Can You Feel the Love Tonight? (It’s in Your Inbox)

Happy Day After Valentine’s Day! Known in some circles as “Singles Awareness Day Part 2,” “50% Off Candy Day” and the “National Flag of Canada Day.”

Happy Day After Valentine’s Day! Known in some circles as “Singles Awareness Day Part 2,” “50% Off Candy Day” and the “National Flag of Canada Day.”

Whatever Feb. 15 means to you, one thing is certain: Even the staunchest V-Day nonbeliever on Earth would know what yesterday was just from a quick peek in any email inbox. It’s like every shade of pink and all iterations of “feel the love” and “we heart ______” were having a massive mixer in there.

To be honest, I’m into it. I like pink, I like hearts, and my cat is the only valentine I need to enjoy the holiday. So please, join me on this frolic through some of the standout Valentine’s-themed promos that shot their arrow through the heart of my inbox.

  • Bath & Body Works
  • Line: Ready for this? You’ve truly hit it big with an EXTRA $10 off!

bbworksThis was a fairly long HTML, I think you get the idea from this top section alone. The more classic Valentine’s Day imagery works for what B&B Works is all about, and those blossoms (sweet pea I think?) fit the theme while invoking some of the store’s most popular aromas. The subject line is good — it went outside the holiday language and straight up told you the deal you’d find within: Heart!

  • Apple
  • Subj. Line: Apple gifts say it best.

appl1On the other end of the spectrum, check out Apple’s simple, subtle nod to the season of romance. The message is simple: Nothing says romance like the cool, metallic touch of a rose gold iPhone. All kidding aside, the short copy with a focus on staying in touch and sharing puts just the right spin on things.

  • Hallmark Cards
  • Subj. Line: Valentine’s Day is just 5 days away. Don’t forget the people you love.

0209_ValNatlGreetings_8

05-FEAT-A-8903vAThe cynics will tell you: Valentine’s Day was invented by Hallmark to sell cards. Whether or not you agree, it wouldn’t be right to do a Vday Marketing Roundup without them. And if this email is anything to go by, they rightfully earned their claim to the holiday. That subject line is just the right blend of “gentle reminder” and “subtle guilt-trip,” and the creative gets right to the point by reminding you when the big day is. The animation gives a nice glimpse of your options without being overbearing, and we have a bright, direct CTA. Hallmark can have my X’s and O’s for this one.

  • World Wildlife Fund
  • Subj. Line: Save a Rose, Send Some Prose

WWFCardsValentine’s Day isn’t just for retail! Check out how the WWF took the opportunity to create these adorable e-cards, available for you to send after making any size donation to the fund. Love this idea — after all, you could donate the same amount you’d spend on a card anyway, and have it go to a great cause. That’s my idea of spreading the love! Bonus points for the awesome subject line.

  • Justice
  • Subj. Line: We ❤ you! Join us this weekend!

justiceSo we’re back to retail, but still on animals. I just thought this design was so cute, absolutely eye-catching. It’s a little more of a unique spin than much of the Valentine’s Day imagery I’ve seen. I do have to admit, I’m not a huge fan of this font. It’s a fitting style, but not the most readable; I kept thinking it said “We’ve got the pun” (which I’d be all for, to be honest). Two paws up for the romantic pup, though.

  • Lush
  • Subj. Line: For that special Valentine…

lush

I always like Lush’s emails. Here’s another company that tends to not slam you over the head with whatever the theme or message might be. The colors are muted, copy is short and punchy, and it was nearly impossible not to click “read article” about anything that claims to be “better than chocolate.”

  • Sally’s Beauty Supply
  • Subj. Line: Love Is In The Air: Take $5 Off $25

sallySo many beauty product companies in this post. Can’t say I blame them for using this approach though, it’s so easy to make the connection between beauty products and Valentine’s Day, both in concept and in design. I mean, look how nice it looks to have that arrangement of pink/red/purple products behind the heart. This design also went with the classic dotted-line as a border for the heart, which totally screams “elementary school valentine”, I love that. Plus: another example of an upfront subject line, what you read is what you get.

