The 2013 holiday shopping season is already underway, which means we’ve been keeping an eye out to see the creative ideas marketers have dreamt up this year to captivate their email audiences.
One recent holiday email that caught our attention comes from Lilly Pulitzer. By using Agile Email Marketing technology, Lilly Pulitzer included an image in this campaign that when clicked, prompted a pre-populated tweet to open that included the #buymelilly hashtag. The image was also deep-linked so that if the subscriber opened the email on a mobile device with the Twitter app already installed, the tweet would load ready-to-send in the mobile app versus requesting a log-in to Twitter in a web browser. The user’s device was detected at the moment of email open, and the optimal click-through action was also determined in real-time.
We love this email because not only does it unite social media and email together seamlessly, but this approach is a clever way to make it easy for fans of Lilly Pulitzer to share with their networks what’s on their holiday wish lists this year.
To get you in the Halloween spirit today, here’s one of our favorite spooky emails sent from ivivva, a member of the lululemon family. The email promotes Zombie Yoga Month, a series of local community events held by ivivva where girls all over North America took to their yoga mats to join the “zombie yogapocalypse.”
The agile email included a real-time local map which showed the nearest ivivva store location, hours, and contact information at the moment of email open.
How often do you take a chance with your email marketing, not knowing if a new approach could be an unbelievable success or a complete flop?
At Best of the Best, a UK-based company that offers their customers the chance to win luxury automobiles through online skills-based competitions, they’re more than familiar with the idea that taking a chance can result in a huge pay-off. Perhaps that’s why when Jarrod Purchase, Email Marketing Manager for Best of the Best, wanted to try something entirely new with an upcoming email campaign, he thought it was worthwhile to give it a shot.
We caught up with Jarrod to learn more about his recent “Hold onto this email” campaign, which encouraged subscribers to check back on the same email message over the course of three days to see new offers. Best of the Best had never launched a multi-day, single-email campaign like this before. Would taking a chance pay-off?
Brooke Burdge, Marketing Manager, Movable Ink: Jarrod, what was the main goal of this campaign? Jarrod Purchase, Email Marketing Manager, Best of the Best: We run a competition every 15 days to promote discounted tickets for dream car giveaway competitions. We had a few main goals for the “Hold onto this email” campaign. Of course, we were aiming to increase revenue and strengthen customer engagement in a new way. But we also wanted to drive more customers to participate in the competition earlier on in the 15-day period, and to make repeat purchases. Typically, customers participate more towards the end of the competition period since there is less waiting time to find out if they won, and they very rarely purchase more than once in each 15-day competition period.
BB: What did you do differently with this campaign to help you achieve your goals? JP: Instead of sending three separate emails on consecutive days with three varying offers, we decided to consolidate our efforts into one, fully dynamic email that changed depending on when it was opened. The email became almost like a scavenger hunt in the inbox, where customers could come back the next day to discover something completely new.
BB: Can you walk me through how the user experience changed depending on which day the email was opened? JP: Sure. If you opened the email on the first day of the campaign, you would see images of three car types in a row. The Aston Martin was labeled “Today,” the Range Rover was labeled “Tomorrow,” and the Porsche was labeled “Wednesday.” The Aston Martin image—the featured deal of the day— appeared in full-color, with the other two brands in black & white. This allowed recipients to see what deals were coming up, but kept the focus on the current deal. At the bottom of the email template, we included five images of different models of the automobile brand being promoted that day. For example, on day one, subscribers would see promotions for five different Aston Martin vehicles in this space. A live countdown clock at the top of the email showed how much time was left until the next day’s featured offers became available.
If the same subscriber re-opened the same email again on day two, they would notice that major changes have taken place. Now, the center image of the Range Rover is in full-color, and the five images at the bottom of the email are promoting various Range Rover models. Also, the headers of the other deal offers have changed—the Porsche is now “tomorrow” versus “Wednesday.” The experience is similar on day three. When the campaign was finished, all images turned to black & white and the call-to-action changed to visit our site for other great offers.
The last thing to point out is that the email was also mobile optimized. When opened on a mobile device, the images in the bottom section dropped underneath each other to better fit the width of a mobile screen.
BB: How did this email perform? Do you have any results you can share? JP: Overall, the campaign was a success. We saw positive results in re-opens, revenue, repeat purchases. For re-opens, 23% of subscribers who opened the email on the first day returned to open it again on the second day. 7% of the “day 1” openers returned again on the third day.
For revenue, we experienced a 170% increase compared to our forecasted revenue for the 3 days. The campaign was launched at the start of the 15-day period, and as I mentioned earlier, we typically see the most revenue coming in toward the end of the competition. The campaign significantly lifted our early sales, which in turn increased the likelihood of repeat purchases made throughout the rest of the competition period.
Approximately 7% of customers purchased more than once. This number is much higher than what we typically see for repeat purchases during our 15-day competitions.
BB: What might you do differently if you were to launch a similar multi-day, single-email campaign in the future? JP: We’re curious to see what would happen if instead of giving subscribers a glimpse of the upcoming offers in black-and-white, we simply showed black boxes with question marks to keep future deals a surprise until they were available. It’s unclear whether our subscribers returned to the email because they were anticipating the upcoming Range Rover or Porsche offers, or if their curiosity about upcoming, unannounced offers would have driven even more re-opens. In the future, I’d like to run an A/B test to see which option drives more re-opens and revenue.
