*A version of today’s post also appeared on the Eloqua blog.
Today the United States marks Memorial Day, AKA the social summer kickoff.
For real, though, thank you, sincerely, to the men and women of the Armed Forces. You’re our true superheroes.
Particularly for those of us who experience winter climates, this weekend could not have come soon enough. Mr. Softee’s been hitting up the block sending kids in a frenzy for dollar bills. You actually can go outside without feeling like you’ll turn into a snowman (though it might be fun if you could be as cute as Olaf from Disney’s “Frozen”).
We’ve been dying for this weekend. And so have marketers.
These past few days were prime time for email marketing escapades. As a consumer on the receiving end of these emails, it can become overwhelming. I’m the one who opts in for these emails, but I can’t possibly read them all, nor do I want to.
Some emails from my inbox, however, stood out this past week. These emails rose above the noise because they catered to one or more very basic needs of a recipient.
We have a lot of ways to hear from our customers now with so many digital channels, but they don’t always give us second chances to make things meaningful. You’re probably gearing up for a backyard get together, and if your email subscribers were sharing a cold one with you, here’s what they might tell you:
(Click the brand names to view the full email offer)
1. Amp me up for something fun! The subject line is arguably your first email interaction. It’s the first line of communication and the key to the castle, or in this case, the open. Keep in mind that your value proposition as a marketer might not be as valuable to your recipient as it is to your bottom line. Focus on their value proposition, and in this case, the weekend is reason enough! See these fun retail subject lines:
Walgreen’s: “We’ve got your perfect weekend planned”
Petco: “Start your long weekend with an extra $5 off!”
Hot Topic: “30% off. (Summer’s almost here, people.)”
2. Give me some news I can use! The words “discount”, “sale”, “free trial”, or “act fast” are go-to phrases. You’re focused on supporting a path to purchase – makes sense. But in building meaningful relationships, your communications are most valuable when the information you provide helps your audience learn, achieve something, or benefit.
Sephora posed a viable question in its recent email subject line: “Need samples for your suitcase?” You bet I do!
3. Help me out! While savings and discounts are often a core driver of email conversion, some consumersare not necessary looking to make a purchase, but still appreciate information beneficial to their every day lives.Coupons are great, but what’s even greater is an offer that inspires your customers to use them! Highlight specific items or offers relevant to the information you’re providing.
A.C. Moore offered a 50% coupon for one day only, with product highlights to help “add Patriotic touches to your Memorial Day gathering”, such as Tiki Torches, outdoor décor, and toys to “keep the kids happy.”
4. Don’t expect to receive without giving! As marketers we spend a lot of time, energy, and effort creating killer calls to action. But we’ve got to think about the most critical call to action that we’re responsible for: To offer our audiences information that supports them as a consumer, shopper or buyer, and ultimately, a person. That said, don’t make your CTA the focal point of your email design. True audience-centric email engagement demonstrates clear value first before asking for anything of them.
If you’re looking for more email marketing inspiration that will have your audience shouting out “thanks”, then look no further than ‘The Weekly Inbox’ where my buddy Steve O.’s got you covered!