Business 2 Community – 4 Email Marketing Rules American Apparel Followed in The Worst Way
By: Business 2 Community
There’s a hurricane heading for the East Coast of the USA, you are a marketer for one of the country’s biggest brands; what do you do? If your answer was to plan communications for any required store closures, unfortunately, despite your good nature, you are wrong. The correct answer was, apparently, to build an email marketing campaign around the impending disaster.
As most people in the path of hurricane Sandy were stocking up on food, filling their bathtubs and preparing for flooding, American Apparel sent out a marketing email. The mail advertised a 36-hour sale on their website, with 20% off for anyone in the storm hit areas who entered the code “sandysale” at checkout. The tagline on the ad was “In case you’re bored during the storm.”
The response wasn’t a flood of sales. Instead, customers who received the email took to social media to criticize the brand. People were outraged that a brand could make light of such a potentially tragic event. For most people who read the email, it felt like American Apparel wanted to make money while people were in critical danger. That obviously wasn’t their intention, but you can’t reference a life-threatening event without people making that connection.
The funny thing is, American Apparel actually followed all the basic email marketing rules.
This isn’t quite an email marketing rule, but it’s a great tip. If you can create a campaign around a topical event, something that people are already talking about, you have a great chance to be successful. Whether it’s in an email or on social media, topical content works because it’s shareable. If your content fits in with conversations your customers are already having, they’re more likely to drop it in.
An unwritten addendum to this rule should state that the topical event shouldn’t be a life-threatening potential disaster. Most of you probably knew that already, but American Apparel obviously need it included in their email marketing rules.
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