August 10, 2011

Birthday Email Offer Cut Short: Lessons Learned from SportClips

by Jim Davidson, Head of Research

This past weekend I traveled to Boston for a last minute trip, which forced me to get that haircut I kept putting off. Luckily for me, my birthday is this month so my inbox has started to fill up with those lovely birthday promotions. If you do not have a birthday email program in place now, start one soon! Engagement metrics are through the roof and these campaigns make money, here are a few ideas to get your started.

Sport Clips EmailI received a birthday email from SportClips. Being the online marketing nerd that I am, I enrolled in their program in-store after a trim. The store had excellent signage touting the benefits of enrolling in their email program and sign-up was easy. Educating the staff of your store to not only encourage email sign-up but also having them understand the value to the customer and to the business is key.

The email itself has some room for improvement. The subject line, "Our Gift to You" could be more enthusiastic, but perhaps the coy card is being played intentionally. There are some design issues as well: a broken image, sliced images divided by tables, and the kicker, “August” is misspelled. Everyone, check on your triggered messages at least once per quarter. Yes, they are out there being automatically sent and making you money with no real ongoing effort required but technology changes, expiration dates need to be updated, and a fresh set of eyes could lead to design improvements and even better engagement.

I was greeted by the SportClips staff and told them I would like to use my birthday coupon. I had the email open on my phone which has the code that needs to be entered. I could say that I was trying to be green by not printing the coupon, but honestly, I was in a rush and remembered the code was in the email. I was told by the staff that I had to have a print out of the coupon in order to redeem it. I asked if they could use the code in the email and they said that for accounting purposes they would need a print out. This tells me that I am not the first one to be in this situation and I am sure that I’m not the last. The in-store team was incredibly friendly and I got a great haircut… just didn’t get to enjoy the extra birthday perks.

This miss here for me as a marketer is that the loop across the channels broke down.

It’s only now as I revisit the email that I note that it says twice that the email should be printed.

The lesson here is to make sure you are giving customer the ability to redeem offers cross channel in the variety of ways that they could approach your in-store teams. This could be a print out from your site or an email, displaying an email on a mobile device, or showing your staff an SMS message. Of course you will need to have controls in place but have your team be able to present options and alternatives to keep the customer engaged and purchasing.

Have you seen any great birthday email messages that have driven you to a store or to an online purchase? Please share those tactics below!

Jim Davidson
Manager, Strategic Services at Bronto

About the Author
Jim Davidson's picture

Jim Davidson, Head of Research

Read about Jim

Join the Conversation