Email Creative March Madness: Final Four

By now, you’re familiar with my Creative Cage Match posts, in which I throw two emails into the cage and one comes out a winner. Today, I’m going to mix up my sports metaphors to bring you: Email Creative March Madness.

Game 2: Retro Dresses vs. Scotch
Late last year, retro clothing e-tailer Lindy Bop knocked IKEA right out of its Creative Cage Match thanks to clean design and solid calls to action.

Lindy Bop Mid-Season Sale Creative Cage Match: March Madness Edition
Lindy Bop also included emojis in its subject line, which, when they’re visible is a nice touch, but tcan be missed if they don’t render properly, so keep that in mind. The subject line for the March 21 email read “? Mid-Season Sale is here ?

Not the most scintillating of subject lines, but what convinced me to click through was the preheader, “BESTSELLERS NOW UP TO 35% OFF.” Even more interesting, I figured out that Lindy Bop was using a hidden preheader, because it does not show up on the actual email, but it’s clearly visible in my inbox.

Lindy Bop hidden preheaderAs always, Lindy Bop’s product images are great, and showing the original price — as well as discounted price — truly drives home the bargain shoppers are getting. There isn’t a ton of copy, but I do like the personalized line: “Melissa, You’re Welcome ;)” It’s cute, playful, and very on-brand for the e-tailer. The calls to action follow each item, as well as the clickable main image boasting the sale, which takes you to the sale page.

Lindy Bop’s Points
Subject line: 0
Preheader text: 3
Copy: 2
Call to action: 2
Overall design: 2
Total: 9 points

Up against Lindy Bop is my favorite scotch whisky distillery, LaPhroaig, and winner of the 2016 best birthday email CCM. LaPhroaig hit all the right notes with its personalized birthday card and discount for my big 3-4 in January.

LaPhroaig Burns Night Creative Cage Match: March Madness EditionLaPhroaig emails very selectively. As in, this is the most recent email I received from them, and it’s from Jan. 25.

“Nothing Says Sláinte Like Burns Night and a Single Malt Scotch Whisky” reads the subject line. Okay, Burns Night might be a bit too niche for most, but my bet is if you drink scotch, you’re familiar with it.

The preheader, unfortunately, echoes the same old tired “Having trouble …” which is a shame, given all the fun Robert Burns’ lines they could have used. The email is text heavy, and the design is a bit cramped. I appreciate sharing the bottle image, but maybe it could have been sized down a smidge to let the text breathe.

In celebration of Burns Night, the distillery had current Scottish poet Elvis McGonagall deliver an ode to LaPhroaig, in the style of Burns, in a YouTube video. It’s amusing, and worth a watch. That said, looking over the email, you notice there isn’t a clear call to action. Does LaPhroaig just want to share the video? Or am I supposed to do something else?

LaPhroaig’s Points
Subject line: 2
Preheader text: 0
Copy: 2
Call to action: 0
Overall design: 0
Total: 4 points

Lindy Bop vs. LaPhroaig Final Score: 9 to 4

Again, a clear winner, and proof that you need to give your audience clear calls to action, and an airy design never hurts.

Check back next week when Birchbox and Lindy Bop go head to head in the National Championship round. New creative will be selected, email components will be judged and there will be only one winner!

Author: Melissa Ward

Melissa Ward is the managing editor for Target Marketing, and she has opinions! More importantly, she's a nerd for great copy and design, a disciple of authenticity, and really loves it when marketers get it right.

2 thoughts on “Email Creative March Madness: Final Four”

  1. What a fun post! It really made me examine my email newsletters and wondered how they would score… Thanks for another great post!

    1. Thanks so much! I figured it’d be interesting to apply March Madness to something I know a *little* more about 😉

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