Email is said to be the original form of social media, with over 140 billion messages sent every single day. Successful email marketing lists can help businesses capture new customers, drive return business and encourage an ongoing feedback loop.
I’ve dissected my inbox over the past few days to see how different brands are approaching email marketing. Six emails were chosen for evaluation, and I’ve included both positive and negative observations for each.
The Good: Raven did an excellent job of giving this email personality. Displaying the author’s picture and speaking in a conversational tone encouraged me to continue reading.
The Bad: There is no discernable call to action above the fold. I understand this is an informational newsletter, but it still takes a while to get to the point. Use the space up top to get me to convert, Raven. You somehow passed my cold, heartless personal spam filter and failed to capitalize.
The Good: This email gets straight to the point. I can instantly see the value proposition, the offer and the call to action within seconds.
The Bad: Facebook’s email is more bland than a bowl of white rice. I’m honestly shocked to see such little emotion from a company with nearly unlimited creative resources. How depressing.
The Ugly: I’m no grammartician (since I make up words on the fly), but I’m 99% sure that the first sentence should have a question mark at the end.
Learn it Live
The Good: Unlike the previous example from Facebook, this entry from Learn It Live is full of color and imagery. They do a good job of putting you right into the action, except…
The Bad: …I have no idea what the action is. Is this a webinar? A live event? A recording? WHO ARE YOU?! Additionally, this email renders horribly without enabling images. Please use alt tags in the future.
The Ugly: The structure of the message is completely backwards. They open with “It’s ok, Lisa can help” before ever stating the problem. You lose your conversion the instant you confuse a reader, and this copy isn’t helping.
The Good: The email was personalized for me, which is always a plus. More importantly, the offer is crystal clear: Get 20 issues of Businessweek for only $12. They also do a great job of showing me the additional perks of signing up.
The Bad: There is no context to make this offer worth my while. How much is a normal subscription? For all I know, this might not even be a true discount. And if I was unaware of this brand, I’d have no idea what the magazine was about. Adding more context would make this email much more appealing to me.
The Good: I really like this email. The copy is probably the best of all the above examples. It brings the reader through the problem/opportunity, the benefit statement, the call to action and finally adds supporting evidence to seal the deal. The graphics are clean and add to the value of the email.
The Bad: I’m getting picky, but having two calls to action might distract users from the main goal of signing up for the webinar. This message also lacks personalization, which might help elude spam filters and increase conversion. But like I said – I’m being picky.
The Good: I’ve saved my favorite email for last. Marketo has sent a very solid campaign out, and I’d like to note a few of its accomplishments. First, they have put together great copy that rivals the quality of the Salesforce email above. Secondly, the organization of this email is excellent. The offer is clearly stated up top alongside a call to action for those of us who are decision makers. They appeal to conversationalists by including all supporting copy below this. Bravo Marketo, you understand communication preferences.
I love how Marketo includes both graphic and text-based call to actions in this campaign. They make it nearly impossible for you to miss the point. The text in the CTA’s differ throughout the page to appeal to different users as well. If you haven’t caught on yet, I really like this email.
The Bad: Lack of personalization? Alright, fine. I’m just being picky. You win this round, Marketo.