Targeting a database on a seasonal basis can be a brilliant way to engage with an audience. Quirks and eye-catchers can encourage users to interact with emails and even re-engage with a brand or product that may have been lost in the sea that is anyone’s inbox.
With the winter season in full swing, Enabler email executive Sophie has put together her Halloween pick of the ‘missed a tricks’ and the spooky treats…
New Look is a brand that always hit the mark with their emails, and their Halloween special is no exception. They’ve done a few things which will really make a difference to their customers:
Straight away, they try to lure their customers into buying a spooky outfit with a discount code that’s perfect for the occasion. This works especially well for them as Halloween is notorious for being one of the fancy dress events of the year and they’ve successfully capitalised on this – great strategy.
The flicker in the background is a .gif image, giving the impression of lightning. Not only is it on theme with the email but it’s a fantastic attention grabber.
The email clearly has gender targeting as well as merge codes that pull in the user’s name.
Consistent messaging throughout the email reinforces the call to action and really makes you want to buy something.
I didn’t open the email first time round due to being away from the computer, and got another one a few days later. This means New Look are doing resends to everyone on their list who didn’t open the initial email. They’ve even updated the subject line to try and grab attention in a different way.
Sainsbury’s was definitely top of the supermarket Halloween emailers this year. The theme of the email was well executed: ‘we can make your Halloween great’. They didn’t just rely on one pun for the email, they themed everything about the email around Halloween while still maintaining a strong brand message. Here are a few things that made this email so good:
They got the user’s name in there without being creepy – this made the email personable and immediately got the user thinking about their Halloween plans.
Immediately after the short and sweet introduction, they threw in some alcohol and party food pictures to continue the ‘have a great night’ theme.
Eye catching, drop-down banner animation in the hero image promoted special offers – all Halloween and party themed, of course.
The responsive design looks great on mobile. It’s clean, crisp, and they haven’t sacrificed the desktop design for it.
‘Missed a trick’
In our ‘missed a trick’ section, we have some classic examples of puns-gone-wrong. Quite a few brands took the popular ‘spooktacular’ pun and tried to shoehorn their offer into it. A well-known hotel booking site was one such example, promoting their “shockingly terrific” hotels and inviting the recipient to “view hotels if you dare.” This is a mismatch with their offering; unless you are selling nights in a haunted house, why would anyone choose to stay in a creepy hotel?
The main problem with these puns is that they are not relevant to the product. If you’re not emailing relevant content, you just should not be emailing. The subject line for the email had some cute emoticons in it but unfortunately as a Gmail user, these came up as tiny square blobs in my inbox. What they could have done here was split their send between Gmail and non-Gmail users, keeping the emoticons where users would be able to view them and removing for Gmail to avoid the embarrassing ‘no image display’ block for Gmail users.
A popular homeware brand were another case of a company who appear to have thought ‘Halloween is coming up… we have to do something’. They also pulled out the Halloween book of puns and came up with exactly the same idea as many other companies. Unlike some of the others in this article, however, they did not continue the theme throughout the email. Here are a few things they could have considered when planning this email campaign:
Embrace the theme and build it into every level of the content. If you’re going to get in the Halloween spirit, keep it consistent throughout the email.
More personalisation – they used the customer number at the top, which is a start, but having their name at the top next to it could work even better. The customer name was shown at the bottom of the email but with such a long email, it would take a really dedicated subscriber to scroll down that far without losing interest.
A national supermarket chain also used the same ‘spooktacular’ pun as the two previous companies. Unlike the homeware brand, they continued the theme throughout the email. The overall email design wasn’t bad at all – responsive and worked well on mobile. The main issue (apart from the terrible pun) is that none of the links worked. Sadly, this was true throughout the email. Every link clicked through to an error page on their website.
Clearly, this is a problem. The main reason for this email campaign was to drive customers to the Aldi site to make purchases. If something in the email sparks a customer’s attention and they click through to an error page, they are unlikely to remain on the site or buy anything. The customer experience will have been frustrating and the error will reflect on the brand. Avoid this by thoroughly testing all your links and ensuring they are relevant.
Halloween is over for the year but Christmas is fast approaching. Don’t miss out on engaging with your audience and make sure you’re ready with any email communications in time for the busiest shopping time of the year.
If you’re going to theme your emails, think hard about how to make them relevant to both the theme AND the customer. Keep in mind the ‘missed a tricks’ and, more importantly, the treats from our selection above. Get creating and we’ll see you back here for our Christmas email special. And as always, if you want to talk to us about Enabler or our email campaign services give us a call on 020 7099 6370 or email firstname.lastname@example.org