Inbox Overload: A Weeks Worth of Email Marketing

This is a look into a weeks worth of email newsletters.

I have had to do similiar competitor research at an internship for an online publication where emails are the core to their business. I used to look into everything from advertisers, contests, events, to even design work. Admittedly, I miss that weekly research report. It was so interesting to see what others are doing out there.

So naturally I let my emails pill up just to explore a weeks worth of newsletters.

Publications explored included: Flavorpill, DailyCandy, Urban Daddy, and Tasting Table.

An Email Subject Line:

First things first, it doesn’t matter what you’re selling or if you have the best peice of content you’ve ever written. If no one clicks to open your email, all that stuff doesn’t matter anymore.

Make it count by providing a subject line your readers will be sure to make the next move on.

Here are recent examples that have caught my attention lately.


    • Draw Men Naked

Any and all from UrbanDaddy my favorites are: 

    • There’s a Stranger Making Dumplings in your House
    • When You Think of Guacamole, Think of This
    • Murray Hill’s Best Hope Yet
    • 24-Hour Beer Delivery to Your Doorstep


    • Be funny. Be creative. But most importantly know your audience and who you’re taking to.


  • Try A/B split testing. This allows tracking such things as subject lines. Two different subject lines that you want to test out will be sent to a certain percent of your audience. The results of which subject line performed better, based on open rate will be sent back to you, go with the better one.

Sponsored Ads:

Sponsored Ads are ads from an outside brand or advertiser who has bought ad space to be placed on your emails.

Here are a few examples:

From Tasting Table’s Email, Grady’s Cold Brew Sponsored Banner Ad:

Grady's Cold Brew Sponsored Ad

From DailyCandy’s Email, iVillage Sponsored Banner Ad Sweepstakes:

iVillage Sponsored Ad Get Great Hair

Promotional Ads and Call to Actions:

I wanted to highlight DailyCandy in this category as they seem to have the best self promoted banner ads.

DailyCandy Pinterest Account Promotion:

DailyCandy's Pinterest "Follow Us" Ad

DailyCandy “101 Books We Can’t Live Without” Editorial Promotion:

DailyCandy's Promoted Content - 100 Books

DailyCandy “31 Days of Summer Editorial” Promotion:

DailyCandy 31 Days of Summer Promotion

DailyCandy Daily Deal Promotion:

DailyCandy's Daily Deals Banner

Marketing Events:

Flavorpill always has the best events. Not to say other brands don’t but I’ve noticed that other brands tend to focus on one or two major events a year, while Flavorpill has one every month or so. I think frequency and quality are definitely things to keep in mind.

Flavorpill does a lot of events called “The Hookup” where they will create an event in partnership with a brand/advertiser.  I have been to a lot of these, they are the best event ideas and their design work is amazing.

Here are some recent examples:

Flavorpill Lunch Break

Flavorpill Lunch Break Dance Party Landing Page Promotion

Flavorpill + Patron- Movies and Mixology Series:

Flavorpill + Patron Movie and Mixology Event

Summerology Sweeps: 

This is a good example of a sponsored ad. This is the same partnership with Flavorpill and Patron, yet the above was in a mailer for an event in partnership with both Flavorpill and Patron. Below is an advertisement promoting Patron’s actual Summerology contest.

Summerology Patron Sweepstakes Ad

Consistency, Emails to Count on:

I enjoy just knowing these specific days have certain information I need. Here are some brands keeping up with consistency in the newsletter content they provide:

JetBlue and Delta: Air fairs and deals, usually on Tuesdays

DailyCandy Top Deals of the Week: Sundays

NY Creative Interns: New Opportunities Newsletter: Mondays

LinkedIn Today: Fridays

Flavorpill: Always be on the look out for subject lines that include The Hookup. Best events, thank me later.

Wrapping Up the Research:

I have noticed through this research every brand has their own secret piece of the email marketing puzzle that they thrive on. Whether it’s UrbanDaddy and Subject Line, DailyCandy and Promotional Ads, or Flavorpill and Partnership Events. The trick is combining them all for ultimate email domination.

Are there any brand emails that really stand out to you? I’d love to know, send me your comments and suggestions. 


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s