There is a common rumor spreading that email marketing is “losing its value”, “dying off”, “outdated”, “kicking the bucket”, “not worth your time” - you get the idea. But as you can see from our past blog post, email marketing still has a lot to offer your business. You just need to know what you’re doing.
One of the reasons businesses gives email marketing the short end of the stick when preparing their marketing strategy is because it’s a tough gig to master. A good email campaign has to have personality, easy readability, user friendliness, give your contact list a reason to come back for more, and most importantly get your audience’s attention. That may sound like a lot of responsibility for one little email, which is why in this post I’m showing you six brands that are rocking email marketing and what you can take away from their successes.
1. Ralph Lauren
Ralph Lauren went for the big, bold, and colorful in this email campaign where they ask customers to make their own custom apparel. Being an e-commerce site they needed to capitalize on quality images, which in this case they creatively used the product image to fill the entire background. Also by having a clear layout with three simple steps and large buttons that are neatly divided into “Men”, “Women”, “Baby”, and so on, gives the customer a clear call to action.
Take Away: Give your viewers and target audience a clear call to action in your email marketing campaign. Make it easy for them to understand what you want them to do, whether that’s join a mailing list, buy a product, donate money, or in Ralph Lauren’s case customize your own clothing apparel.
The king of personalization - Amazon holds nothing back when it comes to harnessing its customer’s data to drive its email marketing. Many marketers still rely on sending one general email to all of its current or potential clients in hopes that the same message can relate to a wide variety of people. Amazon, however scratches that idea and gets personable. Like the example above, they effectively customize each email for each customer by examining their recent purchases and giving them recommendations on similar products.
Take Away: Personalize. Viewers are much more willing to open an email when it is directly relating to them. Maybe you don’t have to go as far as Amazon who remembers all of their customers birthdays, but something as simple as starting your email with a personalized greeting (ex. “Hello Steven”) will definitely get your audience’s attention.
3. Betty Crocker
I don’t know about you, but I just got really hungry. Betty Crocker uses its email marketing campaigns to truly add value to shoppers and cooks. They use their emails to not only push products, but to also share recipes, cooking stories, and tips for all of their customers. All of the recipes are printer-friendly or can even be saved digitally by adding it to your Betty Crocker “recipe box”. To take engagement with their customers even further, their emails include “Quick Polls” and “Ask Betty” features which give the company immediate feedback about their audience.
Take Away: Convey your brands personality. Betty Crocker emails look more like a Pinterest board than an email marketing campaign. They’re warm, sweet, and make you feel as if you’re reading an email from your mom rather than a company. Don’t forget to also add value to your email marketing campaign. Give your audience a reason to read your emails. Remember that your emails are representing your business and how people will view your brand.
ThinkGeek knows its audience and brand and isn’t afraid to show it, no matter how geeky it might be. In ThinkGeek’s emails they cleverly include geeky references from Lord of The Rings, Doctor Who, Harry Potter, and other geek information to make their content more enjoyable to read. The emails are also personalized by showing the exact item that a customer abandoned mid-purchase. Then just for some icing on the cake, they throw in a $10 off discount on the same product to convert viewers into buyers.
Take Away: Your email campaigns should lead to conversions. Your email’s personable, has a call to action, and depicts your brands personality beautifully, now you need to add that extra push. Add coupons, deals, or reasons why your audience should do what you want them to do. Whatever your goal is for your email marketing campaign, think like ThinkGeek and make it irresistible to the audience.
Huckberry, a popular men’s fashion retailer, uses the tactic of scarcity in their email campaigns giving their customers the fear of missing out on a “one time only” deal. Unlike ThinkGeek, Huckberry includes limited time offers as well as coupons. They use phrases such as “We Never Do This” or “For Today Only…” which helps push customers into buyers, because who really wants to miss out on a great deal.
Take Away: Play around with a variety of incentives, such as giving your customers limited time offers, to see which one works for your business. Sometimes all customers need is an excuse to make a purchase, such as free shipping or limited time offers.
Crate&Barrel is a home furnishing retailer who decided not to try to sell their audience everything they have in the store, but rather focus on one product category. This email’s entire focus revolves around knives and the variety of knives they have to offer. By focusing on just knives it allowed Crates&Barrel to be more creative with their design, titles, and content. Plus the added bonus of including ‘regular price’ and ‘sales price’ helps push customers to purchasing.
Take Away: No need to bombard your audience with everything your business has to offer. Sometimes you can be more persuasive if you focus on one singular thing that you want your audience to do (such as buy a knife), rather than trying to get them to buy everything, sign up for everything, etc. This also lends itself to a drip marketing campaign, where the messages are scheduled specifically and can help you identify specific behavior or status of a customer. For Crate&Barrel you can see who is really interested in knives and further target them. Play around with the idea and see if you can focus in on one aspect of your business in your next email campaign.