Best Email Marketing Campaigns to Get Inspiration

So you’ve decided to get started on an email marketing campaign. Your computer is booted up, you’ve got your notebook opened beside you and you’re already to go… but where should you start? It’s a daunting task, but we have a couple great email examples for you to get you started.

What is an email marketing campaign?

An email marketing campaign is simple in explanation, but can be difficult in execution. Essentially, an email marketing campaign is an email or series of emails that a business uses to communicate with their customers, trying to persuade them to interact with them and/or their product.

Both simple and hard all at the same time, right? Our top picks are going to help you out, so deep breath, get ready to take some notes, and let’s get into it.
Cat typing on keyboard

What makes a good email marketing campaign?

There are a couple things to keep in mind when planning your email marketing campaign. Every campaign you send out should include these key elements.

Subject Line

Subject lines are only a few characters, even less text than a Tweet, but they have the power to make or break your email marketing campaign. So how does something that small have so much power? Because it is the first thing your subscriber is going to see in their inbox, before they even open your email.

This is your chance to stand out in the inbox. Your subject line should be related to what your email is about, catchy and something your recipient can’t miss, but also true to your brand image. Oh, and do not fear the emoji! Adding emojis in the subject line can be that pop of color that draws your subscribers attention to your email first (and they’re super cute 😸).


Your customers signed up to receive your email marketing campaigns for a reason, and this is your time to deliver on it. The content of your emails should be relevant, and there should be plenty of value in them as well.

Sending offers like promo codes, exclusive content or suggestions for your subscribers are all great way to add value to your emails. Be careful not to make it too cluttered, though. Your message should remain skimmable and your customer should be able to get the big picture right after they open your email.


Picking the right time to send your email is a hard decision to make. Tuesdays and Thursdays are generally the best days to send out your campaigns, but choosing a day and time could depend on if your a B2B or a B2C brand, and what industry you are in.

Regardless of what your answer to that is, we know you want to land in the inbox at the time that’s going to get you the most exposure possible. Picking a date and time, and then being consistent with it, is just as important at the content itself.

Responsive Design

With 59% of emails now being opened on mobile, you’ll want to pay attention to responsive design. What this means is making sure that your email looks just as good on your customer’s mobile device as it does on their laptop.

Our Passport email builder will ensure that the emails you create appear how they should in your customer’s inbox, no matter the device. There are also a couple best practices for responsive emails that you might want to check out before you get down to it.

While designing your email, keep in mind that content is king. This means that adding interactive and eye catching features like GIFs and photos, and paying attention to building a memorable design are important, but make sure it doesn’t outshine the content of your email. When it comes down to it, your content is what your subscribers signed up for in the first place, and you want to make sure your delivering on those expectations. No pressure, though. 😅


A CTA, or a call-to-action, just might be the most important part of your email. This is the reason behind your email; it’s what you want your customer to do once they open it up in their inbox.

Whether it’s a button to complete their purchase, follow you on social media, or head back to your website to continue exploring, your CTA should grab their attention. There are a lot of ways to make your CTA stand out from the rest of the email, color and size just being two of them.

You’ll also want to keep the placement in mind, putting at least one CTA above the fold. You want your customers to see it as soon as possible so they know what action they should take within your email.

Don’t forget about the copy that you write to accompany it. The words you choose can make or break a CTA. It has to be hard NOT to click on, and match your brand voice. Sound like a lot? We have some great examples coming up to get you started.

9 of the best email marketing campaign examples

Nike: Clean minimalism

Nike's color and design
The first thing that catches our eye is the beautiful minimalism of Nike’s marketing campaign. Minimal clutter, minimal text, but just enough to pull you in. A big logo at the top so you know it’s Nike, followed by a bold title that immediately informs you that Nike is about to show you exactly what you need to make this summer a good one. Finally, one simple line of copy that fits perfectly with Nike’s brand voice.

It’s a seasonal email that’s just in time for the summer. It invokes beachy vibes with the towels laid out on an almost sand-colored background. While the main CTA is geared towards men, they also give you the option to check out the kids’ stuff too, in case the whole family needs to get ready for the summer!

