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Emails, from one to the next you either love them or hate them. Bad ones are deleted and I even enter the bin and 'delete forever' if I think a particular example is karmically altering my inbox.
In the past I've written about some things I like to see in emails. I've been on the look-out again and here you'll find six companies (B2B and B2C) that sent me emails deserving of mention for their creative strategies.
Design and copywriting are hard to teach, I'm certainly not somebody that sees natural order in things. See what you think of these examples and feel free to tell me if you would have deleted them in an instant.
EasyJet uses a fair bit of its email content to hit me with several different messages, almost aimed at different personas.
This is a good tactic as I’ll ignore those I don’t think are for me and narrow in on the ones I do. Two different age demographics are depicted, as are groups of friends and couples.
Spreading its bets means that easyJet is more likely to catch my imagination with something. This might show the dangers in over personalisation and segmentation. Getting it wrong is easier than getting it right.
Unique copy to encourage app download
The eye catching thing here is the copy. Not simply a plain call to action but the rather creative ‘faff free’ and a nice image denoting relaxation.
The app is darn good, but it won’t sell itself. This is nicely done.
Google Play – content tiles and colour
I’ve always admired Google Play’s emails for their colour and layout. Tiles are a really nice way of bringing order to an email layout and allow easy resizing on different devices.
For a sector such as entertainment, providing choice is important. The catalogue is big and the email should include a representative sample. I've chopped off a few rows here but there's plenty included.
Box – B2B content tiles
I find the simplest formats to be the best for B2B content marketing. Box here uses tiles like Google Play does to nicely delineate pieces of content and keep the email easy on the eye and a pleasure to read.
Partly this format’s advantage is in reading a bit more like a web page than a letter. The user is able to scan quickly from box to box until something appropriate catches the eye.
Check out the email in a browser (click below) to see it in action within the content. This GIF of an alarm clock is mirrored on the site if you click through, too.
It surprised me and made me more likely to click, though it must be said the rest of the email is pretty abject, from the copy, to the image and the rest of the email design. It could be a lot better and clearer in pointing out the 30 day early booking period for the 30% discount offer.
I don’t necessarily think ramming a GIF in each email is the way to go, but if you’re advertising discounts, you have to get noticed somehow.
Young Vic - Using email for customer awareness
Visually this isn’t my favourite email and indeed this isn't really an example to demonstrate creative, but it did surprise me strategically. I don’t think I’d ever received an email from a theatre or a gig the day before the event, reminding me of when and where I should be.
Theatres have the daily nightmare of dealing with returns and no-shows. Keeping customers aware of the date and time of their performance in this way will help the Young Vic reduce the mad rush of phone calls and enquiries on the night.
This production was a long monologue that was particularly taxing for the actor. Ensuring that everyone is in the house and sat down for the scheduled start time is therefore an even greater concern.
Directions, start time, food and drink info and even an illustration of the venue are included in the email, as well as some cross-sell on other events.
Twitter - A B2B email with effective creative and calls to action.
Here’s the subject. It’s canny. I’m not sure if Twitter has me segmented as a B2B publisher in digital but the subject line certainly worked. I was keen to see if the infographic was worth sharing and if the headline was mere supposition or not.
Second subject (headline) reinforced with imagery
Once I’m in I get a headline emphasising the message, that a business benefits from having more followers on Twitter.
This headline is backed up with some fairly simple and obvious imagery, with some generic avatars and a magnet. This kind of pictoral representation is great as it’s what people are used to across the web and particularly on mobile.
Formatted as a content email
Leading a B2B sales email with a content-oriented subject is one thing, but making the sure the email stacks up once opened is important, too.
You don’t want to leave the user disenfranchised by goading a click out of her and then shoving sales messaging in the email.
Several features make this email feel like a content update, like the invitations to download the infographic from the header links.
The infographic preview and button to ‘view infographic’ stand out nicely.
The email copy also includes an anchor text link to the infographic, making sure the content can’t be missed.
It’s nice that the email is addressed to @herrhuld. Twitter has my name but it recognises that the addressing me with my handle will raise a smile.
I’m so used to poorly mail merged greetings that being surprised with something different is a good thing.
Soft sell copy
Sign in to ads.twitter.com to grow your community of followers today.
It’s simple stuff but defining the benefit of Twitter ads in the sales copy (grow your community of followers) is better than simply saying ‘sign in to make the most of Twitter ads’.
Linked call to actions within the infographic PDF
More simple but effective stuff. When I open the infographic, at the bottom you can see linked calls to action to share or to get started.
This makes sures the customer isn’t shuffled away into a dead end of content, without the ability to buy, or at least do some marketing for Twitter.