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7 inspiring email marketing case studies to help you grow

· 17 min read · Email marketing · May 21, 2024
Duncan, marketing team

Businesses, creators, marketers, and e-commerce stores are getting big results from email marketing. But if you’re new to the field, knowing exactly which strategies you should use to find success is tough.

That’s where email marketing case studies can help. By hearing from businesses that are already winning, you can gain expertise and inspiration that will help you get a chunk of the $9.5 billion that email marketing is estimated to bring in this year. 

This article will share 7 insightful email marketing success stories, including:

  • An e-commerce store that presold 25% of a new product before release day

  • A creator who uses behavior-based email automation to effortlessly turn leads into buyers

  • A marketing manager who regularly sells out products with a fully automated daily deals email

  • A small business that boosts open rates by 45% with one simple feature

Keep reading to discover the details and exact tactics these brands use to succeed with email marketing. 

Ben Fridja, founder of appliances e-commerce store Fridja, always found releasing new products a nerve-racking experience. He’d invest effort and money into bringing new products to market, but sometimes wouldn’t see sales traction for weeks after the product arrived. 

This all changed when he started offering preorders for new product releases via his email newsletter. For his latest release, he was able to presell 25% of the initial stock with this strategy. 

Screenshot of pre-order offer in a Fridja email
Source: Fridja

These advance sales took the pressure off the release and meant he had a ton of momentum going into the first week of sales. This momentum later led to the product completely selling out! 

Being able to tell people that we have a new product has generated so many sales. We’ve managed to jump the gun and presell lots of products.
- Ben Fridja - Founder - Fridja

Ben used several tactics to generate preorders via his email:

  1. He opened preorders a month before release, so people had plenty of time to learn about the product and buy.

  2. He promoted the offer in all newsletters sent up to the release date, ensuring maximum visibility. If people didn’t see the offer in one message, they might see it in the next.

  3. He offered a discount to people who preordered. This encouraged people to buy immediately, as they knew they had a limited time to take advantage of the discount. 

This strategy is especially effective because Ben has spent time growing and nurturing his email list

He focuses on building relationships with buyers through sharing stories, fun content, and generally bringing a personal touch to his campaigns. This built up a lot of trust which translates into sales when he promotes products. 

Read more about how Fridja builds relationships and sales with email here.  

KC Tool marketing manager Collin Thomas is a one-man team charged with managing multiple marketing channels. With so much on his plate, he needs to work efficiently. 

Email marketing helps by enabling him to create automated marketing strategies that bring in sales without having to lift a finger. Once set up, they work behind the scenes converting subscribers into customers. 

The best example of this is the brand’s Tool of the Day newsletter. Every day, KC Tool sends an email with a 24-hour discount on one of its high-quality German hand tools.

Screenshot of KC Tool's Tool of the Day newsletter
Source: KC Tool

Using MailerLite’s RSS-to-email feature, he set up an email template that pulls in data from the Tool of the Day website page and goes out daily to his email list. 

This is a seriously effective strategy that his customer base loves. The featured tools regularly sell out and the campaigns have an average open rate of 72% and a click rate of 7%: Very high metrics for an e-commerce email. 

When people open the email, they’re usually high intent. They really want to buy something. Our emails always result in sales.
- Collin Thomas - Marketing Manager - KC Tool

Here’s how the RSS-to-email feature works:

  • Collin uses MailerLite’s RSS-to-email feature to set up a template that pulls in data from the Tool of the Day website page

  • The email is automatically sent out at the time predefined by KC Tool

  • He has a group in MailerLite for people who have signed up for the Tool of the Day email. People can join this by completing an embedded form on the web page

Collin uses plenty of other tips and strategies to optimize his marketing efforts. For example, he optimizes the brand’s weekly email newsletter with A/B testing, and he uses post-sales automations to send targeted content to buyers who request a catalog with their order

Find out more about how KC Tool automates sales with email marketing here. 

Solo founder Modest Mitkus knows the power of lead magnets to get people onto his email list. But his strategy stands out because of how he uses behavior-based automation to convert subscribers into customers by sending content targeted at their interests. 

Modest runs a business that sells templates for the productivity tool Notion. He offers free templates that anyone can sign up for. When they do, they receive an email sequence designed to turn them into paying customers. 

Graphic showing an in-email trigger and the follow-up message
Source: Pathpages

Here’s how it works:

  • The marketing automation checks if the person is already a customer

  • If they aren’t, it sends emails related to the topics of his paid templates

  • When someone clicks on a link in an email, the workflow knows the person is interested in the topic

  • This triggers a follow-up email with related information and offers

  • The logic continues throughout the entire sequence

This strategy is effective because people receive emails related to their specific interests. And more interesting emails result in more engagement and a higher conversion rate. 

It means that people who are curious receive more emails about the products they are interested in.
- Modest Mitkus - Founder - Pathpages

What’s more, now that the email automation is set up, it works continually in the background, generating sales without Modest having to do a thing.   

Find out more about how Pathpages uses email marketing here.

One of the biggest benefits of an engaged email list is the ability to generate repeat sales. 

Gregory John, founder of the online course platform Buildcamp, discovered this for himself when he sold out his latest bootcamp in 6 hours and generated a waitlist 5x the size of the opening within a day.

Screenshot showing bootcamp preorder offer
Source: Buildcamp

Buildcamp saw the potential for AI early. As an online course platform for entrepreneurs, he thought it would be likely that his audience would be interested in AI too. 

Once he had the idea for the bootcamp, he promoted it in his weekly newsletter with a call-to-action (CTA) and sold out almost instantly. 

It’s beautiful that I know that if I send out an email to the waitlist segment on MailerLite tomorrow, I could sell out instantly. 
- Gregory John - Founder - Buildcamp

The promotion worked because Gregory had spent time nurturing his list with valuable content. 

