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Email Best Practices

The best anniversary emails

Anniversary emails offer a chance to make a deeper, more meaningful connection with your mailing list. Check out these tips and examples to inspire you!

Mother's day gift for Hera with big heart



We all know that anniversaries are important—they mark milestones in relationships both old and new. They are personal and unique, and they give us an opportunity to celebrate. This is why we love anniversary email campaigns. They’re fun, funny and often filled with wit, gifs, and emojis. At the same time, anniversary emails offer a chance to make a deeper, more meaningful connection with your mailing list. Here, we’ll give you some tips on how to create a memorable anniversary email, and offer some inspiration with some of our favorites. 

What is an anniversary email?

An anniversary email is pretty much what it sounds like: an email you can send to mark a special occasion. This can be a subscriber’s birthday or membership anniversary, or the anniversary of your product or business. Since you can choose which occasions you want to celebrate (and how to celebrate them), they’re a great way to show off your style and creativity and humanize your brand.

Anniversary emails tend to be more colorful, humorous, and informal than other marketing emails, and they often contain special deals or promotions. You want to get your subscriber’s attention and let them know they’re appreciated. 

These emails provide added value to your subscriber by highlighting them and their potential rewards, and they provide added value to your brand by showing thoughtfulness, generosity, and how you keep it real.

What are some best practices for anniversary emails?

As with any email campaign, there are some best practices to be aware of when creating anniversary emails. There are several ways you can show off some spirit and creativity while maintaining a consistent program. 

Grab attention with a dynamic subject line

To create an eye-catching anniversary email, you want to make sure it catches the recipient’s eye in the first place. That means leading with a strong subject line. Don’t be afraid to promote a free deal or add a joke or emoji. A generic or empty-sounding subject line won’t make your subscriber want to open your email–and that’s a loss for both you and them.

Make your content and design personal and celebratory

You should also focus on engaging, specific content for your email. It should be consistent with your brand, but also fun and celebratory. Does your brand focus on entertainment? Throw in a silly GIF from a popular television show. Travel? Add a great photo from a dream vacation destination.

When it comes to your design, make sure you follow design best practices to ensure your email flows smoothly and is easy to read. Remember the ideal text-to-image ratio (60:40) to avoid being flagged as spam, and try to keep your email to one column–this way, it’s easier to read on mobile devices and doesn’t look disjointed.. Also, use alt-text for your images. That way, if the reader has trouble viewing them, they will still be able to read the text and know the images’ contents. 

Additionally, don’t forget to tailor your content to your recipient—personalization is key. If your anniversary centers around a birthday, include some digital confetti! A membership anniversary? Offer up a gold star or medal. Marry your content and tone to the event, and make your subscriber feel special.

Drive conversions with a strong CTA

Finally, your email should always conclude with a strong call to action. It’s even better if it’s a special promotion or gift—anything from a free streaming trial to a half-off pint of ice cream. 

If you want to drive conversions, don’t forget to place your CTA above the fold and make sure it’s easily clickable on mobile devices. Remind your recipient of what they like about your brand, and they’ll engage even more with your products and services. After all, the only thing better than one pint of ice cream is two pints of ice cream.

What are some examples of great anniversary emails?

Now that you know a little more about crafting anniversary emails, we wanted to spotlight some of our favorites. They utilize our recommended best practices including great subject lines, fun GIFs, and more.

Duolingo: great subject line, engaging content

First on our list is Duolingo, which appropriately starts us off with an eye-catching subject line and an engaging visual.

This is a fantastic subject line and message copy–anyone who uses Duolingo would know exactly what the email’s message is just by looking at it. Duolingo anniversary = duoversary. Additionally, Duolingo incorporates its branding with a cute, colorful, celebratory bird. It’s designed to spotlight the recipient, and it does so perfectly. rewarding, consistent branding

Next is, which puts its design–a fun badge–front and center in its membership anniversary email.’s email focuses the recipient’s attention on its brightly colored one-year membership badge, which is both fun and consistent with their branding. It inspires a sense of pride and accomplishment for the recipient, and that accomplishment is rewarded at the end of the email with some celebratory community credits (complete with a party emoji). It’s sure to get a member excited about their past and future with the brand.

Subway: big, bold call to action

Next is Subway, which, at even the smallest glance, tells you exactly what this anniversary email’s all about.

This Subway email’s green letters are in line with its famous branding, and its message aims to get the recipient in line at their nearest Subway. The whole email is pretty much a simple call to action: get a free cookie as a special deal. And who doesn’t love a cookie?

Additionally, Subway gets points for positioning this deal as a late birthday treat. It inspires a sense of happy surprise, and it creates an automatic desire for the recipient to engage with the brand (because again, cookies).

Hulu: a short, sweet Seinfeld surprise

Next on our list is Hulu, who pulls out all the stops–and curbs no enthusiasm–with their birthday anniversary email.

The digital upcoming birthday confetti immediately catches the recipient’s attention and draws their eye to the text in a fun way. The email pitches its call to action in a concise, informal way, and the recipient is invited to get a free Hulu trial with an easy click of a green, consistently branded button.

Finally, the email makes use of a funny GIF from one of Hulu’s most popular offerings—Seinfeld. This reminds the recipient of Hulu’s movie and TV selections and creates a humorous, nostalgic connection that would excite even George Costanza.

David’s Tea: the power of simplicity and specificity

Last up is David’s Tea’s You’re The Best email. While this isn’t an automated anniversary email focused on a user milestone like the others, we like its clean, simple design, and its personalization and great focus on the recipient.

The email includes some valuable takeaways that made us include it on our list. David’s Tea is celebrating its anniversary, and it takes time to thank the customer and pinpoint the specifics of their relationship with the brand. The complimentary subject line inspires feelings of gratitude and kindness, and the fun facts and drawings create a warm emotional tone and highlight the personalized, unique journey of every customer.

Create anniversary email campaigns with Mailjet

Mailjet’s new anniversary workflow allows you to quickly and easily design, schedule, and automatically send emails for every occasion. You can use the anniversary workflow and Mailjet’s collaborative email editor, Passport, to create fantastic anniversary email campaigns that will look great on any device and inbox. Want to see how you can send these anniversary emails with Mailjet? Read our step-by-step tutorial on the anniversary workflow.  

Haven’t got a Mailjet account and want to try some of Passport’s design features? Play around with our demo to see how easy it is to create the perfect anniversary email with Mailjet’s email editor!

Key takeaways: inspiration for anniversary emails

The examples above showcase some best practices when it comes to anniversary emails. Remember to lead with a strong subject line, keep your branding consistent but informal, personalize your content for your recipient, and of course, have fun with it.

With these tips in mind, you’ll be on your way to creating awesome anniversary emails that create value for your mailing list and strengthen your relationship. And that’s definitely worth a cookie. 

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