Showing posts with label email. Show all posts
Showing posts with label email. Show all posts

5/25/2022

PayPal: Where $1 Cash Back For Every $20 Spent Is Less Than 5%

Since last July, the value of PayPal stock has fallen by about 75%. While many analysts are discussing the company's "fundamentals" and suggesting at what price to purchase the stock, I'm staying away for a different reason -- because they often produce Mail That Fails. 

My first post about PayPal's several Fails was in 2011 when they mailed me a shoddy credit offer. There are a few more, including a recent one about a confusing and poorly targeted Venmo offer. Now, add to my list of PayPal Fails this offer of "$1 cash back for every $20 spent at restaurants." 

PayPal Restaurant Rebate Offer - May, 2022

PayPal Restaurant Cash Card Offer - May, 2022

PayPal Restaurant Rebate Offer - Disclosures

PayPal Restaurant Rebate Offer - More Disclosures
PayPal Cash Card Restaurant Rebate Offer
Received May 9, 2022

Scanning the headline might make you think that going out to lunch four times -- spending $25 each time with your GooglePay app to use your PayPal balance for those lunches -- would earn you $5 cash back ($100 divided by $20 equals $5). But you'd be wrong…twice. The offer requires me to first request a PayPal Cash Card, then receive it in the mail and use it at a restaurant. All within 5 weeks of first receiving the offer – some of which is spent waiting for PayPal to process my request for the card. That's a lot of effort and a short window of opportunity for a small benefit, e.g. a Fail for Offer

PayPal could have easily avoided this by using a rolling offer expiration date. For example, PayPal could require the customer to request the card by a specific date, but then give the customer a reasonable amount of time to use the card after activation, say, 60 days. That would be clear to explain and fair to the customer -- unless, of course, the intent is to make imply the offer is more generous then it actually is.

Which leads me to the actual offer value. I read through the disclosure text a few times, and I'm pretty sure that cash back offer is on a per-transaction basis. So, while each purchase of $25 would be worth $1 cash back and a $100 dinner might net $5 cash back, four lunches adding up to $100 would be worth only $4 cash back. If I'm right, this is a Fail for Offer and Content for being misleading. If I'm wrong, it is a Fail for Content for lack of clarity.

Another Fail for Content lies in the disclosures. It appears this disclosure was rushed and not proofread. Take this paragraph, for example:

"Eligible Purchase(s)": Eligible Purchase is defined as every $20.00 USD spent in-store or onlineusing the Card and finalized by the merchant during the Offer Period (defined below) in thefollowing category: restaurants (according to the Merchant Category Code (“MCC”) assigned byeach merchant, their processor, and the credit card networks. Only acceptable MCCs for this offerare 5812 and 5814). PayPal is not responsible for assignment of MCC codes. As a result, Reward willnot be awarded if the MCC code assigned to a particular merchant does not fall within a restaurantcategory, even if you believe that the merchant is a restaurant. Eligible Purchases do not include:(1) purchases that are marked as “pending” in your Card account as of the end of the Offer Period,(2) purchases made at eligible merchants using a third-party delivery service (3) ATM transactions,(4) gift card purchases, (5) any purchase or portion of a purchase that involves a payment methodother than the Card, or (6) in-store cash withdrawals/cash back. 

Spaces are missing between words. The punctuation is inconsistent. Some numbers in parentheses have spaces before them; some do not. There’s also a missing comma after "service" in the last sentence. 

There are references to "e-mail" in some paragraphs and "email" in other paragraphs. According to grammarly.com, both are correct as long as you use it consistently. PayPal is not being consistent.

These types of possibly misleading offers and unclear communications suggest to me that PayPal's leadership is spending their marketing dollars without full consideration of what they are doing and how they are doing it. As a stockholder, that would frighten me. As a customer, that also scares me a bit. If I can't expect to get a clean offer and clear communication, should I really be trusting PayPal to keep my personal information secure?