PayPal: Enticing copy

Paypal's relatable copy
If you’re looking for an example of good copy, look no further than PayPal’s email marketing campaign. Quick and witty, it goes right into the purpose of the email flawlessly. We all know what it’s like when you’re out with friends, and you’re trying to figure out the best way to split the bill. The relatability of PayPal’s copy makes it feel friendlier and warmer.

It’s the perfect set up for their CTA. You’ll want to click on it to find out how you’ll never have to engage in that awkward “who’s going to cover the bill” conversation. Further down in the email, in case the copy didn’t quite snag you, they have a graphic to show you just how easy it is to use.

Starbucks: Welcome them to the list

Starbuck's welcome email
Welcome emails are a great way to say thank you to your subscribers for signing up to your email marketing campaigns. You got them, so now it’s time to wow them. And that’s exactly what Starbucks does with their welcome email by keeping it minimal, but still informative.

In the body of the email, the short and sweet text lets you know exactly what to expect from their future emails. If every email is as simple and digestible (no pun intended) as this one, you’ll be looking forward to their next email in your inbox.

Sending out a welcome email like this is super easy with our Automation feature. Once someone signs up for your newsletter, Automation will make sure the welcome email is sent off to them right away.

The Skimm: Milestone celebration

The Skimm's welcome email
Milestones are an important part of life, just as they are an important part of brand and customer relations. Well… maybe not as much, but bear with me. Milestone emails are emails that are sent out when the subscriber has reached a certain goal or, in Skimm’s case, been a subscriber for two years.

This kind of email can make a customer feel appreciated. We all love to celebrate a special occasion, right? The best thing about this kind of anniversary email doesn’t require a subscriber to input any new information. With that milestone email, you can also include CTAs to get them back more involved with your brand, like social media.

Tory Burch: The magic of GIFs

GIFs are the closest we can come to the moving pictures in Harry Potter. But beyond that, they’re also a cool little addition to your email campaigns to really catch the eye of your customer. When opened, it’ll set your email apart from all the other text-based ones cluttering up the inbox.

Additionally, the implied exclusivity of the Tory Burch sale can make customers feel special and singled out. The “Private Sale” encourages the customer to take advantage of this opportunity.

Trello: Clever CTAs

Trello's catchy CTAs
Because CTAs are so important to your email marketing campaign, it’s a good idea to make them hard to ignore. There are different ways to go about doing this, but the way Trello does is by writing witty copy for the CTAs. We all know the run-of-the-mill CTAs. The “click here” and the “learn more here” buttons that are the CTA equivalent of oatmeal for breakfast (no offense if you like oatmeal).

Accompanying Trello’s engaging copy are CTAs that are unique and fit with the little descriptions. It may be difficult and take quite a bit more brainpower, but avoiding the temptation to write boring copy of every aspect of your email, not just the CTAs, can really make your campaign stand out.

Microsoft: Interacting with your customers

Microsoft's email quiz
In this email campaign, Microsoft offered reward points if you answered the trivia question correctly. It’s like being on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, but inside an email! And without the million dollar prize… but still exciting.

While it’s a fun way to engage the customer, offering points that they can then redeem for things like prizes and coupons will keep the customer involved. To get the points, the customer also has to sign into their account, pulling them back to the web page. It’s a quiz that their subscriber will actually want to take.

Typeform: Re-engage

Typeform's re-engagement campaign
Email marketing campaigns can have many different uses, and one of those can be re-engagement. Maybe your subscriber was originally interested in your product, but life got in the way and they lost a bit of interest. Typeform’s re-engagement email shows you how to try to pull that subscriber back in.

At the beginning, they use a bit of humor to make the tone more conversational. Then, they give you a reason to come back to the site. In this case, it’s a link to the template gallery. A re-engagement email should both give the subscriber a reason to come back, as well as show them what they never knew they were missing.

Cook Smarts: Classic Weekly Marketing Campaign

Cook Smarts well sectioned email
Let’s just take a second to dissect this weekly newsletter.

