4 Valentine’s Day Emails I Loved Spending Time With

Well, another Valentine’s Day is almost upon us, which means lots of V-Day email in my inbox. They’ve been rolling in for weeks, actually, with a big uptick in the last several days.

Well, another Valentine’s Day is almost upon us, which means lots of V-Day email in my inbox.

They’ve been rolling in for weeks, actually, with a big uptick in the last several days.

There’s email from all kinds of marketers and quite a few nonprofits as well. It seems like everything can be sold using a Valentine’s theme. Travel, lingerie, shoes, coffee, sports apparel. supermarkets, and of course, jewelry. Lots and lots of jewelry.

Some of these efforts are barely distinguishable from those sent for other holidays and campaigns. Just swap out the graphics and images. And use fifty shades of red. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

But here are a few that are different. They grabbed me and held on tight.

Illy caffè

My girlfriend and I drink a fair amount of coffee, and our biggest requirement is that it has to be strong.

Illy Email ValentineWhat I Loved: The latte heart design is one I’ve never been able to master, so this image immediately caught my attention. I swiped down on the email after I saw there was special pricing. I looked at the items being promoted, like a gift set of K-cups we could probably use.

Diamond Nexus

This company manufactures, not mines, fine jewelry. I’ve always liked them for that ethical and ecological choice.

Diamond Nexus Email ValentineWhat I Loved: The design is pretty simple, as most of their emails are, emphasizing the merchandise. The “Red Friday” headline (from last week) on a pink background adds a lot, but what really worked for me was the substantial discount. I had to tap on the button in the middle to look around some more.

Loot Crate

These people offer a subscription box for all kinds of gamer and geek stuff, like clothes and collectibles. They cover much of the same ground as other retailers, but curate it in an interesting way.

Loot Crate Email ValentineWhat I Loved: Tuesday’s email from the company asks “Ready to commit?” in the subject line. That’s good. Six of their collections can be clicked through via images inside hearts. Also nice. Then there’s this short strip. It cleverly ends with the box being held overhead straight out of Lloyd Dobler’s iconic pose in Say Anything. It’s one of our favorite movies.

Modern Cat

I haven’t subscribed to this magazine in a while, but still occasionally check out some of its online content.

Modern Cat Valentine EmailWhat I Loved: Here, its weekly newsletter keeps its brand out there by offering cute and snarky free Valentine’s Day e-cards (shown above). And if my sweetie wants one, I can order a gift subscription for her.

The bottom line is that a little bit of creativity, and a lot of staying true to your brand, goes a long way.

3 Simple Ideas for Holiday Email

There are tons of great tactics, tips and tricks that pop up in the holiday email inbox, whether they’re just clever subject lines, headlines or designs. Here are just three of them.

So, who else is tired of the holiday shopping season by now?

Just kidding … I actually don’t mind it very much. The rush to get things done. The pause to reflect on the year that’s coming to an end.

And then there’s all that holiday email clogging up our inboxes.

The other day, I waded through a lot of the email we collect at Who’s Mailing What! I’ve been paying attention as more and more of it has been rolling in. But this is my first deep dive into considering some of the creative ideas used by marketers to drive online and brick-and-mortar sales.

There are tons of great tactics, tips, and tricks that pop up at this time of the year, whether they’re clever subject lines, headlines, or designs. Here are just three of them.

1. Count Down The Numbers
amazon12Numbers are important for more than discounts. You have to convey urgency to customers. They need to know how many shopping days remain to guarantee delivery before Christmas, among other deadlines. But the most popular number I’ve seen used is “twelve,” as in the carol, “The Twelve Days of Christmas.” This year, a lot of drip campaigns have deployed around that theme.

Some examples:

  • “12 Days of Deals”-Amazon
  • “12 Days of Saving Begins Now.”-4Sleep
  • “12 Deals of December”-Maryland Square

2. Make Cultural References
hebfalaOnce Black Friday comes around, the rich traditions so many of us know return. Stories, songs, even decorations, when called to mind, can really stand out.

Some examples:

  • “Fa-la-la-la flash deals”-H-E-B
  • “Don’t Be A Grinch! We Know You Can’t Resist This.”-Rebel Circus
  •  “Don’t go full ugly Christmas sweater.”-Diamond Nexus

3. Evoke the Spirit of the Season
marmotwarmthFrom Thanksgiving through to New Year’s Day, the season is about lots of things. Besides religious celebrations, it’s about spending time with friends and family.

You don’t have to get overly sentimental or sappy to get people to think about caring for their loved ones, serving others, or just feeling the warmth as winter draws near.

Some examples:

  • “Give warmth”-Marmot
  • “Jackets to keep you cozy and chic”-Wantable
  •  “Hanes and The Salvation Army are teaming up to help the homeless”-Hanes

Anyway, this is only a small sampling of the vast holiday and Christmas emails that have dropped in the last month or so. I’d love to hear about good holiday campaigns you’ve noticed. Please share in the comments below.

In the meantime, have a happy and safe holiday season, and may you find renewed inspiration in 2017.

Remembering What Memorial Day Is All About

For years, Memorial Day weekend for me meant driving up the turnpike to a cemetery in northeastern Pennsylvania. But this time, I didn’t go, and it took getting some holiday email to make me realize what I was missing most.

For years, Memorial Day weekend for me meant driving up the turnpike to a cemetery in northeastern Pennsylvania. But this time, I didn’t go, and it took getting some holiday email to make me realize what I was missing most.

So let me explain. It was kind of an obligation I accepted, to go and tend the graves of my mom’s side of the family. I would pack my pruning shears, a garden trowel, and a watering can. Somewhere along the way, I’d stop for flowers to plant. And, I’d buy some new flags for those relatives who served and died for our country.

My brother took care of all that this year. But my guilt at not going returned, thanks to a few of the dozens of Memorial Day email campaigns from the last couple of weeks.

Most email is about sales, the start of summer, a three-day weekend, etc. You see lots of images of barbeques and beaches. And there’s nothing wrong with that. That kind of Memorial Day email works well.

And, sure, there’s some red, white and blue, or stars-and-stripes in the designs to create a patriotic feeling. There may be a brief message about supporting our men and women in the military. But email that talks at length about who the holiday commemorates is pretty scarce.

LGOne exception that stopped me cold was an article I saw in LG’s May newsletter, “Life’s Goodness.” The teaser asked: “[D]o you really know what Memorial Day is all about?”  The story recounted how the holiday began in the 19th century as Decoration Day, to remember the dead from the Civil War.

dakAnother electronics marketer, Sol Harari of DAK Industries, took a slightly different tack. His email linked to a Memorial Day quiz on his company’s website. He also offered this perfect sentiment: “Personally, the more I learn about our rich history, the more connected I feel to our values, our country and our people.”

AmGiantTopI also liked an email from American Giant, the apparel brand, that paid tribute to “the sacrifice of the American servicemen and servicewomen who keep us safe.”

It announced that sales from one of its collections would be given to the Special Operations Warrior Foundation. The email explained that the group provides financial assistance as well as scholarships to families of Special Operations forces who are killed in action.

We hear a lot about the bad stories around the Armed Services: the scandals around the VA, sexual assault, PTSD and suicide, and the disrespect of former POWs.

But these marketers speak of what is the best of America. They deliver content and action that honors those who have served and died while serving a cause greater than themselves.

I’ll pause and remember our country’s war dead this year. And I’ll be back at the cemetery next Memorial Day.