Lessons:

  1. Clearly communicate your offer.
  2. Allow your customers adequate time to respond to your offer and benefit from it's value.
  3. Proofread your entire communication, including your disclosures.
  4. Your customers' trust is potentially built or destroyed by every communication.
  5. The debate between "e-mail" and "email" isn't over, but at least pick a side.

5/04/2022

Fidelity Rewards Visa: Bonus Offer Improvement

I recently wrote about a confusing email offer from Fidelity Rewards Visa with a complex bonus statement credit for a specific category of purchases and a failure to reinforce it's basic product benefits. It merited a Fail for Creative and potential Fail for Offer. 

About six weeks later, Fidelity sent a new and better executed offer to the same person.

Fidelity Rewards Visa Bonus Offer

Fidelity Rewards Visa Bonus Offer

The offer is straightforward and simple enough to explain to my mother: Earn 3 points, rather than 2, for every dollar spent online through May 31, 2022. Unlike with the previous email, there's no minimum spend level, and the email clearly explains the $25 incremental rebate cap using icons and simple language to support communication clarity. Below the three icons, the email reinforces the basic product benefit, specifically that the bonus is in addition to the 2% cash back already available for all credit card purchases.

On the other hand, the email still has one issue. To enroll in the offer, the recipient has to click on the "Enroll now" link in the email then enter a promo code (which may be unique to the recipience, so it's blacked out here as potential PII). The code is 13 digits, which is a lot to enter. In user experience jargon, the need for a customer to enter a long code adds traction to the enrollment process.

So, how could Fidelity Rewards improve this email even more? If the promo code is unique to the customer, perhaps Fidelity could offer1-click enrollment, as other companies do. If it is not unique, why make the promo code so complex? Fidelity could go with something easy to transpose, such as "OnlineBonus22."

Lessons:
  1. Your offer should be simple to explain.
  2. Don't forget to reinforce your basic product benefits.
  3. Take as much traction as you can out of customer enrollment -- the easier for customers, the better.


4/04/2022

Fidelity Rewards Visa: Offering Nothing for Something, or simply unclear?

The Fidelity Rewards Visa Signature Card offers a 2% rebate on purchases. Their product home page touts, "Earn unlimited 2% cash back on everyday spending." So, why are they are sending emails to  existing credit card customers offering a "2% statement credit, up to $25?" To me, that sounds like a limit.

Fidelity Rewards email with Home Improvement Offer



Fidelity Rewards Card Email with Rebate Offer


The email headline reads, "Earn up to a $25 statement credit." The offer appears to be an opportunity to earn a 2% statement credit if a customer spends at least $200 at a Home Improvement or Lawn & Garden store, with a maximum statement credit of $25. Huh? So, if a customer spends $180 at Lowe's, the customer gets nothing? And if the customer spends $2,500 at Home Depot, they get effectively a 1% rebate? This seems like eating a doughnut hole. Spend too little and there is no benefit; spend too much and the benefit is diluted. Is this a Fail for Offer, or just strange?

But what about that 2% rebate that is supposed to be available for everyday spending on that very same card? The email doesn't speak to that at all. This merits a Fail for Creative because the email does not explain that the statement credit opportunity is incremental to the 2% rebate. The headline could have read, "Earn up to $25 more when you spring into home products." Or the body copy could have read, "In addition to the rewards you already earn, enjoy an additional statement credit up to $25 when you ..." Then there could be an implication that the effective customer rebate could be as high as 4%.

Lessons:
  1. Your offer should be simple to explain and allow customers to easily benefit.
  2. Don't forget to reinforce your basic product benefits.



Updated 4/7 to remove additional PII from email.

10/11/2021

Hooters: Timing and Grammar Matter

This birthday email from Hooters merits a Fail for Timing and a Fail for Creative.  

The email informs the recipient that he has "10 Free Wings (Birthday)" and that his offer will expire in "1 days."

