Email

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Once you start paying attention to the little things in promotional email messages, it is really hard to stop yourself.

I create promotional email content as part of my current job, so it is really important to me that I get it right. I especially hope that I would maintain that level of attention to detail in the event that I would have to quickly create and deploy an email in response to a mistake.

Unfortunately, we are about to get a crash course in unfortunate mistakes made during that exact scenario.

I received the email below from Anthony’s Coal-Fired Pizza. Take a look and I’ll continue below.


This is really unfortunately done. My major issues are as follows.

  1. The “from” name is rewards@acfp.com. Not Anthony’s, or anything easily recognizable as the brand.
  2. The subject line is “Placeholder Subject,” which is fairly tragic. I would be kicking myself for that one.
  3. I received this email, even though I definitely did not open or click through on the previous email that they mention here. Instead of sending this email about a mistake to everyone, they could have changed the landing page for the link they sent earlier to add messaging about a mistake, and then segmented the email list to only send this email I received to anyone who opened AND clicked the email with the original survey link. They likely sent this follow up to thousands more people than they really needed to.
  4. It says “we sent an email out in error,” 2 sentences in a row. This appears to have really been written in a hurry.
  5. It also looks like it was formatted for mobile devices only, and wasn’t set up to be responsive? This screenshot is from my desktop computer.
  6. I didn’t touch their survey, but they have now sent me an extraneous apology email. I’m very surprised that this didn’t offer me some kind of small discount coupon to use in the future to make me feel better about not getting the $10 reward they are giving to everyone who did take the survey.

I genuinely feel for whoever assembled and sent this email, as the issues here are many and mostly avoidable. Hopefully the Anthony’s team will have better success distributing their next survey.

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I know, anyone who has visited this website before knows that I am no stranger to bringing up my issues with Sephora and their website. Perhaps unsurprisingly, I am back again.

I recently received an email from Sephora, promoting new additions to their Rewards Bazaar, where shoppers can use points they have earned to purchase items.

You see how that says “1,000 available now?” I have been waiting for an opportunity to try out Biossance products, so I clicked this right away.

…only to find out that the product in the email was not actually available. You can see sold-out items in this screenshot, so it seems that they aren’t simply out of stock, but haven’t actually activated this item before sending an email about it to potentially thousands of people.

I reached out to Sephora on Twitter and it went like this:

 

Yikes. This is not the response I would expect, and certainly not one that I would want anyone in my organization to give to a customer experiencing an error on our part.

The first response I received certainly seems either pre-written and automated for any tweets to them mentioning the Rewards Bazaar, or, they have a customer service team trained to use automated responses as often as possible. I understand the interest in maintaining consistent messaging, but a human reading my tweet to them should have realized that I had received an email from Sephora with incorrect information, and responded in a way that made sense.

You can see that at NO POINT was the fact that I received an email promoting something that wasn’t actually available addressed. Not even a “we will let our email team know about this issue” message.

Sephora is a really large company, presumably with a large customer service team to match. I would recommend that they develop a system to sort and perhaps elevate customer messages based on the content of said message.

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Tory Burch New Year Email | Brand Experience Project

by Jamie Sanford on January 16, 2019

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In follow-up to my previous post about the Year in Review email from Lyft, I’m back now with a Tory Burch email to wish me a happy new year. Unlike the Lyft email, this is not personalized to me, but still feels like a personal note from the founder and namesake, Tory Burch.

The only issue I take with this messaging is that it is extremely top-line and vague. I would almost prefer more information in this email with some links to more information about their philanthropic projects, as I’m sure they’ve created content around those efforts. I do really like the message of “here’s to a year of travel, color, and giving back,” as it feels extremely on-brand for Tory Burch, in aesthetic and company reputation.

I’m including the whole email below, but everything under the happy new year message is fairly standard e-commerce email content. I do feel that it takes away from the overall message of the email to include such basic content after such a specific message at the top. Ultimately, I would have preferred that this email be paired with more content about the Tory Burch Foundation, and for them to have left the shopping links for next time.

Take a look at this Tory Burch email below.

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Lyft Year in Review Email | Brand Experience Project

by Jamie Sanford on January 10, 2019

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It may be too late to say “happy new year,” but it is not too late to talk about new year content.

Today I wanted to share the email I received from Lyft, with a recap of my use of their service in 2018. I’ve seen these from a number of brands, but the content of this one really struck the perfect balance of personalized information about my own use of this service and company information. Included here is information on how to better use Lyft, what Lyft is up to in terms of their philanthropic efforts, where Lyft service is available, interspersed with specific information about my stats for 2018.

I don’t get a lot of emails from Lyft that aren’t related to specific usage of their service, but I opened this one as it totally played into me wanting to know more about me. The personalization of this email was super effective at pulling me in, and in the meantime, taught me a bit more about Lyft as a company.

What I do notice and appreciate is that nothing here is about money spent on this service. Why bring you down with a reminder of how much money you spent? December is generally a spendy month for many people, so a reminder about having spent $X over the course of the year on rides isn’t going to help anyone. Good move on Lyft’s part.

I would like to see other companies create this kind of recap of my own activity with their service or store. I am slightly concerned that for some customers, it would backfire into letting them know that they might be shopping a bit too much, or taking Lyfts a bit too much, but the avoidance of including dollar amounts is a key point.

Scroll down to take a look.

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Click here for all posts in the Brand Experience Project.

I’ve been very into emails for Brand Experience posts lately. Mostly, I managed to review the shopping and purchase experience of many of my go-to online stores, and I’m not currently interested in making purchases of things that I don’t need right now, so I will hold off on the full experience reviews until I try a new retailer.

In the meantime, I received another incredibly transparent email from a retailer that was unexpected and impressive, this time from eShakti. You can read a previous post about eShakti here.

Read the email and keep scrolling for my thoughts:

I could not get over this email when I received it. The majority of companies would quietly raise the prices and hope that it would just go by without issue. eShakti is even in the position of having a rotational offering of items, and so they could have absolutely gotten away with saying nothing. However, their CEO sends an email laying out the issues that face their business, and lets you know exactly what they are doing in order to keep their business in business.

I can attest to the shipping delays mentioned in this email, and after this email was sent, I found myself being more than mildly annoyed that not only was my item delayed, but I didn’t receive any sort of update on the timing.

However, this post is meant to highlight this email in particular, and I don’t want to take too much away from what I think is a great example of honest and straightforward communication with customers.

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