Cook Smarts breaks down their email into three main sections to make the weekly reading a little bit easier to digest (get it? 😂). Starting with the menu, Cook Smarts shows you the best of the week so you don’t have to do the digging yourself. They segway into kitchen how-tos, and then into the Tip of the Week. Easy to follow, and easy to see the value in remaining a subscriber of the weekly newsletter.

It’s also a great idea to have a CTA like “Forward to a Friend”, as this one does in the top corner. Emails are super easy to share by (you guessed it) email, so adding this sort ofCTA could boost exposure for your marketing campaign.

How to send great email marketing campaigns with Mailjet

Feeling a little overwhelmed with all of the possibilities? Your email marketing campaigns can take any shape or form you like, and your creativity and vision are your greatest asset. At Mailjet, we can give you the tools so you can flex your creativity:

  • Drag & Drop Email Editor: After seeing all the examples above, you have a vision for your email marketing campaign. It’s our intuitive email editor, Passport, that is going to help you bring it to life with drag-and-drop sections that lets you bring that vision to life. The best part: you don’t need to know how to code.
  • Segmentation: Every person is different, so marketing to them like they are all the same might not be the best way to go. This feature allows you to group your contacts into similar interests, demographics, or other criteria. More targeted sending = more engagement. 😎
  • A/B Testing: Have an email hypothesis? Maybe you think a subject line with emojis will get more opens than one that doesn’t, but you want to test out your idea first. This is where A/B Testing comes in. It lets you test your hypothesis, and send only the best performing email to the majority of your contacts.
  • Personalization: Robots aren’t nearly as nice to talk to as humans. Personalization can catch your contacts attention, and make them feel like their valued by adding human touch to your email marketing.
  • Deliverability: If you’re sending emails, we’re guessing you want them to land in the inbox. Our great deliverability will help you get into your contacts inboxes, and your creative email marketing campaign will take it from there.

So you’ve designed your email, you’ve checked it for grammar and spelling errors (don’t forget to do this!), and you’re ready to send. We make sure your emails are responsive no matter what inbox they land in, or what device they’re viewed on.

When you’re building your campaigns, just keep in mind what your goal is. Do you want them to make purchases? Log back in? Give you more user information? Whatever the goal may be, build your CTAs, copy, and overall design to achieve it. Now take a deep breath… and get designing!

Is there an email campaign that stands out in your mind? If there is, let us know on Twitter.

8 Best Welcome Emails Examples to Onboard New Users

A welcome email can be the beginning of a beautiful relationship – the one between your brand and your customer, of course. Your subscribers signed up for your newsletter because they liked what they saw, and now it’s up to you to give them more of what they want.

What is a welcome email?

A welcome email is the first email your subscribers receive after they sign up for your newsletter. It’s your chance to wow them, to give them a taste of what’s to come, and have them looking forward to your next email.

Why is it important to send welcome emails to your new users?

Beyond a welcome email being a kind and polite way to say hello, they also have some very powerful statistics behind them. Believe it or not, at 50%, welcome emails actually have an unusually high open rate when compared to other marketing emails. They are actually 86% more effective than the average newsletter.

And, saving the best for last, subscribers who receive a welcome email show 33% more engagement with the brand. If that’s not quite enough for you, there is a whole other, more practical reason to send out welcome emails.

That reason is to continue the onboarding process that your subscriber might be right in the middle of. A welcome email could encourage users to do many things, like complete their profile, download content or even complete a purchase. You’ll want to check out your conversion rate for these emails to see how they’re performing.

Sidecar's welcome email with a big welcome and a little info about their company

What makes a good welcome email?

If you’re looking to get started with welcome emails, here are a few ideas to keep in mind.

Ensure it’s timely

As soon as someone signs up for your newsletter, send them that welcome email ASAP! Because they just signed up, it means they’re still online and currently looking at your brand. They are curious enough to want to know more, and your email could pull them in even further.

