Newsletters From Popular Fashion Brands: Is Luxury Different From the Mass Market?

Fashion Newsletters Examples

Just look at these figures:

  1. Fashion is the largest B2C e-commerce market segment and its global size is estimated at $752.5 billion in 2020.
  2. Email marketing generates a whopping 3,600% return on investment.

Doesn’t it seem like a perfect match? If you combine these two, you can get incredible results. And the majority of fashion brands are aware of that, making email one of the key sales channels.

In this article, we’ll observe the newsletters of the popular fashion brands to see what shticks and tricks they use to make their emails reach the customers’ hearts. It can become a great source of inspiration for clothing brands owners and help them create their effective email marketing strategy.

The fashion pyramid of brands

Before we dwell on the actual newsletters, it is important to mention that all the existing fashion brands have a certain segmentation depending on their positioning and target audience. It is called a “fashion pyramid of brands”:

Fashion pyramid of brands
Source: Fashionretail.blog

In many aspects, this pyramid resembles the famous Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Mass-market brands located at the bottom cover basic needs, while supreme and aspirational brands are related to self-fulfillment desires.

We’ll observe a couple of brands from every category to learn the approaches they use when it comes to email marketing and to see whether the status of the brand influences the quality of its emails.

Mass-market

What we’ve noticed about mass-market brands is that they provide their customers with regular sales: that’s probably the core of their email marketing strategy. “10% off”, “Sale ends today”, “Grab your discount” –– are the most frequent email subject lines they’re using.

Emails by Superdry
Here are the subject lines of Superdry email marketing campaigns…
Emails by Mango
…and the ones by Mango

Let’s take a closer look at other tricks they have in their marketing toolbox.

Mango

Currently, Mango operates more than 2,300 stores in 107 countries worldwide. It’s an internationally recognized mass-market clothing brand offering accessible clothing for men, women, and children.

Fashion newsletter example by Mango

What we liked about it:

The brand leaves no one behind: they combine offers for women, men, and kids in a single newsletter. For every category, Mango decided to group the items according to trendy palettes and patterns.

It’s a lot of information for a single email, but the template allows that. The newsletter contains minimal text keeping things short and simple. Instead, the brand showcases its products, inviting you to visit the website and see more.

Uniqlo

Uniqlo is a Japanese brand known for its high-quality basic products sold at reasonable prices. Their designs are simple and classic, yet, they always strive for creative styling and innovative materials.

Uniqlo essentials email

What we liked about it:

This is a classic example of Uniqlo emails. They send their offers quite often (every day or so) but thanks to its subtle and unobtrusive approach, they don’t seem pushy. A clean look, a matter-of-fact attitude, prominent CTAs — it’s what you need to make your emails well-organized and invitingly simple. Just like Uniqlo.

Bershka

Bershka brings the newest trends in menswear and womenswear to the youth. The team of professionals works to observe the newest trends and reconstruct them into modern styles for men, women, and teenagers.

Fashion newsletter example by Bershka
Source: Mailcharts.com

What we liked about it:

In this email, Bershka unveils a new collection of dresses. The template is quite laconic and has a minimum of text: just vivid images of beautiful dresses with CTAs. The color scheme is calm and pleasant for the eye, creating an impression of a stylish and unobtrusive email. Beautiful to look at, easy to digest.

Zara

One of the most popular fashion retail brands in the world, originally from Spain, Zara began as a family company in 1975, and today the brand has more than 2000 shops in 96 countries, strategically situated in major cities. Zara’s key idea can be characterized in three words: beauty, clarity, and functionality.

Fashion newsletter example by Zara
Source: Mailcharts.com

What we liked about it:

Zara not only produces fashion clothing, but is also known for its perfumes, cosmetics, and home accessories. In this email, they notify the subscribers of the edition of soft matte foundation, and a conсealer, represented in numerous tones for every color of skin. Zara perfectly highlights the universality of the product having invited models of different appearances. The newsletter is mostly visual, with a short abstract of the text. The photos give you a teaser of the campaign inviting you to enter, see more and buy. Due to vivid illustrations, the email looks emotional and stands out among other fashion newsletters.

COS

COS is a Swedish brand and part of the H&M Group. It’s streetwear known for being inexpensive, simple and of minimalistic style often featuring gender-neutral androgynous silhouettes.

