Before even reaching double digits, we’re all taught about this enigmatic Golden Rule...the belief that “One should treat others as one would like others to treat oneself.”

When we send marketing emails, we’re doing a lot of asking (or, depending on the quarter, begging) for engagement. We want dollars, birthdays, likes, friend’s dollars, friend’s birthdays, friend’s likes… In form alone, it’s a very one-sided conversation.

To build a level of interest, respect, or appreciation from your email subscribers, a little more giving could go a long way. While coupons and discounts are nice, sometimes some solid content can go even further.

For starters, here’s an example from Shoes of Prey, where the background images cycles through a woman trying on each pair of shoes until she finds her perfect heel. Besides the cute graphics, the brand provides an incentive for a click, gathers more data about the recipient’s preferences, and is likely to hide some more subtle product placement within the contents of the quiz.

Next we’ll tie in a case from Pegasus Lighting, representing a whole different industry. While far from impressive in terms of design, Pegasus seems to keep its handyman audience in mind when designing a diagram-filled message about perfect lighting for garages, and follows it up by suggesting specific products for each type.

Finally, here’s an example for the foodies out there. In their emails, Sur La Table really capitalizes on the content-rich world of food. By opening with a beautiful imagine and recipe overview, it begs for engagement to unlock the remaining information. Cleverly, the information featured with no click barrier falls to the bottom under the header “Get these to make the recipe”. Here, we see a wide array of product that connect with the given recipe. Overall, a very helpful email that shows a perfect balance of product and content.

What do you think? Let me know if you have any other great examples?

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