The marketing emails you love to read
"Huh?" you may be thinking. "Who likes to read marketing emails?" Well, generally, the answer is no one, except the people who write them and their superiors or clients. Consider that an average click-through rate for marketing emails is somewhere around 2-3%. Or just think about what you do with the majority of the emails in your inbox. So when you receive a marketing email you actually want to read, and look forward to receiving, I think it deserves a moment of reverence - for the writers, editors, and the higher-ups who are looking past their immediate transactional goals to providing truly substantive content for their readers.
Providing substantive content is all about knowing your audience. It's hard to overstate the importance of understanding your customers on a granular level - what motivates them (and not just what motivates them to spend money), what their interests are, what their goals are, how they spend their time, etc. It's a time-consuming process to produce a blog, email or social campaign that delivers valuable, interesting content, but so worth the effort.
One of my favorites at the moment is from the women's clothing company M.M.LaFleur. The company sells high-quality business wear for women who are too busy to shop, or just don't like to shop. You can purchase directly from the M.M.LaFleur website, order a "bento box" of stylist selections, or attend a pop-up event and be matched with a professional stylist to help you fill out your wardrobe. The company's blog, called "The -- M -- Dash," and the weekly email that pushes out new content is something I actually look forward to reading each Sunday evening (and not just because I dig the nerdy editing reference to the em dash, a superstar punctuation mark that can stand in for commas, parentheses or colons, depending on the context).
To wit: this week's email included an entire story about dresses you can take naps in. I mean, do they know me or what? The female executives they're selling clothes to are grinding hard every day, and who doesn't love the idea of stealing a 10-minute car nap while waiting to pick up kids from school? The same person who knows that nap could be scuttled by a restrictive waistline, scratchy collar or non-breathable fabric. This week's edition also included an interview on resolving conflict at work with the Los Angeles Police Department's first black female deputy chief, Regina Scott, in which she provided interesting anecdotes and actionable advice for handling your business in an environment in which you're bucking established culture and fighting for respect (show of hands, anyone?).
So yeah, I'm reading your emails, M.M.LaFleur, and I'm even buying some of your clothes. And that's saying something considering that at the moment I'm only trying to look like I deserve six figures, not actually earning them.
So what emails do you love to read? I'm fascinated by what differentiates great content from the merely meh, so leave me a comment and let me know what brands you think are really getting it right.