Email DesignNataly Birch • March 05, 2021 • 14 minutes READ

Email marketing is an incredibly diverse area. It is about not only touting goods and keeping users up-to-date but maintaining healthy relationships with customers. The digital world can be cold and misleading. Therefore, without a one-to-one connection with clients, your business will fail to survive fierce competition.

Customer appreciation emails are what you need to create warm feelings that will leave a lasting impression and provide comfort that people get in the regular shops. They help to build and cement the relationships with the contacts by showing the human face of the company and imitating the handshaking. Whatever business sector you are in, they should be an integral part of the strategy.

Let’s break down customer appreciation newsletters so you can transform cold digital surroundings into a pleasant place to be.

What is a Customer Appreciation Email?

A customer appreciation newsletter is a retention email that mostly deals with warm leads. They occupy a critical stage in the customer’s life cycle. Along with catalyzing loyalty and strengthening relationships, they also re-engage customers, drive traffic, boost conversions, and even generate sales.

Reasons to Send Customer Appreciation Emails

The main reason why customer appreciation newsletters exist is to provide a personal approach and warm human contact. Users expect responses after actions on a website.

It is here where customer appreciation emails join the game. They create a sense of reassurance and humanize the brand. They build a strong connection. Most importantly, they keep customers happy. As all we know, satisfied customers are more likely to follow your lead, visit your website, take part in surveys, leave feedback, make purchases, and refer your brand to others.

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Guide to Customer Appreciation Emails - Examples and Best Practices

Happy Birthday Month from Nike

Goals of Customer Appreciation Emails

Depending on the situation, customer appreciation newsletters may pursue different goals.

  • Bolster customer confidence
  • Convert subscribers to first-time buyers
  • Re-engage a dormant subscriber
  • Win back lapsed subscribers
  • Validate user choices and decisions
  • Make the brand look thoughtful
  • Ground user concerns
  • Make customers anchor to your company
  • Calm anxiety of first-time buyers
  • Thank subscribers for their support or work done
  • Reinforce a personal connection
  • Create a positive brand image
  • Keep your brand top-of-mind
  • Gain good publicity
  • Tout relevant offers
  • Promote a loyalty program

When to Send Customer Appreciation Emails

Customer appreciation emails are responses for specific actions or on the contrary, inactivity or passivity of the user. Sometimes they can be sent to mark some important events. They come in handy for many occasions. Let’s consider the most popular situations that should be acknowledged with the customer appreciation newsletter:

  • The user has signed up for a subscription list.
  • The user has switched from a free plan to a premium plan.
  • The user has made a purchase.
  • The user has taken part in a survey.
  • The user has shared the brand with the others.
  • The user has left feedback.
  • The user has brought a referral.
  • The company has changed its Privacy Policy.
  • There was a maintenance mode on a website.

Along with that, there are some vital milestones, such as:

  • Customer’s Birthday
  • Company’s Birthday
  • Anniversary in client-company relationships
  • Local or International Holiday

Types of Customer Appreciation Emails

For those of you who lack ideas of what customer appreciation newsletter to send out, we have built a list of the most popular types:

  • Thank You Email
  • Welcome Email
  • Special Day Email
  • Birthday Email
  • Happy Early Birthday Email
  • Holiday Email
  • Milestone Email
  • Anniversary Email
  • Exclusive Offer Email
  • Early Access Email
  • End of the Year
  • Gifts for First-time Customers
  • Gifts for Loyal Customers
  • Gratitude Email
  • One-day Customer Appreciation Event
  • Customer Appreciation Week
  • 12 Days of Customer Appreciation
  • A holiday that is relevant to the brand
When to Send Customer Appreciation Emails

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5 Types of Customer Appreciation Emails to Generate Sales and Earn Loyalty

There is a sheer diversity of customer appreciation emails. However, there 5 types of events that you can’t afford to miss out on since they are golden opportunities to earn loyalty and generate extra sales. Besides, people will expect to receive them from you, therefore do not disappoint them.

Birthday Email

Birthdays are an excellent sales opportunity for email marketers. People love to be celebrated and singled out. It is a rare occasion when the customer is eager to open and read all the emails since all of them are centered around him or her. On top of that, it is the day when the customer is in the mood to treat himself or herself. Therefore, a small discount or any other shopping incentive may come in handy.

Frame the Birthday Email around the customer’s appreciation campaign to reinforce the personal connection and drive extra traffic. Include:

  • A sincere birthday wish.
  • Special coupons, huge discounts, or great shopping incentives. Remember, Birthday is a time to be generous, though you should not spoil them with too many options. The more options you give, the more indecisive customer will be. Stick to 3 offers. It will be more than enough to express gratitude and assist in the decision-making process.
  • Loyalty program.
  • Social media icons and links to share information with others.
  • A link to chat with the support team.
Birthday Email

Happy Birthday from Cusp

Holiday Email

The Birthday campaign has one big flaw: it happens only once a year. Therefore, you are left with just one opportunity not to mess things up. However, there is a way out. You can use holidays to reach out to subscribers and make his or her day with a heartfelt note.

