Email Superstars You Might Be Missing

Those of us who subscribe to a range of marketing emails get much of the same daily inbox content. We all know the email superstars -- Apple, Anthropologie and Sephora, to name a few favorites -- but who else is out there? I polled the Smith-Harmon creative team to see whose email programs are dazzling subscribers while flying under the radar. Check out the emails below to see what you might be missing:

Healthy Eats Weekly -- These clean and simple email newsletters feature big, beautiful food photography with the perfect balance of copy. The creative isn't particularly fancy, but the content is relevant. I almost always click through, underscoring the truth that content is king when it comes to engaging subscribers.

Uncommon Goods -- This quirky brand sends emails with inventive designs and fun, playful copy. Check out the cute view-with-images link: "Is our email playing hard to get? Click here." 



Thrillist -- The Thrillist newsletter is a solid daily delivery of fun info about top cities. It has clever subject lines and funny, smart copy. The design looks great, with awesome city-specific ink-drawing headers on each email and nice submessage modules. For a daily newsletter, Thrillist excels at keeping its content fresh, and even alternate between a couple different layouts (see how this NYC email differs from the San Fran message above) so that subscribers don't see the same thing every day.

Eat Better America -- More healthy eating tips come in the fabulous Eat Better America newsletter. Attractive icons lead subscribers' eyes through the email, and info is organized in a way that fits a lot of recipes and article links into each email. We also love the simple "Top 5 Recipes" call-out and use of star ratings.   

The Container Store - If you haven't already, be sure to get onto the Container Store's mailing list. Fresh copy and bright imagery make the emails fun and lively, and their crisp designs keep the content as pleasantly neat as Container Store products keep your closet. 

Threadless -- While Threadless's daily newsletter is usually just a simple grid, this brand sends some real gems now and then (props to "BEN" for compiling some of the best). Their clean organization is perfect for showcasing the unique T-shirt designs.

Serena & Lily -- With lovely images, crisp and attractive design and pleasant, conversational copy, there's everything to love about Serena & Lily's email program. Plus, the company's welcome email creative is so nice that a quick signup delivers instant gratification -- just saying.

Fred Flare -- While cheeky Fred Flare emails may not be bastions of best practices, they are almost always fun to read. The placement of the product imagery and the bright colors draw the reader down the page so that the company's emails can pack in a lot of content without getting boring, and the copy is irreverent and entertaining. 

Horny Toad - While not best practices-compliant in every way, Horny Toad's creative looks cool and is organized for effortless readability. The company's emails are always fresh, with fun photography and content that's highly relevant to its subscriber base. 

I hope these emails inspire you freshen up your inbox by hopping onto some new subscriber lists. You might just find the inspiration you need to freshen up your emails, too.

Have your own under-the-radar favorites? Do tell....

2 comments about "Email Superstars You Might Be Missing".
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  1. Katherine Ross, March 23, 2010 at 12:14 p.m.

    I love the emails from and Thanks for these great suggestions of companies under the radar.

  2. Karri Carlson from Leadtail, March 23, 2010 at 1:46 p.m.

    Love these!

    I also look forward to my Yelp! newsletters featuring local businesses and commentary from reviewers in my area, and the Design Within Reach emails - beautiful, aspirational [at those prices, oy!], and full of informative content about the heritage of the designs they sell.

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