All posts in ‘Spam’

Thursday, 20 December 2012

ASOS Are Testing Variations of All Their E-Mails

The advancement of ASOS in the Nordic countries is much admired. And when I check the e-mails I get from them I can see that they continuously are testing and evaluating the responses they get from their various e-mails and newsletters. In this blog post I’d like to show you some of the tests they do concerning subject line or title. If you want to know how to form a good subject line – maybe ASOS can inspire you.

I will also show you something that I personally like a lot. Despite ASOS’ focus on sales they do vary their e-mails; sometimes ”e-mails for selling”, sometimes ”e-mails for value”. When they give their customers something of value they can probably expect to sell even more in the following newsletters. You can call it bartering. ASOS gives the customers value and then ASOS can expect that they’ll buy something from them later on.

I am registered by two addresses with ASOS and I’m happy to have two different examples of the same e-mail every time. Otherwise I wouldn’t have discovered this. Look at these two e-mails: The same e-mail, but the introductions are a little different.

In this case they choose to have the very first words identical, but in the first one they add something to see if they will get more customers to open the e-mail. What about the rest of the letter? The headlines in the newsletter aren’t the same as in the subject line of the preview pane.

And the second one:

Another example:

In the second example above they are testing the effect of being a little provocative. I think that’ll work quite well in some countries. But I think I would be somewhat careful using ”Hey hot stuff!” I think about spam filters. The same goes for the word ”Game”. Though in this case it worked since it landed in my inbox. This time the two varieties had the same head title.

I also noticed that in several e-mails the top of the newsletter and the first offer were identical, but after that the offers were different, or the pictures and the title were different – but the offer was the same. Obviously they did this for the sake of testing what was more attractive to the recipients further down in the letter. Here is an example of that same e-mail, but with a different layout of the same content.

The other alternative:

So it is possible to put together the same content, but vary the look of the offer to see what works best OR to have exactly the same content, but try out the order of the content. I sure would like to work more with this when you e-mail service providers give us a SIMPLE function to use 🙂

Last, but definitely not least: In what ways do ASOS vary their messages in the different newsletters and e-mails? Well, it’s a lot about selling – but they blend in letters of value also. I know there are a lot of e-commerce people out there who claim that it’s only sales messages that are worth while … Yes, I know you feel that way. But in order to keep more than 25 % of your customers shopping you have to vary content more, especially if you don’t personalize your newsletters. If you follow my advice you’ll see a long lasting effect – and I’m sure you would like to give your dear subscribers a value now and then instead of always be nagging about selling.

See what I mean? Sales, sales, VALUE, sales, sales, sales, VALUE, sales a.s.o.

One of their ”value-emails” looked like this:

And look how they structure the newsletter and make it easier for their readers to find suitable category – and how well it’s adapted for portable reading devices, too. Nothing about selling, just a guide to find the right clothes. Do you think I shop from ASOS? You bet I do!

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Be a Little More Inventive…

…than the ”spammers”! I’ve had so many conversations with people who don’t feel that it’s important to ask the recipients’ permission before they send newsletters to them – or they try to almost hide the unsubscribe button. This is how it is: If you want your newsletters to look like spam – suit yourselves – send your newsletters to all possible e-mail addresses without the owners permissions and nag about selling. To succeed as a real spammer you also must do everything you can to hide the unsubscribe button, preferably at the bottom of the page in a minimal font-face…

You know, I don’t really understand why we have to talk about this any more! Because if you want to be a serious retailer who builds a relation with your customer, well, there are no short cuts. What irritates you, most certainly will irritate your customers! Don’t underestimate them!

I f you want a lot of e-mail addresses – be a little inventive! Offer people something in return when they show trust in you. Here’s a good example:

As soon as you enter the home page of Karmaloop they ask you for your e-mail address and you get a discount on your first buy. This offer also gives you a hint that you’ll get good offers in the future as well. And you have the opportunity to follow them on Twitter, Facebook a.s.o.

Next example:

This example may not be very remarkable, but you can choose the language you want your newsletter in. It’s a way of showing that they want to do it the customer’s way. The example is from Efva Attling.

Regarding the unsubscribe button I’ll try to find some funny examples for you a little later on. I just want to tell you this: The reader/customer wants to be in control, so if you give them that impression and they feel safe you have a much keener reader/customer. Better readers = a better quality of your address list. That, my friends, will increase your sales.

