In a previous post, I spoke about the important of humanizing your brand through showcase your company culture and engaging with the external world. A few days ago, I stumbled upon a few great examples of this approach in practice. First, an athletic accessories company, Jaybird. In an effort to associate their goods with sports, they pair themselves with “Ambassadors” who promote and use the brand. Details aside, this week they added a new ambassador and decided to highlight that in their emails. From the subject to the images, the ambassador herself receives the priority. You’ll notice that background on this professional climber is then carefully mixed in with product information and images.

Next, a look at Lovesac reminds us that marketers like pop culture, too. The “Dad Bod”—a man who is not overweight yet carries too large of a belly to have visible abs –was a term that got a lot of attention late this spring. Coined by a student reporter at Clemson University, “Dad Bod” references rapidly polluted the nation as a comical and counterintuitive new ideal for male appearance. In Lovesac’s email, they show their social relevance by incorporating a reference to this in relation to their ultra-fluffy furniture. Their subject line read, “What do Pillowsacs and Fathers have in common?” By tying this into the upcoming Father’s Day and including an array of products at the bottom of the email, Lovesac really did a fantastic job.

Finally, here is a more political statement in solemn contrast to Rue La La’s usual colorful and lighthearted imagery. In this, Rue comments on the recent new stories about a massacre recently occurring in Charleston. Not stopping with drawing attention to Rue’s views, the message goes on to promote a new product for which nonprofits will receive all earnings. Providing information about the YWCA and The Martin Luther King, Jr Center for Nonviolent Social Change at the bottom almost overshadows the small “Shop Rue La La” link lurking in the bottom navigation email. While strong social statements that ask readers to, “Join us as we pause in solidarity with the victims of racial prejudice,” could seem out of place in email marketing, Rue took a firm position and, for many readers, may have earned a new level of respect. Rue showed an impressive step towards corporate responsibility by contributing publicity and funds to several worthy non-profits.

What do you think? Is email marketing engaging with current events a best practice or a rookie mistake?

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