Luxury Email Marketing Trends and Ideas

The world of luxury goods, once thought recession-proof, is undergoing massive shifts thanks to economic upheavals, price-conscious consumers and changing expectations. How should you optimize your luxury email campaigns to adapt?

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Radical shifts are forcing the market for luxury apparel, footwear and accessories to seek new directions in order to keep pace with changing public perceptions and buying habits.

The worldwide market for luxury goods in all categories is just below $1 trillion. The United States dominates the market for now, with $250 billion in sales of luxury apparel, footwear and accessories.

Designers are expanding beyond traditional boundaries to embrace new partnerships and branding opportunities. Traditional brands such as old-line designer houses are playing catch-up in digital marketing and ecommerce and either fending off or finding ways to work with the growing number of luxury resellers.

Luxury marketers say they rely on email campaigns to bring customers to their sites, but their overall email strategy reflects a conservative approach: relying on broadcast promotional email with little apparent investment in data-driven personalization, dynamic content or engagement devices like animation or video.

Luxury Promotion & Email Activity

MailCharts Luxury Email Data From 2019

Most promotional week

Nov. 17-23, 2019

Luxury brands, unlike most companies, were most promotional in the week leading into Thanksgiving.

Most active week

Jun. 9-15, 2019

Luxury apparel brands sent the most emails during the heart of summer in 2019, preferring to shift their email volume to non-holiday weeks.

Luxury Email Examples, Subject Lines, and Strategies

Luxury goods are more available than ever to a wider range of shoppers, but their mystique and appeal are still the forces differentiating them from mid-level and bargain brands. Marketers can use email to build brand equity with customers, but they must adopt new messages that focus on more than driving a sale.

Extend Branding to Transactional Messages

We've Saved Your Cart

Sent by The Kooples

Most luxury brands in the MailCharts database have attractive promotional emails. Their transactional messages are a different story. They’re usually barebones announcements that do nothing to advance the customer relationship. This Kooples email shows what good email marketing practices look like on a basic cart-recovery email. It has a full-color product image, the price, a helpful tone and some suggestions in case the shopper changes his mind.

Add Movement to the Message

Need an instant boost?

Sent by Christian Louboutin

Most luxury messaging is static, and to younger consumers “static” equals “boring.” Although embedding full video can be problematic for many email viewers, some luxury brands use longer-form animated GIFs that look like short videos, especially in runway presentations, product demos and other uses.

Even a judicious use of animated backgrounds can make a luxury brand email look more special compared with the rest of the messages in the inbox.

Tell The Story Behind The Runway

Start the journey of Sicily 58 and 62

Sent by Dolce & Gabbana

Discounts don’t drive opens and clicks for single-brand luxury retailers the way they do for mainline brands, according to Vogue Business. Today’s luxury buyers need more than a pretty picture and a “buy now” button. Enter storytelling, a useful tactic to engage customers. This animated D&G email ties its handbags to interesting places on the island of Sicily. We also like the revolving set of images at the bottom of the email.

Ramp Up the Glam


Sent by Balmain Paris

A high-fashion dress, suit or handbag doesn’t look like its downmarket cousins. Its marketing creative shouldn’t, either. We love this email from Balmain because of the arresting hero image on top … and the equally attention-grabbing image showing the work that went into creating that photo. The two images work to sell both glamour and value.

Use Data to Expand Your Email Range

Happy Birthday from Fendi

Sent by Fendi USA

Few luxury brands in the MailCharts database use email to connect with customers beyond sending promotional email. Customers want to see messages that are personalized for their preferences or purchases. Birthday emails are a great start, like this fun Fendi message. Find more great birthday-email ideas in this curated list of birthday emails.

Add Social Media and Influencer Content

Tap Tap—Shop Most-Liked on Instagram

Sent by Coach

Yesterday’s celebrity endorsers are today’s influencers. Build some street cred and social proof by including images of your brand ambassadors along with your gorgeous editorial-quality product images. Cross-promotion helps you break down channel silos and gives each channel a wider reach. Promote your social channels in your emails, and vice versa. Coach has an active community on Instagram, so incorporating social-proof content from Instagram crosses over well to email.