Why You Need Birthday Triggers in Your Email Marketing Strategy

Each January at Elysium we not only celebrate the excitement of the New Year and what lies ahead, but we also celebrate our birthday, as we were founded on January 6th. And 4 days later, celebrate my birthday as well.

 As we are a couple days from my birthday, I’ve started to receive the Happy Birthday Elyse emails from ecommerce platforms, restaurants I frequent, and countless others. There are some who relish their birthdays and enjoy all of the perks, and there are some who could care less about their birthdays and think of the emails as spam. For me, the former would be correct.

 If birthday emails aren’t part of your marketing strategy, you’re missing out. And here’s why.

1.     Acknowledgement is important

It’s important that your clients and consumers feel appreciated and recognized. A birthday is a great way to express this gratitude for their patronage. Since 99% of people enjoy their birthday, sending an email is a nice, easy gesture.

Citi Happy Birthday

 

2.     You can set it and forget it

If you set up your CRM or email intake form to include a birthday in the data fields, you can set it up so the email is sent out at whatever cadence you want AUTOMATICALLY each year. If you are including an offer, we recommend a week out or 3 days out. If you’re just sending a wish, the actual birthday works well. Since it sends automatically, there’s nothing for you to worry about once it’s set up. With an email list of millions or even hundreds, let’s be honest, no one can remember each client or consumer’s birthday.

 

3.     Easy Way to Stay Top-of-Mind

The great debate about how much email to send rages on. And we know the most important thing is to send relevant emails. A birthday is a REASON to send an email. No one will get mad at you for sending this email. This is a fantastic way to keep your brand in front of your consumers and even re-engage customers who aren’t active right now. As we mentioned earlier, the email makes your consumer feel appreciated, but it also has a halo effect on your brand. Your brand is showing it cares about its consumers.

 

4.     Fabulous Option to Offer a Bounce Back

 Most B2C companies can use birthday emails to offer some sort of incentive. You see retail and food brands do this all the time. Happy Birthday, enjoy a free X on us. We use this for our food and restaurant clients all the time. It’s using the psychological principle of Reciprocity. According to the book, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, the author discusses the social norm of reciprocity, that we are hard-wired to respond positively to a gift, even if we didn’t ask for it, or even want it. We automatically feel indebted to the giver, regardless. This is pretty powerful stuff. This means not only can you offer something that drives someone to your business, but psychologically they will want to come in and patronize your business even if they don’t want the offer.

 If you are a B2B business, you could offer a service for free, but you don’t have to. A simple, well-designed birthday trigger email will still work well and show that a. you care about the person and b. you have your act together well enough to remember a birthday.

Tony Roni bday trigger



A great 2019 resolution is to get your email marketing strategy on-point. A perfect place to start is with the birthday email. Make sure you’re asking consumers for their birthday. Then make sure you create an on-brand, fun creative piece to make their deal as special as they are! 

The Ultimate Guide to a Holiday Marketing Campaign

Doesn’t every year seem to go by faster and faster? Suddenly, you look at the calendar and summer is behind you and the month of December is breathing down your neck. The holidays can be stressful for everyone, but for businesses that time of year requires EVEN MORE time and planning. Well luckily, we’re here to give you the ultimate marketing guide to the holiday season:

It’s a Marathon, Not a Sprint

Here’s a friendly reminder - the holiday season is long (and seemingly getting longer every year). Therefore, you need to plan for not one post or email, but an entire campaign of different, but cohesive posts to constantly stay top-of-mind to your consumers during the busy and crowded holiday season. Remember, last year on Black Friday when you received approximately 2590385034 emails? This is a perfect example why you need to plan for much more than one email or social post.

It’s the Giving Season

Most brands have a natural fit for the giving season. This is the time of year to hone in on what you want your brand to be known for. It’s almost a given in this day and age for brands to have some tie-in to a charity, especially during the holiday season. However, it’s important that the charity chosen is an organic fit to the mission of your business. If you’re doing it “just for charity” your customers will realize and the buy-in will not be as beneficial to anyone involved. For example, if you’re in the restaurant industry it might be the perfect fit to form a partnership with a food back. Whereas, if you own a retail shop it could be the perfect tie-in to donate to a shelter that provides clothing to the less fortunate.

