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Managing Email Subscriber Expectations During The Holidays

The holidays are a time of goodwill, cheer, and full email inboxes. During this time of year, many email marketers struggle to find the correct balance between sending too many emails during the holidays (and therefore experiencing high unsubscribe and abuse complaints) and not sending enough emails (and seeing stagnant sales as a result). I recently saw a campaign that does a great job at helping to solve this issue – they notified their email subscribers about what they can expect to see in their inbox from this holiday season.

This fresh yet simple email explains when will begin their increased holiday email schedule. It also explains on which days the subscriber should expect to receive emails, and then reminds the subscriber to keep in mind for their gift purchasing needs., however, does not seem to allow their subscribers to opt-out or opt-down from the holiday specific campaigns. This is a feature I would look at implementing in the near future to mitigate unsubscribes and abuse compaints. Other than that, this is a great idea for many businesses as it keeps the customer informed and treats their relationship with respect.

Nice job!

The subject line of this email was, “Get Ready! A Sneak Peek Of The Zappos Holiday Season Is Inside!” Here is the creative:

Love J.Crew? We love you too - Retailers Promoting Social Media

J. Crew provides a great  example of how a retailer is promoting their Facebook page!  I love how you can only view this intriguing offer if you check out their page. 

Also, the subject line is great:  Love J. Crew? We love you too


Southwest Airlines' Updated Email Program is a Winner

I have been a fan of Southwest Airlines for years. They seem to truly want to please their customers and are always making changes to the way they work to make processes better. Some recent changes that they have made for the better are assigning a boarding range instead of everyone in the boarding group crowding together, they take credit cards for in-flight services, you can check in online 24 hours prior to your flight, some pets are allowed in the cabin, and now their email program has improved when a flight has been booked.

One pet peeve I have had with Southwest in the past is that once I purchased a ticket for a flight online I would get an email confirmation at the point of purchase, but nothing else. My confirmation would then get buried deep in my email in box. When the time came for my flight and I needed my confirmation number, I would have to go deep in box fishing to find it. This confirmation could be buried under thousands of emails. Now this has changed.
  • Southwest sends the initial confirmation email at the point of purchase.
  • A reminder email, with the important confirmation numbers, is sent a few days prior to the flight. Now I have all the confirmation information I need without having to fish into my in box for the original confirmation email!
  • And then I was sent a survey after my flight asking how Southwest Airlines did. The survey was short, to the point and well done.
Here is the confirmation email I received at the point of sale. In this case I purchased the ticket a little less than a month before the flight.

Here is the email subject line: Ticketless Confirmation - LANE/JORDAN

Here is the reminder email I received four days prior to my scheduled flight.

Here is the email subject line: Jordan, your trip is right around the corner!‏

Here is the survey email I received the next morning after my flight. The survey email was delivered in Rich Text so it will be easy to read on mobile devices and for those who do not have images turned on.

Here is the email subject line: Survey: Your Most Recent Southwest Airlines Flight‏

The survey was short and fun!

Here is the survey Thank You!

Nice work Southwest Airlines! Do you have any email experiences with airlines? Do you have other examples of transactional campaigns done well?  Please share with us.