Our Email Automation feature will help you do just that. You’ll be able to schedule your welcome email to send out as soon as you get a new subscriber with very little effort on your part. We do the work for you.

Keep it brief, but deliver on your promises

You’ll want to engage your audience as quickly as possible, but make sure not to bore them. The content of the welcome email should be relevant, succinct, and provide some sort of value. A welcome email should set your subscribers expectations for the future. It’s the first email they’ll ever get from you, so give them a taste of what’s to come, and try to keep it consistent with the newsletter you’ll be sending out.

Additionally, if you promised something for signing up, maybe a discount code or exclusive content, now is the time to deliver! Give your customers an incentive to keep them engaged in your brand.

Personalize the content

It goes a long way! Use whatever data you have on your newest subscriber, and make that welcome email that little bit more welcoming. If you have their first name, use it either in the subject line, the body of the email, or both. Just using a first name in the subject line can increase open rates by 20%.

Personalizing welcome emails makes the correspondence feel a little more human, and a little bit less robotic. At Mailjet, it’s easy to add personalization to your marketing and transactional emails.

Include enticing CTAs

The reason behind marketing emails is to turn subscribers to customers, and your CTAs, or call-to-actions, are what’s going to do that for you. You’ll want to keep this in mind when planning out your email. Make your buttons easy to find, and enticing to click on. This might mean making it pop with color, or maybe a cool GIF to go along with it.

Choose the right colors

Color is a good way to grab attention, and hold it. On the flip side, if the color combination is off, it could cause subscribers to lose interest. Because your choice of colors are the first thing your customer will see when they open up your email, you’ll want to make sure the colors you choose reflect your brand. It might seem simple and straightforward, but there is a lot to take into consideration, so we made a guide for you on the psychology of color.

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8 Best Welcome Emails Examples to onboard and engage with new clients

Planning a welcome email and looking for some ideas? Check out these great examples and some of the elements you might want to consider when designing your own ones!

1. InVision – The power of personalization

InVision's welcome email does personalization really well
Why we love it: Big and bold and right at the top, personalization is what starts this email off. There is no better welcome than one that feels personalized just for you, and InVision does just that. And right after it, a bright CTA to get them involved with InVision again. Well done 👏.

Why you should try this: Don’t you love getting personalized stuff? A keychain is a dime a dozen, but your name on a keychain…now that’s a whole new level. Seeing your name on something makes it more valuable to you, and much more likely to interact with it. It’s the same with marketing emails. As we mentioned above, a first name in the subject line can increase open rates by 20%. And that’s just in the subject line. Personalization makes the email more human, and therefore more likely to be opened!

2. Airbnb – What’s next?

AirBNB's welcome email on boards the customer
Why we love it: Airbnb uses their welcome email to continue the onboarding process. Right after a warm welcome with bright, vibrant colors, the email gives you a couple different options to continue interacting with Airbnb. Completing your profile and adding verifications keeps the subscriber engaged with the brand, and the final CTA gets you back on their webpage with a very on-brand “Get Exploring”. 😉

Why you should try it: What is it that you want your users to do right after they sign up or join your list? Having a clear idea of what you want that ‘next step’ to be will help you keep your users engaged.

If your subscribers have a profile to set up with your company, a purchase to complete, or some settings to choose from, a welcome email is a great way to get them moving through these steps. Not only does it have the potential to give you more information about your subscribers, but it also keeps them interacting with your company and pulls them back to your main site.

3. Evernote – Clear and catchy CTAs

Evernote's welcome email has a CTA right before the fold
Why we love it: What Evernote does really well here is the CTA. The little bit of text at the top, “You’re going places. Your notes should too.”, gives us a taste of the brand voice right before they give us the CTA to download the app. No need to scroll, it’s all right there for us. If you do happen to take a gander further down in the email, the same CTA is at the bottom. They take all the work out of scrolling back to the top for us, too!

Why you should try it: The CTA is the bread and butter of your welcome email. Don’t get me wrong, thanking your subscribers for signing up is very important to make them feel valued. But, the CTA is what is going to keep them interacting with your company after they’ve opened the email.

