I don’t normally name names, but recent emails I received from Ann Taylor, the specialty apparel retailer, reminded me of an email marketing best practice that is too often overlooked:
- Tell recipients WHY they are receiving your email.
Since last Tuesday, I have received an email newsletter from Ann Taylor EVERY DAY. Why? I have no idea. I’ve never purchased from Ann Taylor, LOFT, or what I can tell are its affiliate brands. I don’t visit the Ann Taylor website. And, while I appreciate a pretty email (they do have beautiful images), I do not take kindly to receiving unsolicited commercial email.
The problem? Nowhere in the welcome email (right) did I get a why. Not even in the tiny print at the bottom. Nada. The most I got was “Now that you’re on our email list…”
A brief intro goes a long way.
It really only takes a little snippet of text, preferably above the main body of the message, that says “You are receiving this message because…” or something similar to introduce yourself, your brand, and explain why you, the sender, feel the message is relevant to the recipient.
The when for the why: Any time you are sending to a list of new recipients, an introduction is a good idea. Also, if you are mailing to an older list, be mindful that recipients may not remember who you are or that they opted to receive email from you.
Ultimately, a little explanation of why an initial email is being sent will:
- Demonstrate that you’re a responsible sender, showing respect for your recipients’ time and interests. Brownie points for transparency and valuing your relationship with the recipient!
- Build trust for your brand and lessen the likelihood of spam complaints and unsubscribes. Spam complaints are brutal, and depending on your ESP, they can damage your sender reputation and possibly result in your ESP threatening to ditch you as a client.
Also, although it should go without saying, be sure the list you are emailing has been acquired in a legitimate manner. List renting or buying is generally frowned upon and can do more damage than good to your brand and sender reputation. Really… think of the puppies!
Got any email marketing horror stories to share, either as a sender or a recipient? Please leave your thoughts in the comment section.
In the meantime, I’ll be on the lookout for an example of a good intro to share. Sign up for email notifications or like Blue Tomato Creative on Facebook to receive instant updates!
A seagull eating a starfish smells like: “Tidelands, driftwood, downy bird musk, and the gingery spike of starfish terror.”
Thanks to ZOMGsmells.com, I am now aware of this… and the fact that seagulls really do eat starfish. This unfortunate seagull snacking preference and the suggestion of its associated fragrance got my attention. Quirky worked to draw me in. I quickly found myself lingering on the ZOMGsmells.com website, looking around for the next odd thing to catch my eye, and I didn’t have to look far…
ZOMGsmells.com sells unique fragrance blends, each curiously named. Aside from the alluring scent of Seagull Eating a Starfish, I found gems such as: Coronal Mass Ejection, Kudzu Doom, Spacebat, Candy Mechanic, Baby Gorgon Birthday Party, and many more. Each name just begged to be clicked to figure out what the heck that could possibly smell like.
Upon clicking through on each name, I was rewarded with a humorous little backstory and image, along with a very specific description of the scent (the oils included, etc.). Win! Quirky worked to keep me browsing, increasing the time I stayed on the site.
Now, the big question: Will quirky work to make me buy? Quite possibly… we shall see. I could at least sample a “squee” or three. (But, even though it got my attention, I probably won’t go with Seagull Eating a Starfish. I wouldn’t want to wander around my coastal home smelling of starfish terror. I might get swarmed.)
And, on that note, I leave you with a bit of my YouTube research: