Too many great products have flopped because of a lousy release. After all the work their teams poured into the product, companies sometimes make the mistake of treating their product launch email as an afterthought. Because they know the value of the new version inside out, they presume that users will instantly see its value too, and be thrilled to try out this shiny new thing.
Well, that's what Cosmopolitan thought when they tried selling yogurt. And what Coors thought when they tried to sell spring water. In reality, your customers are skeptics. You have to prove that you're offering something useful. With an effective product launch email, you can speak directly to your users and show them that you've built something they need (or just really, really want).
A great product release email can even re-engage users who were on the edge of churning.
What does a great product launch email look like?
Naturally, your email strategy will differ depending on your brand, your product, and your relationship with your users. So while there's no formula for the perfect product launch email, here are 14 great examples to get you inspired.
1. Apple’s sleek announcement
Apple has product launches down to a science. The promotional email for the release of AirPods Pro does a great job of highlighting each new feature. And since AirPods Pro are a followup to the original AirPods, you know Apple had plenty of consumer feedback and knew exactly what current AirPods users would be looking for in the next iteration. Apple’s email is effective because it knows its audience and focuses on these sought-after updates with minimal copy with sleek imagery.
The email also includes several call-to-actions, most notably the “Buy Now” CTA under the main header. Multiple CTAs (that direct to the same place) give consumers more opportunities to click-through.
2. Asana’s feature launch
Asana is a project management application that helps teams collaborate and stay on track. Asana releases new features fairly regularly—and their marketing team does a great job turning each release into a mini-product launch.
This feature launch email is effective because it:
shows users Asana is actively working on product improvements
creates a chance to reconnect with customers and stay top-of-mind
allows the individual feature—that could be effective in boosting app stickiness and retention—to take center stage and avoid getting buried in a larger announcement
What’s more, Asana’s email is short and sweet. They use animation to help capture the user’s attention and then deliver the message with a few short but powerful lines of copy.
In today’s age of distraction, less is more. Asana’s simplistic approach to new feature announcements gets the job done by not overwhelming the reader.
3. Mailchimp’s beta early access invite
Mailchimp's brand is defined by a conversational tone and a warm, friendly illustration style. The following email is perfectly onbrand—it feels personal, not promotional.
The introductory paragraph displays empathy by identifying a problem many business owners face. From there, MailChimp introduces the solution and launches into their pitch. The bullet points help readers digest each feature. Finally, MailChimp gives readers the opportunity to learn more information through text links and the main CTA at the bottom.
And it’s worth looking at the subject line here, too (because with email, it’s not just what’s on the inside that counts): “We’re giving you early access to our new website builder” creates an air of exclusivity and tells the recipient everything they need to know before they even begin reading.
4. Grammarly’s new feature announcement
Grammarly is a popular writing and grammar-checking tool that ensures all of your correspondences are grammatically correct.
Grammarly showcases their new feature capabilities with an informative illustration and follows up the visuals with clear, no-nonsense copy. Since they’ve already broken out some of the key features in the header illustration, Grammarly opts to forgo breaking up copy through bulleted lists or other formatting tactics for a simple paragraph. By doing so, they keep the email short and easy to digest in one glance.
5. Everlane’s new product line introduction
Everlane is an ecommerce company that prides themselves in designing ethically made modern basics for everyday life. With the launch of their new sneaker line, Everlane sent out a product release email that highlights the Court Sneaker’s versatility, depicting the shoe with an array of different outfits.
Everlane opted for minimalist copy to accompany the understated email design, but were mindful to choose phrasing they knew would resonate with their target audience. Everlane paints a picture of a high-quality shoe that is flexible in design allowing for easy transitions regardless of where the day might lead. Everlane understands how important sustainability is to their audience and dedicates space to highlighting their efforts to make a low-waste shoe.
6. Comrad’s social endorsement email
Comrad designs compression socks for travel, work, and everyday wear. The key to the company’s success is that, unlike most compression socks on the market, Comrad’s products look like regular sporty socks to the unassuming observer.
The marketing email above does not over-complicate a simple sock launch. Comrad uses an annotated product photo to point out features that differentiate Allies from an ordinary sock. It’s both a clever and refreshing way to deliver the message.
But the most important element of this email is the animated social banner depicting Allies in action. Using endorsements from fans on social media helps validate the claims made by Comarad’s marketing copy. Modern consumers trust recommendations from friends over any advertisement, so using social media is a smart way to generate buy-in from a skeptical audience.
7. Venmo’s compelling cross-sell
Venmo is a cashless, peer-to-peer exchange app that was acquired by PayPal a few years back. In 2019, Paypal revealed that Venmo had an impressive 40 million users—more than most banks. It should be no surprise that Venmo would try to capitalize on this massive audience and expand on their product offerings with a credit card.
