As consumers, our inboxes are filled with emails from ecommerce brands that we have previously purchased from. Emails include various promotions, sales, and new products, all of which are aimed at generating interest and revenue. If you’re anything like us, some emails get “unsubscribe” quickly while others give us joy and anticipation.
Why this? What makes the good email different from the one we can’t wait to unsubscribe from?
Sure, the product does matter, but there are tons of contributors to a successful ecommerce email. And in retail, brands are getting more creative than ever to attract the attention and engagement of their customers. Shoe brands in particular are finding clever ways to step on their customers’ radar and are undoubtedly seeing more successes.
Email marketing has been around for a long time. Using a fresh approach is the best way to keep the momentum in your stride that it takes to move the envelope and build more customer loyalty. Let’s see what we can learn from these six shoe brands that take creative email marketing seriously.
1. Dr. Martens – spark intrigue with the subject
Doc Martens has been defining the counterculture lifestyle for years. It’s what they’re known for, and by using that brand identity, they can play around with a topic that is both to the point and interesting.
Your subject line “Stretch the rules” has a double duty here. There is an indication of the brand’s identity that affirms its target market while also indicating the innovation revealed in the body of the email.
Your product, cordless elastic slippers, goes well with the theme. They still look like the documents we know and love, but there is an added benefit and creativity that is sure to intrigue. Plus, the subject line creates a bit of curiosity, and we all know curiosity leads to clicks.
2. Entertain – get personal
Who doesn’t own a pair of Converse Chuck Taylors? They are a staple in most households. With new shoe styles and brands added every day, it’s critical that brand legends find a way to stay relevant.
When you need to spark new interest in a product that is seemingly simple and undeveloped from the original, find a way to personalize it so that people feel like the product is really theirs. In this email from Converse, the message is clear: your Chuck Taylors can be customized with different patterns, colors, and builds so they are just as unique as you are.
Converse finds a way to harness the surprise and power of individuality by demonstrating the versatility of its product. It is tactics like these that lead us to open promotional emails.
3. Rothy’s – Do it on time
There is one thing that is guaranteed to pique the interest of the masses: awards ceremonies. Rothy’s used the Grammys as inspiration by sending out a clever campaign with prize categories to showcase different products. That email went out the same night the awards show aired, which was an extremely smart move. Rothy knew tons of people would be sitting at home watching the show on their cell phones nearby. And what do we all do when TV shows are interrupted for promotional purposes? Check out social media and our emails. We have also included an email from Rothy linking their product to daylight saving time to prove they know what they are doing when they benefit from timely events. Nice job, Rothy.
4. Keds – Use proven tactics but add a twist
Seasonal color palettes are nothing new, but Keds refresh an old train in a number of ways.
First, they bring in a relevant social media influencer to model the shoes, leveraging the effective third party credibility of someone with a loyal following. Such co-branding partnerships are ideal for expanding the reach and opening up new target groups.
Second, Keds harness the power and intent of color to introduce new spring colors. They tie the colors to the moods they could improve: blue for calm, purple for positivity, and gold for motivation. Maybe a bit of woo-woo from some perspectives, but this is popular with their market and gives deeper meaning to a shoe color selection.
5. UGG – Pair your products for ultimate advertising
When it comes to marketing your product via email, it’s easy to feel like you’ve tried it all. But take a note of UGG and their pairing approach to see if this can add a little magic to your promo emails.
UGG’s email subject and heading are a perfect play on words for the infamous shoe brand. And if you’re already in love with UGG (which you can probably tell by subscribing to their emails), the promise of a perfect pairing is sure to win you over.
In this case, the recommendation is another level of coziness: UGG sells sweatshirts that go both comfortably and stylishly with their shoes.
And then, to seal the deal, they suggest a few boot and sweatshirt options that the reader might want to try – or combine:
By promoting two (or more) products at the same time and promoting a pairing, you are doing double duty without appearing intrusive or salable (flinching). They can also demonstrate the versatility of your product offering and prove that you are not a one-trick pony.
6. TOMS – Be transparent and use what your target audience is interested in
TOMS takes shoes and goodwill to the next level. Most people are familiar with TOM’s initial one-for-one practice of donating one pair of shoes for every pair purchased. Since then, they have shifted and now donate a third of their profits to support grassroots movements that aim for justice, mental health and an end to gun violence.
While this message is visible on their website, they don’t stop there. TOMS ensures transparency of all forms of branding and communication, including your email. By bringing this news to the fore, they are showing their customers exactly what interests them and what kind of brand they are.
Take a look at this recent email as an example. It is based on their mission to support grassroots organizations that help improve the lives of others. TOMS understands what their customers are about, and they’re not afraid to put it at the center of their branding.
Customers feel better when they spend money on organizations that are guided by their values. And they feel even better when there is full brand transparency.
As all of these brands prove, there is no guaranteed right way to connect to your email list. The more creative you get, the better at connecting. And when you feel like your creativity has completely dried up, check out some of your favorite brands for much-needed inspiration.
Now, if you’ll excuse us, we have some shoes to buy!