If the thought of plastering ‘flash sale!’ all over your lovingly-crafted email marketing campaign fills you with dread, you might want to read on.

Sometimes, old sales tactics work best – even in the beautiful world of email marketing.

Sure, something like this is guaranteed to grab the attention of subscribers:

And as much as we like a tongue-in-cheek meme placed strategically within an email, there’s absolutely no harm in dropping one’s guard occasionally and really prodding your recipients with the sales stick.

We’re not suggesting you conduct the email equivalent of door-to-door sales or passionless telemarketing – quite the opposite. In days of old, when billboards, short TV adverts and placements in magazines were the only ways businesses could make a splash, they relied on the simplest of marketing methods.

You can do the same with your emails, so why don’t we take a look at some examples?

The MASSIVE banner approach

Jet2holidays isn’t the shy, retiring sort. And, when it comes to email marketing, they really don’t mess about:

Hits you right between the eyes, doesn’t it? They’ve even opted for a red background, which we’re often told is an absolute no-no.

They’ve also animated the ‘£200’, by forcing it to flash in and out of view – just like a neon sign. Combine that with copy that couldn’t be clearer and you have a traditional, ‘salesy’ email of the highest caliber. And are they embarrassed by it? Absolutely not – because they know it’ll provoke plenty of click-throughs.

The contemporary approach

Asos have been a little more contemporary with the following effort:

They have also gone for bold, simple copy and have dipped their digital brush in the red paint, too. Where this email differs from the Jet2holidays campaign, however, is that it combines the old-fashioned billboard sales approach with some modern design cues.

The photography, grid design and accompanying body text offer a nice contrast to the direct offer approach and demand that the recipient dive in further.

If you’re not comfortable with the in-your-face style used by Jet2holidays, this is a great alternative.

The personalised approach

If there was one thing marketers from the analogue age couldn’t do without turning to expensive mail campaigns, it was provide personalised messages to potential customers. With email marketing, we have powerful data at our fingertips, enabling us to send highly-relevant, personalised messages to subscribers.

This example from Game again combines old techniques with the more contemporary stuff:

There’s that red paint again… and although its accompanied by flashing words in giant, white, bold typeface, there’s a lovely little reminder that there could be something in it for me specifically.

Only, there would if I had some reward points… damn!

The (slightly) more subtle approach

Another example from the travel industry, and this time it’s Thomas Cook who want to ensure their big offer doesn’t go unnoticed:

Immediately obvious is the more subtle colour scheme and increased depth of copy. That’s no bad thing, and demonstrates how you can employ relatively hard-sales techniques in email marketing but in a slightly softer fashion.

This example will probably have pulled off some nice click-throughs, too, because the call-to-action remains obvious, as does the offer on the table (great opening gambit with that headline, too!)

Wrapping up

There’s no harm in experimenting with email marketing, and as the above examples demonstrate, it sometimes pays to be a little more forthright with your offers. Providing you retain your brand dignity, inject some personalisation and keep it all safely tongue-in-cheek, you should see some fabulous engagement and click-through statistics emerge.

And that’s what it’s all about, really, isn’t it?

About 

Mark is one of mailingmanager's email experts. His contributions to this blog openly share the tricks, tips and best practices he's learned while running multiple e-marketing campaigns.

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