While you put the finishing touches on your holiday 2020 ecommerce email marketing campaigns, we at MailCharts are discovering more emerging brands, triggering and classifying new journey emails, and curating the best examples of emails in dozens of categories all to help you spend less time researching and more time creating effective strategies and campaigns.

We also dive deep into the data that pours in daily. We study email volume, frequency and sending patterns, and promotion types, kinds, and amounts to gain insight into industry groups such as this update’s spotlight group Health & Fitness.

Keep reading to discover how brands in this industry group have responded to the unusual conditions of this pandemic year.

 

What’s new in the MailCharts Index

Every day brings new email brands, new and updated email journeys and emails. Here’s a look at some of the most notable new entries.

New brands

Check out these new additions to our database and consider adding to your custom tracking list:

New journeys

Triggered emails are the building blocks of a brand’s email marketing strategy. They show you how your competitor and peer brands are using data to engage, persuade and retain their customers. MailCharts organizes journey emails so you can track them easily, review content for inspiration and optimize your own emails to stay ahead of your inbox competition.

The seven email journeys listed below match up with key points on the customer journey with a brand.

Subscription onboarding

Emails like this one have an extra duty: They must not only set the stage for the new customer’s experience with the brand, they must also help stoke the buyer’s desire to continue paying for the subscription.

The Farmer’s Dog, a subscription pet-food service, uses a five-email onboarding journey to build on their customers’ devotion to their dogs. The first email dives right by personalizing the message with the dog’s first name — in the subject line!

Check out this journey to see how the onboarding and confirmation emails aim to build trust, confidence, and authority, from the detailed purchase confirmation to the tips and education in each email that reinforce the brand’s authority on pet health and behavior.

Active subscription

This brand does for people food what the Farmer’s Dog does for kibble-eaters. Daily Harvest starts the journey with a detailed welcome and order confirmation that sets expectations for future orders in order to whet appetites for continuing to order subscription boxes.

All told, Daily Harvest sends a detailed 17-email journey series over 27 days. Follow-up emails after the welcome include order tracking, health education, reorder reminders and upsells, refer-a-friend and review request, and opportunities to edit orders.

When our MailCharts foodie canceled a subscription, the brand responded immediately with a confirmation and followed up a day later with a re-engagement offer. Track this brand to see how it mixes selling, education and reinforcement to promote retention and how it manages frequency at different points along the brand journey.



Birthday

Everybody loves birthday emails. They give marketers a reason to send an email without a formal campaign, they’re easy to set up, and they make customers feel good.

And customers really like birthday emails like this one from Dunkin’ Donuts. It begins with an irresistible subject line — “Open Our Gift First” — and offers a genuine freebie — a free drink — that the customer can redeem without jumping through hoops. Need to spice up your birthday greeting? This email gets everything right.

Browse abandonment

Although many ecommerce brands send browse-abandonment reminders to site visitors it can match with email addresses and browsed pages for products, few are as tenacious as Smartwool.

Where most brands send one or two emails, this clothing brand sends four emails over seven days — and each one has a different approach. The first email is a straight-up abandonment reminder, including the product browsed, a cross-sell and a smidge of product education. The three follow-ups recycle the main message image and copy but change the subject line and inside headline. Then the series ends with a restock reminder.

Cart abandonment

Abandoned-cart emails have the highest ROI among triggered emails, and they get opened and clicked on more than promotional emails. Although many brands send a multi-email series, you can still pack a punch with a single follow-up if you do it right.

From You Flowers combines a compelling offer (free shipping along with the dollar value of the offer), the product image, urgency (reminding the customer that the cart expires after 24 hours) and social proof (“Thanks for joining over 7 million satisfied customers.”

Welcome and onboarding

This is your first and most crucial email journey because it sets the stage for your customer’s experience with your brand. Launch as early as possible after opt-in to keep your brand fresh in your customer’s mind.

Many brands send a multi-email onboarding series. But, as with cart abandonment, you might be able to get it done with one email (not counting your email confirmation message).

That’s what Tattly has achieved. It sends an official welcome email that effectively introduces the brand — what it sells, what the products look like, who the ideal customer is and a little bit of the backstory about why the brand was founded.

