Sometimes a company outsmarts itself on special holiday, such as the recent Mother's Day. For example, getting too precious can instantly be a turn off — Saturday Night Live famously spoofed Amazon on this point.
Or the marketing is so much about Mother's Day that it forgets the products it's hawking. Staples avoided both misfires with its recent Mother's Day email. The subject line was straight and simple: "Great gifts for Moms & grads!" Notice that it includes grads, as marketers decided to combine Graduation Day with Mother's Day for a much wider target.
The copy in the HTML was similarly straightforward and effective: "Great gifts for Mother's Day and graduation. Celebrate every occasion." Indeed, the products promoted in the email are those that could relate to either special day.
Ethan Boldt is the chief content officer of Direct Marketing IQ, the home of direct marketing research and Who's Mailing What!, the most complete library of direct mail and email. To learn more, go to www.whosmailingwhat.com/video.