Sometimes companies get email marketing spot on or they really hit the nail on the head. Of course, there are times when it goes horribly and disastrously wrong, but occasionally you can find yourself surprised and entertained; reading to the bottom of the message, clicking, forwarding to a friend, or even deciding to make a purchase right away.
Below we have picked five examples of emails that come into the first category; instances of email marketing skill and imagination – for a variety of different reasons.
However, coming clean from the start, the below emails were stumbled across by hunting the internet – I haven’t actually received them myself (just in case you wondered why they’re all addressed to different people). I’m not scamming brands for small discounts and I don’t have multiple personality disorder either.
Key Strength: Content
This email from the unusual American shop UncommonGoods pretty much blew me away. I can’t remember seeing an email that so creatively tells a story using its quirky products, let alone an email that contains items as varied as a neck tie, luggage bags and a bowl made from a bike chain!
It’s playful and full of puns – which are always appreciated – but crucially UncommonGoods have devised a creative and fun way to display a range of goods while keeping you reading right through to the end of the email. It’s charming, funny and really effective.
Key Strength: Relevance
The way Amazon’s targeted emails work borders on the telepathic. I’m sure it’s all down to complex algorithms rather than thousands of internet retail soothsayers, but their triggered campaigns are relevant to the point of being uncanny. It’s hard to find another retailer that could possibly compete. For instance, click on a couple of cameras on their site and the next thing you know you’re receiving a message advertising their bestselling or best-value cameras in the range you perused, in a effectively personalised email that must surely encourage an incomparable amount of site returns and purchases.
Key Strength: Timing
Two things Dominos’ email marketing excels at; timing, and making their messages mouth-wateringly attractive. This email ticks both boxes, timed to hit your inbox in the mid to late afternoon, for when the memories of lunch are fading, subscribers are starting to feel peckish and wondering what they’ll do for dinner. Obviously, the pizza retailer have also mastered the art of capturing truly tantalising shots of their pizzas, which really to add to the temptation to buy.
Key Strength: Design
Things aren’t going so well for Dell at the moment, their heyday is behind them and the computer market is fierce and unforgiving. Nevertheless, this email from back in 2011 shows some really great design, compelling arguments to buy, humour, eye-catching illustration and call-to-actions all over the place (without being too in your face). I particularly like the fact Dell’s email used simple black and white drawings to get their point across – managing to make their computers look great in a unique way without resorting to flashy photographs.
Plus, the entire thing reads a bit like a Buzzfeed or Mashable article – “5 Signs You Need a New PC” – with that catchy, engaging style they do so well. Oh wait, here’s a similar Buzzfeed piece.
5. Rent the Runway
Key Strength: Ingenuity!
Offering 10% off? A subscriber might click if they like your brand. 20% off? Getting warmer. 30% off? Very tempting.
But even promising 30% off in an email promotion might not cause subscribers to click through to your site if they’re not in the mood or feeling a bit grouchy. So, in this example, Rent the Runway have used an ingenious incentive to get click-through rates absolutely skyrocketing; an element of intrigue and surprise!
As far as a subscriber knows every single person that clicks might be ending up with the minimum amount, but by turning the discovery of their discount into an action that feels like a prize draw they have undoubtedly drawn an immense volume of interaction, site hits and the holy grail of potential sales conversions.
These aren’t the best retailer emails of all time, they’re simply very effective and different approaches to email marketing. There’s plenty of wisdom to be found in their techniques as well as tips that all users of email marketing could utilise to their benefit.
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