The marketing calendar is rich in various holidays, aka sales opportunities. If you doubt this strategy, you can take baby steps and stick to only big celebrations such as

Build the design and content around the feast, and put the client in the heart of it.

Holiday Email

Happy Harvest Event from Anthropologie

Anniversary Emails

Anniversary emails are all about the company and its clients. Unlike a Birthday Email, it is a celebration of two parties and their relationships. It is an opportunity to cement your friendship with some valuable content presented in the customer appreciation newsletter.

The email can be timed to

  • A day someone signed up for your email list.
  • A day of the first order.
  • A day someone switched to a premium plan.
  • A day someone reached an impressive milestone, etc.

Much like in the case of the Birthday Email, the customer appreciation email sent on the anniversary is recommended to have a compelling copy that praises the client and shopping incentive, a material token of gratitude. On top of that, you can add some suggested items to re-kindle interest and invite users back to the website.

Anniversary Emails

Customer Appreciation Email from JetBlue

Exclusive Offer Emails

An exclusive offer email is one of those customer appreciation newsletters that earn subscriber’s loyalty with a small bribe. To re-engage subscribers, you need to butter them up. Nothing can do this better than an exclusive offer. It even has a powerful word in the name, “exclusive.” People love everything privileged and private. Make them feel special, and this will certainly pay off.

Here’s how you do it:

  • Create a sense of belonging
  • Express your fondness
  • Use appropriate language like “special,” “exclusive,” “only for you,” “beauty insider”
  • Add an exclusive personalized offer depending on the customer’s history purchase and preferences
Exclusive Offer Emails

Customer Appreciation Email

Thank You Email

Sometimes all your customers need is gratitude: no products, no announcements, no calls-to-action, just one “thank you” subject line, and a copy with a sincere appreciation. It will help to gain customer engagement and earn brand loyalty.

Often email marketers use welcome series to express their gratitude. The deal is these two types nicely work together. The more so, welcome emails have great deliverability and see one of the highest open rates. So why not grasp this opportunity to not only onboard subscribers but also make a contact’s day with a heartfelt note and a pleasant bonus?

Do not be afraid to spoil your contacts with tokens of gratitude since they are always pleasant to get. Use Thank You Email whenever possible, since it always goes a long way.

Thank You Email

Welcome Email with Thank You Note

High-Converting Subject Line Examples for Customer Appreciation Emails

Even though customer appreciation newsletters – like Birthday emails – imply obvious subject lines, nevertheless, it does not mean you cannot spark curiosity with them.

Regardless of the occasion, even if it is the biggest sales event, aka Black Friday or Christmas, when everyone waits for the word “SALE,” you still need to be imaginative to create a subject line that will compel the user to open the newsletter.

Consider some creative customer appreciation email subject lines taken from the goliaths of industry who were managed to play smartly:

  • Happy You Day!
  • 20% Off Today Only! Customer Appreciation Event
  • Welcome To Bliss! Instant Offer Inside
  • THANK YOU…Just Because… Enjoy This Special Offer!
  • Thanks – here’s an offer for you 💖
  • You Did It! 🎉
  • Thanks for Joining Our Flock! Here’s a Special Gift!
  • Thank You for an Amazing Year
  • You’re one in a million
  • Big News and Bigger Thanks.
  • Fancy a treat on your Birthday?
  • Just a thank you note (40% off coupon)
  • You’re the best!
  • This gift is to thank you
  • Your Feet Say Thank You

Let us break down these examples to get some useful hints on how to create the best subject lines for customer appreciation newsletters:

  • Apply words such as “thank you,” “special,” “exclusive,” “just for you,” “offer,” “the best.” They instantly appeal to human nature.
  • Use the customer’s name.
  • Add emojis to bench on emotions and make the message expressive. This trick is increasingly helpful when you need to target Gen Z or Millennials like in the case of a Back-to-school event.
  • Offer a great deal, surprise, or gift right from the gate to show how much you care.
  • Be concise and straight to the point. Use no more than 6 words in a phrase. This way, you will make the message straightforward yet effective.
High-Converting Subject Line Examples for Customer Appreciation Emails

Thank You Email from Abercrombie & Fitch

How to Generate Sales with Customer Appreciation Emails

As with any other type of Email (Black Friday email, holiday email, spring email), the success of the venture lies in three main pillars: subject line, newsletter – that includes content, design, and user experience – and marketing side (segmentation, triggers, split test, etc.). We have already considered tips on how to create a rocking subject line. Let’s take a closer look at the others.


