Marketing Tips and Tricks

From the Graveyard of My Deleted Emails

By October 31, 2019 No Comments

Four promotional emails that met an untimely end and why 

As someone who works in Marketing Operations, primarily with email, when I think of the word email I think about work—what content sends this week, what’s on my to-do list for launch, how are deployments trending this month and so on.  

But the truth is that a good portion of my actual relationship with email does not involve work at all. Like nearly everyone else, my personal email account is filled with marketing emails. No, I am not a zero inbox type of person—and yes, the email icon on my phone currently has 1,642 unread emails (sorry to those this bothers). I’m trying to be better.  

Just like the emails I work on, my own personal inbox goes through a good purge.  Below are four marketing emails from my personal inbox, that I have deleted this week to see if there is anything to learn. 

GNC – A mobile problem 

The subject lines of GNC emails on a desktop are top notch, unfortunately I usually browse my inbox on my phone. So an interesting subject line like: Saturday Shoutout! Exclusive Alani Nu workout becomes Saturday Shoutout! Exclusive Alani Nu work…  I deleted this email by accident because I was cleaning my inbox so quickly and assumed it was a standard promotion instead of a unique piece of content. 

Deciding factors for deletion: 

  1. Subject lines do not translate to mobile experience. 
  2. Emoji are present in the subject lines*. This is not a hard rule, just my personal distaste.  
  3. My GNC Points summary was not immediately visible to me. I did end up resurrecting this from the deletion graveyard to check my points. 

 *Side note: A 2019 study found of 1,000 emails only 6.9% used emojis. With no industry best practice yet, this is a great opportunity for A/B tests! 

CLEAR – A missed opportunity 

I have a basic CLEAR account, one you can use at sporting events but not at the airport. It has been on my mind to upgrade this account, especially when I’m standing in the airport security line. Since joining CLEAR in July I’ve received two emails and neither of them included a CTA to upgrade. The email I deleted this week gave me tips on how to have a smooth entrance to a Seattle Sounders soccer game that I was NOT attending. Bonus points for the geography-assumed content, but as a lead that has never actually used CLEAR, I’d typically like to see Activation, Feedback, or Upsell content.  

Deciding factors for deletion:

  1. Content doesn’t acknowledge where I am in the sales funnel. 
  2. CTA’s don’t make it easy to skip nurturing and easily convert myself. 
  3. Email uses 80% of the space for a very specific event that I am not attending. 

David’s Bridal – Too much, too late 

As a marketer, what my off-duty self typically does to David’s Bridal emails scares me. I don’t want to go through the process of unsubscribing…yet. So instead, I search From: David’s Bridal in my account and mass delete. For context, I actually am a converted lead at David’s Bridal. I’ve had a bridal appointment and selected bridesmaids gowns…last December. So when I see subject lines like “Book your bridal appointment” or “Make your wedding invitations shine” I figure most of these emails aren’t relevant.   

Deciding factors for deletion:

  1. Volume is overwhelming, averaging about one email every three days. 
  2. Impersonal touches like not identifying my state or city, wedding date, or interests. 
  3. Intriguing topics like a Bed Bath and Beyond Sweepstakes are drowned in weekly discount subject lines. 

Bark – A breath of fresh air 

To be fair (and to touch on some of the good in my inbox), the only reason I didn’t engage more with this email and brand was because I had found what I needed on this site a week prior. Even though it was a weekly update and not relevant to me at the time of my inbox purge, it was a great email experience overall.  

Deciding factors for deletion: 

  1. Found what I needed on the site a week prior. 
  2. Content was not relevant at the time of my inbox purge. 
  3. A request to review my purchase would have been more relevant.  

My personal inbox is filled with very specific consumer products and services. By looking at the successes and missteps from our own inboxes we can actually jump-start creative content testing or guide us to making email more natural.  

After-all, the consumers, buyers, IT decision makers, end-user audiences we try to reach every day are all only human with in-boxes similar to ours. 

Mia Greenberg

Mia Greenberg

I bring a curious, positive attitude, plus swift decision making and multi-tasking skills that have allowed me to find success in ambiguous, fast-paced environments. The best part of my job is being able to provide meaningful assistance and problem solving. I love being able to take a wide or focused view of my work depending on the requirements. I am excited to be part of a super collaborative team of smart and creative people with a wide variety of knowledge.