Archive for the ‘Not So Great Email’ Category

When I look for emails or a series of emails to evaluate and review for the Email Zoo, I usually look for something to stand out. Whether it’s something humorous, or different, or offensive, for the millions of emails that are sent every day, I need a hook for a post. Unfortunately for GNC’s sake, their hook is not a positive one.

Like the Abercrombie explosion I experienced a couple of months ago, GNC went from sending me nothing to overkill in about two weeks. See my inbox:

Let’s do the count: 17 messages in 16 days.

If you look at the subject lines, they’re all over the place. An anniversary sale, a President’s Day sale, a Valentine’s Day message, plus tons of free shipping offers and other offers.

The biggest thing that stands out here is that GNC launched a new product: GNC Stat!

What is Stat!? Looks like a “drug-free, natural remedy that helps you restore balance.”

The problem? It’s the 15th email I received in the last two weeks. A product launch should have its own cycle of marketing communications, not get lost in the free shipping and President’s Day offers.

The moral of the story? Segmentation and timing are everything. Clearly, GNC forgot to respect their subscribers with this cycle.

Maybe I’m on a renegade list again…

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I am an avid runner. One of the goals I wanted to accomplish this year was a race series. As such, I signed up for the first race in the series back in December, received my order confirmation transactional message….and then got this email January 13:

…I already did. I mentioned this in my Amazon post, but it is so important to reiterate because so many marketers miss the mark: Segment your list! At a minimum, segment and suppress those that have already registered.

They do get +1 bonus point for having a valid reply to address and responding within 24 hours after I sent an email back asking for confirmation that I was on record as registered.

To put a more positive spin on this post, I also recently received the following two emails:

Here’s what they did really well:

  • I’ve already registered for the Tobacco Road Marathon and received this newsletter walking through all the details of the race, explaining what to expect on race day, the course map, and so on. I loved this email beacuse it’ll be my first half-marathon and this answers a lot of my questions and alleviates some concerns. They segmented and sent a “What to expect” newsletter to those already registered.
  • Registration just opened for the Run for our Heroes race, which is one of the last races in the race series I mentioned above. They sent a timely, relevant email to all potential participants (based on participation in the first race) alerting us to the fact that we can begin registering, which is great because races often fill up quickly. Is it a beautiful email? No, but it accomplished its goal and I registered.

Moral of the story is that no matter the size and sophistication of a sender, the basics of email marketing can help reduce confusion and man-power to answer the questions that are bound to come in after receiving such an email.

Kelly Lorenz
Email Marketing Strategist at Bronto

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