I've been on a year-long quest to find and highlight the best of library marketing. That means I’ve been watching libraries and their promotions very closely! But don't worry, no creepy lurking involved — this is all centered around my love of library email marketing. My inbox has basically become a treasure trove of incredible and effective library messaging — and I love it. 

Why the obsession with library emails, you ask? It’s because they are the single most effective way to promote your library. According to Zero Bounce, a whopping 88% of people check their emails every single day. And get this: 39% of people dive into that inbox multiple times a day.  

So yes, I am intentionally drowning in library emails because I've been on a mission to curate a list of the absolute best emails from libraries. Here are my top picks for the outstanding library marketing emails from LibraryAware customers in 2023. I hope you’ll find an idea or two or 17 to inspire your email marketing in the New Year. 

Best use of a countdown timer: Scranton Public Library used a timer to build excitement and a bit of FOMO for their Swinging on Vine benefit. Want to do the same thing? It's easy

Best onboarding series: Pewaukee Public Library’s simple, straightforward email gives new cardholders what they need to know about how to use the library without overwhelming them with too much information.    

Best email to tweens: Community Library manages to make email cool for this tricky age group by keeping it simple and fun.  

Best newsletter for kids: Williamsburg Regional Library knows exactly how to get young readers and their parents to check out books and events with this alternating layout that's easy to scroll. 

Best use of table of contents: Have a lot of information to share in your email? Take a page from Thayer Public Library’s book of tricks and use a table of contents to help email receivers navigate to the content that’s most interesting to them.   

Best call to action: Delafield Public Library makes it impossible to resist clicking on their fundraiser link with a clever, mouth-watering phrase.   

Best customized NextReads newsletter: I love everything about this collection promotion newsletter from Waimakariri Libraries: the bold, beautiful header, the book club promotion, the format key, the annotations... it makes me want to put all the books on hold RIGHT NOW! 

Best inclusive email: When St. Helena Public Library launched a new mobile app this year, they sent this email announcement to their cardholders in both English and Spanish to ensure everyone in their community got the news. It’s a simple but welcoming gesture. 

Best use of white space: Pauline Haas Public Library sent this beautifully designed email to about 219 teenagers. It had a 53% open rate and a 9 percent click-thru rate. Why? Because its modern, clean design caught the attention of these rising library fans.   

Best weather-related email: Oxford County Library took advantage of a winter snowstorm earlier this year to send this email promoting one specific part of their Library of Things and their collection. Genius! 

Best events email: Another example of clean, beautiful design comes from the Atlantic County Library System, which sent this email to drive registration for select library events. Notice the eye-catching GIF in the header which is easy to add in LibraryAware. 

Best professional development email: The Library of Virginia added career-related books to its collection and let library staff across the state know about it with this well-designed email, proving that email is an effective way to communicate with staff too!  

Best email subject line: Forsyth County Public Library has a lot of goodness packed into this monthly newsletter, and they get recipients to open it using an irresistible subject line, complete with an emoji! 

Summer Reading Hall of Fame: I couldn’t pick just one email to represent the best work of libraries during the most important/stressful/amazing ongoing program of the year. 

  • W.J. Niederkorn Library used a ready-made LibraryAware template to put this sunny email together to promote their Summer Reading Challenge for all ages. 

  • Similarly, Sewickley Public Library used LibraryAware to send this excitement-building email for their summer reading program. It also has a section thanking their sponsor — a very smart idea!  

  • Similarly, Kokomo-Howard County Public Library used the All Together Now theme and uploaded graphics to LibraryAware to create their email announcement of summer reading. I love the weekly themes section and the videos that explain how to use the tracking app. 

  • And Everett Public Libraries also used uploaded graphics for their announcement email, which includes lots of white space and clear CTAs.  

You can have success like these libraries by sending more emails to your community. I guarantee it will be the best use of your time and energy in 2024.

Are you ready to try email marketing at your library?

We created LibraryAware specifically for libraries, so you’ll find thousands of library-specific templates and graphics. It also includes unlimited users and subscribers to meet your growing needs.   

Angela Hursh is the Manager of Engagement and Marketing for NoveList. She is currently reading Dolly Parton Behind the Seams: My Life in Rhinestones by Dolly Parton and listening to The Holiday Swap by Maggie Knox.