The CTAs you include should be bright, enticing and fit in with your brand image. There should be one near the top of the email (above the fold), as one of the first things your new subscriber sees. Additionally, if there is enough content in the email (like Evernote’s), a CTA at the bottom as well is a good idea to keep your customers from having to scroll back up.

4. Casper – Color you want to click on

Casper's welcome email uses colors to further their brand image and pull the customer in
Why we love it: What’s the first thing you noticed about Casper’s welcome email? I’m willing to bet it was the deep blue color.

On brand, relaxing, with the text contrasting to stand out? Yes, please. The color conveys exactly what the brand is all about, without overwhelming the subscriber. It makes you look forward to future correspondence from them with the hope that each email will be as creative as the first. And the cherry on top? The little sleep-related puns. 💤

Why you should try it: Colors are very important for brand recognition and consistency. I’m sure at some point you’ve opened up an email and immediately deleted it because the colors were just throwing you off. You don’t want your subscribers doing the same, and color goes a long way to keeping them engaged.

There is a lot to consider when choosing colors, like how they reflect your brand, how they look together, if they stand out enough but aren’t too overwhelming. Our psychology of color blog post should be able to help you out.

5. Glossier – Let’s get social

Glossier's welcome email has social links at the bottom
Why we love it: Welcome emails are a great way to introduce new subscribers to some of the other channels you may be operating on, like social media. Glossier does a great job of keeping their text to a minimum, but still promoting a way to further interact with their brand. Showing their Instagram feed at the bottom not only adds to the overall aesthetic, but also entices you to connect with them on another platform.

Why you should try it: So they’ve signed up for your newsletter, and they’ll be getting regular correspondence from you through that. But, moving them onto your social media channels puts you in their orbit even more often. You’ll have more chances for conversion, and the greater the brand recognition the more they interact with you.

6. HelloPrint – The human element

HelloPrint's welcome email introduces their customer service team with photos of them
Why we love it: Email can feel so robotic sometimes. It’s in the name: electronic mail. So sometimes the brands that add a human element to their marketing stand out more. Take a look at how HelloPrint introduces the new subscriber to the customer service team. Introducing you to Danny, Mary and Martha puts a face to your brand, and makes them seem more trustworthy in the eyes of a customer. (Also…peep the personalization at the beginning 👀)

Why you should try it: You want people to trust your brand, but it’s hard to trust something that you can’t put a face to. Showing your customers that there are humans behind the machine can make them like you, and want to work with you, a little bit more. Introduce them to some members of your team, like customer service so they can see who they might be working with in the future.

7. Mode – Get them interacting

Mode's welcome email includes a how-to video as an interactive
Why we love it: Never underestimate the value of interactives! In Mode’s welcome email, they include a tutorial video. This email acts as a one-stop-shop to learn more about the brand you just subscribed to, gain some tips and tricks on how to use it, and then get started putting your new knowledge to work! All packed up into a 2 minute video… phew!

Why you should try it: When you hit the inbox, you want your email to stand out from all the other emails fighting for your customers’ attention. A good way to do this is through interactives, like videos, that are hard not to click on. However, make sure that whatever you add to your welcome email, be it text or interactives, adds value. You don’t want to lose your audience by having too much content.

8. Uber – Deliver the incentives

Uber's welcome email includes the incentive they promised at the top
Why we love it: If signing up to your newsletter came with an incentive, you might want to take a couple notes from Uber’s welcome email. The incentive “Your free Uber ride is waiting” is as hard to miss as it is to resist. Following it up with a short explanation of what the incentive includes and topping it off with a CTA that helps the subscriber redeem the reward makes it so easy. SO easy in fact that there’s no reason not to use their product, right?

Why you should try it: Adding incentives like special promos for new users or access to exclusive content can really draw in subscribers. It adds an extra bit of value for signing up for your newsletter and will get them trying your brand. However, if you do offer an incentive, make sure you deliver on it.

What is a welcome series?

So you’ve heard all about welcome emails. Why not take it to the next level and try a welcome series?

