We’ve seen some outstanding examples of email marketing in 2017.

For us, the best email campaigns—the ones that really cut through the noise—are ones which are both creative and strategic. Those that show innovative use of the personalisation, targeting, and customer insight technology available to marketers today.

So, as the year draws to a close we thought we’d pick a few of our favourites. Here’s a selection of the twenty best email campaigns we’ve seen in 2017, from the travel and retail industries.

Read on to find out why we like them so much—and what each email campaign says about email maturity of the brands that have sent them.

1) Mark Warner: Saved Search

Mark Warner uses automations cleverly to keep people engaged and coming back to its site. Shortly after leaving the site visitors are automatically sent this helpful round-up of their onsite search to jog their memory and tempt them back.

Maturity Model Stage: Predictor

Mark Warner best email campaigns 2017

2) innocent: Welcome

Drinks brand (and Pure360 client), innocent, really knows how to give its recipients that warm fuzzy feeling. This friendly and timely, automated welcome email hits the inbox just seconds after someone signs-up.

Maturity Model Stage: Segmenter

innocent best email campaigns 2017

3) Boden: Release the Confetti Cannon

We love a bit of Boden—and not just for the clothes. The effort Boden puts into creating light-hearted copy and moving images in its emails sets it apart from the competition. This type of approach catches the eye, builds rapport, and engages recipients instantly.

Maturity Model Stage: Broadcaster

Boden best email campaigns 2017

4) TripAdvisor: Just for you…

TripAdvisor’s emails may not be the prettiest to look at but its use of behavioural targeting software is spot on. The travel review site sends emails that are relevant to the recipient’s browsing history and interests, using personal recommendations.

Maturity Model Stage: Recommender

Tripadvisor best email campaigns 2017

5) Clarks: It’s all about you!

Clarks warms up its relationship with subscribers by asking a few questions. This means it can gather enough information to segment its emails in the future and make sure they’re always engaging for the recipient.

Maturity Model Stage: Segmenter

Clarks best email campaigns 2017

6) Airbnb: Wish List

Airbnb takes the potential traveller on a journey before they’ve even left its website. The travel brand has crafted a series of emails that prompt the visitor’s next move, bringing them one step closer to booking.

Maturity Model Stage: Predictor

Airbnb best email campaigns 2017

7) Bravissimo: Your points are adding up…

The lingerie retailer uses Intelligent Time Sending to trigger an automated alert to loyalty members. This is sent at a time when the individual recipient is most likely to open their emails.

Maturity Model Stage: Segmenter

Bravissimo best email campaigns 2017

8) JetBlue: Annual summary

Every year, JetBlue brings each customer’s data to life with an eye-catching, personalised infographic rounding up all their annual activity. It’s a great way of thanking customers for their loyalty and getting them to think about their travel plans for the year ahead.

The example below is one that was sent in a previous year. We think the annual summary is an excellent initiative and are excited to receive the 2017 version, so wanted to make sure JetBlue got a mention in this post!

Maturity Model Stage: Predictor

JetBlue best email campaigns 2017

9) Paypal: Use your £5 before it runs out!

As Paypal knows, a little sense of urgency can go a long way when it comes to generating traffic and sales quickly. We like the way Paypal uses time-limited offers with clear deadlines to create sales spikes.

Maturity Model Stage: Broadcaster
Paypal best email marketing campaigns 2017

10) Ocado: Your free gift

Ocado continuously incentivises its customers to do another shop by promoting rewards that make it hard to leave. What’s more, the use of behavioural targeting technology to create suggested orders based on previous purchases makes it easier to shop with Ocado.

Maturity Model Stage: Predictor

Ocado best email marketing campaigns 2017

11) Topshop: Online quizzes

Topshop uses online quizzes to gather more information about its subscribers. The fashion brand then uses the data to create engaging emails that provide personal style recommendations.

Maturity Model Stage: Recommender
Topshop best email campaigns 2017

12) Virgin Atlantic: Craig

Virgin Atlantic makes its email immediately relevant and eye-catching with bold and impactful personalisation.

Maturity Model Stage: Segmenter

Virgin atlantic best email campaigns 2017

13) J.Crew: Make your point

Fashion is about making a statement and email provides the perfect platform for a big announcement. Simple design, nice visuals, and tight copy keep this message on-brand—leaving recipients with a lasting impression.

Maturity Model Stage: Broadcaster
JCrew best email campaigns 2017

14) Accessorize: Christmas Gift Guide

Accessorize builds a rapport with Christmas shoppers by sending present guides that help the shopper research purchases in early November. And the retail brand has done a great job of teasing people with its Black Friday offer to tempt them to bite the bullet once they decide.

Maturity Model Stage: Broadcaster

Accessorize best email campaigns 2017

15) Jessop’s: Get ready for the moon

Jessop’s sent a timely email themed around the Harvest Moon this autumn. The photography brand tied its products into current events nicely and maximised appeal by featuring a range of offers at different price points with links to engaging content.

Maturity Model Stage: Recommender

Jessops best email campaigns

16) Fiji Airways

Nothing shows you care quite like asking people for their opinion. Fiji Airways gathers feedback with a timely automation which helps generate reviews and alerts the brand to complaints that may prevent another booking.

Maturity Model Stage: Predictor

Fiji airways best email campaigns

17) Bobbi Brown: Skincare Stars

Bobbi Brown features customer reviews which provide good descriptions of what it’s like to experience the product first-hand. Not only is this a good way of giving more product detail but it also provides credible and unbiased opinions in the form of social proof.

Maturity Model Stage: Recommender

Bobbi Brown best email campaigns

18) Clinique: He knows…

It’s great to see a brand go beyond just a cart abandonment email and add a replenishment campaign to its email automations. Clinique taps into the mindset of the beauty buyer with a humorous take on a bad beauty habit many people are guilty of.

Maturity Model Stage: Predictor

Clinique best email campaigns

19) Bonobos: Confused?

Bonobos clearly understands customer service issues are one of the top reasons for cart abandonment. The brand uses its campaign to put recipients directly in touch with its team to complete the transaction.

Maturity Model Stage: Segmenter

Bonobos best email campaigns

20) Chain Reaction Cycles: You’ve been a little distant…

Chain Reaction Cycles covers all the bases in its reactivation campaign. The cycle brand sends an email just before the customer lapses with reminders about the benefits of its email programme and an offer to incentivise them to buy again.

Maturity Model Stage: Predictor

Chain Reaction Cycles best email campaigns


Our list could go on, but these are just twenty of the best email campaigns that caught our eye in 2017. Strong examples of how to use email marketing to engage and retain customers while building sales.

The level of personalisation and automation in these campaigns can all be achieved by using behavioural targeting tools such as PureTargeting. And if you want to maximise the potential of your email marketing then easy-to-use customer insight software like PureIntelligence will help you spot customer trends and missed opportunities so you can send more insightful messages in the future.

Email Marketing Trends 2018 Report