An email campaign: Why I converted.

A recipient's view

What makes an email campaign effective?. Last week I received an email. It asked me to do something and I did it. The way it was written made it a very effective marketing email for me personally. Now you may know that I work in a marketing department. And one of my jobs is to play a part in sending bulk emails for my company. So I do have an interest in email marketing and some experience in it. But let's look at this email and see why it got to me.

Firstly, look at the subject line:

C'mon, seriously, help us to help you

This got my attention. This did NOT look like the normal mass emails I get. This was the type of subject line that a friend sends. Maybe it was the apostrophe, maybe it was the plea for help - but it caught me and sucked me in. Only now, writing this do I see that it was asking me to help them to help you. I read it as "C'mon, seriously, help us" - So the email immediately gets put into my mental this-might-be-interesting pile.

When I open it I realise who the company is. I was not offended that this was not from a friend.

The email was from a company called Dyn, who, when I used to have servers on the end of my adsl line at home, provided a dynamic dns system, so that when my ISP changed my IP address - the websites domains still got connected through to my servers. A great, FREE, service that I used a lot. But not any more.

I note the company logo, ignore the graphic faff at the top, and begin reading:

Dear Valued DynDNS Customer

Ok - not customised. "Email salutations should be customised" but you know - I don't care. I read on

At one point you liked us because you utilized a DynDNS product of service and provided us with your email address. But recently you ignored us - we hope unintentionally

Got me again. What fantastic copy. I liked them - yes - I did. A fantastic free service that enabled me to run part of my website business. But then guilt! I'd ignored them. Had I? I cant remember. But then they pull me out of feeling bad about letting down a friend by saying it may have been accidental. They then tell me that this email is a follow up to an email they sent previously - asking if I would opt into their mailing list. I don't remember the previous email - so that one didn't work.. But this one's working. Then the call to action. A simple link, which I have clicked on before I have read all of the text. The link was not on a new line, it was within the paragraph - but here is what they were asking:

Click here now to opt-in, answer three quick questions for us, and have a chance to win an Apple iPad on us.

Here's what I read:

Click here to opt in and answer three quick questions for us

You know, at this point they had stated what they wanted me to do - it wouldn't take much time - and I did it - answered three simple questions about what I wanted from Dyn. A conversion straight away - less than 20 seconds after I saw the email.

I closed the browser page, and the email was still in my inbox. Here's what it looked like:

The email in question

Win an iPad! There was another statement. I had missed it completely. The compelling copy had led me to totally ignore the incentive these guys were offering. Yes I want an iPad. But that was not the reason I converted:

Copy was everything to me.

This is not the most well designed email. By default I always have my graphics turned on in my email client, but I still ignored all of the graphical design and went to the copy.

I learned something from this email. And I hope I'll be able to use what I learned on any other email campaigns that I am able to influence.

DynDNS.org can be found here.

15-Jul-2010 Add comment

blog comments powered by Disqus Permanent Link

Matthew Norman...

... who lives in the UK, who is not an actor, not a clock manufacturer, did not write a rough guide to cuba and also has never written for the Telegraph. I have written books on coldfusion and web databases.

(c) somewhere in space and time: M.Norman