Here’s how:

  1. He includes informational content related to his industry. Product promotion makes up only a small amount of the total newsletter content. 

  2. His emails look beautiful. Gregory has a design background and his ability to create stunning emails with MailerLite’s drag-and-drop editor help him stand out. 

  3. He uses subscriber segmentation to target people with content specific to their needs. He can add dynamic blocks within an email that only certain groups see. 

  4. He uses email templates and reusable content blocks to cut the time it takes to create each email newsletter.

Gregory also uses advanced MailerLite features to create custom use cases. For example, he uses the API for custom triggers based on how people interact with his app. He uses the transactional email service MailerSend to reliably send automated transactional emails like password resets and 2-factor authentication.

Learn more about how Builcamp powers its course with email marketing here.

Disclosure: MailerLite was part of The Remote Company until it was acquired in 2022.

Email marketing is only as effective as the number of people who open your emails. Nicole Lee, content lead at Partnero, maximized the visibility of the brand’s content by optimizing both the subject line and the time it sent the emails. 

By A/B testing subject lines, she was able to boost the average open rate by 10%, from 37% to 47%. Continuous testing helped her finetune the type of copywriting and messaging that worked with her audience.

Screenshot showing A/B test results
Source: Partnero

Send time optimization also helps by sending emails at the right time based on subscribers’ time zones. This ensures that the messages land when they are likely to be seen, rather than in the middle of the night, improving the user experience and boosting results. 

Nicole also uses reporting and email analytics to improve the performance of her content. For example, she completely revamped the brand’s welcome sequence by analyzing the type of content people interacted with and optimizing the campaigns accordingly. 

MailerLite makes it so easy to see what is being clicked on which is great. It’s like a heatmap for email marketing. You can see everything on a single screen. It’s super useful for CTAs and identifying helpful content.

By doing this, she was able to boost this sequence’s open rates from 24% to 45.56% and click-to-open rate (CTOR) from 3.83% to 4.45%. 

Find out more about how Partnero and The Remote Company use email marketing here.

Biovie founder Eric Viard has been writing newsletters for 25 years. He uses several strategies to keep people opening his content and ensure they don’t hit unsubscribe. 

One of the most effective is using MailerLite’s auto-resend feature to resend newsletters to people who missed the first send. This second email has around a 15% open rate, resulting in thousands more views for his content and offers.

Screenshot showing an in-email fruit offer
Source: Bioview

The benefit of thousands more views is simple: More people see and buy his products. Eric estimates that 90% of sales for his short-term deals come through email. And through his e-commerce integration with Prestashop, he can track the sales each campaign brings in. 

Every 2 or 3 weeks we sell fruits on a limited time release. 90% of the sales typically come through the newsletter. We sold about 5 tons of mangos with this strategy.
- Eric Viard - Founder - Biovie

Setting up an auto-resend campaign is easy:

  1. Choose the option for Auto-resend campaign when creating your campaign.

  2. Choose whether you want to change the subject line or content of the resent campaign.

  3. Create the email content as you would with any other campaign.

  4. Schedule when you want the original and resent campaigns to go out.

MailerLite will then send out the original campaign, track who doesn’t open it, and send the second version to this group of subscribers. All without Eric having to do a thing!

The key to making this a success is to give people plenty of time to open the initial email. You should leave it for at least a few days to avoid bombarding people’s inboxes.  

Eric’s strategy also works because he packs his Biovie emails full of valuable content. Newsletter subscribers can access free tickets for events, recipes, books, polls, and limited-time offers before they are promoted to social media and other channels. 

Read more about how Biovie boosts open rates and generates sales from email here.

Content marketer Shuni Lim and the team at sales productivity and CRM startup Privyr began their search for a new email provider when technical issues, unsatisfactory support, and cost meant they struggled to see the value of their existing platform. 

They were looking for a marketing platform with the features they needed and an intuitive UI that the whole team would find easy to use. But the main selling point was something unexpected: A big open rate boost. 

Screenshot of a Privyr blog pop-up
Source: Privyr

What many people don’t know is that the email marketing tool you use can impact the number of people who see your email. Emails sent with some tools are more likely to reach the inbox and avoid the spam folder than those sent with others. 

This means you can see a big increase in open rates, and thus engagement, sales and conversions, by simply switching to a tool with higher deliverability. 

After testing MailerLite for a few sends, the Privyr team noticed a 15 to 20% open rate increase on their previous platform. It was at this point that they knew they should commit to switching tools.

When we saw the open rate increase, we realized it was time to move over.
- Shuni Lim - Content marketer - Privyr

This open rate increase would have a positive impact throughout the business, as multiple teams use email marketing:

  • Content marketing uses it to create lead capture pop-ups, set up related automations, and send email newsletters

  • Performance marketing uses it to boost the impact of campaigns with targeted landing pages 

  • Customer support uses it to organize product demos for customers and leads

Thanks to how easy MailerLite is to use, each of these teams can launch campaigns far faster than if they relied on tech teams to implement the technical side of campaigns for them.

Find out how more about Privyr’s experience of switching to MailerLite here.

Hopefully, these email marketing case studies have provided the inspiration you need to build your email marketing strategy. Put the right steps in place and you’ll effectively use email to reach your target audience with impactful content that drives business results. 

To hear about more successful email strategies, check out the success stories section of our website. Or sign up to our email list to hear about new stories as soon as they drop. 

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Duncan Elder
Duncan Elder
I’m Duncan, a content writer at MailerLite. I love building websites with no-code tools and writing about what I learn. I created my first site in 2011 with Blogger—it’s safe to say that website builders have improved a lot since then!