Hooters Birthday email - after the fact
Hooters Birthday email
arrived well after the birthday


The recipient's birthday was in late August. He did not receive a communication about his free wings prior to his birthday or on his birthday. The first time he found out he had the opportunity to have free Hooters wings served to him (presumably by a "Hooters Girl") was on September 20 -- one day before the offer expired. 

The opening of the email reads:

Just a friendly reminder that your 10 Free Wings (Birthday) is about to expire. Come in and redeem your offer before it expires in 1 days.

This brief paragraph would read better as:

Just a friendly reminder that your 10 Free Wings offer for your birthday is about to expire. Come in and redeem your offer before it expires tomorrow.

One might joke about the sentences being written by a Hooters Girl, but that would be insulting to smart women who take the job. Regardless, it appears to me that the sentence was written by a someone using rudimentary mail merge software. The first sentence identifies the type of free offer in parenthesis. The programming of the second sentence did not take into account that the number of days may be a singular number. 

Let's hope the wings are better than the grammar. 

Lessons:

  1. Recognizing a customer's birthday is a useful way to engage a customer, but only if properly executed.
  2. When using numerical values in your communications, make sure to account for values that are not plural.

8/14/2021

Freshly: Referral Offer Freshens Up

 A couple months ago I wrote about a referral offer from Freshly that merited a Fail for Creative. Last week, the company sent me a similar offer and, from a creative and user experience standpoint, it is an improvement. 

Freshly Referral Offer
Freshly email

This email is personalized, addressing me by name. Although it positions the referral offer as something I had "earned" (which feels a bit gimmicky), the email does recognize both my purchase history and enthusiasm for the product. 

Rather than the previous mailing -- which provided a code to share but without adequate instructions about how to use it -- this email offers a simple link with a Call to Action to "Send a Free Box." That seems easy, and needs no special codes. 

The landing page includes a 3-step, easy-to-understand process for the customer to follow to give a friend a free week of Freshly. 

Freshly Freebie Box Landing Page
Referral offer landing page

The input fields are clear. The email message and subject lines include stock language with an opportunity to personalize. That's almost as flexible as switching next week's meal from the Cauliflower Shell Beef Bolognese to the Indian-Spiced Chickpea Curry Bowl.

One element included in the May email that is lacking here, however, is an expiration date. Instead, the email body copy mentions "... and will expire unless you share it soon ...", while the disclosure reads, "Freshly reserves the right to modify, replace, or cancel offer(s) at any time" -- a statement that lacks a sense of immediacy. This is not a Fail for Creative but is an improvement opportunity. Even if this referral offer is intended to be evergreen, I would include a soft expiration date using language such as "... so send a Freebie Box in the next 7 days and give the gift of better meals made easy!"

Referral offer Thank You page

Lessons:
  1. Referral programs are a useful approach to allowing your customers to be your advocates.
  2. When you want your customers to do something, take all the traction out of the process.
  3. If your offer does not have a expiration date, at least suggest a timeframe for the customer to take action.

5/09/2021

GetRiver.com & Colibri: Less is Less

This recent email for river by Colibri IO is a textbook Fail for Creative.

GetRiver.com sales email
Email with Call to Action to buy something now



Lesson: Include in your marketing emails elements missing here:

  1. Explanation of the product or service
  2. Explanation of what the reader is supposed to buy
  3. Offer expiration date -- specifically, when does the coupon code expire
  4. At least some information about the cost
  5. A live Facebook presence when including a link to a Facebook page
  6. Content on your Twitter page from less than three years ago when including a link to Twitter.

5/02/2021

Freshly: How Do I Share My Code?

This email from Freshly merits a Fail for Creative.

Freshly referral / share email
Freshly email to customers inviting them to share


Freshly is a meal subscription service. It offers reasonably healthy, pretty fresh refridgerated meals that can be prepared in the microwave in about three minutes. Personally, during the pandemic lockdown, it helped me have several quick, tasty lunches between Zoom meetings. They've offered a referral program since as long as I've been a customer (at least I think so -- during the lockdown, one business day sometimes faded into the next). 

