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No Junk Mail, Thank You.

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In order to analyze email marketing strategy, the assignment from my Digital Marketing class instructed by Joanne Borek at NYU, I decided to go to my Gmail inbox which is 40% overwhelmed by junk mails. I have three email accounts and the degrees of being stuffed by junk mail are: NYU email (2%); Gmail (40%); Hotmail (80%). It’s too painful to look at my Hotmail inbox which has almost become a trash can, so I chose to review my Gmail. I use Gmail as the email for friends outside the US and for brands which I ever purchased from or have interest in their information.

eBay:

Subject Title: “chih hsuan: recommendations for you”
Frequency: Biweekly
Type of Email: Product info and offers
Intended Audience: eBay users who have done purchases before
From Address: eBay <eBay@reply1.ebay.com>
Call To Action: Link to the product page

I bought a textbook from eBay in January this year and since then I have been receiving “Recommendation” emails every two weeks. Usually, I ignore this type of email if I am not in the mood of buying something or, for the real reason, I don’t believe in their recommendation at all! But for this assignment, I opened my first recommendations-for-you email and was hoping they would give me some really great recommendations. My hope came true at the first glance, they suggests something similar to my previous purchase <Practicing Leadership-3rd Edition>  And disappointment follows as I continue reading…as expected.

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The second part of the email is other promoted deals. The title “Deals on what you’ve been looking for” fooled me a little bit at first because I thought they tracked on what I searched on eBay but it turns out those are just promoted products such as Samsung galaxy note II. Below it are some popular picks, but again, those are not categories I am interested in (ex: Tablet, Coffeemaker, Drill) I wish they’d recommended better products based on my interests.

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Eventful

Subject Title: Yeah Yeah Yeahs at Webster Hall! Find tickets and more..”
Frequency: Weekly
Type of Email: Newsletter, weekly events guide
Intended Audience: Subscribers in NYC
From Address: Eventful <events@eventful.com>
Call To Action: Get ticket, view details, and link to third party’s ads

Here is the great email I got from eventful, a website gathers information and tickets for events. Since I signed up on Eventful using NYC location, I am on the list of NYC targeted email campaign. What I like about the email most is the colorful visual layout. The beautiful background picture on the top of this email caught my eyes immediately, with the Call To Action on the right bottom “Explore RVs”. I was attracted by the photo so I actually clicked on the button and linked to Go RVing website. Yes, it is a third party advertisement that Go RVing paid to be placed in Eventful emails. There is an article saying Go RVing’s media plan has targeted on popular sites, including Eventful.com, to draw leads. Even though it is an advertisement and I am not going to rent a RV, I was still pleased by looking at those pretty mountains and picnic photos.

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In the center is the subject content of this email, the concert for the American indie rock band Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Again, on the right side we can see Go RVing square banner ad. What I like about the content is that it gives enough information before I click to the landing page. I can see brief introduction of this band, time and location of the concert. Below Yeah Yeah Yeahs are other famous bands who will be having concerts in the coming months. In case you are not a fan of these bands, on the right you might find interesting events in your favorite venues and theaters.

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Also, I like those Call To Actions which are clear and diverse. It includes almost all the features you can find on Eventful website, such as “Find ticket”, “Demand it”, “Look for local events”, and “Add performers to your list”. In general, the layout is similar to its website layout and is visually successful.

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MakeMyTrip

Subject Title: It’s time for some love & lots of discounts!
Frequency: weekly-biweekly
Type of Email: discount offers
Intended Audience: Subscribers in India areas
From Address: MakeMyTrip <newsletter@makemytripmails.com>
Call To Action: “Book now” link to buy tickets

This is the email I received from Make My Trip, an online travel agency headquartered in Delhi, India. I singed up as a member when I was interning in New Delhi last year. After one year, until now I still get their emails every one or two weeks. Make My Trip sent this email about its bus ticket offers on Feb. 12, two days before Valentine’s Day. The campaign theme corresponds with Valentine’s Day by choosing “Bus Love” as the offer’s name. I love the cute love bus surrounded by many hot hearts! Besides that, I think it is creative to arrange the copy next to the bus in a heart shaped display. By clicking the icons on the top, you will be linked to flight, hotel, or other pages. On the top right corner subscribers can follow the brand on social websites.

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However, with the appealing email style and my personal great experience with the brand, I rarely opened the offer emails they sent to me. First, Make My Trip keeps sending me emails each month even it is not the season for trips. The differences between offers from travel agency and other retailers is that, travel agencies have to be more sensitive to timing. For example, I am more likely to open weekly offers email from Target  because I am always in the mood or need to buy some potato chips, toilet papers or change my towels. The other reason makes me always ignore Make My Trip emails is that they don’t know me well! It’s been one year since I left India but they keep sending me tickets to Bangalore, Goa, Mumbai, etc. I am wondering if they could know my location by tracking from where I open the email. For example, if I go to their website, they can detect my IP address and direct me to USA website. If they can do the same for email without me manually changing my location, they can obtain a better Open Rate.

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Finally, email marketing is still a growing and useful marketing tool but it’s important for marketers to create nutritious content and keep updating customer data. Now, I am going to clean up my Gmail and start unsubscribing…

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