If you’re seeking harbingers of spring, look no farther than your inbox.
Spring is a relatively quiet time for email. Three of the year’s top 10 consumer holidays are over (Christmas, Valentine’s Day and Super Bowl, according to the National Retail Federation). St. Patrick’s Day and Easter are on the horizon, but none generates the same onslaught of seasonal messages.
But, even as the email year grinds on, tendrils of spring-like messaging are pushing up in the inbox. So, we went looking through our inboxes for a little creative inspiration. Here are some of the best spring email campaigns we found:
1. “Florals? For spring? … Ground-breaking.”
That’s persnickety fashion editor Amanda Priestley’s sardonic dismissal of unimaginative story ideas in “The Devil Wears Prada.” You might cringe at the sentiment, but it reminds email copywriters that the best way to stand out in the inbox is to give subscribers something fresh and unexpected instead of the usual seasonal clichés.
We found many messages that were the email equivalent of florals for spring, but we also found some marketers who are putting a fresh new spin on classic themes such as spring break and new spring merchandise collections.
This email from Gap is a great example. It breaks free from all the spring clichés in introducing items from its spring lines, right down to the subject line.
The animation is stunning, and the color palette it introduces follows through in other images through the rest of the message, drawing the eye downwards and encouraging scrolling down to the offer. (And kudos for putting the offer in the preheader, too.)
Click the image to view the animation. Really, do it. You’ll be glad you did. In fact, we bet you’re going to share with your email designer with a note saying, “Can we do this?”
Sender: Gap — Subject line: Spring agenda? Get. Into. Color
2. Pop in a video.
Many fashion retailers are introducing their spring collections this year. Ralph Lauren sent out a timely Spring email campaign inviting subscribers to tune in live to his fashion show in which he presented his spring womenswear and menswear lines. Viewers who came late to the party could click the video link in the email to view the recording.
It was a clever twist on the usual spring-collection show, and the email was done up in the bright blue-and-white palette that characterizes his spring outfits.
Sender: Ralph Lauren — Subject line: Watch the Ralph Lauren Spring Fashion Show
3. Shake up conventions.
Flowers and spring go together like peanut butter and jelly. We don’t care if it’s trite or clichéd. But we also like to see email copy that reaches beyond the ordinary for a fresh twist on convention.
It doesn’t take much, as this email from Lake Champlain Chocolates shows. We love the simple hero image that’s just a collection of flower-shaped chocolates in the brand’s trademark colorful foil wrappings in a little bit of greenery. Simple, but effective.
Sender: Lake Champlain Chocolates — Subject line: Ready for Spring?
4. Get outta town!
Besides florals, spring also means vacation – especially spring break. Once the province of winter-weary college students, “spring break” now surfaces in family and adult travel, too.
Emails that appeal to people who either have plans or just wish they did are bound to capture attention. Emails that encourage them to act should also draw plenty of attention. That’s what we liked about this Old Navy email.
We cut out the top two offers in the message to show you what grabbed our attention: the clever animation that pulls out vacation-ready items from the spring womenswear line and packs them into a bag.
It’s a great use of animation with a purpose – to drive viewers to start thinking about the clothes and things they need for a spring trip. (Click the image to view the animation.)
Sender: Old Navy — Subject line: The ultimate spring break packing list
5. Turn drudgery into joy.
Some people can’t wait to start shaking out the dirt that winter brings into the home. The rest of us need a little motivation. How to do it? By making the cleaners look pretty!
Pastels aren’t just for clothing, as this Sur la Table email shows. It uses the soft, spring-like colors of its soap and cleanser product to trap the unwary, then switches up the message with brightly colored sponges, towels and tools to spring the trap. Scrubbing greasy cupboards and cleaning out the refrigerator drip pan never looked so appealing.
Sender: Sur la Table — Subject line: Spring Cleaning Starts Early
Our top 10 favorite subject lines for spring email campaigns
Here are 10 alternatives to hackneyed terms like “spring for ….”,”spring into” and “spring fling.” Another phrase to avoid: “Our spring collection is here.” So is everybody else’s. What makes yours different, besides the brand name? That’s the question your subject line must answer.
- Get Spring break ready: Altitude Sports
- Forecast: Early Spring Style: Von Maur
- The it print for spring + LAST DAY for $100 off $250 in the app: Express
- Inside: first signs of spring: Plow & Hearth
- More winter? Early spring? Here’s 40% off, whatever the weather.: J. Crew Factory
- Spring is barking at your door: Westport Big & Tall
- Dreaming of Spring: Sole Society
- Spring Eyewear Trends with Style Expert Lindsay Albanese: Zenni Optical
- Add to Closet: 20 Spring Outfits: Revolve Clothing
- It’s your “I wish it was spring” solution (hint: NEW NEW NEW): Loft