So come on, you know better than this! Be a little more inventive and put yourselves in the position of the reader. It’s 2011 and we’re talking about a modern channel. Don’t be reactionary! I know you can do better if you really think about it and act accordingly!


Monday, 11 July 2011

Finally Facebook’s Got a Send Button for Emails

I’ve so many times had to copy a link to an article or a funny clip in order to send it to a friend. I usually don’t want to show everybody everything I read or see and sometimes I will make sure that some special friend really reads my tip.

Facebook has – of course – understood this. I’d like to show you what me and Christopher discovered some time ago. We were reading this page and noticed a little blue send button:

Can you see the ”Send”-button between ”Like” and ”Tweet”? When you click on that button you can email a particular person – or several ones. Also you can mail a group on Facebook, something I will use a lot.

So, how does it look when it reaches the recipient? Well, take a look!

The fact is that you get a higher completion rate when you tip a specific friend than when you tip all your friends on Facebook. So use this refinement with finesse and check out the possibilities it offers. This is absolutely something you should add.

And yes – this is definitely something that offers enormous possibilities of marketing. But don’t forget: What you are able to do and what you should do is not the same in this case.

Friday, 8 July 2011

Email Phishing – Never Click in Emails Asking You to Verify Personal or Account Data

One of the reasons why I decided to tidy up a bit among my many email accounts – yes, I have quite a few – was that I gave my MacBook a bottle of water the night before a very important presentation. I don’t remember having been so frustrated in all my life, but I’m so grateful for the equipment of modern hotel bathrooms. You can probably not imagine how well adapted a hand dryer in the men’s room in a hotel is when it comes to blow out water from a laptop.

Anyway, the computer was totally recovered, but one of my inboxes was completely drowned(!) in so called phishing emails from big companies such as VISA, MasterCard, and PayPal among others, also Blocket. These emails are written in Swedish and look quite trustworthy if you just give them a quick glance – and they do have sender addresses such as VISA and PayPal. But look out! Whatever you do, don’t click in these emails! They are altogether false and they are ”fishing” for you personal data and/or your account number.

This is how it might look:

Friday, 20 May 2011

Send More Emails, Make More Money, Annoy More Humans

Now here’s a strange statement in a world where spam isn’t very welcome. Dela Quist believes that we should send more emails – and more than one of the same email at that! Read the article and tell us what you think.

I get stuck on two of his comments chiefly:

“The more people you have on the list and the more emails you send, the more money you will make. And because of that, one of the weirdest things about email is how little people spend in trying to acquire email addresses.”

If everyone would try to get as many email addresses as possible in order to earn as much money as possible – how would that affect email marketing in the long run? More spam? Better spam filters? More angry people? Probably.

What Dela doesn’t share with us is the statistics after this “strategy”. How does it affect the number of unsubscriptions? And what’s the click frequency in the long run? Not to mention the relationship with the customers…

Just about anything can sound great if you look at the short term stats only.

“My mother doesn’t know whether there was permission or not, it doesn’t matter to her. She’ll either respond to the email or not respond to the email.”

So I guess it’s ok to collect email addresses and shoot out newsletters randomly…

Is no one thinking of the customers’ interests? Some are…just not Mr. Quist.

I work a lot with the web, and I love to listen to The Big Web Show – a show where entrepreneurs in the webosphere tell their experiences and success stories. It’s mostly the nerds of the business who are being interviewed. One common thread connects these nerds – they don’t focus on money. On the contrary, these people are driven by the thought of creating something that people will love, solutions and knowledge that will help people. But above all, they want to do what they love and are passionate about.

In an interview with designer Andy Rutledge, he talks about how absolutely important quality is. He describes it as “uncompromising professionalism”. He mentions why he avoids working together with customers that don’t share the values and development of his company – you mean everything isn’t about money? He also adds a somewhat different policy that his company has stuck to from the start: Never to have more than seven employees. Why?  So his company will always have personal dialog with its customers…always.

A great way of looking at their own business.

Dela Quist’s approach to email marketing is soiling the channel. Email marketing is not a channel for unaddressed direct advertising.

“If you build it, they will come” – thanks Ray Liotta. Build relationships first, money will come later – or sooner.