Hottest Summer Emails

8 Hottest Emails of the Summer


The temperature is still in the 90’s for us here in Denver, but as we are getting to the end of August, we must come to terms with the fact that summer will soon come to a close. As email geeks here at Email on Acid, we look forward to the refreshing and engaging designs of summer email campaigns year-round. Enjoy that AC (I know I am) and take a look at 8 of our favorite emails of this summer.

1. Bonobos

It was hard to choose just one email from Bonobos summer campaign, as the retailer did an incredible job of incorporating summer visuals, snappy copy and enticing deals in every email we received. Here are a few things that helped this email turn up the heat:

  • Picturing a severe tan-line is a relatable and on-theme choice for a summer email.
  • The tongue-and-cheek CTA button “SPF 40” effectively ties together the 40% off sale items offer and the tan-line imagery.
  • Its simplicity and genius in design immediately relays the purpose of the message – to offer the customer something of value – without wasting their time.

Bonobos summer campaign

2. West Elm

What is more summery than flip-flops by a pool? This email by the furniture and houseware retailer excels not only with its on-theme summer imagery, but also because it splits the hero image into CTA buttons with contrasting colors. This is an interesting and eye-catching choice that pays off. Urgency is relayed by the attention-grabbing phrase “Hours Left!” featured in the subject line as well as the email’s body. Job well done, West Elm.

West Elm summer campaign

3. REI

This email from REI reads more like a newsletter than a sales email, instilling a sense that it’s sharing valuable information for the reader. It immediately draws you in with its promise to “Make Summer Epic” against an idyllic camping hero image. By introducing REI members as “our campers,” REI highlights their connection to their customers. Through introducing these “campers,” REI is able to feature their products in an unobtrusive, yet effective way. Bonus points for including a strong social media tie-in at the bottom of the email.

REI summer campaign

4. Kate Spade

Kate Spade is the Queen of Email GIFs, so it is no surprise that this email flawlessly incorporates animation. Here’s more of what we love about this email:

  • The inviting and playful greeting “Hello Sailor.”
  • Minimalist, yet witty copy such as “We think you’ll take a shine to these on sea or dry land.”
  • Its excellent use of white space draws attention to the products and their corresponding CTA buttons.

Kate Spade Summer campaign

5. AirBnB

As a sucker for a good travel photo, this email from AirBnB instantly caught my eye. The 6 picture collage of the most popular cities for people from Denver to travel to inspires daydreams of time spent in these places, encouraging readers to realize their wanderlust and use AirBnB. The company keeps the copy to a minimum, sticking to effective uses of geographic personalization and segmentation. The bright pink CTA “Get Away” is eye-catching and actionable.

AirBnB summer campaign

6. Food52

Summer is notorious for holiday-themed emails. No complaints, but this email from Food52 was refreshing in its holiday choice. This Bastille Day email abounded in puns such as “Oui Love France” as well as mouth-watering and envy-inducing imagery. The email’s simplistic white background and gray script let the product images speak for themselves. With photography this exquisite, I applaud their design choices.

 Food52 summer campaign

7. Billabong

As a surf and swim retailer, you’d expect some pretty rad summer sends from Billabong, and they deliver with this email. Its subject line reads “Carnage at the Billabong Pro Tahiti,” which inarguably stands out in the inbox. Click through and you’ll get what you were promised: the “9 worst wipeouts ever” video. The email shows that Billabong understands their audience and their interests while also highlighting related products in a way that feels like a natural continuation of the video instead of just another product-pushing email.

Billabong summer campaign

8. J. Crew

This email from J. Crew perfectly captures the fun playfulness that defines summer. This is what we love about it:

  • The XL font of “This is worth the scroll” that encourages readers while also ensuring value for their effort.
  • The seemingly endless scoops of ice cream are as visually appealing as they are hunger-inducing.
  • When you finally scroll through the scoops, the cone points you to the CTA button “GO,” signaling that it is the clear option.

J. Crew summer campaign

What were your favorites?

If you saw any stunning summer email campaigns, or want to share some simmering emails you made this season, show them to our email community in the comments section below!

Author: Alex Ilhan

Hailing all the way from England, Alex brings his email development expertise along with an endless stream of cups of tea and British cynicism. Follow him on Twitter: @omgitsonlyalex.

Author: Alex Ilhan

Hailing all the way from England, Alex brings his email development expertise along with an endless stream of cups of tea and British cynicism. Follow him on Twitter: @omgitsonlyalex.