How to create Earth Day emails that resonate with eco-conscious shoppers
Did you know Earth Day originated on April 22, 1970?
We weren’t aware of its’ 50+ year existence. Maybe Earth Day’s rising popularity over the past decade has blinded us from its longevity.
The point? Many people have cared about the environment for a long time. And calls for greater eco-consciousness and environmental responsibility have rapidly accelerated over the last few years.
Earth Day-themed emails have never been so pertinent. If there’s any time to tout your Shopify store’s eco-friendly practices or back a sustainability initiative, it’s on and around April 22.
We’re running through the benefits of Earth Day emails, some cautions to be aware of if you’re going to join the global environmental awareness event, and examples and tips for making your eco-friendly emails shine.
Why you should consider an Earth Day email
If the environment is a top priority for many, then it’s also a concern to current and prospective customers.
There’s a dizzying amount of data showing the importance of environmental issues. Here are two ecommerce-related stats to ponder:
- 32% of Americans say they think of the environment either all or most of the time when making purchase decisions
- Sustainability is an important purchase criterion for 60% of American consumers
Such public sentiment spells a massive opportunity for Shopify merchants committed to sustainability. It’s why we see more and more brands turning Earth Day into an Earth Month email campaign.
But you say, “Sustainability isn’t my focus,” or “The environment matters to me, but my brand isn’t helping the cause.”
Few brands can tackle climate change at the scale of companies like TOMS or Patagonia. But what stops you from raising awareness? You could share tips for extending the life of a best-selling product or promote specific eco-conscious movements that matter to you.
In any of these cases, you demonstrate that your Shopify store cares about the planet. Tactful Earth Day emails are a chance to leave an impression, be relevant, build trust, and even help move the brand loyalty needle.
Earth Day emails also keep subscribers interested and engaged by adding variety to the newsletter mix.
When Earth Day emails are a gamble
We hope you regularly think through your newsletters, from the email structure to strategy. Earth Day, though, deserves an extra layer of scrutiny. They often cross into cause marketing territory and therefore require exercising some caution.
The last thing you want is to provoke skepticism among your subscribers. You don't want to put on a show for one day, then forget about sustainability until April 22 rolls around again.
People can smell inauthenticity, and it's cringe-worthy. A poll found that 83% of Americans think that “many companies say they do good things for the environment because it is good for their public image, not because they care.”
They’ve got good reason to have doubts. Take a Federal Trade Commission settlement involving Kohl’s and Walmart. The businesses were fined a combined $5.5 million in 2022 for inaccurate eco-friendly claims about some products.
The lesson: stay away from misleading statements and overall greenwashing.
The better path is transparency. Shine a light on your meaningful, eco-conscious efforts without exaggerations.
And it’s probably a good idea to focus on the positive and promote preventive actions. A Harris Poll found that ads emphasizing how humans destroy the planet can be a turnoff. One in five respondents said they would be less likely to support such a brand.
9 Earth Day email examples to grab attention
Once we started thinking of non-cringy ways to leverage Earth Day, we realized there’s a vast range of angles worth entertaining.
Our email hunt revealed a lot. You’ll see that from the examples below.
You might also consider Earth Day emails that touch on the following, if applicable:
- A trade-in/resale program
- A recycling program
- Ways you’re decreasing emissions via transportation efficiency
- An earth-friendly return policy
Point out the ways your brand is environmentally friendly
Here’s an interesting stat: 78% of Business of Sustainability study respondents said they want to buy from “environmentally friendly companies but don’t know how to identify them.”
Hear that, Shopify merchants? No time like Earth Day to educate consumers about everything you’re doing for the sustainability cause.
Outer nails it.
They write, “Sustainability is woven into the very fabric of our company.” The brand backs it up with proof of its green practices, a behind-the-scenes video showing employees participating in a company-backed environmental cause, and a personal note from the co-founder.
Green-minded efforts needn’t be as robust as Outer’s to merit the sustainability spotlight.
Maybe one aspect of your business — say packaging — fits the bill. You can dedicate an entire email to the recycled materials that compose your packaging. Or maybe the packaging itself is reusable, compostable or recyclable.
Take a look at how LOLI Beauty does it.
The organic-based beauty brand also slides in creative ways to repurpose its glass containers. A skincare container transformed into a starter pot for plants? Helpful suggestion.
Ask yourself: How does my brand support sustainability?
Highlight a product’s eco-conscious features
Packaging and sustainable practices are one aspect of showing your brand’s environmental awareness. Elements that go into making the product itself are another.
People are curious about product ingredients. One study cites that 72% of consumers rely on product labels to identify sustainability benefits.
Any brand with “organics” in its name should have high eco-friendly standards. Still, John Masters’ Organics spells out its commitment to improving the climate in the email example below.
We like that they pull back the curtain to detail their natural, clean ingredients.
Then there’s Rothy’s, which draws attention to circularity. The brand quantifies how many single-use plastic bottles go into manufacturing its shoes.
Ask yourself: Are my products free of harmful chemicals? Do I source ingredients responsibly? Is my product — either through production or use — energy efficient? Is it recyclable or biodegradable?
Share industry-relevant, eco-responsible tips
When you think of jewelry, does eco-consciousness spring to mind? Probably not.
We love how Holden inserts itself into the environmental conversation with a niche-driven approach. The brand sells engagement and wedding rings, so a post about eco-friendly weddings makes perfect sense.
They get extra points for a secondary call to action (CTA) about their carbon-neutral certified status.
Ask yourself: What eco-conscious topic can my brand speak to?
Champion an environmental cause
Many merchants support eco-conscious causes, like participating in a clean-up event or donating to organizations that fight climate change. Some show their support during April, while others are committed year-round.
There’s no shortage of options. You can find plenty of organizations that match your interests, such as:
- Environmental, ocean, water and biodiversity conservation
- Mitigating climate change
- Waste reduction and recycling
- Sustainable fashion
- Sustainable agriculture and food systems
- Environmental justice
In the example below, the Matter Company takes the tree-planting route. Every $5 spent leads to planting one tree.
So shine a light on a worthy cause you're aiding. And show how customers help enable your philanthropic efforts.
Ask yourself: Is there an environmental cause that aligns with my brand’s values I can support?
Reveal your impact
Earth Day presents the perfect time to show the impact of your environmentally focused efforts, primarily if your brand supports ongoing initiatives and has done so for a while.
Numbers talk. Nuzest understands that carbon dioxide weight measurements are meaningless to the everyday person. Using equivalencies like trees saved or burgers consumed is tangible and easy to grasp.
Ask yourself: Can I round up any numbers of impact to tell my brand’s eco-conscious story?
Partner with like-minded brands for an Earth Day giveaway
Partnering with fellow merchants to broaden your brand exposure is a regularity in the Shopify ecosystem.
If your products inherently support sustainability — and your network includes others committed to being environmentally responsible — then why not do an Earth Day-themed giveaway?
Social media is the prime channel for promotion. Email marketing can give it a boost.
KiZE Concept’s newsletter helps spread the word about a prize pack giveaway including seven of its “favorite natural and sustainable brands.”
We love this email because you see what’s at stake. KiZE also capitalizes on the opportunity to sneak in a few best-sellers.
Ask yourself: Does an Earth Day-centered giveaway make sense, even if going solo?
Provide educational content about environmental issues
We mentioned the idea of sharing tips earlier. Elevate it to another level by providing educational tidbits.
This approach can be challenging to pull off, depending on your brand. Only do it if you can muster an angle that relates.
For example, you’d probably scratch your head at a baby clothing brand spewing facts about Earth Day’s evolution. A better approach? A history of organic cotton in succinct, bullet-point form — since the brand only sources organic cotton for its clothing.
Check out how the brand 4ocean conquers the educational route.
Each Earth Day fact relates to the ocean. It’s fitting. The brand sells bracelets to fund efforts that rid oceans of plastic.
Ask yourself: What environmentally related facts relate to my brand or products?
We walk through other examples if you're looking for more inspo! Catch the Earth Day email marketing video.
Best practices for Earth Day email campaigns
As with any newsletter you produce, you’ll get better results using email marketing best practices. Encourage engagement with:
- On-point Earth Day subject lines. Clear and compelling subject lines foster better open rates. Intrigue doesn’t mean misleading, though. Ensure it relates to the email content. And add an emoji to stand out. One globe or plant does the trick.
- Slick visuals. It’s nice to have a visual tie-in to the environmental awareness theme. Otherwise, subscribers might feel the subject line has deceived them and won’t continue reading. Just don’t be obnoxious by littering it with abundant green imagery. Walk the tightrope of amplifying your messaging without drowning it out.
- Strong CTA. Prompting subscribers to take the next step is essential for every email you send. Be direct. Action words — like “Learn More” or “Shop Eco-Friendly Products” — work best. Place your CTA “above the fold” rather than buried at the bottom, and use more than one CTA if necessary.
- Self-promotion. Earth Day emails are about a global cause. But there’s room to advocate for yourself. Give subscribers a taste of what you offer, even if it’s sliding in product recommendations toward the newsletter’s end.
We’ve got one more tip that’s specifically pertinent to Earth Day. You could tailor your messaging toward two types of shoppers:
- Glamour Greens (about 39% of Americans): tend to be younger and wealthier, with a penchant for being on trend
- Carbon Cultured (about 20% of Americans): typically care more deeply about environmental issues but are conscious of price and value
Read more about these two shopper types and what motivates them.
Earth Day email recap
Earth Day emails are a chance to engage with and educate your subscribers. If you can create a meaningful email newsletter or campaign, go for it. You’ll dial into an issue that’s of concern to many consumers.
Use one of the nine Earth Day email examples or a combination to inspire your sustainable-minded email strategy. Or, they may have sparked a different idea.
Our top advice is to embrace the essence of Earth Day. Anyone can slap “Earth Day sale” on an email promotion. Consumers will have higher regard and trust for your brand if you make a thoughtful connection to the day.
One last thought. Earth Day is a natural time for environmental awareness emails. But don’t forget about the rest of the year. Occasionally pop them in and you’ll build a reputation as an environmentally responsible brand.
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