Year in review email

Feb 5, 2024
Year-in-review emails are the perfect measure of loyalty – one you share directly with the customer. Get the how-to on wrap-up messages to your customers, thanking the ones who are engaged and nudging the ones who aren't.

The year in review

A "year in review" communication – typically an email or dashboard report – is a recap, typically sent via email, summarizing a customer's engagement with your product or service over the past year. It's not just a report; it's a narrative of their journey with your brand.

It's different from a birthday email, where you're simply giving a customer birthday message with a perk or gift inside to thank them for their loyalty. This is about your relationship.

A wrapped email is all about the customer

While it's tempting to share your company's achievements and anniversaries, a year-in-review message is all about the customer's journey with your brand. It's an opportunity to celebrate their milestones and show appreciation for their loyalty. This approach often results in higher engagement compared to a company-centric review. Remember, customers enjoy seeing their own story, not just yours.

Translate product usage into milestones

The key to a successful wrap up email is translating product usage data into meaningful milestones. Consider Spotify Wrapped as a prime example.

Spotify turns listening data into a personalized story, highlighting users' favorite artists, songs, and genres, with strong copywriting that's punchy, fun and a little cheeky. They even used AI art this year, to stay on the trendz: 

Is this too much? Asking for a friend

How to implement a "year in review" email

  1. Identify 3-5 key metrics: Determine which metrics matter most to your customers. It could be the number of purchases, total savings, or hours spent using your service. Don't go overboard – just stick to 3-5 core numbers that you can rely on, that sums up what it means to be a customer of your brand.
  2. Gather data: Start by collecting data on customer interactions and usage patterns over the year.
  3. Create personalized milestones: Turn these metrics into personalized milestones. For instance, if your product is a reading app, highlight the number of books a customer read or the most popular genre.
  4. Incorporate visuals: Use engaging visuals to complement the data and tie the story together. Graphs, charts, and infographics can make the information more digestible and engaging.
  5. Express gratitude: Always include a perk directly in the email and a message of thanks. Acknowledge their loyalty and what their business means to your company.
  6. Include a call to action: A perk gives the user a gift to redeem, or you can link to a full stats report like the Chess.com example.
  7. Ensure brand consistency: Here's an opportunity to flex some brand muscles and be creative with how you utilize colors, fonts, logos and graaphics into the experience.

Examples we love

Grammarly already sends a weekly writing review to my inbox, so I was curious how they'd top it with a year-in-review. And cleverly, they took a synopsis of my writing sentiment and gave me a personality type to match it: 

Grammarly year in review email 2023 assigns a communication style. This image shows The Enthusiast on a blue playing card.s
Thanks, Grammarly!

Chess.com sent a "best game" email with a link to my stats page, though it did not go directly to the 1-year stats. Improvement for next year?

Chess.com example of email year in review 2023
Chess.com

The thing about Starbucks, though, is once you multiply the number of visits by the cost of your favorite drink, you might have more rea$on$ not to go as often: 

Starbucks year in review points membership email report
Startbucks via Reddit

Hubspot sent me a lovely collection of stats covering my new contacts, marketing emails sent, templates used, deals won, contacts updated, forms filled out, ads created, and meetings held. Pretty impressive and super easy to create based reporting that already exists. I also love the orange CTAs in each section that lead to a guide or the platform.

Hubspot year in review 2023

Zappos literally did not customize a thing besides my name, and still sent one (that I opened). Plus 1 for the preview line though, it's pretty cute: 

Zappos customer anniversary email image that says "cue the confetti! It's your Zappos anniversary and we're celebrating you"

Spotify's copy writing was on point.

Spotify wrapped email 2023: great copywriting, AI visuals and more. This image shows 3 screenshots of the wrapped email saying "time is a construct, but we kept track anyway." and "that was fun. Same time next year?"
Source: Spotify wrapped

Sample email template and 10 subject line ideas

Subject: Your Year with [Brand] - A Look Back at 2023

  1. 🌟 A Year to Remember: Your 2024 Journey with [Brand]!
  2. [Name] — your 2023 Year in Review is in!
  3. 📅 Unwrap Your 2024 Highlights with [Brand]
  4. 💥 [Name], See Your Epic Year in Review!
  5. 🎉 Celebrating Your 2024 Moments with [Brand]
  6. ✨ [Name], Relive Your Best [Brand] Moments of 2024
  7. 🔍 Your 2024 Year in Review: Insights & Surprises
  8. 🚀 [Name], Your 2024 Adventure with [Brand] is Inside
  9. 📊 Your Personal 2024 [Brand] Report Card is Here!
  10. 👀 Sneak Peek: Your 2024 Highlights with [Brand]!
  11. 💌 From Us to You: Your 2024 [Brand] Story

Hey [Customer Name],

As we bid a fond (or not! See ya!) farewell to 2023, we at [Brand] are taking a moment to celebrate YOU and your journey with us this year. It's been a pleasure being a part of your [product/service] experience.

Here's a glimpse of your highlights:

[Milestone 1: Personalized Data Point] You discovered your love for [specific product/service feature] or reached a new milestone in [usage aspect].

[Milestone 2: Engaging Statistic] You were among our top customers who [engaging fact or statistic], showcasing your [positive attribute related to the product/service].

Your trust and loyalty mean the world to us. As a token of our appreciation, here's [a personalized perk].

Here's to another wonderful year ahead!

Stay tuned for exciting updates and new features in 2024.

Warm regards,

[Brand] team

A well-crafted "Year in Review" email is more than a marketing tool; it's a celebration of your customer's journey with your brand. By focusing on their experience, translating product usage into milestones, and crafting a narrative around it, you not only foster loyalty but also empower customers to continue their journey with your brand into the new year.

About the author
Adrienne Kmetz
Adrienne is a marketing expert with a career history of working in startups of all sizes, from early stage to series A. She has 17+ years of experience writing about business, finance, and entrepreneurship. She went to Colorado College where she majored in skiing.
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