If your inbox is anything like mine, then you have noticed a recent rush of marketing emails offering fall discounts, Halloween sales, or product announcements just in time for Thanksgiving. This is no surprise – the end of summer signals the start of retail’s most important quarter, and retailers are ramping up their email marketing in preparation for the Q4 rush.

With so many marketing messages arriving in our inboxes, what makes some emails stand out amidst all the noise? In today’s blog post, we’ve picked 5 great fall emails from major retailers that offer some insights on how your company can write more attractive and compelling email marketing messages.

1. Marks & Spencer


According to Digital River, 83% of consumers sign up for emails expecting to receive special discounts and offers. Marks & Spencer, a major UK retailer, evidently understands this – and gets right to the point in their fall newsletter with a £10 discount offer in its subject line.

M&S also prominently displays its free “Next Day Delivery” offer – and importantly, offers the fine print explaining how orders must be made by 12 noon, and to your nearest M&S location. As a consumer, it’s never fun to think that you’re getting free delivery, only to discovery at checkout that there were a variety of requirements for free shipping that were not revealed earlier.

Takeaway: Present your discount offers prominently in the email.

2. Topman


Topman’s email is a great example of how clever copywriting can help deliver strong open rates. This newsletter immediately caught my attention with its intriguing subject line: “We strongly recommend you read this”

The subject line naturally piqued my curiosity, and I simply had to read on. However, it didn’t feel like a deceptive play (a very real risk!), probably because the email delivered on its promise of being an interesting read. I learned about three fall fashion trends that fit the sort of look Topman’s customers would be interested in, and was also offered a Trend Guide showcasing this season’s latest fashions. Topman’s newsletter is a great example of using strong content marketing to drive revenue, and the unique subject line helps this message stand out from the crowd with a tone that you don’t normally expect from a brand email.

Takeaway: Get clever with your copywriting – but be careful not to deceive your reader.

3. Frank & Oak


Many retailers make the common mistake of dressing their newsletter with as many products as they can possibly fit. Not only does this make your email hard to navigate (especially if you’re reading on a mobile device), but you’re likely pushing far too much information to the reader. Overloading your customer with unnecessary information is the easiest way to turn off your customers from future marketing messages.

Frank & Oak’s newsletter is a great example of a company that keeps the message simple and straightforward. The email is clean and clear, distilling the text down to only what you need to know: 1) there’s a fall sale, and 2) some items are up to 60% off. Customers who want to learn more will instinctively know to click through to the Frank & Oak website.

Takeaway: Distill your email copy down to just the key points.

4. Abercrombie & Fitch


Abercrombie & Fitch’s latest message is another example of a great fall email that stands out from the crowd. In particular, the subject line, “Make your move: 20% off ends tonight!” gives the reader a sense of urgency that they should read the email before the offer expires.

One risk with “urgency-based” emails is deciding how long until your discount or offer expires. In this case, the email arrived in my inbox at 7:06 AM, which gave me plenty of time to see it in my inbox over the course of the day, and decide before heading to bed that evening. In other cases, it might make more sense to give the reader the weekend, or maybe even a week, depending on the size of the purchase and the products being sold.

Takeaway: Create a sense of urgency with your emails.



Finally, IKEA’s newsletter is a great email that markets well to its customer persona. The email comes just in time for Thanksgiving and the holiday season, when millions of Americans are expected to travel and spend time with friends and family.

It also fits well with IKEA’s business model of offering stylish, affordable furniture ready to pick up in an afternoon, perfect for the lifestyle of a busy family that doesn’t have a lot of time to choose and wait for custom or original furniture.

Takeaway: Know your audience – and cater your marketing to fit their profile.


Looking for more email marketing ideas to keep your subscribers engaged? Get our free 52 Email Marketing Ideas cheatsheet today!