The perfect email

It’s not often that I get the perfect email – one that beautifully illustrates all of the various different points we go on (and on) about in designing effective emails that sell.  But I got one this morning!  And here it is.

So let’s look at this from the top…

  1. SpigenSubject line.  Arguably the most important part of the email, the subject line should entice the recipient to engage with the message and, if you are not viewing the content in your preview pane, to open the message. Fail.
  2. Sender name.  Different commentators argue that the sender name is now more important than the subject line in getting engagement.  At least this sender has included an alias but just the company name???  Surely something a bit more personal…  And take a look at the email address.  I don’t know about you, but that does not look to me like someone I know or would want to trust.
  3. Sent to.  I’ve not got the first clue who =?utf-8?Q??= is, but I don’t know how to pronounce it and I certainly don’t answer to it.  Is this personalisation gone wrong?  Who knows.  big fail.
  4. Content.  Finally!  Lets have a look at the message… Oh well.

Should the DMA know better?

We’re all human and make mistakes, but if you set yourself up as the arbiter of correct behaviour in a market, should you not live up to some sort of minimum standard?  Or am I just being a grumpy git? 🙂

Got this email from the Direct Marketing Association today:

dma1

So it looks pretty reasonable without images loaded, although I do think that they could use a wider template.  I suspect they are trying a “one size fits all” to work on mobile devices as well as email clients – responsive design guys??

dma2

So the primary link is clearly the blue URL right at the top of the email.  That’s what they want me to click on as it’s at the top of the email – right?  erm no…  This is where the link takes me:

dma3

Ok so they’ve put in a bad link.  I’ve done the same (more than once) so can forgive them that.  But the story looks interesting so I read on and click the link in the body of the email and it works – I get to the DMA’s website.

Excited to read the content, I’m frustrated to find I now have to register with the site to view the content.  Oh well, I’m sure I’ve registered before, so I eventually have to register again as I can’t find the login.  I get sent an email that needs me to click on a link (yes, double opt-in, good practice in action).  So now to view the content I’ve tried so hard to get to…

dma4

What!!  I’ve just registered.  Now I’m told that the registration I was offered was not enough to give me the content I was offered in the email they sent me.  I give up…

However there is an important message here.  If you have content to share with a segment of your newsletter audience, create a segmented list and only send articles that the recipients can access to them – or risk royally upsetting them.

 

 

 

Someone at Sainsburys pressed the send button early!

Ouch!  We all know the feeling – you hit the send button them instantly regret it.  But what if you are sending on behalf of one of the UKs largest retailers?  Double ouch!

So I get a message from Alchemy Worx this morning and open it expecting it to be their regular newsletter.  It’s got an odd subject line, but maybe they are trying something different.  What I saw in my email is this:

sainsbury1

But when I open the email I get this:

sainsbury2

 

  1. The yellow highlighting is me.  But the rest is very much down to Sainsburys and their email sender.
  2. The subject line must be an internal reference.
  3. The sending email address is the default one for Alchemy Worx, who I assume are the sending agent for Sainsburys.
  4. The second worst bit for me is the mailmerge failure in salutation.

The worst bit took some hard work to capture for you, but see if you can see what is wrong with the email if you finally get to the bottom…

sainsbury3

Bit too long maybe???

Just to add insult to… well, more insult, I replied to the email saying maybe they had let a test loose into the wild – gone feral 🙂  but the email bounced straight back to me.  wonder how the conversation with the Alchemy Worx account manager and the Sainsburys Marketing Director will go…!

 

Why the RAC failed in this email

I receive a well laid out, well written email from The RAC today.  So why is it a total fail?

There are two problems:

1) The RAC don’t have my permission to email me on my personal email account.  So this is not only SPAM, but it’s also against the law!  Oops…

2) There is also a requirement for the Unsubscribe function to work.  So, even if they did have my permission to send me this email, it would still not be compliant with UK email law as the unsubscribe link highlighted in yellow above simply takes me to a landing page on their website that tries to sell me RAC breakdown.  Nice 🙂

Looks like the RAC have had a breakdown!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How not to do your Happy Christmas email

Amazing!!  I receive an email from someone who has added me to their marketing list and feels they know me well enough to send me Christmas Greetings… But what do they send?  a big blue box!

I wonder how that has developed my relationship with this business?

 

 

What’s in it for me?

So, I open up my email this morning and work through the 20 or so messages that have arrived overnight – deleting most of them.  Then I start my days work but forget to close me email.

