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6 examples of retention emails that actually convert
7 min read

6 examples of retention emails that actually convert

6 examples of retention emails that actually convert

What makes digital marketing such a powerful and innovative approach to interacting with customers and prospects is the ability to access data about which tactics work and which may need improvement. The same can be said about generating efficient and successful retention emails that actually convert. Knowing the types of emails that lead to conversions and those that don’t is an important and useful information for every marketer or sales person. That’s why, in this article, we’re going over 6 examples of retention emails that will result in conversions.

If you work for a B2B company, you might say that your needs and those of your customers differ a lot from those of B2C firms, like ecommerce companies. That’s very true. For that reason, we made sure to include here industry-agnostic emails, meaning that you’ll be able to adapt them to your circumstance simply and without hassle. Check out our list, get inspired and start creating great email retention campaigns right away. Our email marketing tips cover the essential aspects you need to pay attention to.

Welcome emails

Uber goes for a minimalistic look with their welcome email, making sure to include only the relevant information for their new customers. However, by including a referral code in the body of the email, Uber encourages recipients to share the code to receive discounts. A lot of disruptors in the digital age have used this strategy to grow their businesses, from successful companies like Airbnb and Alibaba to social media platforms like Instagram or Facebook.

What can you learn from Uber’s example?

If Uber’s welcome email has taught us anything about how to build the best retention emails is that simplicity is the key to reaching your goals. Don’t overwhelm customers with information they won’t be able to use right there and then. Define each email’s objective and apply the KISS approach: keep it short, simple. Place great emphasis on customers’ benefits and make it as easy as possible for them to convert.

Some other excellent welcome emails that you can draw inspiration from when generating retention emails are: The New Yorker, TrueCaller and Asana. And while you’re at it, look over our best practices for onboarding emails.

Customer appreciation emails

Customer appreciation emails are a great tool to show your readers some love. You can use them for special occasions, like the end of the year or Thanksgiving, but they are also effective if sent for your customer’s birthday or your partnership anniversary. Plan the right moment and show your customers that you care about them.

One company that does an exceptional job at this is GoDaddy. They have identified that most of their customers are small business owners, so they sent out a customer appreciation email for National Small Business Week. The email was about shared experiences and establishing a common ground between the brand and its clients. The biggest brands on the market have built their entire identity around trying to be perceived as relatable. Here, GoDaddy does exactly that. It not only shows appreciation toward their customers, but it also identifies with them. That makes the email and the brand memorable and it works toward creating brand loyalty.

What can you learn from GoDaddy’s example?

Great emails don’t necessarily have to include calls to action and links or promotions for them to be effective. Sometimes, the best approach is to just shine a spotlight on your customers. If done correctly, they will remember it and start looking at your brand differently. Find a good occasion to send an appreciation email, keep your customers at the top of your attention and express some love. Don’t sell them anything, don’t mix messages, just focus the email on your customers.

Engagement emails

Whenever you want your subscriber to re-engage, especially when you start to notice a drop in engagement for a segment of your email list, it’s a good idea to remind your customers of some of the benefits they’re missing out on. The best way to do so is by sending out engagement emails. You’re not proposing or anything, so don’t think of planning a wedding for these retention emails.

Google is known for keeping their design clean, their messaging on point and trying to offer an outstanding overall user experience with their software. That’s the case with their engagement emails as well. Just by looking at the example below, you can easily understand the four main steps that a business owner or digital marketer needs to take to create an online ad using Google Ads. And that’s all that the email is trying to do. With a clear call to action and some minimal graphic design that doesn’t get in the way of delivering the message, Google Ads’ email gets the point across. And that is the most important aspect when planning emails that will convert.

Some other examples of engagement emails that you might want to look over are: Basecamp, Pinterest and KickStarter.

Upselling emails

One way that businesses grow is by adding new customers to their base. But unless you are only selling one product or service and nothing else, you should consider trying to convince your existing customers to spend money on additional items or to convince them to upgrade their subscription.

Evernote uses the end of year to promote their Premium and Plus subscription plans to users of their free plan. They knock it out of the park. By using the end-of-year season, Evernote positions itself as a tool to better yourself. It is a great approach to try to upsell, because you always want to place maximum emphasis on benefits and on what the user is getting out of this deal.

What can you learn from Evernote’s example?

Upselling shouldn’t feel like an intentional effort to get more money from your users. By upselling, you should always try to focus on convincing customers that you're trying to simplify their decisions. You’re bringing value to their experience by suggesting something that they might be interested in.

Countdown emails

Whenever you have a sale, a promotion or something important to announce to your audience, like an event or a live-streaming session or webinar, using countdown emails is a good way to grab their attention and to make them interested and curious to find out more. Because usually emails are static, inserting a dynamic element can result in a totally different experience for subscribers. Alternatively, you can use gifs in your emails for the same effect, if this solution is too complicated or doesn’t fit your needs.

Vodafone has used the countdown approach to promote their Black Friday offers. The email, made to resemble their website, brochures and advertising,  is consistent with previous emails. Users know what to expect when they open an email from a well-known brand. But the dynamic element stands out, creating a sense of urgency. When it comes to offers, sales or big events, people have a fear of missing out and you will want to tap into that when creating your email strategy and especially when using countdown emails.

Other examples that might inspire your upcoming countdown emails: NordVPN, Udemy and DataCamp.

Giveaway emails or contest emails

Use giveaways as a marketing tactic to boost engagement and brand awareness. Alternatively, you can plan contests or promotions to achieve the same objective.

Lonely Planet, the travel guide website and publisher, has opted for a competition to celebrate 100 years of the National Park Service. They decided to give their subscribers the change to win a trip and other prizes, all related to the vacations.

What can you learn from the Lonely Planet example?

Contests or giveaways can be a great way to give subscribers a reason to not unsubscribe. They know they will get to engage with your emails, even if they are not yet ready to purchase. One important aspect that you need to pay attention to is to keep the prize or the giveaway as closely related to your business. You want subscribers to associate the item or prize with your brand, even if they don’t win.


Let’s go over the most important tips and tricks for crafting retention emails that help increase conversions:

  1. Keep it short and simple and help the customer convert by allowing just one possible action per email
  2. Always think of why your customers are important and show them that you care
  3. Re-engage customers that might have stopped interacting with your emails
  4. Remind customers what they’re missing out on by persuading them to buy something additional or something more expensive
  5. Whenever possible, try to include dynamic elements in your emails
  6. Don’t forget the subscribers that aren’t yet ready to purchase and think of emails that will engage them as well

Now that you’ve seen these amazing examples of efficient and conversion-oriented emails, it’s time to get to work and implement the ideas. Make sure to use these best practices to increase your overall conversion rate and the ROI from your email marketing campaigns.

Never forget that the best way to reach the inbox every time is by cleaning your email list periodically. Use DataValidation’s email verification service to improve deliverability and increase your email marketing KPIs.