This offer is a bit different. The email recipient, a current customer, is given a "share code" to send a Freshly Freebie to someone who can get a free week of meals. Nice; however, there is no explanation of how to share. The email lacks an explanation of what I or that special someone needs to do to use that share code and enjoy that free food. This lack of explanation puts traction in the customer process of sharing, which reduces the likelihood of customer action.

The offer was sent on April 29 and expires May 6. This means the offer expires only a week after sending. The offer window is appropriately sized for an emailed offer; however, because the expiration date is mentioned only in the disclosure, the attribute of immediacy in the Call to Action is lost. The expiration date should be communicated in body copy, e.g. "Your share code is valid only through May 6, 2021, so be sure to share your Freebie today!"

Lessons:

  1. Your Call to Action should clearly describe the steps required for the customer to take advantage of your offer.
  2. Do not bury your offer expiration date in your fine print. 


4/15/2021

Norton Lifelock: Renewal Email Reminds Me of Penn & Teller

Penn & Teller had a show that ran for eight seasons: “Penn & Teller: Bulls---!” According to Penn Jillette

If we said it was all scams we could also be in trouble, but 'bulls---,' oddly, is safe. So forgive all the 'bulls--- language', but we're trying to talk about the truth without spending the rest of our lives in court."

This leads to a recent email I received from Norton. IMHO, it goes beyond merely a Fail for Creative

Norton Antivirus Renewal Notice

The email offers the customer an opportunity to review their virus protection for $39.99, with an asterisk mentioning that this is the price for just the first year. That asterisk references a Disclosure rendering in 4.5-point font size:

I'll enlarge the fine print to a readable font size:

You are enrolling in an automatically renewing subscription that begins when your purchase is completed online (or otherwise, when your offline payment is received). Please download and install on each device, up to the specified number of devices, to get protection. Price shown is valid for the first term only. After that, your subscription will renew each year at the applicable annual renewal price here. You can cancel your subscription at my.norton.com or by contacting Member Services & Support. For more details, please visit the Refund Policy. Your subscription includes product, service and/or protection updates and new features as available during the subscription term, subject to acceptance of the License and Services Agreement. Features may be added, modified or removed during the subscription term.


So, to find out what the second-year price might be, I have to search through literal mouseprint to find the correct link to learn that the actual long-term price is currently expected to be* 50% greater than the advertised price.

Why isn’t Norton upfront about this in the email? Is it perhaps that Norton believes customers will not look for it now and just accept the higher price in a year?

I understand the subscription business model. Norton is offering me software as a service. So does Microsoft, but they don’t obfuscate the fact that I pay $70 a year to use Microsoft Office. Other companies offer introductory prices, but I rarely see the long-term subscription price this hidden.

An honest yet persuasive approach would be to explain the subscription option and offer $20 savings off the first year. The people at Norton know this -- they use this approach as landing pages from PPC ads.

When companies hide relevant information from customers, they might get sales but they’ll also earn distrust. If I can’t trust Norton to be forthcoming about its subscription price, can I trust it to protect my computer? That's why I believe Norton's approach to disclosing prices to customers like this is bulls---.

Lesson: Your relationship with your customers goes beyond one transaction. Honesty is the best policy for long-term customer retention.


* The header of the pricing landing page reads: "Our renewal prices for standalone and add-on subscriptions are listed below. They may change, but we will always send you a notification email prior to billing." In other words, the actual second year price in 12 months could be substantially greater than the price shown today. 

12/15/2020

FTD Flowers: A Mistake and a Quickly Wilting Apology

In a single day last week, I received five emails from FTD Flowers, each with a different subject line:

  1. Psst... Someone Special's Birthday is 5 Days Away
  2. Share The Love ❤️ An Important Anniversary Is In 7 Days!
  3. 🌹🌹🌹 3 More Days To Order Anniversary Flowers! 🌹🌹🌹
  4. Someone Special's Birthday is TOMORROW!
  5. Someone Special's Birthday is 7 Days Away!

