Damn. I opened it. I didn’t intend to spend that much today. I don’t really need it. But, the offer ends tomorrow, then it will be too late.. Does this sound familiar or at all relatable? If not, then well done, you are a wise consumer, not affected by one of the oldest marketing and promotional tactics in the book (Kotler & Kneller, 2013). This exactly the mentality businesses want you to have, especially when it comes to email marketing and promotional offers. With help from a few sources, I attempted to analyse an email newsletter I received from a company I occasionally purchase items from. Everyday, the vast majority of people are bombarded with email marketing promotions. But what is it that makes us open some and ignore others?
Figure 1. Email from MyProtein, online sort nutrition and supplement company.
The old cliche of “the right place, the right time” is extremely relatable in this instance, more so than users think. Although the exact time this email was sent isn’t shown, I found that it was around 12am at night surprisingly. Why this time I initially thought? Who checks emails at that time of night? I am more than likely in bed if it is a normal night or have to be up early the next day. However it then dawned on me, Every morning, without fail, I always check my emails first thing, and I am sure the people at MyProtein are well aware of that. Although Chaffey et al. (2012) study stated there was “no optimum time to send an email, I believe personalization is key, much with many aspects of business today. If MP were to send an email in the middle of the day, more than likely I would be too busy to open it, and even if I was able to open and view it, the likelihood is I would not fully engage with it. Of course that is jus one instance, but i am sure others have a similar position, and the analystical options readily available to businesses such as MP I’m sure helps them find the optimum times to send email.
Additionally, although the screen above is shown on a PC, I usually check on my phone. The article from Chaffey et al. (2012) really opened my eyes. Everything is planned, nothing is planned or by chance. As shown above with the option to open the email in a web browser, should the advert not load for some reason. I believe although supported on the PC when viewing it, on the phone the advert sat in the parameters of the screen better, meaning again it links to my need as a consumer to see it on a phone screen. An artist named Eric Pickersgill (2015) created a series of images, named REMOVED, which depicts the 21st century in all its glory, showing an alternate universe, in which mobile phones did not exist. The photos are extremely strange, as the photgrapher aims to share his view that people have become reliant on the devices in modern society.
READ THIS NOW! TOO GOOD TO MISS!
Yes, I will honestly admit, despite being a business student and having worked in the marketing function of a global business, I should have known better.. But having read the subject line, it instantly attracted interest. I know of course this was a generic email, sent to every other customer or inidvidual that has been connected to the business, but It did exactly what Chaffey’s (2012) case study set out to do in identifying the optimin way to reach consumers with direct marketing. This email fell into the second largest group of messages sent to consumers, which featured a sealson promotion in the subject line. The email itself wasn’t explicitly clever, but rather more pushy, stating exactly what could be achieved should I spend my time opening and reading it. Generally, I honestly would not pen a genreic email, similar to this. However due to the massive saving and added bonus of free postage (as the company usally charge a high price for ‘premium shipping’) I was caught. And yes instntly sold. As Kotler (2013) stated the consumer “wants as much value as possible for the lowest cost” and the thought of saving 50% on a transaction was too enticing to resist.
Size does matter!
Who would have thought it, another cliche proven, (althoug maybe not in the sense intended initially). At just under 50 words (excluding the logo) of body text in the email, rather than bore the audience, it simply states what it can offer, nothing more, nothing less. As a sales promotion for a limted time, it gets straight to the point, giving the feel or urgency with a minimalists tough. Extremely effective and again support in the Chaffeys (2012) case study.
Ring any bells? According to Kapferer (2004), from the customer’s point of view, a brand can be defined and identified as the total accumulation of all his/her experiences, and is built at all points of contact . A successful brand is an identifiable product, service, person or place, augmented in such a way that the customer or consumer perceives relevant, unique added values, which match their needs most closely (Chernatony and McDonald, 1998). The logo in this example is highlighted in blue, as are the two interactive buttons that take the consumer to the shop. The whole MyProtein brand is built upon this warm blue colour as Ghodeswar (2008) warned, it is important to keep consistency, and now as a consumer ad past customer, whenever I see that blue, I subconciously link it to thier products.
A picture says 1000 words
Like most marketing content, this image conforms to the norms of ‘best case scenario’ espeically in the fitness industry. Allow me to elaborate. As there are so many genreic products and brands competing in an already heavy saturated market, supplement companies’ usch as MP must build a brand, both relatable and differentiated at the same time. For example, the model featured in the image. Through this authors personal experince, in order to achieve that physique, it would take many years of training hard, watching what he eats etc. In reality, he may not even use MyProtein products (in his personal life) But MP want athletes and individuals such as him to inspire those looking at him to achieve similar results. Morover, as an ambassador, he is subconciously claiming, using these products offered will result in you looking like this. Wishful thinking right! however this is what I meant by best case scenario. In reality, those who aren’t hardcore bodybuilders won’t want to look like this. Which is why MP is extremly clever when using brand ambassadors, initially just bodybuilders, they now have female athletes, and other types of sports people. This of course so that other consumer groups can relate to them.
The colours are also kept simple, with a nice contrast of the grey rest on what looks like a gym wall background. With both the Grey and Red colours being less agreesive than the Blue ‘Shop N ow’ button. This leads on to the hyperlinks included, which only three feature, these being both of the shop button and the image of the individual linking to the exact sales page, which often is not the case. These simple buttons, fufil a user friendly CTA purpose, which are key to engaging consumers (Hernandez & Resnick, 2012).
Figure 2. Hyperlink from ‘Shop Now’
Overall, this standard newsletter did exaclty what it set out to do. With a clear consistent layout that support the message, I wouldn’t have said it was innovative, unorthodox or even interesting really, but then it didn’t have to be. And finally, yes, I did buy a few products as a result of this email, the title was not lying.
This blog post features a supplement companies products. I am in no way promoting or advocating this brand, simply becuase I have recieved marketing materials from them.
Chaffey, D., Ellis-Chadwick, F., Mayer, R., & Johnston, K. (2012). Internet marketing: strategy, implementation and practice. Prentice Hall.
Eric Pickersgill (2015) Accesed Online: http://ericpickersgill.com/Removed (6/11/2015)
Hernandez, A., & Resnick, M. L. (2013, September). Placement of Call to Action Buttons for Higher Website Conversion and Acquisition An Eye Tracking Study. In Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Annual Meeting (Vol. 57, No. 1, pp. 1042-1046). SAGE Publications.
Kotler, P. & Keller, K. (2012). Marketing Management (14e Edition) by Kotler Keller Published by Pearson 14e edition (2012) Paperback. 14th Edition. Pearson.