What should you include in your customer appreciation email to bring actual value and, at the same time, praise the customer? Here are some recommendations.

  • Show you care for customers. Be positive and sincere and acknowledge their worth. Let them know that you value them. You may give a small compliment, though do not fawn. Apply a friendly, warm conversational tone and write a one-on-one message.
  • Pinpoint the importance of the work done by the recipient.
  • Use a personal message. Customer appreciation email is all about the user, so everything should be personalized.
  • Use social proof to qualify and quantify the value of the company.
  • Give subscribers reasons to continue with your website. You can mention a loyalty or reward program or highlight your good deeds, local community support, or excellent worker treatment. Everyone wants to be a part of something bigger than themselves.
  • Give them early access and engage them with a hint of exclusivity.
  • Do not get too salesy. If it is possible, try to avoid FOMO, urgency, and scarcity. Also, do not be too spammy or pushy. To add a shopping incentive unobtrusively, you may offer a mysterious discount. This will spark curiosity and drive some traffic to the website. If you need to tout goods, you may insert a block with product recommendations or relevant upsell content. Stay away from aggressive marketing techniques.

User Experience

Even though an email newsletter is not a website or application, it is still vital to create a great user experience. Therefore, first, revise all the elements of the user interface. They should be easy to use. Make the message uncluttered. Does it successfully pass the squint test? If no, then play with typography, styles, and whitespace to make it visible.

Second, declutter the design to focus the user’s attention on the message and the most crucial things.

Third, make everything accessible to all groups of people. It requires more than just adding helpful information for AT. You should:

  • Provide alts for images since not all email readers show visuals,
  • Instill responsive behavior to the layout to make the newsletter look coherent across devices
  • Make interface mobile-friendly so that all controls are easily reached on tiny screens

Finally, create an unforgettable experience. Here you can let your imagination run riot. You may tell a story, create a greeting card, use gamified elements, or simply please an eye with interactive details, hotspots, animated gifs, or AMP.

How to Generate Sales with Customer Appreciation Emails

Happy Birthday Email from Banana Republic


To make the design effective, choose the theme. Every detail of the interface should support it.

Second, use an appropriate color palette. Choose emotions that you want to convey and match the palette with that. Use image backgrounds and fancy typography to set everyone in a cheerful mood.

Third, stick to a one-column layout. Even though it is banal, it is still effective. It holds all the information, ties everything together, and avoids pitfalls of rearrangement that occur on small screens.

Fourth, embrace minimalism. As a rule, the majority of successful customer appreciation emails are minimal and straight to the point.

Fifth, follow the modern trends to make your brand look up-to-date.

Finally, benefit from the inverted pyramid principle that states that you need to put the most crucial information to the top. In the email newsletter, it is realized in this way: first – the big impressive image, then – the message, and finally, call-to-action.

Marketing tools

A well-thought-out email newsletter is not all; you need much more than just an appealing design and content that drives home the right message. The marketing side plays a crucial role. Therefore, bear in mind these tips as well:

  • Segment subscription list according to the level of engagement. Sometimes even lapsed contacts may be returned with a good customer appreciation email sent on time.
  • Think out of the box. Use other types of emails (transactional emails, eCommerce emails, service update emails) to express your gratitude. For example, you can quickly transform abandoned cart email into customer appreciation email by changing the copy to the heartfelt note that expresses gratitude for stopping by and adding some products to the cart.
  • Use a series of customer appreciation newsletters. Do you remember the “12 Days of the Christmas” email campaign? You may follow the same route and run the same type of campaign. It will undoubtedly increase your chances of being heard.
  • Add a thank you note for every important action taken by the client. As a rule, customer appreciation emails are part of the welcome series, onboarding series, re-engagement series, win-back series, etc. Therefore, acknowledge your appreciation every time you can.
  • Automate campaigns. Even if your subscription list is short and sweet, it is still difficult to make sure nothing’s overlooked. It is time-consuming to check out the activity of all your subscribers every day. Therefore, you just cannot survive without proper automation.
  • Verify the email newsletter to ensure it provides a consistent experience across all email readers, browsers, and devices.
  • Follow the latest solutions and familiarize yourself with all sorts of limitations.
  • Do A/B tests. Whatever email marketing campaign you are running, split tests are obligatory since they help to channel your efforts in the right direction and find the best way to reach out to your clients.
  • Address issues to professional tools. To send some thanks to your clients, use Postcards. It is a free HTML email builder where you can create a fully responsive, stylish customer appreciation email in a matter of minutes. It is a lifesaver for all those who want to express gratitude in style and use brand voice but do not have coding or design skills.
Free HTML email builder


Customer Appreciation Email Examples

Customer Appreciation Email Examples

Customer Appreciation Email Example from McDonald’s

We are going to start our collection with a customer appreciation email example dedicated to the pandemic since it is increasingly relevant to present-day realms. In such uncertain times, it is vital to support each other. The team behind McDonald’s knows this. They have promoted free meals for first responders and healthcare workers, showing their appreciation to frontline heroes.