Here is an example of one of those five emails.

FTD Anniversary Coming Email
1 of 5 emails I received on 12/9/20

That evening, when I read the first one, I was confused. Whose birthday was in 5 days? According to my Google calendar, the only person I could find with a birthday that day was a former business colleague. We were friends, but not close enough that I'd send him flowers. I checked my FTD purchase history and found nothing for this timeframe. Hmm, I thought -- maybe I need to dig up my old personal calendar I last used during the Clinton administration. 

The next email reminded me of an important anniversary in seven days. It wasn't between my wife and me -- we had a June wedding. It wasn't my parents' or my siblings'. I was confused.

By time I read the third email, I realized something was off with FTD. So, I ignored the forth and fith emails. Ah, well, I thought, we all make mistakes. I categorized this as a Fail for Timing and figured that FTD incorrectly sent those emails.

The next day, I received an email from FTD with a subject line of "Ooops! Hit Send WAY Too Soon 😬". I correctly guessed that FTD had realized their mistake.  

FTD apology email
Apology Email Sent 12/10/20
25% Discount Expired 12/11/20

FTD had quickly recognized its issue, admitted the error, and offered an explanation and an apology. This is a thoughtful approach, similar to what Amazon did several years ago when it sent out a BCS Championship winner merchandise email early

But FTD went a step further ... sort of. The apology email on December 10 included an offer of 25% off my next purchase "to show our appreciation for your understanding." I state, "sort of" because, buried in the email's disclosure, was information stating that the 25% discount would expire just before midnight on December 11 -- and that was the next day.

*Offer expires at 11:59 p.m. CT on 12/11/2020 or while supplies last. Quantities may be limited. All discounts shown. Discounts are not applicable on: (i) product customizations including vases or product add-ons, (ii) FTD Membership fees, (iii) gift card purchases, (iv) service, delivery or shipping fees and applicable taxes, (v) special collections including Nambé, Baccarat or other special collections designed by FTD, and (vi) all "Gifts"under $24.99 or products under $19.99. Discounts cannot be combined. Offers may be subject to change without notice. See www.ftd.com for additional details.

The apology email merits Fails for both Offer and Creative. The Fail for Offer is because the discount window less than 38 hours after the apology email was sent. That's barely enough time for a customer to react to the email and make a purchase. The Fail for Creative is because a customer has to read the fine print to realize this, thus the apology appears to be disingenuous. 

When an offer with a short response window does not message the offer expiration date in the body of the communication, the seller risks customer dissatisfaction -- the type that motivates a customer to shop elsewhere. Or, to put it bluntly, if you pee on a customer's leg and tell them it's raining, that customer will not buy an umbrella from you.

Lessons:

  1. If you make a mistake, own up to the error.
  2. When making amends for a mistake, offer a genuine goodwill gesture.
  3. If your offer expires quickly, you should communicate that fact in the body of a communication, not bury it in a disclosure.

10/27/2020

PayPal: Selling Honey Without the Other Ingredient

A couple weeks ago I wrote about an email from PayPal selling Honey without communicating a value proposition. Over the weekend, I received this email:

PayPal Honey Value Prop email

PayPal explains Honey in one sentence, "Install Honey in just two clicks so when you shop online you can automatically get some of the best prices from over 30,000 online retailers." That is a well-worded product value proposition. 

Where the prior email encouraged immediacy but lacked a value proposition, this email includes a value proposition does did not encourage immediacy in the call to action. As I draft this post, the $5 bonus offer appears to still be active. Perhaps they have not reached the limit of 40,000 new customers eligible for the offer they mentioned in their first email.

Here's an idea: Combine the value proposition and encourage immediacy in a single communication by explaining the product then closing with a $5 bonus offer. The email could be summed up in a few sentences:

"Install Honey in just two clicks so when you shop online you can automatically get some of the best prices from over 30,000 online retailers. Hurry -- the first 40,000 people to install Honey and make a purchase of $10 or more will receive a $5 bonus."

