Easy as ABC: The best Back to School email marketing campaigns
The kids are back to school next week, which means new shoes, skirts, shirts, ties, blazers, pens, pencils, bags, sports equipment AND more! As expected, retailers all over the country have been ramping up their email marketing campaigns to show you that their stuff is the best.
Email is a great way to inform your contacts of new products, and seasonal updates usually outperform standard email marketing campaigns, as contacts are more bought into the theme and the timely-ness of it.
When it comes to preparing content, such as back to school products, it’s a great chance for marketers to segment their list based on the details held for each contact.
The choice is up to your brand – should you target everyone with the same content, based on the assumption that your customers have children? Or will you risk alienating contacts by sending them useless content?
Upon sign up you may have asked your contacts for information regarding their preferences, for example, retailers that offer a variety of products, such as Tesco or Asda, ask what type of content you’d like to receive. This may be women’s wear, menswear, children’s wear or food produce. You can then take this information to customise your campaigns at this time of year for maximum impact.
So let’s have a look and see what arrived:
Shoe retailer Clarks, has played it safe with this email, and aims to please everyone. Now, don’t get me wrong, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. This will save them time and effort, and the majority of email contacts are happy to receive content like this. The email itself has a great design. The layout is easy on the eye, and the structure leads your eye down the page to the call to actions, which are on theme, but stand out from the rest of the template. I give this a B+.
This email template is crisp and clear. I really like the use of colour throughout each section of the template. It sections off each part of the template without placing borders that cut up a perfectly good template. The email is directly focused at parents looking to buy items for their children. These images won’t be displayed upon opening the email, the user would need to download these, but there’s a good balance of text alongside the images which will help the user understand the context of the email. This email scores a A+.
3. Not On The High Street
This email recently featured in another post of ours, as it is mobile optimised – and optimised well. This time the template is being included for its great design, and great subject line which was ‘Don’t worry, they’ll grow into it’. A phrase that most people have heard from their parents once in a while, it was obvious what type of content was to be featured in this email. NOTHS have also included university items for those all-important ‘freshers’ who shouldn’t be forgotten about at this time of year either. This email scores an A.
I assumed this email from Matalan would include more information regarding their school supplies, considering a large portion of their shops and website is dedicated to children’s clothing and other items. Again, Matalan have included information regarding university students, but their new season products take preference over the seasonal items. The call to action could be brighter and more informative to catch the user’s eye. This email gets an average C.
5. New Look
When I looked through my inbox for ‘back to school’ emails, I didn’t expect New Look to feature. If you’ve read our posts on templates in the past, you’ll know that New Look emails are some of my favourites, and often feature due their simple and intuitive design which is perfectly on brand. But once I thought about it, it made sense that New Look would feature back to school products. A large portion of their brand is aimed at teenagers, and as more teenagers take up accounts on social media, it only makes sense to target email marketing at them as well. This in depth analysis of New Look by Econsultancy explains why they have fans across the marketing world. A B+ for New Look.
The subject line to this email was ‘Back to school is as easy as £1, £2, £3!’ which is exactly what’s explained in the email content. A subject line should inform the contact of the content before opening, but should entice them to do so at the same time – and this subject line follows best practice conventions. Other email templates included university products, and this one breaks the mould slightly by including everyday school items, and Morrisons also provide content such as the budget calculator. Morrisons are the only retailer to add value in a different way through this type of campaign. Morrisons achieves an A.
This email by retailers Boden is fantastic. The design reminds you of school days, and the chalkboard theme really resonates with parents who are purchasing items for their children. Whilst the products aren’t school uniform based like the other templates, the items are ideal for youngsters who are not yet of school age, but will be entering education this year. There are two downsides to this email: first the amount of imagery – there is no text to balance out the images, and secondly, the call to actions don’t jump out from the page. Remember, email users skim content, and the small arrows could be easily missed. Boden gets a lovely B+.
This is very similar to the Boden email – the items aren’t exactly school uniform based – but the email is still timely and relevant. There is only one obvious call to action included in this email template, but by clicking the item, you are taken to the desired page. The call to action could have been implemented underneath each individual item to ensure the contact know which action to take, even if they didn’t read the top of the email.
The top banner is quite overwhelming – there are too many codes, facts and figures. If this email was opened with a preview pane, such as in Outlook, the user may be immediately turned off due to the sales based nature of the email. Gap gets a C for this average looking email.
Have you seen any other email marketing campaigns that you would give an A for effort? Let me know in the comments below, or tweet us @Wired_Marketing.