American Marketer


Essential email marketing tips for luxury brands

November 2, 2020

Camilla Carboni Camilla Carboni


By Camilla Carboni

The accelerated shift toward digital commerce continues and luxury brands must devote time and strategic attention to mastering the art of communicating effectively with consumers online.

As such, email marketing – a longstanding digital marketing practice that offers a direct touch point to consumers – has increased in importance this year.

Privacy laws align with the unspoken rules of luxury, protecting consumer rights, advocating respect and discretion, and dictating that only consumers who have expressed a desire to receive emails, and have either requested to be added to an email distribution or have personally opted in to receive emails, may be emailed.

While some may view this as limiting, it actually offers a distinct advantage: email marketing is a way to reach consumers who are already actively interested in receiving insights and updates from a given luxury brand.

As such, list size becomes less important and the nurturing of interested consumers remains center stage, as is traditional with in-person luxury marketing.

However, as promising a digital marketing channel as email is, the strategy must be executed properly.

Luxury brand email campaigns that are not aligned with the overarching identity of a brand, or are not appropriately written for the luxury market and not well thought out, purposeful and beneficial to the recipient, typically result in unsubscribes and disconnect from the brand itself.

Outlined below are four essential email marketing tips for luxury brands navigating digital waters:

Select an intriguing subject line that stands out in a crowded inbox
An email subject line is equivalent to the header section of a Web site, the cover of a business proposal, or a billboard on Fifth Avenue in New York – it occupies prime real estate.

When used correctly, email subject lines intrigue, entice and validate their place in an inbox, inviting high open rates and gaining valuable digital attention for luxury brands.

Conversely, ineffective email subject lines tend to be lost in crowded inboxes and such emails are typically never opened.

Since the subject line is essentially the deciding factor that determines whether an email is opened and read, or left unnoticed and discarded, careful consideration should be given to crafting a subject line that stands out and invites the reader to open the email.

Address each reader by name
While it is often the case that email signup forms do not capture first names –and there is, indeed, an argument to be had that requesting a first name could result in fewer subscribers, because whenever you add more variables you run the risk of decreased conversion – there is distinct value in addressing each reader by name, especially in the world of luxury.

Just as luxury brands would traditionally address a loyal customer by name when the customer entered a retail store, addressing readers by name in emails adds a personal touch. By doing so, you help to dissolve the barrier between digital mass-marketing and one of the core principles of luxury: human connection.

Curate thoughtful content and clearly indicate any next steps
Too often, email marketing campaigns leave readers indifferent or uncertain of what steps to take next.

In a fast-paced world, it is exceptionally important to respect each reader’s time and curate purposeful content that is clear and well-defined.

Things that may appear obvious to the creator of the email may, in fact, be unclear to the reader, if the journey one wishes each reader to take has not been adequately thought out and expressed in the body of the email.

As a general rule, refrain from addressing numerous topics in a single email and direct links to one specific location.

Consider readability when formatting the structure of the email
Lastly, but not of any less importance than the careful curation of the subject line, content and the personalization of each email is the structure of the email itself.

Keeping in mind that emails are often read on mobile devices, overly lengthy word counts, tiny font sizes, excessive use of imagery and cluttered formatting can result in emails being difficult to read, load and follow.

Typically, the best approach is always the simplest one, while adhering to brand guidelines to maintain brand consistency, of course.

AS DIGITAL MARKETING becomes central to the continued growth of luxury brands, email marketing provides a direct touch point with consumers who have actively expressed interest in a given brand.

The four essential email marketing tips outlined above offer time-tested insights for curating emails that nurture relationships, increase brand awareness and strengthen brand loyalty.

Camilla Carboni is a luxury brand copywriter and principal of The Copy Curator, Denver, CO. Reach her at