers.


So, what tips can we take from these brands to ensure striking email campaigns that stand out in the hustle and bustle of a busy inbox?

1. Give your subject lines a whole lot of thought, they are the key to the floodgates.

2. Look pretty. Visuals have an instant impact and can be the make or break of a successful email campaign. Great for setting the scene, remember imagery can relay key messages just as well as copy.

3. Chose your words well. Be brave and don’t go overboard. It’s a busy world out there so minimalism is fundamental to digestible content.

4. Don’t bore your subscribers. Keep your campaigns fresh and your recipients wanting more.

5. Make your campaigns entertaining from start to finish. Don’t plough effort into an engaging subject line and then neglect the rest of your email body. Consistency is key.