Whenever a seasonal event comes round, your inbox is often likely to fill up with a bunch of great offers. But what really gets your attention? Ger Ashby, our fearsome Head of Creative Studio, looks at a selection of top brands’ email campaigns.
Another seasonal celebration swings around and the retail sector is out in full force. Email campaigns are swinging about left, right and centre, all competing for your eyeballs and hard-earned cash. But who are this year’s darlings of Mother’s Day?
1. Moonpig.com – Subject Line: Final 2 days of early offers for Mum – buy now, send later
Moonpig.com, one of the UK’s premier online greeting card personalisation sites, has a technically solid email. It’s short and optimised for various email clients, containing all the necessities of a marketing email – simple dynamic content, social sharing and contact info. It looks nice on mobile, and the header menu is a lovely touch. Their landing page is also built for mobile. The subject line was informative and contained a sense of urgency.
However, it’s very pink and the composition is very busy. The bottom panel consists of text over an image – a big problem with using this kind of creative is that the image will resize responsively to different device sizes, but sometimes the text will become hard to view. This didn’t, however, stop it earning a purchase from one of the dotMailer team!
2. WingYip – Subject Line: Special Sunday recipe for mum
The UK’s biggest Chinese food retailer, Wing Yip sent out a Sunday Lunch recipe. It’s short and punchy, looks great in mobile, and is a great example of cultural marketing – Asian communities take family-orientated events very seriously.
However, the yellow block in the background is a little loud and could have used more enticing photography for the main creative. The header text repeats the subject line, whereas it would be nice to see a more descriptive subtitle underneath, as a way of showing a glimpse of the conversation in the body, drawing the reader in. In addition, there isn’t an option to view the email in a browser.
The recipe and delivery discount are a great combination. Email is a great way to build a community around a blog, and Wing Yip have some awesome food content on theirs.
3. SportsDirect.com – Subject Line: Enter our Mother’s Day Competition + Fabulous Gift Ideas For Mum!
One of the nation’s favorite sports retailers have an image-heavy, mobile-optimised email – big graphics and large fonts, so really easy to see their offerings. This shows real understanding of modern consumers – 78% of emails are opened on mobile devices first, this number is higher for younger people (early adopters), SportsDirect.com’s target demographic.
SportsDirect might want to consider making their header/cross-sell image more aligned with the subject line. In addition, as the subject line also leads with the Mother’s Day competition, we think it should be more prominent, not hidden at the end of a long email full of linked images. It would have been lovely to see tailored dynamic content elements, which would have made for a shorter, more personalised experience.
However, this is a great high impact campaign that will definitely get a lot of eyeballs.
While this example isn’t strictly the email body, it highlights a few red flags for us. First, the use of the ‘no-reply’ return address, which can signal that a brand is a little disconnected from their customers. Second, the subject line is a real mish-mash of different sells. One doesn’t normally associate men’s underwear with Mother’s Day! As a consumer, I’d much rather receive two separate emails – although this shows that perhaps sockshop needs to check their segmentation data. Again, a quick fix!
5. Cabbages & Roses – Subject Line: Mum’s the word…
Our clients, the quintessentially British homeware brand, Cabbages & Roses, have a really lovely and minimalist design. However, there isn’t much text in the body, nothing to push a – I guess that’s the point of the ‘Mum’s the word’ campaign! They employ dynamic content in the middle of the page to help push cross-sell and have social icons coloured to fit in with the overall creative. You can read more about our work with the brand, in our case study
6. Paperchase – Subject Line: A Mother’s Day Wish List to Wow Her + Our New Video
It looks like Paperchase prepared all year, just for Mother’s Day! This campaign is impressive, as it ties in video content and their #ImpressMum social campaign. Video is a great conversation starter and a solid builder of brand equity across many different channels. They also make a big deal about having a mobile-optimised shopping experience, making for a cohesive user experience – we’d be very surprised if this campaign doesn’t come up trumps for Paperchase.
One thing that all of these campaigns share, is that they are very image heavy. Many of these don’t have any alt text – content descriptions that tell you what the image is in case it doesn’t load. Outlook and some other mail clients including those on Android and Blackberry devices, don’t always automatically download pictures. While the main backup plan is to always have a text or webhosted version, we’d recommend a combination of setting persuasive alt text, along with a nice background colour – and of course not hiding your call-to-action behind a button!
We do have a number of services that can assist brands with seasonal campaigns. Our Managed Services team is ready and primed with design advice, campaign management and custom templates. In addition, we often host email design webinars – check out the events page for more information.
Do you have any examples of great (or not-so-great) email campaigns you’d like to share with us? Let us know in the comments.