5 creative email content ideas to kick 2018 off right

McKenzie Gregory


After the frantic haze of the holidays, it's hard to believe we've finally made it to 2018. But regardless of whether you're ready to hit the ground running with your marketing strategy or still shaking off vacation brain, this is the most crucial time of year to do right by your email audience. 

In January, inbox fatigue abounds. Your recipients have been blasted again and again by overeager brands promoting holiday sales and New Year's Eve celebrations, and chances are good they're ready to cleanse their inboxes with a wave of unsubscribes. So take a moment, really consider the precedent you want to set this year, and prove to your subscribers why they'll look forward to hearing from you in the months to come. 

If you aren't sure where to start, here are some solid email content choices I've seen from brands in my own inbox the past couple of days. Use their strategies for inspiration, and happy emailing!


1. Make some resolutions. 

The beginning of January is prime time for goal-setting and aspirational thinking, so find a way to tie resolutions that will resonate with your audience to whatever products or services your brand offers. In this email, World Market lists some common resolutions – "Be Green," "Eat Healthy," "Travel More," etc. – and associates them with items they've marked down.

The resolutions play applies to more than just retailers, too. For instance, let's say your company sells software. Instead of promoting goods, you can highlight product features that will help your subscribers achieve resolutions like, "Be more efficient" or "Impress your boss." Above all, remember to put the focus on the subscriber and what they can achieve in 2018. 



2. Create more touch points. 

It happens all the time: Someone visits your website, signs up for your list, and your emails become the one and only way they keep up to date with what's going on with your brand. However, just because 61% of consumers prefer to hear from businesses via email doesn't mean they aren't interested in engaging with your brand in other places. 

The new year is the perfect time to promote your other channels, like social, apps, or SMS. Email works best when it's part of a larger marketing ecosystem, so create those additional touch points to get the biggest bang for your marketing buck. 



3. Help them plan ahead. 

Few times of year are as jam-packed with big, exciting moments as November and December. After all the build up that comes with the holidays, once we're past them, January through March can feel like a bit of an abyss.

Help your subscribers make the most of the dreary winter months by reminding them of events they may have forgotten, or by helping them plan their own fun diversions, like a weekend trip or an Oscars party. Have an event of your own to promote? Right now is the perfect time to plug your industry conference, pop-up shop, or networking meet-up. 



4. Encourage subscribers to treat themselves. 

Let's be real: Your audience has spent the past few months buying gifts for others, and they probably have some gift cards burning a hole in their wallet. Plus, January is the biggest month of the year for self-improvement and transformation, so if there was ever a time to send a "Treat Yo Self" email, it's now! 



5. Send a re-engagement campaign. 

This is something I'd recommend all brands do at the beginning of each year. First, segment out subscribers who haven't engaged with your brand in a while. Then, send them an email that allows them to opt out, manage their send preferences, or both. Not only will it help clean up your list, it'll improve your sender reputation and show subscribers you're actually paying attention to their interests. 

The new year can be an intimidating time for email marketers, but be sure to make the most of the fresh start. Your subscribers will thank you for your efforts with long-term loyalty and improved results in the coming year and beyond! 

About the Author

McKenzie Gregory

McKenzie Gregory is a senior content manager on Emma’s marketing team. A Nashville native, she can be found covering all things email on the Emma blog, debating hyphenation rules, and watching obscene amounts of Netflix without a trace of shame.

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