At about 9.30 ! receive this message.  Full marks to the email marketeer for delivering it at a time when I’m interruptible and therefore likely to review the message.

Big fail on the content!  I click on Outlook with the message highlighted and what do I see?  An empty blue box…

Now, I know that I can go to the top bar and download images, but I know I’m just going to be presented with a big company image and probably a photo of the person sending me the message.

This marketer has failed to answer the basic question “What’s in it for me?” in the first two seconds of me reviewing the message – DELETE!

So, learn from this… if you want to put your company logo in your marketing emails (why would you?) at least put  it at the bottom of your email below the signature.  And please, please don’t put a bloody great photo of you, your product or anything else at the top of the message.

I want to know what you are saying to me, not how great you are.  It’s easy to get my attention: tell me what I will get from reading your message.  I may not want what you are offering, but at least you’ve given yourself the opportunity of being heard.

Rant over…!

The dangers of automated emails

When I raise a support request, I do expect a degree of automation, if just to make sure that requests are dealt with.  But avoid the perils of pre-formatting email replies so that an operator typed response goes into standard text like this one I received today.

What is the “call to action” to here?

We got this email today:

What catches your eye in the email?  For me, the thing that stood out most was “Click here to unsubscribe”.  Surely not the intent of the email?

This is yet another example of not checking how an email will look when a user does not download the associated images – which is on average 90% of your audience!

 

“I” disease

I received a strange email today.  I liked it and didn’t like it at the same time!  Here it is, what do you think?

I like this email because it’s plain and simple.  No silly images to distract from the message.  However I don’t like this message because:

  • It’s “all about us”.  Look at the times it says “I, us, we, our” compared to you & your.  This is the email equivalent of shouting at someone from 6 inches away!
  • Variable size fonts.  I’m sure this is not deliberate, but look at the size of the font through the email.
  • Typos & language.  Didn’t read well – in fact I had to read it 3 times to understand it.
  • There was no fluency of message.  It does not take me, the reader on a journey from problem to solution so I’ve no idea what issue is being solved for me.

Anyway, hope you find this useful.  And if you want me to take a look over your emails before you send, just let me know – no charge!!

waving your member(ship)

Our pet hate is the email that starts “I…” or “We…” and then carries on for 3 paragraphs to say why they are so great and what they have been up to.

So What?  What’s in this email for me, the recipient?

Here is the text from a great (bad) example I received today (***** replaces the company):

The ******* Link – April 2011

March was a really strong month for ***** Bristol and a great way to round off what has been a really encouraging first quarter – we’ve already written 40% of the new business that we wrote in the whole of last year.

Your referrals are keeping us busy and the pipeline is still looking healthy – thank you for your support.

I’d also like to thank those of you who came along to our wine tasting event on the 12th April. It was a great turn-out for a ‘school night’ and, judging by the number of thank you emails we have received, everyone had a good time. We have further events planned, so watch this space!

March was quite a month for ***** Financial Services – in fact, a record breaking one! We beat our previous best on just about every key measure, notably:

  • A new monthly record of 170 deals
  • A record breaking month for debts factored! Just under £400m
  • Advances reached a new high of £327m

In addition to these fantastic results the latest ABFA stats show some extremely positive findings in which **FS once again outstripped growth within the market in 2010.

Highlights from the ABFA Report revealed that…

  • **FS increased domestic market share from 14% to 16.7% in the space of just 12 months

In terms of factoring client numbers we have also outperformed the market. We have increased our position from 10% to 17.3% in 2010

Looking at total client numbers we have increased our market share by around 1 percentage point over the last 12 months from 8.1% to 9.2% and have almost doubled it in the past 3 years.

I hope that these results firmly demonstrate that **FS are open for business and committed to supporting small businesses in a difficult lending environment.

Are you on the plane?

A few seats on the plane to Prague have been secured but there are plenty left. This trip is not to be missed!

Just 3 deals will ensure your place!

If you’d like more information about our Prague incentive or have a client to refer to us please contact your local Regional Manager or call me directly on 07834 ******.

Feeling motivated to do anything other than reply with a big UNSUBSCRIBE?  It amazes me how many businesses are willing to put their membership at risk by sending blatant self promoting rubbish to their recipients in the belief that they care.

It comes all the way back to our first comment of “give your recipients something of value to them”.  It’s their inbox, not yours.  Ignore this at your peril!