COS email design

What we liked about it:

COS has chosen the most popular but surefire kind of design for their emails — a lot of white space, simple column structure, color accents, clear but unobtrusive CTAs — all along with modern design trends and their brand identity. What catches the eye is the GIF that shows the model up close and in full growth and big CTAs before the footer that invites you to explore both women’s and men’s collections. The email is on the verge of being too long because it contains not only a big hero picture but multiple images, CTAs and extra information about accessories and a sale but thanks to the minimalistic attitude it feels balanced.

H&M

H&M is one of the most common fashion brands in the world. It’s so popular because it offers both basic and latest fashion clothing at good quality and reasonable prices. What’s more, they position themselves as an ethical company by promoting sustainable practices and the brand is also famous for regular collaborations.

The majority of their emails are solid but just as basic with no real difference from other mass-market brands. Still, sometimes they send something interesting, like this example (it’s rather long but it’s a feature, not a bug):

H&M email example

What we liked about it:

It’s not your regular email with sales and deals, it’s an example of storytelling in email marketing. The company has a goal to promote a new outdoor collection. So, they could’ve just sent a message with jackets and pants (and some 20% off) and that would be OK. Instead, they decided to tell a story about their newest ambassador and his views on mental health issues caused by the pandemic isolation. All during the hike to a forest and wearing H&M gear, of course 🙂 The rest is the pictures of clothing and accessories, a related offer, and their usual footer info.

GAP

GAP is known for its laid-back basics and classic denim. Having started their business as one humble shop selling jeans, it goes as something quintessentially American, unsophisticated but solid. And it looks like their email marketing is a bit unsophisticated as well.

GAP email example
Source: MailCharts

What we liked about it:

The email is OK, but not great. It’s close enough to efficient designs of recent times but feels like it’s lagging by a dozen years: too much information in one place is overwhelming and hard to read (a lengthy footer isn’t helping either), the texture is too uniform and lacks clear calls-to-action. What’s more, the mobile version of this email looks almost the same — imagine working your way through this 4-column structure with tiny images using your phone 😕

Marks and Spencer

It’s a major British multinational retailer that has been around since 1884. They specialize in clothing, products for home, and food. In 2014 they were called the UK’s most authentic brand. Nowadays the Marks & Spencer brand is just as powerful in the world as it’s ever been within the UK.

Email design by Marks and Spencer
Source: Campaignmaster on Pinterest

What we liked about it:

A fantastic use of shades and tones is the thing that immediately grabs your attention. They’ve combined sets of clothes by color, beautifully alternating one by one. But, as in the previous example by GAP, it may seem that the email is a bit overwhelmed and lots of multicolored items distract attention. It is so hard to choose the set to look at 😉

Accessible luxury & Premium

The brands of this category combine the frequency of mass-market emails (one day –– one email) with a supreme & aspirational marketing approach: a non-intrusive display of new collections and very rare promotional activities. Let’s see what we can learn from them.

GUESS

This is an American brand of lifestyle clothing. This company was the first of a kind to come up with designer jeans initially for women followed by men’s items. Nowadays they have a wide range of products for men and women: from accessories to denim and footwear.

Email design by GUESS

What we liked about it:

The newsletter by GUESS grabs the eye with high-quality images and a beautiful color palette from the offset. It is tidily done, with no extra details and distracting elements. To make the reader engaged, the marketers choose storytelling –– an email marketing technique that is not widely discussed among email marketers, yet performs well. Plus, what we especially liked is the absence of long pieces of text. Colorful images of styling ideas are accompanied by short descriptions with a good amount of white space to give the eye a break between looks.

DKNY

DKNY is a brand that borders on luxury and accessibility, having long been labeled as an “inbetweener” of sorts. Their designs are universal and practical, being simultaneously high-fashion and street-style and it’s evident from their emails.

DKNY Spring Summer 2022 email

What we liked about it:

This email is part of DKNY’s Spring Summer 2022 Collection campaign and it features Carly Aquilino — an American comedian and actress. The goal of the campaign is to gather multifaceted talents in an attempt to promote positivity, humor, and joy in everyday life. The email looks bright and inspiring, it shows several pieces of DKNY’s clothing “in action” and even has a little play on words — look at that spring! 😄 One extra benefit is a code for a 30% discount.

Ralph Lauren

In 1968, a young designer started his business –– it was a tiny showroom in the Empire State Building. No one imagined that in 50 years, it would turn into a brand that defines not just the American wardrobe, but the fundamental ways we understand fashion. Nowadays its influence has spread to communities and cultures in virtually every corner of the globe.