Back to the Basics  

The tides have turned and people LOVE getting mail again. Rather than being one of the hundreds of emails received on any given day, wouldn’t you love being one of the few things (not bill related) that an individual is getting in their mailbox? Although the amount of mail that is delivered during the holiday season does increase. If you create an amazing, on-brand holiday card it’s not only an additional way to ensure that your brand is top of mind but also a way to showcase your brand and wish your consumers a happy holiday season.

Where Your Campaign Should Live

Your business is firing on all different cylinders, so your holiday campaign should as well. Email, social, direct mail, digital, print, text, etc. Your holiday campaign should be carried out throughout these different mediums as well. Start by establishing what you want to accomplish (maybe this is a percentage off, a gift card promotion or a buy one, get one offer) and the look of the campaign and then bring that look to life so your consumers will see it over and over and be reminded of what you are trying to accomplish and what action you want them to take.

Including Movement  

Here’s a trick we’ve learned, people love gifs and animated social. It’s eye-catching and stands out among the millions of pictures and graphics that exist on timelines. Plus, it differentiates your creative. The holiday season is the perfect time to add some animation into your marketing strategy. If you don’t have the capabilities to bring your dreams to life, don’t worry – we do. Here’s one of our favorites:

TR Holiday Social.gif

Because People Love Presents, Right?

Who doesn’t love to get a present? The holiday season is the perfect time of year to give your clients, prospective clients, friends and family a branded gift that they’ll want to keep, use and hopefully carry with them wherever they go, and can we say free advertising? Sometimes it takes a little time to find the perfect gift to give from your company, but if you nail it – everyone will be talking about it and your brand.

Elysium Wine Gift.jpg

Don’t Forget to Wish Them a Happy Holiday

This seems like a no-brainer but boy oh boy you’d be surprised how many people miss out on this final step of a holiday campaign. People like to feel special and a simple “Happy Holiday” from your business is another element of making your customers feel like you truly care about them and value them – this can even be through something as simple as a video on social media featuring your team wishing everyone a happy holiday season!

We understand just how valuable a holiday campaign can be for a business, but we also understand how much work and time goes into making a holiday campaign a success. There’s still time (barely) to execute a kickass campaign and we’re here to help. Contact us today to get started on your holiday marketing strategy.

The Best (and Worst) Black Friday Emails of 2016

Have you dug out from your holiday emails yet? They’re probably still coming…. And will, all the way up until December 24th! We received so many holiday emails, that we decided to concentrate on one day instead of the entire holiday season to give some feedback on the best and worst this year.

Black Friday used to mean everyone rushed into the physical store for the best items. Now ecommerce has made it so easy to shop those crazy deals from the comfort of your couch. To this point, retailers need to competitively compete with each other on subject line, creative, and discounts.  

We poured through the good, the bad, and the cluttered… here are 3 of the best and 3 of the worst Black Friday emails. Just like previous email reviews, I will grade each email on Subject Line, Relevance, Creative, & Call to Action (CTA). 

Who Made the Nice List? 

1. My Custom Case

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    Subject Line:   A    Our Biggest Sale of the Year – 3 Days Only!    – The subject line is crystal clear. You will not get a better deal than what they’re offering now. It sets a time limit as well. Act within the next three days or you’re out of luck.  Relevance:  A  The email pays off to the subject line that it’s a 40% off sale and the best sale of the holiday season.    Creative:  A  The creative is festive with an animated gif using sparkling holiday creative, but it’s not distracting from its core sales message. The cases rotate through a bunch of different options to show the breadth of their products, and to capture your attention in a super cute way.  Below the main sale creative, they have three modules that direct you to the correct case for the phone or tablet of your choice.    CTA:  A-  There is a 'Shop Now' call-to-action, but it could be a little larger since it’s competing with two different moving creative features in the email.  

