Email marketing can be a tremendously effective way to stay top-of-mind among your target audience. Or, it can be a total flop and complete and utter waste of your time and resources. Which camp do you want to fall into? Clearly, we all want to have a bangin’ email campaign—after all, who doesn’t want leads pouring in with minimal effort on their part?

See, here’s the thing when it comes to email marketing: Consumers are bombarded with dozens of emails every day. And that’s at the low end. Users who have had the same email account or don’t filter their subscriptions well can easily receive hundreds of email marketing messages every single day. How on earth do you ever stand out among all that garb? We’ve put together a few examples of email marketing campaigns that work. Take a look, find out what these marketers are doing right and replicate these tactics in your own campaign.

Weight Watchers Piggy-Backs Earth Day

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One of the ways to grab attention and get users to open your emails is to piggy-back a popular event. Weight Watchers recently used this hook for Earth Day, offering up a targeted email message with content that ties in nicely with the concept of eco-friendly living.

Note the subtle yet nicely positioned CTAs towards the middle of the screenshot. And notice how they’ve made Earth Day relevant to the audience with a featured article that ties it in to weight loss. Don’t try to piggy-back National Peanut Butter Day with an outdoor landscaping company, for instance—keep it relevant.

Duluth Trading Capitalizes on…Plumber’s Day?

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Weight Watchers found a relevant tie-in with Earth Day, but you don’t have to use a widely known event or recognition day to grab your audience’s attention. Duluth Trading, a specialty retailer that offers high-quality, unique work gear—primarily for men, but there’s some stuff for ladies, too. They recently tapped into the power of Plumber’s Day—yep, Plumber’s Day—to draw their readers in.

We’re fairly certain that it wasn’t a large percentage of their subscriber base that was anxiously awaiting the arrival of Plumber’s Day, but we are sure that they got at least a few clicks out of intense curiosity. And, of course, they gave the plumbers of the world a little something special with a limited-time discount offer that creates urgency.

Website Magazine Kills It with Content

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What if you’re not a retailer? What if your business is content-based? There’s less opportunity for big, flashy sales and limited-time offers. Take a cue from Website Magazine. They still capitalize on a fresh, clean design, offering just enough information to entice you to click for the full article.

The email includes blurbs for a sponsored download and a featured article. But that’s not all—you’ll find hot, trending and popular topics, followed by a few more titles for good measure. Surprisingly, they manage to pack a ton of content into a really short, appropriately-sized email without it looking cluttered.

Tracky Keeps Readers Up-to-Date on Features

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Tracky, a productivity and planning tool, uses its email newsletter to keep subscribers up-to-date on the latest features. This is a great strategy because even though every subscriber isn’t necessarily an active user, an upcoming feature might be just the hot button that causes a non-user to convert.

You can’t see this part in the screenshot, but Tracky also promotes a free upcoming webinar, lists some recent press mentions and ends with a nice call-to-action offering a free demo to help users discover how they can use Tracky to improve productivity—or learn how to capitalize on advanced features to improve their workflow.

American Public Health Association Keeps It Clean

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Email newsletters don’t have to be flashy and sophisticated. Organizations, such as the American Public Health Association, often get results using a simple, clean format that’s easy to navigate. This straightforward newsletter features a single article, with a nice tie-in to the source (great link juice for ComeRecommended.com here).

Notice the simplified navigation to the left that provides readers essential information about APHA and a call-to-action inviting readers to submit questions. At the end of the article, readers are directed to a targeted area of the APHA site as well as back to ComeRecommended.com for more information on the topic.

You’ve probably noticed that some of these campaigns are pretty different from the others. That’s because what works for you depends on your industry and your audience. Is your audience looking for valuable content or special discounts? Are you selling products or information? These and other factors can help you determine the type of email marketing campaign that will help you stand out from the crowd. The magic secret? Test, test and test again. Nothing works better than testing to find out what works for your audience as you incorporate the various features in these examples.