Before I came to Bronto I managed an email marketing program for a major online retailer and I’d have to say that one of the most challenging aspects of the position was trying to continually come up with engaging and fresh campaign ideas. Figuring out how to position the product in a way that stands out among a cluttered inbox is something that every email marketer must (at least attempt!) to master. But being creative on an ongoing basis can be difficult when you’re dealing with the general nature or nuances of a product that may be limited in terms of presentation.
One thing that always helped me get the creative juices flowing was to peruse blogs and other sites featuring winning (and sometimes losing) email examples. The Retail Email Blog is a great site to see and learn from many different email campaigns. WhichTestWon helps visitors see how creative changes can make big differences in results. These are great resources to see what email campaigns are standing out and what marketers think of them.
But I’d have to say that my number one suggestion for how email marketers can improve the creativity of their program is: SUBSCRIBE! To everything you can! Any retailer out there that you’ve heard has a good email program or whose other marketing efforts impress you could be a gold mine in terms of inspiration. Subscribe to all of your competitors’ programs. Subscribe to retailers completely outside your industry. Make sure that your inbox has a wealth of examples to draw from, which probably means creating a dummy account just for this purpose.
In looking through my own inbox recently, I’ve selected some examples that I’d like to share with you. These emails, for one reason or another, stand out. They are engaging and they give something back to the subscriber. How many of these ideas can you run with?
The first type of campaign I’d like to highlight is what’s considered a value-add message. Instead of simply presenting a product as new or featured, these retailers are being helpful to the consumer – and pointing out product features cleverly while painting a bigger picture as to how they can positively impact some aspect of your life.
Consider this example from Banana Republic. I love the way that the bouncing heart leads your eye through the important parts of the message and lands you at the primary call-to-action.