Email Marketing Lessons from Firestone and Bath & Body Works

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This past week these two major companies have provided a mini-study in a few do’s and don’ts of email marketing.

I hate to call people out, but, you know,  a huge national company should really know better.

I signed up with Firestone to receive their email coupons (I’m way overdue for an oil change…..).
This is how their conformation email appeared in my inbox:

Firestone - email marketing

Well, actually it was in my junk mail folder. Fortunately I’m smart enough to check there ;)
But, yes folks “DO-NOT-REPLY” in all caps is really how they set up their “from” email address and “Confirm Sign Up” is really their subject line. If I hadn’t checked my email right away, and had seen this a few hours or a day later, I may well have not remembered that I signed up, or would have simply discounted this message along with the many other spam emails I receive every day since there was nothing about it that signified legitimacy.

So don’t do this! Learn from Firestone’s mistakes:

1)   Your ‘from’ address should display the name of your company so that it is instantly recognizable when scanning.

2)   Any number of subject lines would have been better than this one. Remind your subscriber what it is they signed up for especially since those first emails may well end up in the Junk folder and you need to make it clear that your message was solicited by them.  So perhaps “Firestone Discount Coupons – Confirm Sign Up” would be better in this case.

I’m guessing that just by making these simple changes, Firestone can increase the confirmation rate of their emails greatly.

The other example I found useful was from Bath & Body Works. I decided to unsubscribe because I was receiving too many emails and barely read them. So when I clicked unsubscribe the page I was taken to contained the following message:

email marketing - bath & body works

I thought this was actually quite brilliant. It was as if they read my mind. Offering me lower volume options meant that I decided to stay subscribed, but at a more manageable frequency. A very smart way to utilize the unsubscribe function.

What can you do to improve the details of your email marketing campaigns and optimize them for success?

**header image courtesy: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ntr23/4642465883/

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