Archive for April, 2011

Sometimes when you are looking at a blank page and trying to create your next fantastic customer communication, it can feel like you are sitting alone in a vacuum.  But it’s worth remembering that there are a number of people on the planet doing really great email marketing.  And you can learn from them… I call it ‘spying‘. (P.S. You never need to stare at a blank page if you have a good plan)

I just sent these two examples to a friend whose large organisation is doing a clean, sterile, well designed, ticks the boxes, boring, wouldn’t-care-if-you-never-saw-it-again, no one really applies what they read, type of a thing.  Their products are HOT.  They have HOT customers, doing incredible things with those products, and sharing what they do everywhere… but inexplicably, it’s nowhere to be seen in their eDM.

Here are the two:

NZ Gardener

Get Growing aims to ‘grow new gardeners’ and in doing so, sell more magazines.  It is a much-loved phenomenon and it’s sent to 25,000 people each week.

What they do really well: It’s so personal.  The heart of this success is it’s heart.  Warm, non-threatening, collegial (gardening isn’t scary, let’s try this together)…  Sharing readers questions and answers makes for great genuine content (bonus – you don’t have to write it!).   Listing current events and prizes keeps the ‘open rates’ consistent.  Timing - sending on Friday afternoon makes it a treat for the weekend. They always encourage opt-ins and pass-along.  Yes, I know you are thinking – it’s so LONG! It is, and the readers LOVE it! (Disclosure - GetGrowing uses SmartMailPro).

Love gardening? You can subscribe to NZ Gardener here.

Urban Daddy

I came across Urban Daddy when I was going to Miami a couple of years ago and I wanted to know what was hot there.  The content, tone, and attitude, as well as the execution and consistently has just outperformed anything I’ve seen like it.  It’s one you need to subscribe to and keep an eye on week in and week out until you ‘get’ the gist.

What they do really well: Like NZ Gardener they bring it to you, they don’t make you work for it.  Heart and passion for the subject matter shines through.  Great content that is curated in the right way each time so that you build trust in their opinion and follow their advice (tag line – ‘Only what you need to know’).  Trust is established with footer text in every issue (‘Urban Daddy is purely editorial – you can’t buy love from the Daddy’).  Great voice, tone, manner, meeting expectations, personalising with strong  but virtually invisible use of dynamic content and preferences.  Need more?:

Email issues.  This page is insanely good and I’ve never seen one like it – it links from the bottom of their home page – Email Issues

You can subscribe to Urban Daddy here.  its worth it even if you don’t live in the States just to learn from and enjoy.

Their Welcome Email is great – below: Restates your options and sets expectations; use of red carpet and language evokes exclusivity; specifically invites pass-along; simple.  It’s ‘oh so’ personal.  Also note it doesn’t ask for the double opt-in – if you have registered they assume you want it.  I think this is fine in cases where you are clearly registering for an email newsletter – not entering a competition, asking for a down-load or other ancillary activity.

What do you think?  Love it?  Hate it? Comment below.  Forward me your favourites - Attn Roanne to GetSmart at

There are more good examples of Welcome Emails to be seen at another GetSmart blog post here.

Sparking stuff alright.  I love the way it says “to find our more, phone me or write to me at…..” (you can click to enlarge).

Had an email sent through yesterday from my friend bwagy who’d been frustrated by a newsletter he couldn’t unsubscribe from.

The email, from a legitimate well-known marketing company, didn’t have an unsubscribe link on the bottom,  it said this at the top:

So, he clicked through to opt-out – but came to this screen, otherwise known as the old login brick wall:

But he didn’t know his password, so he hit ‘junk’ and hoped he wouldn’t see the email again.   Next month, the email arrived in the inbox again.  This is likely to be because the email was sent off a range of IP addresses, and it was from a different one this time, that’s pretty common for smaller databases/senders.

But he still didn’t know his password.  So he clicked Reset it.

The password email never came, or so he thought.  Next day, he told me aha! found it in his junk folder.  Now he could login, change his details, and get off the list. But he’s left frustrated and a bit cross at the messy ‘break up’, palpably colouring the way he feels about the brand.

Moral of the story: unless you have defensible, private information stored in your clients profiles, don’t make them login to update their communication preferences.  Either use a token to log them right on in there, or chuck that login on the fire, and instigate a quick, one click failsafe unsubscribe – click, you are off.  Made a mistake? okay, click to resubscribe.

In marketing it’s so smart not to burn bridges, and when it’s over, you need to let them go.

There  are more comprehensive posts on how to manage unsubscribes here:

4 Tips to improve and minimise email unsubscribes

Unsubscribe don’t send hate mail

Happy to unsubscribe in 30 steps…

Questions? Examples?  Opinions?  Post a comment or fire them over to our team at Jericho.

It’s great to dissect retail email marketing campaigns to look for ideas.  In past Jericho blog posts I’ve called it spying .  Because I’m an online shopper, I received this targeted campaign from Countdown last week.   Countdown is our local supermarket chain.

‘Shop online and Win an iPad’.

But wait a second…

‘Shop online anytime in the next month and win a 1st Gen iPad’?

Now my consumer and marketer hats do a quick switch, I’m reading and I’m scratching my head.

Why can’t I win a new one?

Why spend multiple thousands of dollars on this campaign to win the superseded model?

As you are reading this, it’s likely we are a lot like you – we have at our core a focus on the ‘art’ of email marketing as well as the science.  So we remind clients and prospective clients many times a day that it costs the same to send an ugly email campaign as it does to send a great email campaign… But the real cost is that of missing the sweet spot – misses hit you in the brand and directly in the pocket.

Or in this case, for the sake of a couple of hundred bucks, every time more money is spent to bring eyeballs to this campaign over the next month Countdown are going to look off the boil, off the ball, so… like.. last month, and yes a little bit cheap.

Everything looks spot on in this eDM campaign, and other than the iPad it’s a great example of a retail email campaign.

Here at Jericho, we love our 1st Gen iPad’s.  But we ‘covet’ the new one.  What do you think?  How much cooler would this campaign be if we were in to win a 2nd Gen iPad?  Worth the extra 1% of budget?