We love emails that make us want to tap or click—like on a one-question survey, hamburger menu, or another fun interactive element. Lately, we’ve spotted a lot of mystery sale emails that invite us to unveil a mystery code, item, or promotion. Have you ever tried designing an email like this? They’re a fun spin on the usual promotional message, creating a bit of intrigue and a sense of playfulness. And with the holiday season upon us, mystery emails might be just the creative tactic you need to cut through the noise. Check out these 11 mystery sale emails for inspiration.
Subject: New Mystery Item. That’s all we can say.
Step one of a successful mystery email? Mention the mystery in the subject line to get readers curious. And then don’t give away too much in the email itself. This email from Harry’s is super fun and mysterious. Readers will have little idea what the surprise is; the only hint is that it’s a product worth at least $5. Want to know what it is? Us, too! Design-wise, Harry’s does a great job of using an HTML background color alongside images, so the email is seamlessly deep teal. There’s live text, plus a custom bulletproof button, plus a bit of animation with this sweet little GIF:
Subject: Are you feeling lucky?
This email from MOO kind of takes mystery to a whole other level, doesn’t it? We aren’t sure what revealing our “score” will mean—but there’s only one way to find out! We’re inspired by how curious this email makes us feel, and how elegantly it’s designed. Like Harry’s, the message leverages great HTML background colors, plain text, and a compelling CTA (notably placed above the image). Plus, check out the GIF:
Subject: This may come back to haunt you…
This Halloween email from Loft succeeds with great copy and a simple animation. (By the way, have you seen our tutorial on how to create stunning all-text emails?) It’s all one image, though, so if you build an email like this, we definitely recommend a fallback, alt text, and moving that CTA button into a new module so it can stand on its own as a bulletproof element.
Subject: It’s here: Our Black Friday mystery sale
Are you noticing a trend? Mystery emails go hand in hand with animated GIFs, apparently! But we’re not complaining. Animation emphasizes the playfulness of these intriguing messages and adds a little delight to our inbox. This one from General Assembly is perfectly designed to fit the season, though we’d recommend the same CTA-related edits for them as we did for Loft.
Subject: LAST CHANCE: This Mystery Sale Ends in 2 Days
Here’s a beauty of a mystery email from Grammarly. This time, it’s part mystery, part reminder email—one in a series of a drip campaign. The message follows a classic inverted pyramid layout, starting with an image (GIF!), then by a few lines of copy, followed by a CTA. It also employs a fixed-width, which just means the background color of the body of the email is white, while the border is light gray. This makes the central part of the email look “boxed.”
Subject: Everyone Loves a Mystery Deal!
It’s a mystery email without animation! And it’s still just as stunning. This email’s high quality photography, ample white space, large type, and easy-to-spot CTA buttons make it pleasant to look at. We wonder, though, how having a second module of non-mystery content impacts interaction with the mystery CTA. (A/B test it!)
Subject: SURPRISE DEAL INSIDE
For this next set of emails, be sure to hold onto your keyboard! There’s a lot of spin action. Tarte’s mystery sale email—and the two that follow—all include roulette-inspired GIFs. If your mystery promotion varies for recipients—i.e., some folks will get one discount, like 30% off, while others will get another, like 20% or 10%—using a roulette animation is a fun way to make it feel like a game. Of course, the wheel is just symbolic; readers can’t actually interact with it. But the effect is still interesting and—hopefully—engaging! And, you can always build an actual interactive roulette wheel on your landing page.
Subject: Your Mystery Coupon Expires TODAY – Up to 25% Off
Here’s another wheel from Logitech! There are great contrasting colors used here, so each part of this email-in-motion is easy to read and fun to look at.
Subject: FINAL HOURS: Up to 30% off – Mystery Sale
And for good measure, here’s one last wheel from Sperry—
Subject: Our Mystery sale is back for ONE MORE DAY!
We love this GIF from Lucky Brand, though it is essentially a single-image email (not a design best practice). But the copy before and after the animation—along with the CTA—could easily be designed in-email instead of baked into an image (especially easy using BEE!)
Subject: LAST CHANCE to Get a Haute Mystery Haul for Only $49 ($95.50+ value)
One last email to round us out! Here’s a black-and-white mystery message from MAC, with this animation:
There are tons of ways to design your mystery sale email, and we hope these examples leave you feeling inspired! Don’t forget to check out a free trial of BEE Pro to design magnificent emails with our easy-to-use, drag-and-drop editor. We even have a template for a mystery email right here. You’ll also get access to holiday templates, stock photography from Unsplash, and cutting-edge features like background images—No coding required! So get designing, and have fun!