When it comes to reading emails in my own personal inbox, there are a few brands whose emails I always open regardless of the subject line or whether or not I’m actually interested in making a purchase at the moment. These are brands who have won me over with their smart, engaging emails, which always provide value regardless of the message or promotion. These brands also use their email program to highlight their brand voice and personality, making them feel like a personal friend.
In today’s retail space, there are endless possibilities when it comes to shopping, and most people’s inboxes are flooded with countless emails and offers on any given day. The key to a successful email program is using email to effectively create a personal relationship with your customers, by providing valuable content and a positive experience.
Curious to see how this is done? Let’s take a closer look at examples from a few of my favorite brands who have successfully used their email program to win me over.
Subject Line: Boarding Pass for Confirmation #V4C4Y (From Name used: Tuckernuck Airlines, Inc.)
- Think outside the box. Tuckernuck used a clever and playful subject line and a complimentary From Name (Tuckernuck Airlines, Inc.) to ensure this message would stand out amidst the other emails in my crowded inbox. While most emails use a consistent From Name, which never changes from message to message, Tuckernuck got creative, using a From Name that would pique interest, while still clearly identifying the brand itself.
- Tell a Story. Rather than just displaying products, the email focuses on a creating a story with the content, giving me a clear reason to engage and read the message, making it easy to picture purchasing and wearing the items.
- Use Animation. The content uses animated gifs as a way to alternate back and forth between two looks for one item, highlighting ideas for multiple ways to style an outfit – and pack minimally for any future travel plans. Animated gifs are a great and easy way to bring a level of interaction to your messages.
Subject Line: What does classic mean to you?
- Provide Content Variety. Instead of giving this email a promotional focus, Tuckernuck used editorial content as a way to smartly promote their products, while giving the subscriber value and a reason to engage and learn more, regardless of whether or not they are specifically interested in shopping at the moment.
- Show Behind the Scenes. By using Tuckernuck employees and friends in the editorial piece, it gives subscribers a behind the scenes look at the company, helping bring a face and personality to the brand. Adding personality helps in creating a relationship with customers, a key piece for brand affinity, which is especially important as consumers today have so many shopping options.
Subject Line: Happy birthday, Alexandra Time to Choose your gift
- Recognize Special Occasions. Just like a friend would, Sephora recognizes their subscribers’ birthdays, making them feel special and appreciated on the big day. Triggered birthday emails, especially ones that provide a free gift, are a great way begin to create that personalized, one to one relationship with your subscribers and in turn, help to enhance brand loyalty. Even if you don’t collect birthday during email sign up, ask for it at some point later on in the customer lifecycle such as the welcome email or through a standalone email.
Subject Line: Skincare, personalized. Treat your winter skin.
- Use Purchase Behavior to Create Relevancy. Sephora uses subscriber data, like browse and purchase behavior, as a way to make emails more targeted and relevant, like this example shown here highlighting the best skincare picks for dry skin. Using data to drive your emails is not only a key way to show your subscribers you understand their needs, but it also helps foster engagement and that positive brand experience.
- Include Interactive Elements. At the bottom of this email, Sephora prompts subscribers to take the skincare quiz to discover even more product recommendations. Including quizzes and polls and other interactive elements within emails is a highly effective way to increase clicks, as they give subscribers a clear reason to engage with the message.
Subject Line: A beautiful bathtub is inside this email
- Use Humor. Like most Glossier emails, this message came straight to my primary folder on Gmail rather than landing in my promotional folder, likely due to the fact that I always engage with messages from this popular beauty brand. Glossier isn’t afraid to take chances and show their fun, humorous side, one of the many reasons I love their email program and have developed an affinity for the brand. While this email didn’t even promote any specific products, it made me laugh and will help keep the brand top of mind.
Looking for more ways to enhance your email program and create an optimized subscriber experience? Check out our 2018 Email Marketing Lookbook for even more examples and interesting data findings.