Subject Line:  A Our Biggest Sale of the Year – 3 Days Only!  – The subject line is crystal clear. You will not get a better deal than what they’re offering now. It sets a time limit as well. Act within the next three days or you’re out of luck.

Relevance: A The email pays off to the subject line that it’s a 40% off sale and the best sale of the holiday season.  

Creative: A The creative is festive with an animated gif using sparkling holiday creative, but it’s not distracting from its core sales message. The cases rotate through a bunch of different options to show the breadth of their products, and to capture your attention in a super cute way.

Below the main sale creative, they have three modules that direct you to the correct case for the phone or tablet of your choice.  

CTA: A- There is a 'Shop Now' call-to-action, but it could be a little larger since it’s competing with two different moving creative features in the email.  

2. Bobbi Brown Cosmetics 

Subject Line:  B    Shop Great Gifts + Pick a Holiday Beauty Set with $50 Order    The subject line is relevant to the creative of the email, but it’s a tad long. They could have gone with Pick a Holiday Beauty Set with $50 Order and conveyed the message just fine. Yes, there are great gifts to shop, but that’s implied with a Black Friday email.    Relevance: A The email starts with showcasing the two gifts that you could choose from if you spend $50. It’s a nice way to entice buyers to purchase. After all, who doesn’t want a free gift?!      Creative: A The creative is on-brand, shows some holiday spirit, and does a fantastic job of showcasing the products. Both the free gift sets as well as the gorgeous gifts below those are styled and crisp to noticeably show the beauty of the packaging and products.  If for some reason, none of the items in the body of the email tickle your fancy, Bobbi Brown does a good job of using their recovery module to keep you engaged. There are four boxes that you can click on for different reasons: Free Shipping and Offers, Talk to An Artist, Free Returns on Foundations, and Automatic Replenishments.    CTA: A  Under each item, they have a clear Call-to-Action. Either ‘Pick Now’ for the free gift sets or ‘Shop Now’ for the gorgeous gifts. 

Subject Line:  B Shop Great Gifts + Pick a Holiday Beauty Set with $50 Order

 The subject line is relevant to the creative of the email, but it’s a tad long. They could have gone with Pick a Holiday Beauty Set with $50 Order and conveyed the message just fine. Yes, there are great gifts to shop, but that’s implied with a Black Friday email.  

Relevance: A The email starts with showcasing the two gifts that you could choose from if you spend $50. It’s a nice way to entice buyers to purchase. After all, who doesn’t want a free gift?!    

Creative: A The creative is on-brand, shows some holiday spirit, and does a fantastic job of showcasing the products. Both the free gift sets as well as the gorgeous gifts below those are styled and crisp to noticeably show the beauty of the packaging and products.

If for some reason, none of the items in the body of the email tickle your fancy, Bobbi Brown does a good job of using their recovery module to keep you engaged. There are four boxes that you can click on for different reasons: Free Shipping and Offers, Talk to An Artist, Free Returns on Foundations, and Automatic Replenishments.  

CTA: A  Under each item, they have a clear Call-to-Action. Either ‘Pick Now’ for the free gift sets or ‘Shop Now’ for the gorgeous gifts. 

3. Old Navy 

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    Subject Line:   B+  you get a deal & you get a deal – For the most part consumers know that a Black Friday email will have a deal in it, but the question is, what kind of deal? Since Old Navy was planning 50% off on almost everything, they should shout that from the rooftops. To be fair, they send A LOT of email, so they may not have for this one because they were changing up their tactics and trying another way to get you to open your email.  Relevance:  A  Old Navy does an amazing job of letting you know that they know you, your purchase habits, and your preferences. At the top of the email, they use my name and even tell me how many reward dollars I have. This makes the consumer feel understood and who doesn’t like when his or her name is used?  Creative:  A  The creative pays off on the subject line because they show how you can get a gift for anyone on your list. It’s very apparent that this is the last day of the deal and that the deal is 50% off most things.  They include the nav bar at the top of the email and the product categories below the bottom of the email, so if you are looking for something specific, you can land on the products you want and start shopping right away.    CTA:  C –  When you click on any of the creative, it drives to the Old Navy site, however Old Navy is missing out on the opportunity to explicitly tell consumers to ‘Shop Now.” Don’t go curl your hair, don’t put the baby down for a nap, shop now is the next step in this process, darn it!  

