How to Nail an Email Campaign in Five Easy Steps

Email CampaignToday, I want to share an example of a really great email campaign, interesting enough and pitched in such a way that I actually clicked on it.

I say “really great” for a number of reasons:

1. It was a blind send – that is, I had never (to the best of my knowledge, anyhow) signed up to receive email or any other type of contact from this company. But I still opened it.

2. It was beautifully designed, with an eye catching visual at the top. It was Christmas themed – brave, in this politically correct time where most corporations stick with the generic “Holiday” mentions – and they used a corresponding bold red font right off the top.

3. The writing was brilliant. Very human. Very casual. And while I knew it was a mass email that went out to thousands of people, I felt as if the writer was speaking directly to me.

4. And they used the magic word: FREE!

5. Then they used more magic words – the words that really made me sit up and take notice: No follow up sales call. No trial. No hassle.

What?

Email Campaign

Now, I’m a bit of a cynic, and am old enough to know that when organizations use the word “free” – they generally don’t actually mean “free”. They mean “Sign up for this FREE xyz, but be sure and have your credit card out because we want to nail you at the end of the free part, and start charging your account!”

But not this company. They said FREE – and they actually meant it! And while the ‘no follow up sales call’ etc., sounds counter intuitive to a company’s end goals – it wasn’t. It worked.

Because there’s nothing I – and many other busy people I know – despise more than being harassed after the fact by aggressive, spammy sales tactics. If I like what you’re offering, I’ll buy in. If I don’t? No amount of phone calls or emails if going to change my mind.

So, by this point intrigued, I spent 15 minutes or so checking out their website (as I’m sure many people did – I wonder what there page views numbers were like yesterday!).

Their media room was impressive, their reports having been mentioned and quoted in myriad high visibility magazine and newspaper articles, and illustrated that this was as respected organization providing value and insight – value and insight that I wanted a test-run of!

I was slightly irritated when I couldn’t pre-read one of their free (FREE!) daily reports they were offering without signing up, but, as is human nature, that only made me want to go for the free trial even more!

Their media room was impressive, their reports having been mentioned and quoted in myriad high visibility magazine and newspaper articles, and illustrated that this was as respected organization providing value and insight – value and insight that I wanted a test-run of!

So, I did it. Within 20 minutes or so they had me. They had me because they were human, creative, warm, their product appeared to be of a quality worth checking out for a few weeks, and most importantly, all of the above methods earned my trust.

So, they already had me, the most cynical of consumers, but the nail in my coffin, so to speak, was their follow up email after I signed up.

email campaignContinuing on with the Christmas theme, they used a bit of humor – I laughed at the “advent calendar” comparison – while saying thank you.

I came away from the whole experience thinking: “I really like these people!” – which is crazy, because I work in the biz, and I know this email campaign was *created* to make me feel that way. But it worked. And, as we all know only too well, feelings trump logical thinking nine times out of ten.

So, take this story at face value. And think about the lessons learned the next time you’re crafting copy or coming up with ideas for your next email campaign. If this company managed to snare me, you know they were doing something right.

And Merry Christmas.

Meet Lindsay Bell


Lindsay Bell is the content director at Arment Dietrich, and works in Toronto. A former TV producer, she’s a strong advocate of three minutes or less of video content. She has a cool kid, a patient husband, two annoying cats, and Hank, a Vizsla/Foxhound cross puppy. She's often busy.


6 comments
susancellura
susancellura

I am very glad you shared this! It's a great example of how this needs to be done and I cannot wait to share it with others!

Editorplus
Editorplus

Too many errors in this article - "Their media room was impressive, their reports having been mentioned and quoted in myriad high visibility magazine and newspaper articles, and illustrated that this was as respected organization providing value and insight – value and insight that I wanted a test-run of!" is repeated twice, I don't believe this is deliberate.

"So, they already had me, the most cynical or consumers, but the nail in my coffin, so to speak, was their follow up email after I signed up."

Should read:

So, they already had me, the most cynical OF consumers, PUT the nail in my coffin, so to speak, was their follow up email after I signed up.

JoeCardillo
JoeCardillo

So many interesting threads here - clearly, one is that they gave you value without asking anything in return (yet). Gary Vaynerchuck would be proud. I don't advocate a blind send, but if you stick the value thing, it becomes much less important.

The other thing you pointed out that most email marketers forget is focus. If you're providing value, you don't need to add complicated calls to action or links to everything ever. Simply give someone something to do (visit the site) and they'll do the rest. This is why more than just the CTR and bounce rate is important. # of pages viewed, return visits, what media they are consuming, etc... those are truly important and probably how most businesses should be measuring. 

belllindsay
belllindsay moderator

@susancellura Thanks so much, Susan! I always like to give credit where credit's due, and I felt this company did a great job! 

belllindsay
belllindsay moderator

@Editorplus What? No bonus points for knowing how to use the word "myriad" correctly? ;) I assure you the "value and insight" repetition is, in fact, deliberate. 

And, "but" the nail in my coffin is also correct - they had me, but the 'nail in my coffin' was their follow up email. I shall fix the OF typo forthwith. Thanks for stopping by! 

belllindsay
belllindsay moderator

@JoeCardillo Thanks Joe! I don't respond well at all to blind sends - trust me - which is why I was so impressed by what they achieved. To suck me in! ;)