Why did this solar event stand out as an opportunity for companies to join in on? This was the first total solar eclipse visible in the contiguous United States since 1979 and will be one of history’s most widely document eclipses and scientists don’t expect to see another total solar eclipse for seven years.

Since it was such an unusual event, it was a big topic of discussion and people around the world were counting down until the moment happened. And when that time came, people looked to the skies with their specially ordered eclipse glasses to experience history in the making. 

Companies Jump on the Trending Topic

So, it’s no surprise that during this unusual event, some companies decided to use the excitement from this awesome phenomenon as a theme in their emails.  Using timely events, such as the occurrence of a rare solar eclipse, can add a little extra excitement and buzz around email campaigns -- and digital marketers love to jump on these trending topics.

Let’s take a look at how email marketers at a few different companies were capitalizing on this rare spectacle!.

A Sweet Solar Sweepstakes ‍

Casper and Outdoor Voices wanted to get you to a prime viewing location in Wyoming, so the two companies teamed up to create a sweepstake to get you there! This was a great tactic – not only did  it increase brand awareness for both parties, but it also showed how the customer can use their products together.

These two companies both have a similar design style too, which made bringing them together harmonious. Both have very clean lines and tend to use illustrations rather than lifestyle imagery. They also both use neutral colors and focus on one big, bold call-to-action button to get you to enter the  sweepstake.

Working together, Outdoor Voices and Casper worked together to bring customers an unforgettable solar eclipse experience. It was a great way to promote their brands, how they work together, and give customers an opportunity to see the solar event. Not to mention gain a few new subscribers along the way. 

Recommended Products to Help You Prepare ‍

With recommended products, Backcountry encouraged customers to enjoy the eclipse no form wherever they were. If you’re at a campsite , here’s a blanket and a wine cup set for you. Venturing out a bit further on your own? Make sure you bring this hammock and some food. Stuck at the office? That doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the eclipse! Grab this camp chair and speaker and make it a work party. And P.S. don’t forget the viewing glasses! This adds a nice personal touch to show they genuinely care that their customers are going to enjoy this amazing phenomenon comfortably and safely.

Take note at the very bottom of this message – there’s a survey on how you’ll be experiencing the solar eclipse. This is an interesting tactic to gather information on their customers and have a segmented customer list to contact for future campaigns. 

This email does a great job of reaching a wide range of customers. Whether it’s the group stuck in the office or the dedicated space lovers who planned a camping trip around the event -- they’ve got it covered. 

Reverse Psychology to Make You do a Double-take ‍

Sierra Designs encouraged customers  to “go away” and “chase the eclipse.” They showed off some of the gear that someone would need for a road trip to chase the eclipse and took customers straight to the sale section. 

To wrap it all up, they offered free shipping – because who wants to worry about shipping fees when you’re about to witness a total solar eclipse for the first time since 1979? Keep up the reverse psychology – it’s clever and it’s working!

Sierra Designs does a great job of showing off how its products can help consumers get the best solar eclipse experience. This is the beauty of creating content to trending topics and events, you can show your products in action and how they can directly apply to the trend. 

Clever Puns to Share with Your Pals‍

When it comes to great copy, Spirit Airlines is always on point. . Their copy is laidback and fun – it feels like they’re having a casual conversation with the reader as a friend, and not just as a customer. Plus,  who doesn’t love a good pun, which they do an excellent job of utilizing in this email.

“This deal won’t be eclipsed” is a clever way to reference the marvel that everyone was buzzing, while also noting they have the best deals around and won’t be overshadowed. That’s a pretty bold statement, but when you look at the low numbers that pop out at you, you have to agree.

Not only did these guys play off the word “eclipse,” but they also played off the rarity of the event. By saying this deal is “literally the most savings thing to happen in a hundred years,” they’re drawing on that urgency to book and get the deal of the century.

Spirit used the trending topic to their benefit. By playing off of the eclipse, its rarity, and providing some unheard-of travel deals, they definitely scored a couple of sales with this one. 

Fashion (and Safety) Musts‍

While the last few examples were able to relate their products directly to the event, other companies didn’t necessarily have that luxury. Not every company sells tents and camping equipment to give you the best seat in the house -- but that didn’t stop them. 

Francesca’s, for example, got festive for the eclipse by having their models sporting not just gorgeous styles, but eclipse glasses as well. This was a great way to encourage watching the eclipse safely… but still looking cute while  doing it.

Francesca’s also took this opportunity to drive traffic to their website for their “total eclipse of the site” sale. With a fun hero image and featured categories, Francesca’s gave customers  some ideas on what to wear on the big day.

How do you look cute wearing solar eclipse glasses? Francesca’s has you covered. They incorporated the safety glass into their campaign to jump on the eclipse bandwagon and still promote their products and even adding an extra sale into the mix. 

Get Dark (Just Like the Skies)

Instead of focusing on the sun, Nike honed in on the darkness of the eclipse by featuring almost all black shoes and clothing. While they didn’t offer any special discounts, the email in and of itself felt exclusive because they showcased their “top picks for the solar eclipse on Aug 21.” Not many retailers picking out their favorite trending products for just one day too often!

Nike took a totally different approach to solar eclipse marketing. They used the darkness of the eclipse to promote their black clothing lines. Although there were no special promotions around the event, they were able to still join in on the trending topic by sharing their solar eclipse picks. 

A Sale Hidden in an Eclipse GIF

J. Crew Factory played off the building excitement and created a GIF of the eclipse that had  a special offer inside. 

The cool part of this GIF was that the offer is essentially hidden until the big moment: when the moon totally covers the sun! Then the yellow text shines brightly on the blue background and you can see that they’re having a flash sale. 

To get you to their site, J. Crew Factory includes a call-to-action that says “Shop now, bright eyes,” giving a nod to the karaoke favorite, “Total Eclipse of the Heart.”

See the animation here:

Real-Time Marketing to Increase Customer Engagement

When something is trending it has the ability to reach more consumers and bring visibility to the topic. That’s why real-time marketing can help you increase customer engagement and see increased metrics. 

Not only will it be good for your email marketing stats, but it also gives your creative teams something new and exciting to develop. Take the boring out of email marketing and deliver relevant, real-time, exciting content to your customers’ inboxes.

One advantage of email marketing is that you can jump on new trending topics in a timely manner. Is there a trending event, hashtag, or an unusual phenomenon happening that could apply to your brand? Why not have a little fun with your marketing and take advantage of the hype at the same time. Well, that’s exactly what many companies did during the total solar eclipse in 2017. 


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