Subject Line:  B+ you get a deal & you get a deal – For the most part consumers know that a Black Friday email will have a deal in it, but the question is, what kind of deal? Since Old Navy was planning 50% off on almost everything, they should shout that from the rooftops. To be fair, they send A LOT of email, so they may not have for this one because they were changing up their tactics and trying another way to get you to open your email.

Relevance: A Old Navy does an amazing job of letting you know that they know you, your purchase habits, and your preferences. At the top of the email, they use my name and even tell me how many reward dollars I have. This makes the consumer feel understood and who doesn’t like when his or her name is used?

Creative: A The creative pays off on the subject line because they show how you can get a gift for anyone on your list. It’s very apparent that this is the last day of the deal and that the deal is 50% off most things.

They include the nav bar at the top of the email and the product categories below the bottom of the email, so if you are looking for something specific, you can land on the products you want and start shopping right away.  

CTA: C – When you click on any of the creative, it drives to the Old Navy site, however Old Navy is missing out on the opportunity to explicitly tell consumers to ‘Shop Now.” Don’t go curl your hair, don’t put the baby down for a nap, shop now is the next step in this process, darn it!  

Who made the Naughty List? 

1. MAC Cosmetics

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    Subject Line:   C+     M∙A∙C Black Plum Friday – Join in on Black Friday Fun with a New Deep Purple Vamplify. Plus Free Shipping and Samples       Holy Longness!!! I stopped reading at Friday. No need to re-iterate it’s a Black Friday email. And a subject line should never have a 'plus' in there. Trying to do way too much!    Relevance:  C  So points for clearly stating it’s a Black Friday email in the subject line and body copy, but I’m sorry what are we talking about? Is this a holiday email? What product are we pushing here?    Creative:  D  As mentioned above, it’s not very clear what we are doing here. Black Friday is a day with 23972392 emails. You want to tell your customers what deal they are getting, how they can get it, and what products you are talking about. The creative isn’t festive, doesn’t show product, and doesn’t include an offer.  Oh and nice computer font that is an entire block of copy. Most consumers don’t want to spend time figuring out what we’re talking about. And the font choice is so random.  Thanks but no thanks, MAC.  CTA:  A  Probably the only thing that’s clear in this email is its CTA. Kudos for making it prominent and clear. 

Subject Line:  C+  M∙A∙C Black Plum Friday – Join in on Black Friday Fun with a New Deep Purple Vamplify. Plus Free Shipping and Samples Holy Longness!!! I stopped reading at Friday. No need to re-iterate it’s a Black Friday email. And a subject line should never have a 'plus' in there. Trying to do way too much!  

Relevance: C So points for clearly stating it’s a Black Friday email in the subject line and body copy, but I’m sorry what are we talking about? Is this a holiday email? What product are we pushing here?  

Creative: D As mentioned above, it’s not very clear what we are doing here. Black Friday is a day with 23972392 emails. You want to tell your customers what deal they are getting, how they can get it, and what products you are talking about. The creative isn’t festive, doesn’t show product, and doesn’t include an offer.

Oh and nice computer font that is an entire block of copy. Most consumers don’t want to spend time figuring out what we’re talking about. And the font choice is so random.  Thanks but no thanks, MAC.

CTA: A Probably the only thing that’s clear in this email is its CTA. Kudos for making it prominent and clear. 

