Earth Day Email Marketing Ideas: Must-See Examples
Every year, Earth Day inspires hundreds of millions of people from almost every nation on the planet to do something to help the environment. It’s a day of action, of community, and of purpose.
Earth Day presents marketers with an opportunity to connect with email subscribers about this day of environmental awareness and volunteering. But as with any email marketing strategy, you have to know your audience first.
Who celebrates Earth Day?
Not everyone who participates in Earth Day considers themselves an environmentalist. People volunteer and take action based on a variety of motivations. Some see intense urgency in their actions. Others see small practical steps that make the world a better place. It can be something as simple as planting a tree, or something as grand as advocating for new legislation.
Nearly every company can find a path to engage a segment of customers in unique ways on Earth Day.
Whatever you do, make sure your organization is walking the walk, not just talking the talk. Earth Day email campaigns that are seen as inauthentic, self-serving, or hypocritical could easily backfire.
See which of the following Earth Day email marketing strategies and ideas you can adapt to fit your business.
1. Segment your list
As with any marketing campaign, your Earth Day emails will have far greater success if they connect with the right audience. This sort of messaging resonates most with people who have strong feelings about nature, the environment, and sustainability.
How can you segment your list for Earth Day email campaigns?
If you sell a sustainable product line, you could create your Earth Day segment out of that data. For example, American Eagle could send this email featuring jeans to subscribers they know are interested in denim along with other behaviors that could indicate an eco-conscious shopper.
Another way is to use a survey of some sort, preferably weeks or months before Earth Day. The survey’s specifics will depend on the nature of your business.
The goal is to include at least one question that will identify the people on your list who will positively respond to Earth Day messaging.
Another approach is to send an email with a link to an article about Earth Day. Motivate people to click on it, and then add them to your Earth Day segment.
Now, you have an audience ready.
2. Make Earth Day emails emotional
Anger, fear, joy, belonging, celebration, unity – there are many emotions you can tap into on Earth Day. You can use any of these emotions in your messaging, but ultimately, Earth Day emails should be about hope and how to solve problems.
If your business has a line of environmentally-friendly products, illustrate the way they help address a specific issue. Show stats, videos, stories, and the consequences of the harmful approach and explain how your brand is taking on the mission of creating change.
Here’s an Earth Day email example from a furniture store pointing out the problem of disposable furniture ending up in landfills. Then, they channel emotion into the story of their sustainable furniture. They’re basically making the ‘quality products’ pitch through the lens of Earth Day’s values.
Reel uses the concept of unity to discuss charity work in Africa. They appeal to subscribers’ emotions — discussing how people in Africa often struggle to meet basic needs like food and water — and talk about how sustainable companies and charities work in tandem to help meet those needs.
Remember, Earth Day is about action. People don’t take action if they don’t feel anything. Find an emotion you can use in your Earth Day email marketing campaign to motivate your customers to take the action you want them to take.
3. Showcase sustainable products and practices
If you have sustainable product lines, this is definitely the right time to highlight them. You may want to spread messages out over several emails to really hammer home the wide variety of products you have available and the different ways they’re kind to the environment.
Here’s an email example from Under the Canopy, which sells sheets and towels. In this email, they highlight the organic and chemical-free process by which their cotton-based products are created.
If you don’t have a sustainable product line, highlight advances your company has made in other areas like choosing responsible suppliers or implementing eco-friendly processes around the office.
4. Support eco-friendly causes
This is probably the easiest Earth Day marketing idea. Simply find a cause, nonprofit, or effort related to the land, ocean, air, or animals that aligns in some way with your business.
Then, tell your customers that you’ll donate a portion of sales to that non-profit over the weeks leading up to Earth Day. This is known as cause marketing, and when you use it with the right audience, it’s very powerful.
You can make your donation promise apply to all your products or just selected ones.
This email from Leesa does a great job. It provides some tips on how everyone can be a little kinder to the planet, but instead of just making suggestions for others, it moves onto what the company is doing to contribute. They reiterate their past activities (planting 275,000 trees) and announce a new, enhanced effort going forward.
5. Demonstrate impact and progress
If you have a sustainable product, find a way to calculate the positive impact that product has had on the environment. This might be the amount of water or energy conserved, number of trees saved, the volume of recyclable materials used, or number of animals preserved.
This Bulb Energy email uses fun statistical analogies to show how much their subscribers are saving in carbon dioxide emissions. For this business, that is pretty easy. But almost any business can do something similar if they’ve undertaken Earth Day promotions in the past.
Many large organizations release annual sustainability reports detailing corporate responsibility initiatives. These reports often include facts, figures, and projections you can use in Earth Day emails to illustrate your brand’s commitment to supporting the health of the planet.
Good publicity is good for business. Suppose your company invested in solar panels, or joined a community wind or solar project. Highlight third parties and news organizations that have written about your environmental work.
Or, brag about your customers, showcasing exactly what they’ve accomplished, either by using your products or undertaking their own projects. Similarly, you could highlight employee efforts from company volunteer days, showing that you don’t just talk about sustainability but actually put in the work.
If you’ve aligned with a nonprofit or other cause in the past, communicate the impact of previous years’ efforts, and use that to sustain and build momentum for this year’s campaign.
6. Earth Day emails that inspire outdoor activities
This is another way to build up community goodwill towards your company. Give subscribers something to do that relates to love for the planet. Earth Day isn’t just about protecting the environment, it can also be about appreciating its beauty and enjoying the outdoors responsibly.
You can see several Earth Day email examples in an article from MailCharts. Athletic brand, Puma, encourages its customers to run outside. A biking company encourages its readers to go for a ride. Pretty simple stuff. But it’s effective.
Any health or fitness product company can do this. So can most food businesses and recreation businesses.
But action can also mean signing a petition, volunteering, buying a sustainable product, trying a meatless burger, etc.
It’s even better if you can motivate your customers to take photos or videos of themselves doing the actions you want them to do, and then share them on social media, or send them to you so you can create your own customer-centered, user-generated content.
Your Earth Day email has to look good — everywhere
Don’t let your Earth Day campaign fall flat because you didn’t test it before you hit send. You can fine-tune your audience and message for months, but fail because of a mistake at the very end of the process.
Distorted images, misaligned text, embarrassing writing errors — these and many other mistakes can creep into your email campaigns and defeat the goodwill and response you’re attempting to generate.
Email on Acid helps is an email testing tool letting you preview your emails on over 90 such devices and platforms, so you’ll know that your emails look right for all your readers, every time.
And it has a find-and-fix email editor so you can double-check every link, image, or word and resolve issues on the spot. Plus, you can optimize for opens and check against spam filters to help make sure the maximum number of subscribers have access to your message.
It’s an essential final check that should happen before you send anything out to your list — especially emails as important as targeted Earth Day campaigns.