A welcome series is a succession of welcome emails that are staggered, instead of sending out just one. Well, why should I send out multiple emails instead of just one? It’s a good question, and the answer is that you don’t want to overwhelm your new subscriber with a ton of info in your welcome email.

Instead of overwhelming them with an extra long email, stagger out the onboarding info so they are more likely to interact with it.

Sending out the first email as soon as they sign up that has some easy, preliminary info to begin the onboarding process would be step one, like a thank you for signing up and a subscription confirmation. Then, the next day, send out email two that has a couple more steps, like maybe set their email and profile preferences, and links to social media. Day three, send out another with popular products or something easy they can try so they familiarize themselves with your product or service.

Sending welcome emails with Mailjet

With Mailjet, it’s easy to send out your welcome emails. It’s even easy to send out a series of welcome emails, if that’s more your style. Our Email Automation tool lets you set up a workflow that will send out an email, or a series of emails, based on a specific action. In this case, subscribing to your newsletter.

To begin, click on ‘Automation’ in the main menu and then click ‘Create my first workflow’.

click on create my first workflow
Select the ‘Welcome’ automation scenario, and fill in the workflow details for the welcome email you’re going to send out. Once that’s done, select the contact list that will be the trigger for you workflow. Don’t forget to hit ‘Save and continue’.
don't forget to hit save and continue
Almost time for the creative part! Click the ‘+’ button to begin designing your email. Right before you head to our email editor, Passport, to begin designing like usual, you will have to choose if you want there to be a delay for sending out your email. We suggest you send it immediately, but it’s up to you.

You can stagger the emails if you want, and then hit confirm
Now it’s time to get designing. Keep all of our tips and tricks in mind while building your email, and get as creative as you want within Passport. Once you’re all done, you’ll be taken back to the ‘Customize your workflow’ page where you’ll hit ‘Save and continue’.
Design your email, and then press save and continue
But hold on a second. Before you activate your workflow, make sure all your emails have been tested and the workflow details have been reviewed. Maybe even get a second pair of eyes to look it over if you can. Once the workflow has been activated, it cannot be modified.

Once you’re happy with it, click ‘Save and activate now!’

And that’s all there is to it!

If you want to send out a welcome series, you would add more emails in the workflow, and set a delay for them to be sent 24 hours after the sign up, or however you want to stagger them out.

Wrap up

Welcome emails aren’t just a way to say hello to a new subscriber (but it’s still a very important part of them!). They are also a way to further engage your customers, show off what your brand is all about, and maybe get them even more involved. From the CTA, to the colors, to the personalization, adding these elements will make sure your subscribers are looking forward to what’s to come.

What’s the best welcome email you’ve ever received? Let us know on Twitter.

Email List Cleaning: Why and How to Properly Clean Your Email List

Spring cleaning is a drag. We get it. But just like it’s important you get rid of all those broken pens and loose paper clips in your desk, it’s also important to give your email list a thorough cleaning. The good news is you won’t need a vacuum for this one.

What is email list cleaning?

Email list cleaning means removing old or inactive contacts from your email database, be it contacts that are no longer engaging with your emails or dated email addresses that are no longer active and might return bounces, blocks or might have even become spam traps.

Cleaning your email list is really quite simple. It’s pretty much exactly what is sounds like: looking over your email contact list and updating it as you see fit. That means getting rid of old, outdated contacts. Just like getting rid of those old pens in your desk.

But wait a minute…isn’t it the more contacts on your list, the better chance you have for a higher opening rate? Actually, that’s not quite true. Removing contacts from your list might seem scary. After all, you put in work to get them there in the first place. But placing your focus in nurturing the contacts who love your brand is the better way to go. Then you’ll be able to show them what your brand can really do.

Email list cleaning means getting rid of old contacts.

Why should you clean your email list?

Simply put, because it can impact your deliverability. That’s a fancy way of saying ‘the number of emails that make their way into your contacts’ inboxes, instead of the Spam folder’. Why should you care about this? I’ll tell you why.