2. Oriental Trading

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    Subject Line:   B     Black Friday Deals End Tonight + Get Free Shipping on ANY Order & $10 off        This subject line isn’t the worst, but it’s best to not include two ideas in the same subject line. One would suffice.    Relevance:  B-  Unsure why Black Friday is the second module and not the first, but they do discuss the deal and include holidayish imagery. I’ve seen worse.    Creative:  C-  I’m DIZZY! Not sure what to look at and it’s making my head hurt. The branding is all over the place. Sometimes black and white, sometimes holiday, random price call outs over certain products. Plus they are using a recover module to talk about their blog and gift cards, but instead of it recovering the consumer, it’s just adding even more conflicting messaging to the email. What’s the opposite of clean branding….it’s a dirty, dirty email.     CTA:  B  Modules 1, 2, & 4 use ‘Shop Now,’ while the individual product offerings just have the name with an arrow. People are smart enough to know they can click the arrow. The question is, will they wade through all the clutter to actually click on what they want?   

Subject Line:  B Black Friday Deals End Tonight + Get Free Shipping on ANY Order & $10 off

 This subject line isn’t the worst, but it’s best to not include two ideas in the same subject line. One would suffice.  

Relevance: B- Unsure why Black Friday is the second module and not the first, but they do discuss the deal and include holidayish imagery. I’ve seen worse.  

Creative: C- I’m DIZZY! Not sure what to look at and it’s making my head hurt. The branding is all over the place. Sometimes black and white, sometimes holiday, random price call outs over certain products. Plus they are using a recover module to talk about their blog and gift cards, but instead of it recovering the consumer, it’s just adding even more conflicting messaging to the email. What’s the opposite of clean branding….it’s a dirty, dirty email.   

CTA: B Modules 1, 2, & 4 use ‘Shop Now,’ while the individual product offerings just have the name with an arrow. People are smart enough to know they can click the arrow. The question is, will they wade through all the clutter to actually click on what they want?   

3. Marc Jacobs

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    Subject Line:   A -    Email Exclusive – The Black Friday Sale    – Clear, Concise, Good.    Relevance:  B  They get the award for didn’t try hard enough. It’s fine, but it could be more holiday-y, a better deal, just so much more could have been done.     Creative:  C  See above. You have gorgeous clothes and accessories…FLAUNT THEM!  Make an animated gif like you care about your email list and want to wow them. It’s just.so.boring.  CTA:  A-  Yep it’s there. Points for that. Now excuse me while I nod off… 

Subject Line:  A - Email Exclusive – The Black Friday Sale  – Clear, Concise, Good.  

Relevance: B They get the award for didn’t try hard enough. It’s fine, but it could be more holiday-y, a better deal, just so much more could have been done.   

Creative: C See above. You have gorgeous clothes and accessories…FLAUNT THEM!  Make an animated gif like you care about your email list and want to wow them. It’s just.so.boring.

CTA: A- Yep it’s there. Points for that. Now excuse me while I nod off… 

Overall, there were a lot of great emails. So many cute animated gifs and so many great deals! Consumer expectations are that big brands will continue to 'wow', so we’ll see if they get the message by our Spring Email Review! 

4 Reasons E-newsletters are a Must For Your Marketing Strategy

1.     It keeps you top-of-mind!

Recently I was working on getting pricing for a direct mail piece for one of my clients. It wasn’t a straightforward direct mail piece, so I was contemplating which company I should contact to send me pricing. Next thing you know, I received a newsletter from a printing company that I had completely forgotten about. With so much going on, their company’s name wasn’t coming to me. The newsletter came, I called my contact, and we’re working on the piece together now. It was their way of staying (becoming) top of mind, and it paid off.

2.     It’s cheap!

The hardest part of email marketing is gathering a robust list of recipients. But once you do that, it costs very little to actually get your messaging into the hands of your current or prospective clients.

3.     It positions you as an authority!

Well, really blogs and content do that. But the newsletter is a fantastic distributor of your thought leadership. It’s a great way to show clients and prospects that you are an expert in your field, and that they should be working with you.

