We’re all for digital engagement that uses email marketing to give their followers exactly what they want. Online retailers and deal hucksters who sling out the goodies have to practice a delicate balance of staying ahead of trends while giving discounts on cool items that inspire folks to whip out their credit cards. We don’t use the word “art” lightly when we talk about well-done email marketing because most of the things that land in our inboxes are anything but artful.
We started thinking about the potency of email marketing because of the Slanket. Surely you remember the Slanket, the precursor to, but less popular version of, the Snuggie? The blanket with sleeves but without the catchy marketing campaign popped back up on periphery when it showed up in our daily deal email from Living Social. Surely you remember Living Social, the less cool, but slicker-looking, version of Groupon? It’s the holidays and the best they could come up with is a deal on the Slanket? Living Social ran a half off deal on the Slanket this week after a week that also included discounts on Botox, gourmet popcorn and bowling. While all of those items are super, they don’t exactly inspire us to smartphone our way into debt.
The point here is that with email marketing — and all of our online marketing, for that matter — brands have a teeny tiny amount of time to get consumers to respond. And folks won’t think you’re giving them a huge deal if you’re offering things they don’t actually want. But more than deals, the content of our email marketing messages matters. We spend time and money on newsletters and email campaigns in hopes that people will be engaged enough to visit our websites, buy our services and products and talk about us on social media. Churning out messages with no soul or personality doesn’t do our brands any favors. In short, do we want our emails to be a Snuggie or a Slanket?
We could go on and on about how bad email marketing is the Internet’s version of pollution. Instead, we want you to try this: Go through your email and junk mail and see which messages actually catch your eye. Make notes about what interest you and what doesn’t work. And then come back here and share your findings!