Three words, four syllables: Increase Open Rates.

The way ISPs (Internet Service Providers) learn is from your statistics. They take a look at your open rates and try to gage from there how interested your contacts are in the content you’re sending them. If your open rates are low, this tells the ISP that your contacts aren’t interested.

You need to clean your email list to ensure that the ISP doesn’t take a look at your low open rates and say “This is not valuable, send to spam.” (Tip: it’s more fun if you read it in a robotic voice). If this happens, your open rates will decrease even more, fewer people will be reading your emails, and the ISP will continue to mark it as spam. It’s a vicious cycle, we know.

By cleaning your email list, you’re ensuring your open rates, which is the ratio between emails sent and emails opened, are better. Now, this won’t affect the total number of contacts that read your email; if 4 out of 100 open your email, the number will remain the same if 4 out of 50 contacts read it. The potential ROI from this campaign might remain the same, but email list cleaning will affect your reputation with the ISP. And this is key 🔑.

You don’t want a bad reputation (despite how cool the song by Joan Jett is). The worse your reputation is with an ISP, the more often your mail will end up in spam. Then, because your emails are ending up in the spam folder instead of the inbox, the number of contacts reading your email will be reduced, along with your ROI and engagement. Email list cleaning is what’s going to help you avoid this.

There’s another reason to clean your list (as if you haven’t been convinced yet). By putting your time and focus into contacts that love your brand, instead of subscribers that never interact, you can build better relationships with your active customers. Focusing on the contacts that love your emails lets you create content that suits their needs and interests, which can lead to better conversion rates. You’ll have better customer satisfaction, and higher revenue. It’s a win win.

How to spot a need of email list cleaning

You should always clean your list from blocks, bounces and spam complaints after you send an email, but even if your emails are arriving in your contacts’ inbox, you might still be in need of an email list cleaning.

Basically, the way to figure out if you need to clean your email list is to keep an eye on your open rates. What you’re looking for is an indication that they are starting to go down. If you see that they are decreasing over time, it might be time to clean that list.

Old contacts can be a couple of different things. It could be contacts that are uninterested or disengaged in your brand. These are those people that never open your fantastic emails and don’t know what they’re missing.

If it’s not them, it could be bad email addresses that your messages bounce back from (the WORST). Take a look over your email list with these two types of contacts in mind and start to scrub that contact list clean. Metaphorically, of course.

How to clean your email list (no cleaning supplies necessary)

Ok, you convinced me, I know why I should clean my contact list and I’m ready to begin. But where do I start?

Don’t worry, we’ve got your back.

To clean your email list, you can use two methods:

  • Remove blocks, bounces and unsubscribes after every email campaign.
  • Use segmentation to target inactive users.

Cleaning your list after every email campaign

We promise it’s not as much work as it sounds. After each campaign, take a look over your stats. You’ll want to look for unsubscribes, bounces and spam, and remove them from your contact list before sending another campaign. Diligence is key to cleanliness!

But, what else can you do to optimize your email contact list? Well, I’m glad you asked.

Cleaning your list every few months

You can also segment your list based on the engagement of your contacts. Look for the contacts that haven’t opened your email in the past 3 to 6 months, and send them a ‘we miss you’ reactivation email.

It’s like checking in on an old friend. You send them a little message to see if you still have anything in common, and if they don’t respond… all that’s left is to move on and remove them from your contact list. Because, let’s face it, if they haven’t engaged with you in the past 6 months, the message they’re sending is pretty clear. They’ve lost interest in what you’re offering. But the good news is you are freeing up time and effort to focus on catering to the contacts that can’t get enough of you.

You can segment your lists to email list clean more easily.

5 Ideas to maintain a healthy email list

1. Use a double opt-in

A double opt-in means that when a customer signs up for your mailing list, you fire off an email asking them to confirm their subscription by following a link in the email. Setting up a double opt-in system helps you prevent fake email addresses from entering your database. This means that only those that are interested in receiving your content will confirm the subscription, and there will be fewer bounces, blocks, etc. Think of it as a first defense for a cleaner and healthier list.