 4.     It drives traffic to your site!

A good e-newsletter leads you to different parts of the sender’s site. This way clients and prospects can make themselves more familiar with the services you offer, read more of the content you’re providing, and eventually contact you or fill out your lead form. You want people on your site because getting them there means they are a step closer to converting or signing on for your services. 

The Best & Worst Ecommerce Emails of the 2015 Holiday Season

Holy Barrage of emails! Between Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Giving Tuesday, retailers are hell bent on making sure you see their promotions, sales, and holiday gimmicks.

I love receiving retail email around the holidays, but that’s probably because I’m an email marketer, and I look at the emails for so much more than just the deals they’re pushing that day. If I wasn’t, I’m pretty sure I would have felt totally overwhelmed and quite annoyed at the sheer volume of emails that came through my inboxes day and night for 5 days straight.

After much review, here are the 3 best and 3 worst holiday emails I've received. Just like my Spring email review, I will grade each email on Subject Line, Relevance, Creative, & Call-to-Action (CTA). 

*editor's note: The emails were delivered as one consistent email. They're chopped up for ease of use on this blog. 

Who Made The Nice List? 

 

1. Marc Jacobs

Marc Jacobs Holiday Ecommerce Email

Subject Line:  B+  You’re Welcome – It’s a little unclear what you’re going to find in this email, but it’s intriguing enough that you want to check. And then it pays off when you see they are saying you’re welcome for the 40% they’re offering

Relevance: A The email clearly states it’s a holiday sale, so there’s no confusion there. Gifts are listed first underneath the creative because most people will be searching for gifts this time of year.

Creative: A- The creative is simple and classic. It exudes festive holiday time without hitting you over the head with it. They include the website nav bar below the creative, so if you know exactly which department you want to shop in (Gifts Women, Men, etc) you can go there directly.

They include all of their social media properties without cramming them down your throat because they know that if you’re receiving their emails, you are more likely to engage with them on their social platforms as well.

CTA: A Because the email is designed so cleanly, it’s very easy to understand the action Marc wants you to take, shop the sale. It’s simple, but it works. 

 

2. Bloomingdale's 

Bloomingdale's Ecommerce Holiday Email

Subject Line:  A-  Expect the Unexpected! – This subject line is a nice play on words, and it peaks your curiosity to see what unexpected items they’re referring to.

Relevance: B  The email explains that you can find unexpected gifts at Bloomingdales. They reference these gifts and utilize their brand colors, but they don’t incorporate anything holiday-ish to signal that’s what the email is about.  Plus it’s not that unexpected that Bloomingdales sells diamond bracelets, but that’s beside the point.    

Creative: A-  The creative is on brand and uses stunning product photography to showcase the items they want you to purchase. They use an “S” curve with the picture on one side, copy on the other, and then the reverse below that since that’s how the human eye reads email. This will ensure readers will take in each item they see.

They talk about 14 unexpected gifts because people love lists, and when you know how many items are being presented, you are more likely to scroll down to see each item.   

Another good strategy they use is to clearly state at the top of the email that Shipping and Returns are Free. It’s a reassurance for customers that they have nothing to worry about and can shop happily.

CTA: C+  Although they have a good “Shop Unexpected & Unforgettable Gifts”  below the 14th gift, (not pictured here) they should have a CTA above the fold, and also for each item in the list in case people don’t scroll all the way to the bottom. 

 

3. Free People

Free People Ecommerce Holiday Email

Subject Line:  A  A Special Thank You <3 – Thanksgiving is a perfect time to say thank you, and thanking your customers is a smart thing to do. It pays off in the email when they explain (as only their brand could) that they are thanking you for “a year of inspiration, for moments of magic + days spent dreaming, for the freedom to shine…”

Relevance: A  The email clearly states a Happy Thanksgiving message and then continues with their special sales offering for the holidays.

