Why does everyone love Apple’s newsletters?
April 21, 2009 5 Comments
Whenever we ask a client for a competitor/company who is doing email marketing well or someone they aspire to be like, most answer with Apple. Not sure if this is because most companies what to be like Apple or whether they really are the cutting edge of email marketing. Keep reading if you want to know more.
The common reasons why Apple are perceived to be doing emails well are:
- Design: a combination of beautiful imagery and a lot of white space
- Content: it is always relevant to the consumer, single minded (about one product or event) and short
- Exclusive: you feel like you are part of the Apple club as soon as you receive anything
Apple have a fluid approach to sending emails and their frequency. There is no rigid structure or routine to their sends, ie there isn’t a monthly newsletter about a collection of products. Their approach is to send an email focusing on one product, highlighting the features of that product with strong calls to action. They may send between 3 – 4 emails in a month depending on their NPD cycle.
A summary of the number of emails sent:
- January: 3 emails (2 x software, 1 x event: Valentines)
- February: 1 email (1 x product)
- March: 4 emails (3 x product, 1 x event: uni)
What do Apple do well?
- Frequency: Apple don’t have a set frequency of communications. When they have something of interest they send it out, they don’t wait to fill a monthly newsletter.
- Focus: the emails are focused on one product or event. They don’t try to include too many products into the email or tell the consumer too much. There is a focus on providing enough information about a product and then pushing consumers through to the website to find out more.
- Strong CTA: at the bottom of every email there are strong calls to action that are consistent across all areas (see screen shots below). There are two elements: shop online and come in store.
- Design: all emails have been designed so that all the information is displayed on screen if a user has opened the email. A post on this is in progress and will be live in the next few days.
- Preview: there is enough information displayed in the preview window to encourage a user to open the email. Most emails have a headline and a strong email to encourage this. A post on this is in progress and will be live in the next few days.
There are several commen elements within these calls to action:
- Two boxes: there are always two boxes. One promoting online shopping and the other promoting coming in store. Both pushing the consumer to make a purchase
- Imagery: whether it is human or iconic, there is some consistency to the imagery used throughout the calls to action. It looks as if Apple have a standard way of using the in store ‘Specialist’, far right. The first example above was used in one of the product bundling emails.
- Consistency: every email is pushing these two calls to action. The copy may change, but they are really saying the same thing just making it relevant for the product they are promoting.
There are three key learnings that companies can take from Apple:
- Be focused: don’t try to put everything in one email. If there isn’t a topic/theme to hold all products together it isn’t worth forcing it. Be single minded and manage content around a topic/theme. If something doesn’t work this month, try it again next month.
- Understand your audience: don’t box yourself in to sending a monthly email, know what products your customers have and talk to them personally. Use them to gauge how often they want to receive communications from them and get their feedback into what they actually want to receive.
- Set rules: rather than setting rules based on frequency, set them based on content and themes. It isn’t essential to send a monthly newsletter, but it is to communicate regularly. What are your rules around communication?
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