A Resolution to Unsubscribe?
Raise your hand if you’ve spent the first part of 2012 unsubscribing from email programs that you don’t remember joining or don’t want to receive now that you’re done with holiday shopping. Yes, my hand is raised too. Like cleaning out a closet or beginning a diet, there’s something about the start of a new year that compels many of us to reduce, reorganize and reconsider, even when it comes to our email inbox.
As consumers become more selective about the brands they want to hear from this year, here are some tips to ensure that your emails stay solidly positioned among the chosen few that make the cut.
I’m with the brand
In "Almost Famous," a coming-of-age movie about a young music journalist’s experience on the road with the rock group Stillwater, the band’s groupies called themselves “band aids.” More than fans who bought tickets to a single show, the band aids followed Stillwater everywhere. So who are your brand aids? While many brands have them, few email marketers know who they are. Even fewer apply inspiration from their brand aids to their email program. For those brands that do, however, their position in the inbox is rock solid.
Make it good before you try to make it viral
Few things can turn off your email subscribers faster than a forced or inauthentic viral campaign. What’s good, shareworthy content? That answer will differ depending on your brand and subscribers, but some key characteristics shared by effective viral programs include humor (some brands can get away with more than others) and a tie to current events.
It’s interesting to note that in almost every case effective viral campaigns have a strong brand voice but aren't primarily about the brand per se. Take the recent lovenotes campaign by lululemon athletica for example. Although some of the lovenotes are about yoga and a few reference the brand’s products and logo, I’ll argue that the viral success of this award-nominated campaign can be attributed to the fact that the notes build brand equity by first building bridges between people.