Venmo + Paypal team up to cash your checks

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?

Free drinks for all with Starbucks Rewards

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.

Brooklinen’s Built-in Loyalty

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Who: Brooklinen (best bedsheets ever, by the way) sends users a dynamic feedback email directly tied to their VIP Loyalty program. Their e-commerce site is pretty clean–crisp photos, efficient descriptions–but contain a wealth of customer reviews. As a D2C (direct to consumer) brand, they clearly know where their strengths lie and are effectively playing into them.
What’s Working: A 1-click rating that users can fill out directly in the email–no need to click out to a separate browser window, no messy log-in’s.
What’s Not: Given how targeted this is, they should also be able to identify if the user is a VIP member or not & tailor that CTA accordingly. It would tidy up the text here and make for a more streamlined message.

Bonobos Wants To Know Your Size

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Who: Bonobos, an e-commerce (mostly) menswear start-up founded in NYC and recently acquired by Walmart.
What’s Working: Customer preference data in a natural, frictionless method, built directly in email.
What’s Not: Would’ve been great to see a size guide or some kind of reference guide alongside the size picker, especially given their “Perfect Fit Starts Here” tagline.