Introducing Marketo’s Email Lookbook for Spring/Summer 2014

Email Marketing


A really good email is often the difference between a click-through and a direct route into the spam folder. And with new advancements in email inbox organization, such as Gmail’s new tabs, it is becoming even more difficult to stay in the coveted inbox. Today’s marketers need a combination of eye-catching design, clever text, and attention-grabbing headlines to engage and be top-of-mind for today’s consumers.

That’s why we have compiled a collection of our favorite emails for our Spring/Summer 2014 Email Lookbook. We highlight emails that are creative, inspiring, and beg to be opened!

What are some techniques you can employ to make sure your emails get opened (and read)? Read on to find out what email tactics and must-have email types we have highlighted in our lookbook:


Today’s consumers have a lot of expectations. They believe marketers should know who they are, where they live, and what their buying behavior looks like. The more relevant you are to subscriber, the more likely he or she is to open and actually read (and maybe even click on)—your emails. Personalization is becoming easier to achieve, as marketing automation platforms are now offering functionality to create better, more relevant email experiences with subscriber data. Today’s marketers should use demographic and behavioral data to create dynamic email content that speaks directly to each subscriber individually. Consider personalizing your email based on location, past purchases, or website pages visited.

Timely Content

There is nothing more pertinent than creating content around current events, news, and holidays. If it is top-of-mind for your subscribers, than you should leverage that relevancy to create content that resonates. Maybe it’s a holiday, the Super Bowl, the beginning of a season, or a recent event. If your customers are thinking about it, they are more likely to click (and buy!). Theming your emails based on current events does a lot to incite some excitement and urgency in your subscribers.


Email marketing technology has enabled emails to be much more dynamic and engaging than in years past. Marketers can now leverage animation, videos, and other media to really make their content pop. It’s not easy to stand out in today’s overcrowded inbox. Using multi-media marketing is one very effective way. Add how-to videos to your email, or create animated gifs that swap out images of your newest deals and products. Just make sure that your multimedia emails are optimized for mobile, since so many of your subscribers will likely be reading your emails on their phones.

Human Copy

In many cases, the key to a click-through is your email copy. You need to strike a crucial balance between creating content that is on-brand and gets your message across, but also seems written by a human—not a robot. If your audience can relate to you as a business, they are much more likely to engage with your email marketing. Have conversations with your buyers that are authentic. Humor goes a long way! Show that your company has personality vs. sticking with the typical, dry email correspondence.

Eye-Catching Design

It’s often the design of your email that really catches the attention of your subscribers. Don’t be afraid to make your design bold. Pay attention to imagery and font. Make sure that your emails are streamlined and your calls-to-action are easy to follow. Also, with Gmail’s recent “grid view” beta program, visuals map play an even more important role in not just click-through, but also opens.

Welcome Email Optimization

The welcome email is a critical part of any email marketing strategy. Studies have shown that if you send a series of emails, the welcome email is one of your most opened. When someone signs up to receive your content, you want their experience to be memorable. If it’s unmemorable, you will likely find your emails being ignored—or worse, marketed as spam. Some things to remember when crafting your welcome email? Make it conversational, don’t be afraid to use humor, create a compelling design, and personalize. You can even toss in a discount count and/or a free download.

Re-Engagement Email Techniques

No matter how hard you try, sometimes your subscribers stop engaging with your emails, we call these folks “emotionally unsubscribed”. They are on your list, but are not opening, not clicking, and not buying. When this happens, the savvy marketer sends a re-engagement email, a “nudge” message, with the hope of putting their brand top-of-mind with their subscribers, and enticing them to restart engaging with their emails. While not always necessary, sometimes including a special offer or discount code will help you to further pique their interest. Humor sometimes works too.

Abandoned Cart Emails Best Practices

As a consumer, how many times have you gone to a website, added something in your cart, and then left the site without making a purchase? While there is no one metric, many companies report this abandoned cart rate well north of 50%. However, as a marketer, an abandoned cart email is a great way to remind subscribers who haven’t completed their purchase that they have an item waiting in their carts. We typically recommend sending the first abandoned cart email shortly after the car is abandoned (a few hours), followed by a reminder 24 hours later. A third—and final—reminder email can be sent 5-7 days after. The last email can also include some incentive.

Want to see some fantastic examples of each technique and email type? Download our brand new Email Lookbook Spring/Summer 2014.