Email Marketing

5 Most Clickable Email Marketing Campaigns of 2022

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What a year for email!  

Email volumes reached all-time highs, competition in the inbox grew stiffer than ever, and subscriber fatigue was an ever-present threat. 

Plus, email was forced to compete with emerging channels like TikTok and SMS.

These factors made it difficult to capture subscribers’ attention—and even more difficult to capture their business. 

Yet through it all, brands found ways to entice subscribers to open and click through their emails.  

How did they do it? Let’s take a look at five of this year’s most clickable email campaigns for answers.

1.    Ethique 


What made it clickable

If you’re looking for sustainable personal care products from a brand that’s committed to ethical business practices, Ethique fits the bill.

But they don’t stop there—this newsletter campaign is used to encourage subscribers to expand their knowledge and use of composting in their own homes. 

Doing good doesn’t have to cost a thing  

Why was this campaign so effective?

Today’s consumers are more socially conscious than ever—especially those from younger generations. Consumers expect the brands they buy from to take a stand on social issues, including environmental protection. In fact, a recent study found that nearly one in three consumers stopped purchasing from certain brands because of sustainability concerns. 

In 2022, successful brands found a balance between commercialism and empathy in their marketing communications, like Ethique does here.

Ethique leans on the emotional value of small and simple actions throughout the campaign, starting with the arresting subject line.  

The brand also fostered engagement within the message by using compelling copy, including eye-catching imagery, digestible content, and simple CTAs. Adding a human touch right above the footer is the cherry on top. 

2. Wendy’s

What made it clickable

Many are already familiar with the fast food chain’s hilarious social media presence. But, their emails deserve a moment in the spotlight too!

Don’t you love when you get a cute welcome email right after signing up for an account? Wendy’s confirm opt-in message is super sweet and super smart. 

The marketing team at Wendy’s made sure to keep the opt-in process nice and easy to discourage subscribers from abandoning the process prematurely. Plus, asking for confirmation from new subscribers is a sure-fire way to generate a click while keeping your data clean. No bots allowed!. 

Wendy’s also clearly explained how having an account benefits the subscriber, and set expectations for the kinds of emails they would receive. These actions increase the value of the click—and decrease the chances of subscribers hiting the complaint button down the road.

3. VRBO  


What made it clickable

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been pining for an indulgent vacation for a while now. This campaign from VRBO has me (and other subscribers) daydreaming about the perfect getaway. 

The simple juxtaposition of a luxury stay at an affordable price is designed to catch the interest of the subscriber. From there, VRBO pulls the reader through the campaign with a short but useful list of CTA buttons and a limited but beautiful palette of curated groups.  

Finally, VRBO has an app for that. (“That” meaning searching for a rental home.) All of this information is provided in a clear and concise manner, effectively inviting the subscriber to make their daydream a reality by following a link.

When it comes to marketing communications, brands like VRBO know shorter copy is better—since the average human now has an attention span of just eight seconds. 

4. Michael Kors 

What made it clickable

Black Friday is a great time to treat yo’ self, right? Michael Kors will provide the luxurious splurge items after you get the coffee. 

This bold design provides a feeling of glam, built through striking colors and accented by copy that conveys a smidge of exclusivity (“Black Friday Sneak peek!”).

It inspires the subscriber to imagine how this item would complement their own stylish look. The copy and CTA work in tandem to highlight Black Friday discounts, bringing the allure of a time-sensitive deal into play as well. 

While plain text emails have their place, brands (especially in the B2C space) need bold designs to stand out as inboxes get more crowded. Global email volumes have risen by 82 percent in the past two years alone. And this year’s Black Friday weekend set new records for email sending volume. 

5. Russell Athletic

What made it clickable

Big or small, everyone loves a celebration. This email campaign from Russell Athletic gets the party started with a discount offer. 

This is a great example of simple first-party data.

First-party data is information a company collects directly from its customers, including purchase history, demographics, and website interactions.

Russell Athletic uses first-party data to personalize their email messages to highlight the one-year anniversary of their connection with the subscriber.  

Simple actions like these can go a long way toward winning subscriber loyalty. An additional clever step is to have the discount code available after the subscriber clicks the link. 

How else can you get your email campaigns noticed? 

Not to be a buzzkill, but signs indicate 2023 might be a difficult year for email marketers. Global email sending volume shows no signs of decreasing. Plus, tough economic conditions mean subscribers may be far more selective about the campaigns they engage with.  

Now that you have some ideas to boost the clickability of your email campaigns, here are a few more tips to get your campaigns noticed in 2023:

Implement Brand Indicators for Message Identification (BIMI) 

We may sound like a broken record, but Brand Indicators for Message Identification (BIMI) is a great way to improve brand recognition and build trust with both subscribers and mailbox providers. Bonus: These cute logos stand out in crowded inboxes—especially when surrounded by emails from brands who haven’t implemented BIMI.  

Learn more about BIMI and how adopt it in this guide. 

Create an engaging subject line 

Email engagement hinges on subscribers opening your emails. But how do you win that elusive open? By crafting an intriguing subject line. 

Assess prior campaign metrics to determine which subject lines were successful and which ones were duds.  

Reuse effective ones sparingly, or create new and improved eye-catchers based on what didn’t work.  

Use emojis for a dash of fun, add a personal touch when it makes sense, and keep in mind how the subject line will display in the inbox. It’s always a good idea to test how your subject lines will appear in different email clients and on mobile devices.

Try SMS marketing to complement email campaigns 

Are you texting your subscribers yet?  

If not, you should be. Short message service (SMS) messaging is an incredibly effective channel for marketing and customer support—especially when delivering time-sensitive communications like flash sale announcements or abandoned cart reminders. 

More than half of consumers say they want to receive promotions and service reminders via SMS. But only 20 percent of companies actually communicate with their customers this way.

What’s holding you back? If you’re not sure where to start, check out this Guide to Ecommerce SMS Marketing for tips. 

Embrace email accessibility    

One in four people now live with some form of disability. Many of these disabilities make it difficult to digest written content in email messages.  

In 2023, make it easier for all subscribers to access your campaign content. Failing to cater to the portion of your audience who may have some kind of disability can have a disastrous effect on your email engagement and reputation. 

Design your campaigns with email accessibility in mind—implement and test dark mode and color blindness renders, add relevant alt-text attributes to all images, and include other HTML tags that support assistive technology.

What’s next?

The year is almost over (whew!) and it’s time to ramp up your Q1 email marketing strategy. Integrating these tactics into your program will help your email campaigns stand out in the inbox throughout the year. 

To see more examples of clickable email and SMS campaigns from leading brands, create a free MailCharts account today.