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.

4 Ways to Apologize With Email

When you make a mistake, sometimes a good email apology can help smooth things over.

When you make a mistake, sometimes a good email apology can help smooth things over.

I’ve received several of these messages in the last several months. Now, I’m not the kind of person to get outraged by missteps. Stuff happens. Technology, like people, is fallible.

But if it’s something that’s offensive, that’s a big deal.

Your company’s brand reputation can be damaged when an “oops” results in lost or angry customers. Or at least some social media badmouthing.

I looked through email collected by Who’s Mailing What!, as well as my own, for some ideas on how to respond when disaster, or near-disaster strikes.

1. Get Out In Front ASAP
nycoWithin hours of a website glitch on October 12, New York & Company announced in a subject line: “And We’re Back!” The preview text explains: “Our site was down earlier, but we’re back up and running. We apologize for the inconvenience.” OK, so it’s not much (see below) but it was quick.

2. Be Sincere
oartDon’t fake it, express your sorrow. Show some empathy for the plight of the customer or donor. Use a lot of text to do so, and avoid images so the customer can focus on those words. Here, OverstockArt.com apologizes by dispensing with its usual format by using a framed apology from the company’s founder & CEO.

3. Explain What You Need To
illysorryYou don’t owe a customer a full accounting of the reasons for a crash. But when properly positioned, it can help to not only deal with the damage it may have caused, but also to raise your statute in the customer’s eyes. Illy Caffe North America’s email from earlier this year says that its breakdown happened during “an effort to improve your shopping experience.”

4. Offer a Discount
reebokWhether it’s an offer code, a coupon, or even a gift, you need to keep the recipient’s trust. Otherwise, they might be reaching for that unsubscribe link at some point. In this example, Reebok extended its 40% off sale to compensate for the website problems.

Ultimately, a mistake serious enough to require being addressed with an email is an opportunity to learn how to be better. And with this second chance, you can reinforce or rebuild the customer’s confidence in your company and its marketing. After all, it’s all about them, not you.