However, it is more than just a token of gratitude. Note, even though it targets a specific group of people, it still feels relevant to everyone else. This gesture advocates their social work that cultivates loyalty in all kinds of subscribers. Good deeds grab attention and build brand evangelists.

Customer Appreciation Email Example from Loeffler Randall

Customer Appreciation Email Example from Loeffler Randall

The email marketing team of Loeffler Randall has framed a Thank You email as an invitation that drives traffic. The skillfully combined appreciation and compelling shopping incentives. This way, they butter up customers and bring actual value. The key moments are:

  • 30% discount set right in the call-to-action button in the middle of the design.
  • Several additional shopping incentives are set at the bottom to end the newsletter on a powerful note.
  • Announcement of the reward program.
  • Carefully highlighted the “Thank You” message.

It seems that the team has pulled all the stops here. However, thanks to the proper design, the clients do not feel the pressure and simply enjoy the pleasant experience that speaks to their needs.

Customer Appreciation email example from Dorothy Perkins

Customer Appreciation email example from Dorothy Perkins

The customer appreciation example from Dorothy Perkins easily breaks through the crowd of birthday cards with their lovely newsletter. Although it is increasingly compact and minimal with just an image-based hero area, it still speaks volumes from the get-go. On top of that, the design exudes elegance on all fronts – just what the doctor ordered for the birthday girl.

The theme is, “Treat yourself.” All major elements support it. The offer instantly catches an eye. However, it is not as powerful and convincing as it should be. However, it is enough to encourage the warm lead to visit the website and surf through the collection.

Happy Birthday Email from Burton

Happy Birthday Email from Burton

This is another Happy Birthday email in our collection that occupies a special place in every customer appreciation email strategy. Much like the previous case, it capitalizes on a capsule approach and classics that never gets old. The newsletter is minimal, yet it works. The deal is all the critical things are skillfully exposed to the contact.

It’s a bit like a traditional birthday card. It has an invitation message displayed in a decorative typeface that captures the excitement of a holiday, and of course, a special offer (15% discount) that thanks to substantial visual weight, catches the eye instantly. Smart.

Happy Birthday Email from Burton

It is our 7th Birthday

While two previous examples center around the contact’s big day, this one refers to the company’s small anniversary that is an occasion not to miss out. As the best practices for customer appreciation newsletters dictate, treat your contacts as often as possible, even when there is no anniversary. Though 7 is a magical number.

There is just a key phrase that naturally registers with readers: an announcement of the event and a significant discount. On top of that, a fantastic image background sets everyone in a festive mood and lightens up the atmosphere.

What else do you need on such an occasion? Simple yet effective.

Customer Appreciation Day

Customer Appreciation Day

As we have said already, the more you cherish your subscribers, the more loyal they will be, and the more revenue they will raise. Most importantly, you do not need any special occasion for that; consider Birchbox and one of its customer appreciation email examples.

The company has shown gratitude without any reason. Their tactic is unaggressive (they offer free shipping), and is a pleasant surprise for fans that make purchases all the time. Plus, the team sticks to the inverted pyramid model that naturally guides the user’s eyes from top to bottom.

At first, the newsletter impresses with a fancy image background in the hero are. With its powerful, celebratory mood, it ignites interest.

After that, content with some nice words warms up the customer.

Finally, a fancy call-to-action with some great motivation, “Let’s Party”, ends the exploration serving as a logical continuation to the entire storytelling experience and a great booster.

Customer Appreciation Email from Shipt

Customer Appreciation Email from Shipt

The customer appreciation email example from Shipt stands in stark contrast to all the listed above. It does not celebrate any special dates. It celebrates the contact and his or her contribution to the company. The year in review is a powerful marketing trick that naturally engages and re-engages subscribers.

The team uses an illustrative approach to avoid the boringness of the statistics. They have created a lovely storytelling experience filled with bright colors and positive emotions that form a thick cord of loyalty.


Whatever business sector you are in, re-engagement is a crucial element of the company’s development and success. Never take customers for granted; your business is nothing without them. Therefore, it is increasingly vital to show your gratitude to them as often as possible. For this, use customer appreciation emails. They effectively nurture emotional connection, build strong relationships with the contacts, and bring them back in times when they doubt your brand.

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