The subject line, “5 Things You Should Know About Tire Pressure” caught my eye when skimming my inbox, but I was surprised to see the lack of a preheader. Instead you’re just greeted by more white space.
Now, the special offers I receive from Bicycling Magazine are a different story. One issue is the frequency, detailed here in all my irritated glory:
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Needless to say, I’ve opted out of special offers because they’ve taken over my inbox, and are the same old creative time after time. But let’s take a look at the one I mention in the video:
This particular email has hit my inbox 13 times in the past four months (per my video above, I had received it eight times … that’s right, they just keep sending it). The copy has a traditional direct mail feel to it, with the phrase “Bike Your Butt Off!” in red and linked to the book product page eight times. Quite the call to action … or maybe more like a call to distraction? Either way, at 400+ words, this is a special offer I have passed on repeatedly (and barely read).
Needless to say, this is not looking good for Bicycling Magazine.
Moving on to GrubHub. Since April 1, I have received 34 emails from GrubHub, offering me a range of discounts off my order to local participating restaurants.
GrubHub’s email marketing has a lot going for it:
- Copy. It’s to the point, and it’s funny: “They say the way to the heart is through the stomach but you know, as a faceless corporation, you probably think we don’t get hungry — or even have a heart. But dammit, we’re a faceless corporation made of people!”
- Design. Colors are bold, images and gifs are fun and playful, mirroring the copy, layout is balanced.
- Subject Lines. These are eye-catching, sometimes to the point, “Last Chance: $15 OFF DINNER,” or goofy, “Ketchup is Kind of Bleh. But $7 Off Isn’t.”
- Preheaders. GrubHub’s preheaders go against the usual best practices, but they’re all pretty hilarious and make me want to read them and then further read the email, so I call this a win.
Oh, and did I mention I received this postcard?
I think it’s clear on who takes the title for this match. GrubHub is hard to beat with it’s sassy personality-filled copy, attention-grabbing subject lines, bold colors, clean design and great images.
While Bicycling Magazine offers its subscribers a lot of quality content, you first have to stomach its so-so e-neweletters to get to it. And that’s a bummer … the cycling culture is about having fun and being fit, so why not mirror that in the creative?
And not to kick Bicycling Magazine while it’s already down, but …
This is page 14 of its media kit, available online. And while the media kit overall looks really sharp, these errors really takes the entire thing down a peg or two.
Cage Match Winner: GrubHub!
Want to suggest some potential Creative Cage Match marketers? Comment below, or email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org!