What Great E-Mails Do So Well …
This month, I thought I’d share some of my favorite e-mails and explain why they’re tops in my book. As you read them, think about how you might incorporate these tactics in your own e-mail programs.
Orvis and Customer Reviews
Many catalogers include customer product reviews on their sites. It’s a great way to take advantage of Web 2.0 by integrating customer content online. Plus, shoppers place great value on reviews in the shopping process — this user-generated content should increase sales.
If you have customer reviews on your site, make sure the members of your e-mail list are aware of this feature. Orvis called attention to its reviews in a recent e-mail with the subject line, “Rave reviews! See our latest 5-star customer favorites.”
Another thing I liked about this e-mail is it uses a variation of top 10 lists. Shoppers love to know the most popular items on a site. The copy under the main headline calls attention to the latest top eight most popular items.
Sephora and the Subtle Sell
As a consumer, I enjoy the variety of e-mails I receive from cosmetics company Sephora. The twice-weekly mailings employ a mix of hard-hitting product promotion and value-added content.
The subject line for one recent e-mail was, “Makeup artist must-haves. Their #1 faves!” That’s a strong subject line — everyone wants to know what the experts use. And it used a number in the subject line. Numbers fascinate readers and capture attention. Plus, they’re likely to increase open rates.
The main offer position features six tricks followed by a secondary panel with three additional tricks. Products are nicely displayed, and the minimal copy works well.
The bottom of the e-mail also ties the marketing message together: A special event at a Sephora store near me is featured. The copy included: “Score a beautiful new look from one of The Sephora Pro Beauty Team’s most talented and knowledgeable makeup artists. Sign up for a complimentary color consultation, get your beauty questions answered and experience beauty one-on-one.”
1-800-Flowers.com and the Simple Thank-You
I bought a gift and received an elegant acknowledgement. It was personalized to me and signed by 1-800-Flowers.com’s president, Chris McCann.
The subject line read, “Thank you for shopping with us!”
The e-mail included a promotional code to save 15 percent on my next purchase, and it also promoted 1-800-Flowers.com’s gift reminder service, a nice mix of customer service and marketing.
Doctors Foster and Smith’s Valuable Content
This pet supplies cataloger has 12 different e-mail programs based on the type of pet or animal of interest. It even has “Ferret Care Today!”
I have a cat, so I signed up for the Cat Care Today e-newsletter. The subject line was, “5 Ways to Discourage Spraying.” Notice the use of a number in the subject line again.
The company makes great use of the preview pane with personalization (Dear Regina) and a “snippet.” A snippet is a marketing message that usually plays off the subject line and provides additional motivation to open the e-mail. In this e-mail, the marketer packed two ideas into this area: “Here’s what you can do to discourage inappropriate territorial spraying. Plus — 25% OFF Anniversary Specials!”
The company lead with informational content of interest to cat owners that linked to a one-page article prepared by Doctors Foster and Smith’s educational staff. This is a great way to build trust with readers, who’ll be more likely to open the next e-mail knowing there may be additional tips in store.
At the bottom of the e-mail, it promoted a pet photo contest. This is another way to engage and involve readers.
Reggie Brady is president of Reggie Brady Marketing Solutions, a direct and e-mail marketing consultancy in Norwalk, Conn. You can reach her at (203) 838-8138 or email@example.com.