Purchase

This is another email journey you must get right in order to help customers trust your brand. It’s not enough to say “Thanks!” Instead, see what Abercrombie & Fitch does with its well-rounded, five-email series. It begins with a purchase receipt that packs in all the relevant details about the order and then packages them to answer crucial questions like “When will you get it?” and who got billed for the order. Other emails in the series confirm a points award, confirm shipping and delivery and request a product review.



Recently curated email examples

We look through the MailCharts email database daily for new and noteworthy examples of the emails that most interest our users. Then we curate them into lists you can search using dozens of keyword combinations. This saves you time and effort you would otherwise spend scrolling through thousands of creative examples looking for just the right ones.

Need a quick shot of inspiration? Look through these email lists to find just the right one:

  • Christmas: See shareworthy examples of 2020 Christmas messaging.
  • Animated GIFs: Some animated GIFs are practically mini-movies, but you can also add visual punch just by alternating the colors your product comes in.
  • Refer a friend: Word of mouth builds the customer base fastest, and you’ll see all kinds of approaches on this list.
  • Back in stock: Whether you send a general restock notice of a popular product or a personalized notice to a customer who asked to be notified when the product returned to the shelf, this list shares examples by brands that connect with strong visuals and clever copy.

 

Industry Highlight: Health & Fitness

Overview

Consumers’ interest in staying healthy has produced an unexpected boom in health, fitness and wellness thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Remember last Christmas when critics and consumers snickered at TV commercials for Peloton fitness cycles? Then the pandemic hit and gyms closed. Guess which brand saw bike sales jump 172% and added 1 million subscribers to its streaming classes?

The surge is expected to continue into 2021, thanks to a combination of the ongoing pandemic and the usual after-Christmas round of resolutions.

A few data points to set the stage:

  • Sales of dumbbells during the 2020 lockdown period increased by 1,980% compared to March and April in 2019, according to eBay. Meanwhile, sales of weight plates for weightlifting sets grew by 1,355 percent in the same period.
  • Health and fitness product sales were up 150% compared to 2019, according to a ClickBank report.
  • The vitamin and supplement industry also saw big gains, especially among brands that could pivot their marketing and products to home fitness enthusiasts, home workers and workers in high-stress jobs like health care.
  • The boom in digital shopping has led many consumers to look beyond Amazon and shop smaller retailers for home, fitness and lifestyle brands.


MailCharts health & fitness data

Email volume: While consumer demand is up, sending volume has been flat overall among the 50 brands in the MailCharts Health & Fitness industry group. Although volume showed a small surge in the earliest days of the lockdowns across the U.S. and Europe, volumes throughout the year followed the 2019 pace.

Health  Fitness Email Volume 300x190

Promotion rates: This benchmark measures how aggressively brands are seeking to drive sales. MailCharts data shows that, as a group, brands have increased their promotion rates slightly over the same period in 2019. However, they aren’t showing major efforts to persuade customers to buy.

Although promotion rates cratered suddenly — and briefly — as lockdowns took place in early March, promotions rebounded to follow their 2019 patterns. The average weekly promotion rate of 65.58% is only slightly higher YoY; same for the yearly average of 62%.

Health  Fitness Average Promo Rate 300x188

What this tells us is that Health & Fitness brands have been able to capitalize on the stronger demand for their products without having to shift to more aggressive promotion or volume to persuade customers to browse and buy.



What’s coming next in the MailCharts Index

We are constantly updating our MailCharts Index with fresh data. We’ll be back in early 2021 with more insights based on the top email brands in our MailCharts Index. Look for new content in these and other areas:

  1. New triggered journeys: We’re busy triggering and classifying new journey emails every day. We’ll share our best new examples in the next update.
  2. Curated lists with new email examples: We update our curated email lists every day to keep the messages and data you see there fresh and relevant. Add our examples to your custom lists of tracked brands, industry groups and email lists — one of the many perks of being a MailCharts subscriber!

 

What can we track for you?

Got a new brand or triggered journey you’d like us to track? Just drop us a note. We’d love to hear from you!