Need examples of emails from brands/companies that are bizarre, weird, or unorthodox but still effective. Thank you!
Hello and thank you for your question about examples of bizarre, weird, or unorthodox emails from companies (which are still effective). The short version is that after searching extensively through trusted media sites, industry reports, and corporate websites I’ve determined that specific, public examples of wacky emails are quite limited. However, I was able to gather relevant information on the efficacy and momentum of email marketing, and nontraditional tactics per credible email marketers, in addition to the examples that were available. Below you will find my methodology, a deep dive of my research, and conclusion of my findings.
These results were obtained using permutations of keywords such as "bizarre", "weird", "wacky", "strange", "innovative" as applied to "marketing campaign" or "campaign strategies". I also further searched using the same keywords + country names (such as Canada, Australia, Japan, UK) to see if the results differ across markets. Three specific examples were available from these results. To further assist you in your goal of finding tools to think creatively about a new campaign, I then found articles from credible marketing sources to guide your thinking and strategy. These articles include specific but nontraditional changes you can make to e-blasts to increase success quantifiably.
- MailRelay shares several approaches, which include an email titled "Don't Make Referrals Awkward" from Influitive. This example invokes reactions from an awkward dating situation to engage the reader about referrals. The VP (sender) continues the joke by referencing it again in his email signature.
- Oddbins, a UK wine retailer, used the recent political situation fused with humor in a series of "wacky" pictures and campaign. The brand, with a reputation for 'off-beat' campaigns, found the fusion successful.
- In another example of successful fusion of humor and politics, Frontier Airlines used the fictional "Deez Nuts" as the headline of its e-mail and marketing campaign for cheap airfares.
- A marketing email example from BetaBrand, a company credited with being "known for completely out-of-the-box marketing campaigns". This email "from the future" jokes with the reader about knowing they will make a purchase. The article goes into greater detail about Betabrand's marketing campaigns, including with the success of their email marketing campaigns which see an approximate open rate of 30%. "Thirty percent is insane for e-commerce. I’m not in the e-commerce game, but from what I understand, that’s awesome. While I have you on the phone, I’m checking our most recent campaign. A couple of our email open rates yesterday [were] 72 percent, 73.6 percent, 48.5 percent, 65 percent, and 35 percent. So we’re sending more, but we are smarter about who we send them to."
- Examples of how Noah Kagan, founder of AppSumo, landed email subscribers, specifically with catch phrases. "Catchy Subject Lines that propels the subscribers to open the email. Here are some examples from August 2016". In the Helpful Findings section below, another article further establishes the credibility of Noah Kagan as a well-known email marketer.
- While not e-mail, the findings could be translated over: a forklift company in California recently used an April Fool's product listing of an "anti-gravity forklift", which netted its website a 10-fold traffic increase on the day. The campaign gives some good hints on how other marketers can be 'weird': use weird facts in the subject line to 'hook' in readers, tap into niche markets and using odd images.
-More data on Betabrand's latest email marketing campaigns, including samples and frequency (Note: this site is selling analytics tools but the emails from Betabrand appear genuine).
-Information on Noah Kagan from AppSumo; note specifically the section "Here's what happened". It explains the usage of font names in driving up the percentage of marketing emails opened, with email conversion rising 10% from an industry standard of just 1%.
-Additional background on Noah Kagan, and other email marketers whose strategies can be adapted.
-This article originally shed light on Betabrand and Appsumo's wacky email marketing examples, but also lays out broader strategies to try such as "gameification" and adopting an air of exclusivity.
- This article gives more details about Influitive's campaign and more on the use of daring subject lines. "Surrounding a product launch, the email copy was a bit of a gamble — the tone was informal, from the subject line "So I'll pick you up at 7?" through the playful email body copy. Williams and the marketing team wrote an email that played on earlier content and made an emotional connection to the product." "The results of this email campaign include: 72 responses 25% open rate (Influitive’s highest) 2.3% clickthrough rate".
- Here the sustained power of email marketing is shown with key statistics. 33% of email opens occurred on an iPhone, while Gmail, second to the iPhone for opens, only accounted for 15% of those opens. 75% of Gmail’s 900 million users access their accounts on mobile devices. Email is the top source of analytics data for marketers, with 41% using their email marketing performance data. 89% of marketers say that email is their primary channel for lead generation. 65% of users prefer emails to contain mostly images, compared to 35% who prefer text.
- This article asserts which of the multiple email marketing campaigns is the most successful with consumers. "The five most commonly used email campaign types are newsletter (64%), email subscription (63%), email opt-in (63%), event or invitation (59%) and re-engagement (57%). However, the five most effective rated campaign types are loyalty (79%), exclusive deals (78%), social selling (77%), promotional content (77%) and mobile opt-in (76%)."
- Finally, this article describes how to get more subscribers to its email campaigns by altering the offers promoted in the email. "The study also broke down which types of promotions performed the best with audiences. The top types of promotions consumers in this survey wanted to see were percentage-off offers (35 percent), free shipping (20 percent), free trials (14 percent), and dollar-off promotions (14 percent)."
To wrap it up, while I was not able to find more public examples of nontraditional emails from companies after extensive searching, the several that were available are representative of successful uses of wacky marketing email strategies. The data and guidance from the helpful findings articles will support the organic creation of an unorthodox email campaign without using a template. These sources fall right in line with how you're planning to use this research: to expand what you think is possible and as tools to think creatively about a new campaign, rather than using any directly. If you’d like to continue research on any of the other topics I’ve outlined above, just let us know! Thanks for using Wonder!