2. Ask your contacts

It can be hard to tell if your contacts are simply not interested in what you’re sending them, or if they love it but just don’t feel like taking further action with it. A way to separate these two audiences is to ask questions. We have a couple ideas for how you can do this. So go on, don’t be shy.

  • You can ask your contacts to vote in a poll, with a question about how much they are enjoying your content, or maybe what they would like to see more of. I mean, come on, who doesn’t love a good poll?
  • Request some feedback on something you’ve sent, a new format you’re trying out, or anything else you’re curious about.
  • Ask your contacts to set their own communication preferences directly within the email. You can ask about preferred frequency, topics they might be interested in, etc.
  • Offer your contacts the ability to easily make product or feature requests.

Once you’ve sent out a round of these emails, filter out the contacts that are still not engaging with your content. Voila! Cleaned.

3. Start a re-engagement campaign

Remember when we were talking about those ‘we miss you’ emails? That’s a re-engagement campaign. Low engagement in your content doesn’t necessarily mean that your contacts aren’t interested in your brand, it could just mean they aren’t too interested in the content you’re providing. So before you scrub them from the list completely, see if you can pique their interest a bit. We have a few ideas for you:

  • Offer a free gift, or maybe a discount (no one can resist free stuff). But be careful with this one. It has potential, but what you really want is for your contacts to be interested in the content you’re providing, rather than just re-engaging for the freebee.
  • Give them a special perk, or maybe access to special content. Everyone loves to feel special every now and then.

Another tip is to take a quick glance at the calendar. Sometimes, people love your content, they’re just being bombarded by emails because of the time of year. Like during the holiday season when they don’t want to open even one more email. Just make a note to re-engage with these contacts later on.

A re-engagement campaign to add people back to your list after email list cleaning

4. Make it easy to unsubscribe

It’s never a good idea to hide your unsubscribe link from your customers, or to make the process of unsubscribing difficult, time-consuming or confusing. If they can’t find your unsubscribe link, or don’t want to take the time, they may just mark you as spam. You don’t want that, and we don’t want that for you.

We know it may seem backwards to offer your clients an easy way for them to leave. But, if you’re providing your contacts with quality content (which we know you are), then they won’t even look at that unsubscribe button. Just make sure to make it worth their time by providing worthwhile content.

Mailjet's unsubscribe link in our emails

5. Never buy email lists

Repeat after me: I will not buy email lists. Good. Now say it five times fast.

It may seem like a quick and easy way to build up your sender list, but don’t be fooled. It’s far better to build up your own list of subscribers that chose to receive your content.

A bought list is usually poor in quality. They aren’t targeted for your brand, so you’re not going to get good value from interacting with them.

They could also have something called spam traps in them. These are email addresses that used to be valid, but will now get your IP address blacklisted for sending to them.

So before you go to buy that list, remember all those annoying emails you got that you rolled your eyes at and sent to the junk folder. That’s not where you want your emails to end up.

How to clean your list with Mailjet

Manually cleaning your list would be really time-consuming, so we made it easier for you. With just a couple of simple steps, you’re on your way to a sparkling clean list.

The first thing you’re going to want to do is click on the title of the last campaign you sent out. Scroll down until you see ‘Show me the reports’ and click on that, too.

Show me the reports button

Then select the ‘Status’ drop down menu, and take your pick. You’ll mostly want to focus on the Unsub, Spam and Bounced options.

Drop down menu showing you the segmentation options

Once you’ve selected one of those options, click on the button ‘Export to a list’ at the bottom of the page. When that new box opens up, in the left drop-down menu, you’ll want to select the contact list that you want to clean up. In the right drop-down menu, select ‘Remove contacts’. Now take a deep breath, and press the ‘Export’ button.

Export them to a separate list, and your done with your email list cleaning

That’s all there is to it. You are now a few contacts lighter.

We hope you feel refreshed and organized after cleaning up your email contact list. If you have a few cleaning tips, whether it’s for email lists or the office, share them with us on Twitter.