The 10 Best Marketing Emails of 2015

With 2015 coming to an end, now is the time to look back and evaluate your past year’s marketing activities, and how they have contributed to your business’s growth.

If you are like most businesses, you probably dedicated a fair amount of your marketing resources to developing your social media presence; connecting with your customers on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest.

And email?

I hope you didn’t forget about email because email marketing is still one of the best ways to drive sales. According to this survey by Adobe, most American consumers actually prefer being contacted by brands via email than over any other platform, which means that polishing up your email marketing tactics is a very good idea.

One way to do this is by taking a look the emails in your own inbox and seeing what has impressed you, and why. Which brands managed to grab attention this year, and how can you imitate that success?

Which brands managed to grab attention this year, and how can you imitate that success?

I’m going to help you get started by sharing with you the five emails that I received in 2015 that impressed me the most.

I also asked GoDaddy Email Marketing to share with us the best performing emails that they saw sent this year, along with some suggestions as to what we can do to imitate their success.

The best emails of 2015:



1. The Book Depository

My inbox  is brimming with unopened emails that I will probably never read. It takes a lot to get me to open a promotional email, even when it’s coming from a source that I know and trust.

But The Book Depository has figured out the trick to getting my attention

Subject line: “Wishlist book price drop alert from Book Depository”

Yes, the book I have been wanting to read is on sale! Of course I’m going to open the email to find out more.

The contents of the email are short and to the point, providing information about the book that’s on sale along with a link to purchase it.

Sometimes the book that’s featured in the email is one that I’ve already read or no longer interests me, in which case I’ll often drift down to the bottom of the email, where there is link to my list of wishlisted books. I’ll usually visit the list in order to remind myself of what’s on it, and to see if there are any new books that I want to add.
But the end result is usually the same, and thanks to the email I will find myself browsing The Book Depository website.




  1. Learn about your customers and what they want to hear and then provide it to them in a personal way. This email was geared to me and my particular interests, based on my activity on their website.
  2. It’s good to use email subjects that clearly tell you what the email is about, but sometimes you don’t want to give it all away. In this case, the subject line tells me that one of the books on my wishlist is on sale, but not which book, so I need to open the email to check. If the subject included the title of the book, and it was a book that I’ve already read, then I probably wouldn’t have bothered opening the email.



2. Georgia Aquarium

Planning a trip to the Georgia Aquarium?

If you’ve pre purchased your tickets online, then on the day before your visit you will receive a personalized email from the aquarium with helpful information, such as directions, parking instructions and frequently asked questions. The aquarium also uses this opportunity to highlight their behind-the-scene tour, which visitors can purchase tickets to as well.



After you’ve spent an enjoyable day at the aquarium you’ll receive a second email from them, asking about your visit and requesting your feedback. And after the fun day you’ve had playing with the fish, how can you resist?


Georgia Aquarium follow up email



Timing is everything. An email received at just the right moment with make all the difference in how your recipient responds. An email about your upcoming trip to the aquarium has a high chance of being opened because it’s timely and relevant.


3. JibJab

When I came across one of JibJab’s personalized ecards on a friend’s Facebook page, I immediately rushed to their website to create my own hilarious holiday card. After uploading my kids’ pictures to the site I had a good laugh, as I watched the cartoon characters dance around my computer screen, wearing my kids’ faces (not as creepy as it sounds).

And then I wandered away from the website and forgot all about JibJab.

But JibJab did not forget about me.

About an hour later an email dropped into my inbox proclaiming “You were thiiiiiis close.”

And right there in the email was a picture of my kids, dancing the Hora, and reminding me of the hilarity the card had induced just a short time earlier.

JibJab reminder email



If visitors to your website are abandoning their shopping carts or quickly leaving your landing page, draw them back to your site with a personal message.

Remind them about the awesome goodies waiting for them in their cart, or the special deal that had attracted them to your landing page.



4. Buffer

After signing up for Buffer I received an enthusiastic email from “Joel and the Buffer team” welcoming me to the Buffer family. This personable welcome email hits all of the right notes, making me feel special about being greeted by the CEO himself, as well as by his reassurance that his team will be responsive to all of my social media sharing needs.

The email is clean and easy to read with no images. Just a straightforward message from them to me.

The one tip offered also comes across as genuine, leading me to believe that this is advice worth following.

Buffer welcome email



  1. Make your recipients feel special with a personal message that’s genuine and shows your desire to make them happy.
    The only thing I would have changed here, is to include the recipient’s name in the greeting, rather than use a generic “Hey There.”
  2. Avoid confusing new users by including too many details or instructions in your initial email. Share only one or two important pieces of information that you feel will be particularly helpful to a new user. 



5. Urban Outfitters

My supervisor recently forwarded me an email she received from Urban Outfitters because she was impressed by its subject line.

“RE: The $50 we owe you…”

Who’s not going to be tempted by an email that appears to be offering you money?
Not only that, but by beginning the subject line with “RE:” and using the word “owe” the recipient gets the impression that this email is following up on a series of interactions that have already taken place, which makes them more likely to open it.

Email from Urban Outfitters




A subject line that appears to be following up on a previous interaction will most likely get opened. Though you have to be careful not to do this too often otherwise your emails will start getting marked as spam.

You also have to make sure that the contents of the email follow up on the promise made in the subject line, otherwise your recipient will feel like they have been tricked and they will associate your brand with that negative feeling. 


And here are five of the best emails that were sent this year with GoDaddy Email Marketing, along with a few comments about what made each email so successful.


1. The Scarlet Letter

This promotion, from a company that produces reproductions of historic samplers,  is short and to-the-point. Readers skimming a busy inbox during the holidays  can get their information quickly with just a quick glance through the content of the email.

The Scarlet Letter Holiday promotions



2. Faberge Research Site

This email from the Faberge Research Site saw great view rates and active click-throughs. The topic of Carl Faberge may be very niche, but the senders of this newsletter know exactly how to capture the attention of their audience.



3. C.O.R.E Dance Project Inc.

Here’s another simple and concise email from a sender who makes the call to action clear, and still makes an effort to thank their readers.


Core Dance Project


4. The Wine Check

This sender knows that a little bit of humor goes a long way. With a smile out of the gate, readers are happier to read the news.



5. Star Trek: Renegades

These senders are using email marketing to keep their supporters updated on the progress of their goal. By keeping in touch, they encourage more participation and greater donations – as well as super impressive view rates and forwards.



Did you receive an email this year that really grabbed your attention? Tell us about it here.

Or share with us your best performing email and what made it so successful.