REI, the outdoor recreational gear retailer, used email (among other channels) to promote a new outdoor gender equality initiative.
Mailer Name: REI
Date Emailed: May 2, 2017
REI demonstrated a new alignment with the values of its customers back in 2015 with its #OptOutside campaign. By closing on Black Friday that year (and again in 2016), the brand declared that it’s not just about making money, but providing experiences for shoppers.
The subject line for this recent email urges consumers to “Make a Bold Statement for Women Everywhere.” The pre-header offers a big clue as to what that means: “Join Us May 6 for 1000+ Free Events Near You.”
The top of the email is dominated by an image of a woman walking on a dry lake bed. “Let’s make outside the largest level playing field on Earth” reads the headline.
The copy immediately below simply explains that over a thousand events for women begin on May 6. Tapping on the button leads the recipient to a landing page listing all of the thousand-plus outings, classes and other activities. Searching by ZIP code lets them see what’s available in their area.
And like its anti-Black Friday event, this REI effort challenges customers to make a statement about a social issue (gender equality) by using social media. It directs anyone who takes part in the May 6 festivities to pick up a free “Force of Nature” bandana, then snap a picture of it.
The aim of the events, the bandanas and the social media love is to drive up the participation of women in outdoor sports and recreation. By showing women front and center in its marketing, and providing encouragement and inspiration through numerous activities, REI conveys its brand values, as well as a commitment to changing society.
Show that you have empathy for your customers by creating experiences, content and responsible leadership. You’ll build trust in your brand and make it easier for shoppers to buy from it.