Venmo’s cross-promotion product launch with Mastercard calls upon Venmo lovers to bring their cashless, digital transactions to the real-world. The email combines sleek design and animation with carefully crafted copy to compel readers to apply for the card. We like that the email addresses a common experience for many Venmo users—having a few bucks in their account—and turns that into a compelling selling point. The list of features also does a good job of anticipating and answering common questions.
8. Blissfully’s reflective redesign announcement
Blissfully totes automated visibility into all of a company’s SaaS tools. Their product launch email reads more like an insider memo with its personalized undertones and formatting—a big part of why it’s so impactful.
Blissfully’s 2.0 announcement email opens with some personal reflection from founder Ariel, and then evolves into launch details. By using different mediums—personal message, large and eye-catching gif, bullet points, video—Blissfully maximizes their chances of connecting with their audience.
9. InVision’s compelling CTA
InVision gives designers the workspace they need to innovate, iterate and collaborate with team members.
The email formula is straightforward—header, CTA, image, body, CTA. But the delivery is exceptional. The design makes it easy to quickly consume the email’s content from top to bottom.
The email’s most notable components are the 2 strategically placed “free-for-all” CTAs at the beginning and end of the email. Aside from social share buttons the CTAs are the only major links to click on, ensuring their audience doesn’t get decision fatigue and can easily understand the next step to take for collaborative design.
10. Designmodo’s new product promo
This product launch email example from Designmodo forgoes heavy copy in exchange for bold and beautiful imagery. The communication looks like a billboard, and aims to stand out in an inbox full of long, overdone promotional emails.
Designmodo’s email design intends to capture attention, rather than educate, and entice people to click through to learn more about Postcards. It’s simple, aesthetically pleasing, and gets straight to the point.
11. WeTransfer’s friendly mobile app intro
When WeTranfer relaunched their mobile app as Collect, they decided to skip the flashy visuals and focus on storytelling. The result is one of our favorite emails on this list.
WeTransfer’s no frills email is so effective because it feels genuinely warm and personal. It’s a friendly invitation to their valued customers and feels more like a message to a good friend than it does a sales pitch. It’s a great example of a branded approach that feels human. (It doesn’t hurt that the simple illustration is adorable, too.)
12. CraftCellr’s gracious approach
CraftCellr is a mobile app for beer lovers. CraftCellr users find local breweries and beer releases in their area, while connecting them to a community of fellow beer enthusiasts.
CraftCellr took an introspective approach to the release of their Android app. The email starts with an expression of gratitude for their dedicated team members and patient users. It’s genuine and unpolished—a refreshing departure from typical promotional marketing which can often seem a little too glossy and impersonal.
After the intro, CratCeller launches into details of their Android app with a simple overview of key features. Each feature highlight comes paired with a corresponding screenshot. The features are separated by borders for easy differentiation and digestion.
13. Billie’s visual sell
Billie is a subscription-based women’s razor company that promises high-quality, low-cost razor blades delivered straight to your door.
Billie’s brand leans heavily on visual design—from their website to packaging to the razors themselves—to help set themselves apart from other companies. Their email marketing is no exception. This email focuses entirely on the look of the new razor (it glows in the dark!) and not at all on its function (it shaves exactly like the rest of their razors) because Billie understands what makes their users click.
14. Airbnb's appeal to wanderlust
Airbnb started offering local Experiences in 2016. In 2019, they launched Adventures—fully planned overnight trips that include meals, activities, and (naturally) accommodation. The goal is to appeal to travel-hungry millennials who generally think of "tours" as something seniors do.
This email relies on compelling travel photography to draw readers in and set the tone ("this isn't your grandmother's travel tour," the photos say). The visuals are supplemented by compelling copy and multiple CTAs to learn more. The layout of the email keeps readers scrolling for more, but provides consistent opportunities to click through when their interest peaks.
An opportunity to connect with customers
These emails all have something essential in common. Can you guess what it is? Hint: It's not the copy, or the tone, or even the call-to-action. In fact, it's not visual at all.
Every single one of these companies understands their users’ needs and is able to speak their language effectively. They focus on the value that each new product or feature provides (yes, even if that value is just “glow in the dark things are fun and novel!”).
Think about why you’re launching a new feature or product. What need does it address? What problem does it solve? What makes it exciting? Whether you answer these questions with thoughtful email copy or clever visuals, make sure you’re communicating with your readers in language that will resonate. Whatever you do, don't squander a great opportunity to further connect with your users and get them more engaged with your brand.
🚀 Want help planning the perfect product launch?
The Appcues Product Launch Planner is an easy (and totally free!) way to get started. Answer 8 simple questions and we’ll give you a personalized and detailed timeline of everything you need to do to make sure that your next product launch is out of this world!
Jared leads demand generation for Appcues and is a full-stack digital marketer. When he's not marketing software, he's probably cooking up a new recipe, playing music with friends, or going to a concert somewhere.