BB: How did Movable Ink help you out with this campaign? JP: Our team at Movable Ink is always a reliable source of new ideas for our email campaigns. Movable Ink’s technology makes it easy for us to experiment more, and to get more creative with the emails we send.
People don’t expect interesting things to happen in their email marketing. They’re used to seeing interactivity and real-time content on the web, but that experience isn’t as common in email. Movable Ink helps us bring that experience into email to strengthen the overall effectiveness of our email marketing channel.
At Best of the Best, we rely strongly on our email program for driving visits to our site and participation in our competitions. This campaign was an entirely new approach for us, and it was risky to try something that we had never done before and weren’t sure how it would turn out. But in the end, we’re happy we did it. It was fun to experiment, and taking the risk certainly paid off for us.
It’s officially football season, which also means sports fans across the country are glued to checking their Fantasy Football team scores. Managing your Fantasy team while on the go is one way to stay ahead of the game—which is where ESPN’s Fantasy Football mobile app comes into play.
To promote the mobile app, ESPN sent the email shown below on the morning of the 2013 NFL Kickoff. By using Agile Email Marketing technology, the same email offered two entirely different experiences when opened on a desktop or on a mobile device.
When the email is opened on desktop, the main call-to-action is to manage the team from your mobile device, and links to more information about the app’s capabilities and the various mobile platforms that are supported. Icons for the AppStore, Google Play, and Windows Phone Store are all shown.
When the same exact email is opened on a mobile device, a few major changes happen. First, the main image is an animated gif of a mobile device with the ESPN app open, scrolling through a team roster to show the functionality of the app. In the example here, the app is shown inside an iPhone screen, but if the fan happened to be using an Android or iPad to read the email, the image of the device shown would match the device actually being used. Also, the call-to-action changes to be device-specific, (notice, “Manage Your Team From Your iPhone”). When fans click on “Download The App For Free,” they are brought directly into the app’s download page on the AppStore, Google Play, or Windows Phone Store—depending the device currently in use.
ESPN gives new meaning to “mobile optimization” with this email. For more tips on how to make your mobile emails stand out, check out our “Mastering Mobile Email” series.
On Friday, October 4, Lee Jeans will partner with the American Cancer Society to celebrate Lee National Denim Day. On this day, supporters are encouraged to wear jeans to work in exchange for a $5 donation to the cause.
The email seen here, sent by Lee Jeans, accomplishes three things very well: 1. Strengthens awareness of Lee National Denim Day
We love this email because it successfully educates recipients on the goal of the movement, offers clear ways to get involved, and simultaneously creates excitement about the taking part in the initiative.
Finish Line used real-time geo-targeting in this agile email marketing campaign to show each recipient a map of the nearest retail store. Since the map is based on each recipient’s current location at the moment of email open, the email is always relevant and highly personalized.
By including barcodes in this email’s template, Finish Line made it even easier for mobile consumers to take advantage of available discounts when in-store.
Over 2 million sports fans tuned in to ESPN last week to watch The ESPYS, an annual awards show that recognizes excellence in sports performance. In advance of the show, ESPN launched this engaging agile email marketing campaign to encourage fans to vote for the best team. The email shown here was sent to a segment of subscribers who had previously identified the Miami Heat as their favorite team.
The email included live social media chatter from fans who used the #ESPYSBestTeam hashtag on Twitter, updated in real-time. A pre-populated tweet with the #ESPYSBestTeam hashtag was launched when a recipient clicked within the body of the email. If the email was opened on a mobile device and the Twitter app was detected as installed, the pre-populated tweet loaded directly within the Twitter app itself versus on a default mobile browser. Learn more about deep linking in mobile email here.
Once the awards were announced, the live tweets section of the email changed to reveal a summary of the winning athletes and teams (if you’re curious, the Miami Heat took home the ESPY for the best team).
TV Land created this highly-engaging email to promote the season premiere of “Hot in Cleveland,” a sitcom starring Betty White, using Movable Ink’s agile email marketing platform. Here are 5 reasons why we love this email:
Live show using live content. The first episode of the new season of “Hot in Cleveland” was aired live. By creating an email using live content, TV Land successfully added to the real-time nature of the season premiere.
Streaming countdown clock showed the days, hours, minutes, and seconds left until the show started.
Deep link to Twitter app on mobile allowed fans to wish the cast well before the live show with a pre-populated tweet.
Live stream of latest tweets showed the real-time social chatter that included the #HOTLive hashtag.
Embedded video of the “Hot in Cleveland” cast played directly within the inbox, with no need to launch an external media player or web browser.
Nickelodeon used a live countdown clock in this email to build up anticipation for the new series, Sam & Cat. The clock showed the hours, minutes, and seconds remaining until the premiere. After the premiere started, the digits transformed to animated, flashing zeros.
Using Movable Ink’s agile email marketing platform, Hyatt added a real-time weather forecast into reservation reminder emails. For example, the email to the left (click to view full-size) was sent from the Hyatt Regency Chicago to upcoming hotel guests and contained the 7-day forecast for Chicago that you see above, in addition to itinerary details.
By including weather information in the reservation reminder email, Hyatt not only helped their guests pack accordingly, but simultaneously demonstrated a high level of customer service before guests even stepped foot on the hotel property.