‘Southern Railway’ – fast-track to a better e-mail marketing scheme?

Inbox (1) is a sign that almost everyone nowadays is familiar with. This is due to permission-based e-mails currently being on the increase as “e-mail marketing campaigns produce approximately twice the return on investment of the other forms of online marketing such as web banners and online directory adverts”, Ellis-Chadwick, F. & Doherty, N. (2012)

Being a student in Brighton who lives in London entails that I have to travel between my uni residence to my actual home which can prove to be relatively expensive, especially on a student budget! So it is no surprise that when I receive an e-mail from Southern Railway with a subject line ‘Book a trip now for £10 or less!’ offering an incentive that I believe to be relevant to myself, do I  decide to open the e-mail.

Upon opening the e-mail, I am greeted with a standard 1-page e-mail with eye-catching colors. The centerpiece of the e-mail is a large illustration detailing ‘The Big Ticket’ with images of characters travelling. I find this instantly engaging and later discover that this doubles as a hyperlink linking me straight to the advance ticket section of Southern where there are cheap, set price tickets. There is also a call-to-action “Book Advance Now” in a large font, highlighted in red that also doubles as a hyperlink leading me to cheap, set price advance tickets. This works really well as it enables consumers who proceeding the e-mail specifically wanted to access cheaper tickets, gain access to precisely that within a matter of seconds! The fact that there is access to around 4 hyperlinks all leading directly to the ‘Southern Railway’ website makes it easy for the consumer and generates traffic. It also enables consumers to purchase tickets as soon as possible which maximizes efficiency for the consumer as they attain cheaper tickets but also Southern Railway are able to maximize revenue through a quick, effective marketing e-mail template.

The E-mail

Southern Railway

Proceeding the above e-mail marketing template that I was sent, I have one critique. The e-mail could have been personalized as I believe this could of added an extra element. If the journeys specified has been tailored to London to Brighton based on my prior searches and my name in the Subject Title, I would’ve been more inclined to click on the e-mail and buy a ticket due to convenience of knowing the destination is directly set to where I would like to go. Ellis-Chadwick, F. & Doherty, N. (2012) state that “The majority of the managers interviewed believed that personalizing e-mails is important because they expect personalized e-mails to perform better” thus reinforcing the point I made regarding how vital personalization can prove to be.

In conclusion, I believe that Southern Railway adopted successful, strategic tactics in implementing their e-mail marketing. It worked for me and I purchased a ticket. I hope you found this entry helpful and can take something away from it whether that be a ticket for under a tenner (http://southernrailway.g.delivery.net/r/c/r?2.1.3NE.2rW.11duG2.CIDPC6..H.Dy0c.8T8.bW89MQ__CEacFJE0)

Feel free to comment below with any of your e-mail marketing experiences!


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