Finding Inspiration for Your Email Marketing

  • June 13, 2015


    Do you ever struggle to come up with creative content for your email marketing campaigns? Are you stuck sending the same old emails, with little to distinguish you from your competitors? Coming up with content that will inspire and engage with your customers can be one of the most challenging aspects of email marketing.

    We recently published this blog post about how many businesses were hijacking the excitement of the Wimbledon in order to inject some creativity into their email marketing campaigns. Surprisingly, it wasn’t just the obvious companies (sporting goods stores, ticket sellers) that were using Wimbledon as inspiration for their campaigns. Almost every type of business, from supermarkets to jewellery shops, has found a way for the tennis tournament to inspire their email marketing campaigns.

    Using an event like Wimbledon in your email marketing provides a great way to connect with your customers. It is an event that a large proportion of the nation gets behind and one that, when it is taking place, is likely to be at the forefront of people’s minds. Any email that mentions the event should be more effective at capturing the attention of your customers. However, it’s not just Wimbledon that can inspire your email marketing campaign. Almost every major event, the type of thing that gets people talking, can be used to inject some creativity into your email marketing. Here are some ideas:

    Other Sporting Events

    There are certain sporting events that even non-sports fans get behind. It can seem like, for a couple of weeks every few years, they’re all that anyone is talking about. These are the ideal events to inspire your email marketing.

    Most recently, the 2014 World Cup found its way into many company’s email marketing campaigns. Many of them played on the excitement that many people had in anticipation of the tournament, like restaurant chain Yo Sushi:

    Yo SushiThey offer a free hand roll (along with other prizes) to anyone who support Japan as their ‘team two’: a great way to get people to visit the restaurant and connect with the brand during the tournament.

    Book retailer The Works showcased a range of products to help people get the most enjoyment out of the World Cup:

    The Works

    However, for every person who enjoys the World Cup, there is likely to be some that want to avoid it completely. Don’t forget about these people when putting together your email marketing campaigns.

    Travel company TrekAmerica encouraged their customers to ‘escape the world cup madness’ by taking a trip to the USA:


    The Weather

    Studies have shown that, for more than half of British People, the conversation turns to the weather once every 6 hours. Something that is so ubiquitous throughout society should, of course, play a role in some email marketing campaigns.

    Many companies run seasonal marketing campaigns (e.g. ‘get set for summer’). However, you can stand out from the competition by, instead of running generic seasonal campaigns, actually responding to the changes in the weather we are experiencing, particularly if they are unusual.

    During a particularly changeable spell of weather this spring, department store Debenhams ran this campaign:

    Debenhams inbox


    come rain or shine

    Online pet supplies retailer Zooplus used a popular idiom for inspiration for their campaign during a particularly rainy April:


    zooplus flash sale


    Sometimes, a major movie release can capture the attention of the public, encouraging swathes of film fans to rush out to see it and purchase the associated merchandise. This can lead to unlikely tie-ins, like this one shown in an email marketing campaign from Pizza Hut:

    pizza hut

    The company released a range of pizzas inspired by the latest X-Men film. Although pizza and the X-Men are not things you’d normally associate with one another, it does show how, with a little imagination, you can use almost any event to inspire your marketing campaigns.

    Of course, copyright laws could prevent you from mentioning a movie release directly, but there are other things you can do. Although it makes no mention of the film, it’s likely that Hamleys ran this campaign to deliberately coincide with the release of the film ‘Jurassic World’:

    Hamleys Dinosaurs

    The Jurassic World film could create a whole new generation of dinosaur fans; a fact that Hamleys are likely to want to capitalise on. They know that there soon will be lots of children asking their parents for dinosaur toys after seeing the movie, so an email like this is likely to resonate with many of their customers, without the film having to be directly mentioned at all.

    Not every major event will be suitable for your company, or for an email marketing campaign in general. Try out a few to see what works for you, and what your customers best respond to. Soon, you’ll never struggle for email marketing inspiration again!

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