Email design by Ralph Lauren
Source: Mailcharts.com

What we like about it:

The color palette of this newsletter is absolutely stunning: elegant beige looks discreet and expensive. There is almost no text –– just catchy headlines, but it seems that it would be redundant here. CTAs are not so obvious and look like the continuations of headlines. Neat and tidy, attractively simple email.

Supreme & Aspirational

The brands from this category do not treat us with their emails frequently. We’ve subscribed to newsletters by Chanel, Hermès, Bottega Veneta, Armani, and Gucci, and noticed that the companies send far fewer newsletters when compared to mass-market brands. Probably, they stick to quality, not quantity? Let’s try to find out by observing newsletters by Hermès and Gucci.

Hermès

Hermès bags are among the most iconic luxury bags on the market: these are pure pieces of luxury starting from $4000 for an ordinary backpack. The brand is also well known for producing accessories and perfumes for men and women.

Email design by Hermes

What we liked about it:

Pastel colors, muted tones, delicate lines, and streamlined minimalism look super-trending and chic in terms of visual aesthetics — pastels and beige are one of the hottest color trends of the moment. The message is clean and neatly structured and, like the rest of the emails from Hermès, it has an air of nostalgia thanks to the faded retro color palette and the typewriter font. All this exudes “quiet” and timeless luxury that has been and will be around for ages.

Gucci

Gucci is one of the most successful, thriving, and iconic luxury brands in the world. It’s innovative, yet makes timeless pieces, focused on its product quality, and never fails to conduct events that you can call special for sure.

Unlike Hermès, Gucci is certainly a “loud” luxury brand. It’s known for its extravagant and opulent designs, and the brand follows this rule in email marketing. This is their typical newsletter:

Gucci Bamboo 1947 email

It’s as sophisticated and distinctive as their products, but for many, so many contrasting colors at once may look garish and even cheap, so we decided to take another Gucci email as the main example. This one:

Gucci Bloom email

What we liked about it:

So we decided to pick an email that features a softer, muter, and more modern palette that looks almost like Hermès’ and goes along with the design of the featured product. Gucci is not afraid to break for a bit with their usual looks and try something new to step with the times.

It also has a good structure with a nice text/image ratio and a set of icons that draw the eye and facilitate navigation.

Chanel

The name of the brand has already become the synonym for elegant classics, glamor, and high-end clothing. The story of the company began in 1909, and since then it has transformed into a reputable fashion house, producing clothes, cosmetics, fragrances, and jewelry of the highest quality.

Email design by Chanel
Source: MailCharts

What we liked about it:

At first sight, the email seems to be very simple: a picture and a brief description. But this seemingly simple newsletter is not that simple –– if you take a closer look, we’ll notice a witty and laconic text, a clear and prominent CTA, and a juicy, outstanding photo of a lipstick. Creating such an email takes time, thought, and effort. A pure feast for the eyes!

Bottega Veneta

Bottega Veneta is an Italian fashion house most famous for its luxury handbags and accessories. The brand’s signature style is woven leatherwork called intrecciato. The products are of very high quality, but their email templates are… questionable.

Bottega Veneta Email

What we liked about it:

Actually, we didn’t. This is a typical example of their emails and it’s probably the worst on our entire list. On the one hand, it features a good photo that showcases their intrecciato, trademark typography, and looks fine at first glance. But on the other hand, it’s too short and doesn’t let you get a full idea of an offer. What’s even more dubious is that a picture takes too much space in relation to the overall email’s real estate, making it a target for spam filters and the design in general is not friendly to users with an inconspicuous CTA and absence of the View in the browser link.

Final thoughts

The most surprising finding was the fact that the quality of the newsletter does not depend on the place of a brand in the fashion pyramid –– a hierarchy of companies depending on their positioning and target audience. We’ve already noticed this tendency when observing the newsletters from famous musicians.

Probably, it happens because, for both supreme and mass-market brands, email is ​​the core promotion channel. That’s why fashion newsletters are mostly neat, thought out, eye-pleasing, and pretty frequent. Mass-market brands send emails almost every day (it seems a bit excessive) offering numerous promotions, discounts, and new collections. Vice versa, supreme & aspirational don’t treat us with their newsletters too often: several emails a month and that’s it.

In general, newsletters by clothing brands are an encyclopedia of effective email marketing strategies. So, no matter if you are a seasoned email marketer or a junior, e-commerce emails are a source of inspiration when it comes to design or some strategically important tips & tricks.

What fashion newsletters are you subscribed to and why?

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