Creative: A  The creative uses an animated gif to change the background of the message from a forest to a field. Both are completely on brand, very bohemian and free. They use their words to mention the holidays, so they don’t need to overdue it with tons of holiday-y icons crapping it up. They incorporate their social media icons at the bottom of the email to ensure engagement from their customers.

CTA: C  Find out when you’re store opens is not the best CTA. It may be important and can be included below, but they should include a strong CTA near the top of the email that says Shop now, Start Your Shopping, or something of that nature that brings people to their site ready to shop away. 

 

Who's on the Naughty List? 

 

1. Macy's 

Macy's Ecommerce Holiday Email

Subject Line:  A- Happy Thanksgiving! Shop Black Friday online now!  – This is a very straightforward subject line, but that’s actually a good thing. They are nicely sending good holiday wishes and telling you the sale is ready for you. It’s a little long, so maybe “Shop Black Friday now!” would have sufficed.

Relevance: B+ They are talking the holiday talk with the Thanksgiving Day Parade and their weekend sales.

Creative: C- There’s way too much going on and too many conflicting messages. If they wanted shopping to be the focus, the parade should have been in the recovery module, and not the first thing people see. Plus the subject line pays off with shopping, not the parade.  The web buster sections are odd because the top one doesn’t have any imagery, which is so important, but the bottom section has images but without categories to know what you’re looking at. They could have done a much better job combining the section. So “Women” could be a header with the diamond earrings or boots showing and “Home” could have been another header with the vacuum cleaner.

CTA: B They did a good job of including a CTA in each product box, but they don’t have a strong CTA above the fold. 

 

 

2. Joy Stride Rite

Subject Line: C  UGGS 20% OFF BLACK FRIDAY SALE LIMITED QUANTITIES  – Plain and simple, this subject line is too long.  “20% off Uggs- Limited Quantities” would have been better. Plus they don’t need to make the whole things capitalized because it looks like they are screaming at me. No one wants to be screamed at.

Relevance: C  Other than using the word Black Friday, there is no connection to the holidays or anything remotely festive.

Creative: D  This does not look like a professional email. They get the message across that Uggs are on sale, but their product imagery is not upscale and it doesn’t do a good job of showcasing the products in the best light possible. The second part of the email doesn’t even feel like it goes with the top part. Plus they have no links to a landing page or website. SIGH. 

CTA: F  Non existent. They are assuming that I’m going to see this deal and go running for the store. Bad assumption. I want to be able to take action on this awesome sale right away from the comfort of my own couch in my Snuggie with a Clearasil mask on my face.  

3. James Perse

James Perse Ecommerce Holiday Email

Subject Line:  B- The Online Holiday Sale Has Arrived! Up to 70% Off and Free Shipping  – Hate to be repetitive, but this is too long and trying to do too much. Free Shipping is table stakes now, so that can be removed. Good signal that it’s going to be about holiday though.

Relevance: B They use holiday sale wording in the email multiple times so the creative plays off the subject line. 

Creative: C Huh? It’s nice and simple, but how does that black and white picture of the ocean have anything to do with the holidays?   Sometimes its good to go against the grain, but when I received this email, it felt forced like that’s exactly what they were doing. No product imagery, and no holiday imagery… they can do better and they could definitely be more creative.

CTA: C- You can click on the holy water (hehe) image to be taken to their site, but they need a CTA button that says Shop Now or Buy Now or something, especially since the image is so simple, it would really stand out and encourage the customer to take the next step. 

 

Overall, each of the emails above had their strengths and their weaknesses. The goal for each company was essentially the same: cut through the holiday clutter and get their messages heard. Since the holidays aren’t over yet, the not-so-great emails can easily course correct by:

  •  Using a subject line that grabs attention in the email AND relates to the holiday sale/promo they’re pushing. Trying to include something witty in that messaging always helps too!
  •  Ensuring their creative is on brand, but also incorporates some of the holiday spirit we’re all experiencing right now. Using high end imagery that puts their product in the best light
  •  Using a clear call-to-action to make sure the reader knows what the next step is they're supposed to take