Who: Bonobos, the menswear brand born in 2007 during the e-commerce boom and then democratized to the masses with their Walmart sale in 2017. What’s Working: Their subject line “Too busy to read this email?” is a perfect click-bait (you are… but don’t you also want to know what’s inside now?), followed up a headline that captures your “always be hustlin'” mentality and featuring stretch-friendly, office-stylish pants line up for an engaging, consistent story for their customer What’s Not: None for me! I’m not a fan of brands that pack half a dozen products into a retail email, so I love the singular focus here.
Who: Uniqlo, the infamous Japanese brand of simple, casual basics. What’s Working: Their “Living 9 to 9” is a timely, pun-ny play on Squarespace’s “Working 5 to 9” Superbowl commercial from this past weekend (which itself was a play on Dolly Parton’s “Working 9 to 5” song). Not a bad idea, considering 96 million sets of eyeballs watch the Superbowl and its ads every year. What’s Not: Way too much content and you get lost in the scroll. (this isn’t even the full email!) They definitely could have tightened the products featured in each “time slot’s”, or better yet, set up customer preferences (Everlane does a great job at this) and just share Men’s vs. Women’s items.
Who:Venmo and Paypal: aka the millennial and Gen X social payments platforms, respectively What’s Working: With the subject line “2 ways to cash your government stimulus checks for no fees”, the benefit is timely (everyone is anxious for their stimulus $$) and super clear. Colorful creative with snappy directions and bolded UI instructions make it easy to skim. What’s Not: It’s a great how-to email, but would have loved to see clear user benefits here. Which option is faster? safer? or is preference really just driven by which apps I already have on my phone?
Who:Dagne Dover, beautifully designed “problem-solving bags for problem-solving humans” – aka endless organization for type A, on-the-go folks, with a clear, abandon cart email. What’s Working: This automated email reminder came to me 24 hrs after I stopped window shopping, it has a direct call to action and, as an extra push, highlights their flexible return policy. What’s Not: It’d be interesting to see a “similar products” or some other type of product feed integrated here. I suspect many heavy online window shoppers, would love to see more items. If they still aren’t ready to checkout, this is at least another way to reengage them onto your site.
Who: Starbucks, your ubiquitous corner coffeehouse, whose now infamous loyalty program is studied in MBA programs across the world. What’s Working: Simple value proposition, who wouldn’t want to give a free Starbucks drink to their friend? What’s Not: This referral email assumes some familiarity with Starbucks Rewards, e.g. what do Bonus Stars tangibly mean for me? I’d also argue that the invitation diagram on the black background is more important that the green drinks illustration and the two should be flipped.