  • Zoya
  • Subj. Line: Valentine’s Day Bogo ❤

zoyaOK, I saved this one for last because I love it, I honestly love it. (Yes that was meant to be read in Olivia Newton John’s voice.) LOOK AT THIS DESIGN, JUST LOOK AT IT!!! It’s nail polish, but like, in a HEART-SHAPED POOL. I wish I had a technical explanation for what’s so great about this. I don’t, really, it’s just so aesthetically pleasing and strangely satisfying to me. Two Valentine’s Day colors, because it’s Buy-One-Get-One, AND they’re making a heart, because Valentine’s Day … who knew nail polish could be so nuanced? Also, it’s a good sale. If you’ll excuse me, I’ve got some nail polish to buy…

I hope you all had a great month, and a great Feb. 14, whatever the day represents for you! If you need to get any discount candy off your hands, you know where to find me.

XOXO 4ever,

Dani

Why Is Customer Loyalty So Hard to Get? And How Can You Get It Now?

Companies like Apple, Coca-Cola and Harley Davidson must have a secret formula. Customer loyalty for them goes beyond the norm. Calling the people who buy their products “customers” doesn’t do justice. “Raving fans” is a much better description. Billions of dollars are spent every year on customer relationship management in an effort to inspire loyalty. Reward programs are implemented and abandoned when the cost to maintain exceeds the return. Loyalty is hard to get and easy to lose.

Companies like Apple, Coca-Cola and Harley Davidson must have a secret formula. Customer loyalty for them goes beyond the norm. Calling the people who buy their products “customers” doesn’t do justice. “Raving fans” is a much better description.

Billions of dollars are spent every year on customer relationship management in an effort to inspire loyalty. Reward programs are implemented and abandoned when the cost to maintain exceeds the return. Loyalty is hard to get and easy to lose. This is why the companies that have it guard their brand image with a vengeance.

The benefits of good customer/company relationships are well known. When people feel connected to a company, they become lifetime customers and advocates for the brand. Some companies naturally attract loyalty because of their product appeal and exclusivity. The rest have to earn it.

Earning loyalty begins with understanding relationships between customers and companies. Loyalty is hard to get because companies are focusing on the wrong things when they try to build relationships with their customers. Transactional and service relationships are the only type that people want with companies. All of the talk in social media about anything deeper is fantasy. Trying to connect with people beyond fulfilling their needs and expectations is a waste of resources.

Social media is one of many channels that companies use to communicate with customers and prospects. It is an excellent way to share information about the company, products and events and interact with people. It is not a replacement for taking care of the basics that provide the foundation for loyalty. Trying to shortcut the loyalty process by creating viral content is ineffective. If you want an interactive social presence, start with the fundamentals that are endearing to customers.

People want simple and easy more than anything else. Life is complicated and short. They do not want to invest time in the buying process. Simplifying the buying decision and making it easy to purchase, return and resolve issues will do more to create loyalty and increase revenue than anything else. Multiple channels and a variety of tools are available that provide economical and efficient methods to improve the shopping and service experience. To fast-track loyalty for your company:

  • Clean House: Review every process, procedure and policy to insure it is necessary and as efficient as possible. The shorter the paths from initial contact to purchase and problem to resolution, the better. It makes it easy for customers and economical for you.
  • Improve FAQ’s: Answer questions before they are asked. Sometimes this means you have to anticipate the questions because people don’t always know what they need to ask. Including the questions that should be asked in the FAQ’s improves trust and reduces resistance.
  • Supercharge Emails: Add service emails to your marketing mix. Service emails educate and inform customers and prospects so they know what’s happening and how to interact with your company. Educated customers are happier and easier to serve.
  • Offer Self-Service: People don’t really want to talk to your company representatives. They find it easier to solve their own problems when possible. Providing self-service opportunities pleases customers and reduces operating costs.
  • Invite Feedback: Your customers are the best source of information on how to improve your business. Invite them to share their thoughts and make the process as easy as possible. Be sure to always respond with gratitude and information on how the suggestions will be used. It gives ownership and connects people to your company.
  • Do It Yourself: Before expecting your customers and prospects to do anything, try it yourself first. If you developed the process and cannot be objective, ask someone outside the company to do it with you watching. The pain points are quickly identified when this is done.