Email marketing

The top email marketing and SMS campaigns of 2021

Emily Riedy, December 22nd 2021

Data privacy has caused marketing strategies to shift and if your resolution for 2022 is to improve how your company promotes its sales, product launches, and other announcements—we have a few stellar examples of emails and SMS messages that produced top results in 2021.  

Top 5 email marketing campaigns in 2021

The following five email campaigns exemplify how to blend design, copy, images, and call-to-actions (CTAs) to craft a message that resonates with your audience. 

1. Suvie’s shipping confirmation email sample

The Kitchen Robot is a cool-to-cook countertop appliance that can do (almost) anything. Developed by Suvie, the Kitchen Robot automatically refrigerates food and cooks meals on demand. Home cooks can even schedule dinner using an app.  

But technologically advanced appliances aren’t for everyone. The setup may be intimidating for some, and most people aren’t used to programming a machine to cook a meal. Suvie addresses these concerns with its shipping confirmation email.

Why it worked: Customers are greeted with FedEx tracking information, so they can easily find out when their robot will arrive. 

Next, customers are encouraged to document their unboxing experience and upload videos and photos to Suvie’s website. The brand also acknowledges that assembly may present some challenges, so they offer phone support with a member of the Suvie team.

The brand also uses the unboxing experience as an opportunity to request user generate content (UGC) from customers as they use their Kitchen Robot.

2. Happy Mask’s product restock email automation sample

Happy Masks are made with a nanofiber technology that provides five layers of protective filtration. Over the course of the pandemic, demand surged for Happy Masks, leading to stock shortages. When Happy Mask restocked their product, they announced it in an email—and required customers to access a private code in order to make a purchase. 

Why it worked: The email creates urgency and excitement for the subscribers who signed up to receive it. The steps to place an order for a mask are clearly outlined, and its rules are explicit—in order to make a purchase, customers need to use a unique code, only five masks are allowed per customer, and if a customer shares their unique code, their order will be cancelled.   

3. Tracksmith’s free gift to email subscribers who renew subscriptions 

Tracksmith is an athletic apparel brand with a devoted following of customers. To build a sense of community among its customers, Tracksmith started Hare A.C.—a global group that performance-minded and passionate runners can join to gain exclusive access to products, races, and special offers.

To reward loyal customers and to promote a strong customer-lifetime value (CLV), Tracksmith gave customers who renewed their membership a special spike bag—free of charge. 

Why it worked: Tracksmith featured a professionally photographed image of the spike bag in the email, so subscribers will see the quality of the bag before they place their order. The CTA is clear and direct, announcing a code for redemption along with a “Get Your Bag” button.

4. Sunsoil’s thank you email strategy to grow the community

Sunsoil, formerly known as Green Mountain CBD, wanted to thank its community for their generous donations towards four Vermont-based businesses. But Sunsoil didn’t stop with a simple, heartfelt message. 

Why it worked: To show customers that they truly appreciated their donations, Sunsoil offered a bottle of one of a variety of their 600mg drops for free to their subscribers. 

The “thank you” message leads the email campaign (a great post-purchase email strategy!), and the links to Sunsoil’s products are easy to spot, too. It’s a sincere thank you note that also keeps their products top of mind.  

5. Mikoleón’s pre-order event email to create excitement

Supply chain, fulfillment, and shipping issues have been a challenge for most online businesses in 2021. And If you’re a brand that sources artisanal goods, you may have felt the strain even more acutely. 

Mikoleón is a clothing and shoe brand with the mission of preserving the weaving, cobbling, leather crafting, and natural dyeing traditions of Guatemala. They offered subscribers an opportunity to pre-order a custom leather backpack—but products were limited. Not everyone who wanted a backpack was able to pre-order it, so itran another exclusive event. 

Why it worked: Mikoleón’s event email shared information that subscribers needed to know to place their order successfully. This information included the date and time of the event, how to place an order, event rules, a handful of helpful pre-order tips, and expected delivery times. 

The details of the automated email made it easy for subscribers who were eager to place an order

Top five SMS marketing campaigns

Text message campaigns are another means to communicate important information with your customers. Because this channel is highly personal, the content of a text message is expressed differently from email, and is usually condensed.

1. Tosi’s new product line text message

Tosi, a snack brand known for products that support holistic health, launched a new product line, SuperPops. These are smaller versions of their popular SuperBites snack. Tosi created an SMS campaign to share the news. 

Why it worked: After announcing the launch of their new product in an SMS message––the launch of their SMS campaign––Tosi followed up with details, noting that the snack is nut-free, has 8g of protein, and comes in four different flavors. 

And if people are interested in shopping for SuperPops, subscribers can click on the link included in the message, directing them to the product page instead of Tosi’s homepage.  

2. Teamotion’s Mother’s Day specialty SMS campaign

90% of people read a text in the first three minutes of receiving it.1 If you’re having a sale where items could go fast, text message marketing could be the ideal channel to use. 

Why it worked: Teamotions sent their SMS subscribers an MMS message—a text with an image—to alert them that their Pink Moment Mug bundles were on sale. The caveat was there were only 50 mugs available, so shoppers had to act fast if they wanted one. 

Instead of this offer potentially getting buried in someone’s email inbox, Teamotions sent the promotion directly to their subscribers’ phones. The message was clear, concise, and gave recipients directions on how to shop. 

3. Mizuno’s early access Black Friday campaign text

Mizuno, a sporting goods brand, shared an exclusive Black Friday sale with its SMS subscribers. For consumers hunting for a deal, nothing is more enticing than an early-access pass to shop a brand’s biggest sale. 

Why it worked: Mizuno’s text message was short and sweet. Its simple and clean design told subscribers what they needed to know: the sale has started, they’re receiving early access (which means the item they’ve been eyeing may not be sold out yet), and all shoppable products are below $99. 

4. Kittenish’s VIP promotion via SMS

Segmentation and personalization can take a marketing campaign from good to great. Apparel brand Kittenish is no stranger to smart SMS strategies, which is why their VIP text message campaign was so successful. 

Why it worked: Kittenish sent an MMS message to subscribers that included branded product imagery and a model wearing one of the items on sale. The message, while short, gives subscribers a sense of being special—and the language of “shop before anyone else” makes customers feel like they have a unique relationship with Kittenish.

5. Janji’s spring collection SMS targeting

Giving a brand your phone number signals to them that you like them enough to not just stay in touch, but to receive messages over one of the most intimate forms of communication.

This means that a brand’s SMS list is generally made up of highly-engaged subscribers—people who will open messages, click-through to your site, and potentially make a purchase. Janji treats its SMS subscribers like valued customers—and its spring collection launch text reflects that sentiment. 

Why it worked: Like many texts on this list, Janji’s text campaign is conversational, yet straight to the point. Its simple design is distraction-free and allows subscribers to seamlessly navigate to the priority access link to start shopping. Your SMS list can function like a VIP list—if your text subscribers consistently interact with your content, reward them. 

Learn from effective campaigns

These email and SMS campaign examples aren’t just nice to look at—they’ve proven their value to brands in opens, clicks, and attributed revenue. 

Study the elements of these high-performing campaigns and your analysis may spark some ideas that you can use in your 2022 ecommerce marketing strategy.

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Emily Riedy
Emily Riedy
Content strategist
Emily Riedy is a content strategist at Klaviyo. She creates and optimizes content to help online businesses own their growth. Before joining Klaviyo, Emily worked at a digital marketing agency where she created content to help small business owners and marketers grow their online advertising presence. When she’s not writing, Emily enjoys making tacos, running, and sipping on orange wine.