I'm probably much like you... my personal inbox is cluttered with promotional emails from just about everyone under the sun. And, even though I unsubscribe at a rate that should eliminate this, they just keep popping back in.
How do companies and brands inspire one to really open it up, engage and ultimately make a purchase or conversion? It's not really about the subject line anymore. These have been optimized and figured out by now. We've become so accustomed to the pretty much the same three or four subject lines in the past few years, mainly with the tired gist of "Hurry, Julia! Your $5 Bonus at Whole Foods Will Expire" or "Julia, take an extra 25% off at J CREW today!" that we do really just glance over them at this point. #yawn.
If I want to open up something, it's mainly because I am looking to see who it's from - someone who's going to bring value - whether that be my friend, neighbor or Bloomingdale's (yes, for a really good deal!). So, what's a company and brand to do?
Your email has to have personality.
To not just feel like another piece of junk mail, the actual guts of the email has to sparkle, shine, pop and, well, just be engaging. Chatty text, interesting well-designed graphics and a thoughtful layout are just a few things one must utilize. And, a strong voice.
The subject of this post came to me just the other day as I received (have no idea why...) an email from Reese Witherspoon's new company Hello Sunshine, "a media brand anchored in storytelling, creating and discovering content that celebrates women and puts them at the center of the story". Set up in an old fashioned two column layout, images on the left, text on the left (they didn't even alternate the placement!), I don't even think this was a customized layout. The text sounded stale and packaged. It was a total missed opportunity.
Avoid banality, playing it safe and layouts of the past. Risk taking often pays off in digital marketing, and it might well get you some more clicks.