Will you get that $5 bonus in addition to shopping online with Honey? I don't know, but you should make sure your email isn't a Fail. Act now!

Lesson:

Communicating a value proposition is important, but so is giving the customer a reason to take action now.

10/02/2020

PayPal: Selling Honey Requires a Key Ingredient

   This recent email from PayPal merits a couple Fails for Creative

PayPal Honey Offer. What is Honey?
PayPal Honey Offer. What is Honey? 

The email includes a Subject Line of "Get a $5 bonus for shopping smart with Honey." The headline reads "Give Honey a try. Spend $10, Get $5." Below that is a gif of a small box parachuting into a celebration, followed by a message reading, "When you add Honey to your browser for the first time, create an account, and spend $10 or more with PayPal, you'll get a $5 bonus. That's just the start of the savings. Honey members save over $126 annually." Below that are step-by-step instructions about how to install and use Honey, and a disclosure.

There is a clear Call to Action and an incentive for the customer to take action now. The email was sent on September 25 with an offer expiration date of October 4, so immediacy is encouraged. 

But, what is HoneyWhy would I add it to my browser? How do honey members save money, and compared to what? None of these questions are addressed in the email.

Based only on the email, one might guess that Honey is a rebate program or online savings account. In actuality, though, it is an online coupon provider. According to their home page, "Honey helps you find some of the best coupon codes on 30,000+ sites." That is Honey's value proposition, and it is missing from this email.

The other Fail is less important, but worth mentioning.  According to the disclosure and the detailed Terms & Conditions found on Honey's site, only 40,000 customers are eligible for the award. Once that limit is reached -- even if before offer the expiration date -- the reward will no longer be available. This type of restriction is fairly common in direct-to-consumer marketing. I've included number-of-customer limitations in several campaigns to ensure the product is not oversold or to cap potential incentive liability. When I did, I would use this clause to my advantage by communicating it in the body of the email. PayPal could do this by including above the Call to Action a message along the lines of...

Be one of the 40,000 people to get your $5 bonus by October 4th. Bonus must be used by October 31st.* 

or ... 


This exclusive bonus offer is limited to the first 40,000 people to take action by October 4th. Bonus must be used by October 31st.* 

This type of messaging approach not only makes the in-house lawyers happy by clearly communicating an offer restriction; it also communicates scarcity, which is a known factor to drive immediate action and increase response -- and that makes your manager happy.


Lessons:
  1. It is not enough to have a call to action and encourage immediacy in your direct-to-consumer emails. They should always include a value proposition.

  2. If your offer is limited to a specific number of customers, do not bury that restriction -- use it to your sales advantage.

9/16/2020

Upstep: Labor Day Sale Ending, Then Starting

Last year, I wrote about Upstep's 9/11 "Patriot Day" sale on custom orthotic insoles. This year, Upstep had a Labor Day sale. While not as distasteful sale as last year's, their recent series of emails merits Fails for Creative and Timing.

The first email arrived Wednesday, September 2, with the Subject Line "Labour Day Sale Extended!! Last Chance!!"
Upstep Labor Day Email 1

Not only did it arrive a few days prior to Labor Day, the header opens with "Labour". While that is not necessarily a misspelling, it is rarely spelled as such in the United States (where this reader and presumably the company is located). However, the body of the email spells the word as "Labor". So, the spelling is even consistent within the same communication. 

The phone number appears in the style of (xxx) xxxxxxx. It is missing a dash after the third digit. That does not align with the style recommend by google and elsewhere for U.S. phone numbers.

Furthermore, the email communicates a Labor sale being extended prior to there being an email communicating that the sale was starting.

