Having recently entered fatherhood, my wife received a very timely email from SMA that got her attention. So much so that she mentioned it to me. She by no means only gets a couple of emails so for this to stand out must have really got her attention. I then passed eyes over it and thought it was a wonderful example of modern marketing; simple, effective and adding value. I would also like to point out that I am in no way associated to SMA: not as an employee, supplier or partner.
So, what made this email so great?
The subject line was questioning and simple ‘Has your baby arrived yet?’ It had intrigue and provoked interest as yes, the baby had arrived (which they obviously knew).
The subject line was only effective as the email arrived a couple of days after the baby, it this was a couple of years, or even a couple of weeks the impact would not have been the same. In order to deliver this at the right time, access to the right data is vital. Mother had not signed up to any SMA subscriptions, so data acquisition probably occurred through an up-to-date list. The timeliness of email delivery lends itself to an automated program so as emails would be broadcast as new mothers arrive.
Throughout the email, it continually demonstrates understanding to current challenges and pains we are experiencing—sleepless nights and changing nappies! SMA demonstrates understanding of thoughts—feeding a lot and realization of needing to learn a lot.
The tone reads more like a letter to a friend than a promotional email. This relaxed, warm and informal tone makes the reader want to read more. Reassuring phrases like “Hang on in there” are used and followed by comments boosting mothers confidence: “You’ll soon be feeling more confident." These all help build a warmth and relationship with mother and brand.
With body links, a right-hand column and video thumbnails, stylistically it is very much like a blog. Again, this contributes to the relaxed nature and informal tone. The appearance helps to disarm the reader, moving the style away from typical marketing messages.
This is a wonderful example of Content Marketing. All links go to relevant supporting material to help the mother including articles, videos and help sheets. Products and buy now is never mentioned, just good helpful content. The message promotes breastfeeding, even though the company's income is largely dependent on formula milk. Lastly, a free careline to call for advice and support for non-customers related to non-product information is promoted!
This email highlights some great practices in modern marketing; timeliness at acquiring contacts and delivering messages, leveraging online digital channels and creating content of high value to an audience.
SMA sees the value in helping mothers with their many questions, problems and challenges they experience. By providing suitable, relevant content in a timely fashion, the company will be placed at the forefront of mothers' minds. Needless to say, when mother goes to a shop and sees SMA, XYZ and ABC on a shelf—I know what she will be picking up.
Greg Dorban is a Demand Generation professional helping global companies to create more opportunities. He is Head of Inbound Marketing with strategic consultation on search, social, web, conversion and content at Ledger Bennett, a specialist B2B agency. Follow him on Twitter @gregdorban or Google+ GregDorban.