Upstep's second Labor Day email arrived Saturday, September 5:
Upstep: Labor Day email

The timing is on point. However, the graphics (which appear better aligned with Independence Day) do not seem to match the timing. Perhaps a picture of a family picnic or a person standing in front of a barbecue grill would be more relevant -- and the representation of a person standing up in comfortable shoes would tie to the product proposition.

The phone number in this email appears in the style of xxx.xxxx.xxx. While I've often seen phone numbers with the format of xxx.xxx.xxxx, I've not seen one where the second dot is after the seventh digit.

The third Labor Day Sale email arrived the day after Labor Day, Tuesday, September 8:
Upstep: Labor Day Sale extended

The Subject Line is "Here's 2 more days to save". OK, grammatically off a bit, but not a bad use of immediacy and scarcity of time when offering savings.  The Call to Action of "Start Now" is odd, thought, because there the body of the email lacks supporting copy to explain what a customer might be starting.

Again, the phone number is in the unusual style of xxx.xxxx.xxx. 

The fourth Labour, er, Labor Day Sale email arrived Friday, September 11:
Upstep: Labor Day Sale email #4


This appears to be almost identical as the first email on September 2. The Subject Line, copy, and even the phone number style are the same. 

Upstep's fifth Labor Day Sale email arrived Saturday, September 13:
Upstep: Labor Day email #5

The phone number appears in the style of (xxx) xxxxxxx. Dashes, anyone?

Only the fourth and fifth emails provide a street address for Upstep -- 30 Chapman Road in Pine Brook, NJ. I looked it up on Google Maps, and it appears to be a light industrial complex. There is no mention of Upstep (or an agency acting on behalf of Upstep) being located here. This seeming lack of transparency might give pause to potential customers who are researching the company

In countries other than the United States, Labor Day takes place on different dates. Did Upstep get confused about when it happens in the U.S.? Is "Samantha," the person mentioned in some of the emails, a real person not originally from the States? I can only speculate about whether the writing style is international or just sloppy. Recipients might ask themselves those questions and hesitate to purchase from the company.

Is this nitpicky? Perhaps. But, when timing details are missed and unfamiliar communication styles are used, a reader is less likely to trust the content of the marketing communication and make a purchase.

Lessons:
  1. When having a holiday sale, time your emails appropriate to the holiday and use imagery appropriate to the holiday. 

  2. Your writing nomenclature, including phone numbers, should be appropriate to the local market.

11/28/2017

Get your customers’ attention now

This article in the Wall Street Journal reviews mistakes that retailers are making in reaching out to customers via email during the holidays.  The article mentions that emails often fail to offer products relevant to their customers’ interests or are outdated upon arrival.

What the article doesn’t mention is that retailers often fail to make their case for immediate purchase upfront.  At this time of year with the gifting holiday imminent, retailers should put their purchasing sales proposition in the Subject Line and reinforce them at the opening of the body of the emails.  Inappropriate subject lines I’ve seen include:

“Cyber Monday Deals from Project Fi” (Google)
“We're Extending Cyber Monday to TUESDAY!” (Resorts World Bimini)
“SAVINGS. GALORE.  All day!” (Hampton Inn)

Better subject lines would be:

“Free $100 Fi Credit with phone purchase – until midnight tonight”
“2-night stay + Island Transfer = only $199. Must book by 4 pm”
“10% off 2-night stay if you book tonight”


These may not be the best subject lines under normal circumstances, but on Cyber Monday they are.  Customers are at best scanning retailers' emails to find the best deals for them.  Retailers need to get past the clutter of other opt-in email communications and get their message across right away.  When you can, include a deadline upfront.

Lesson: 
On Cyber Monday and during peak shopping seasons, use an immediate call to action.

5/22/2011

AT&T's new Terms of Service for those without service

The email from AT&T gets an easy Fail for List.  I know of several people who received it who have not had AT&T Internet for over a year.  Sending an update of your Terms of Service for current customers is one thing, sending it to people that are not current customers is something else.  It will make some people less likely to be AT&T customers again.

Lesson: Don’t force changes to your Terms of Service on non-customers.