iPhone 4 welcome email – I’m in shock!


DISCLAIMER: I’ve been meaning to write this post since I received this email in August 2010.

I got my iPhone 4 when it first came out and registered it immediately, but I was shocked when I actually received an email from Apple about how to use the phone and the new features. For all of the Apple products I’ve purchased (there have been a few….), this was the first product and related welcome email that I’ve received about enhancing my experience with the iPhone. I didn’t even get one when I purchased their server product – which is definitely more involved and tricky than the iPhone.

So you could imagine how happy I was when I received this. I clicked straight through to look at what was different and expore the landing page. See the email and the landing page below.

Apple iPhone4 - Welcome email - August 2010

Apple iPhone4 - Welcome email - August 2010

Apple iPhone4 - Welcome landing page - August 2010

Apple iPhone4 - Welcome landing page - August 2010

LEARNINGS:
There are a few learnings that can be taken away from this Apple example:

  1. WELCOME EVERYONE – the best experience anyone can have is to be welcomed to a brand, service or product they have just purchased and taken the time to register. If you are selling anything, you should ensure that you are sending an email that will provide the user or your new customer with some information about how they can get the most of their recent purchase. You already have all of the information for the selling, it is just completing the process and reusing it so you are continuing the sales process in the iniital few weeks of their purchase.
  2. CHECK IN – an enhancement to what Apple are doing would have been to send a survey a month after purchase to see how I was doing with the phone, specifically looking at how I’m using it, what I’m using the phone for, the good, areas for improvement and any other enhancements. This is the perfect testing ground for future new product development and a cheap market research for the company.
  3. ONGOING UPDATES – Apple are starting to get better at this, but there are still areas they can improve. Any updates to the software should be communicated via email rather than just via iTunes. For the bigger updates, Apple are communicating with there consumers, but the smaller ones are a self discovery.

 

Overall, I was very happy that Apple sent this email. Let’s just ensure that they continue on this process and welcome new people/customers to all of their products moving forward.

 

ASSOCIATED APPLE & EMAIL MARKETING POSTS I’VE WRITTEN:

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Apple does Local Area Marketing (LAM) – OMG!


In a world where there is constant debate around the relevance of email due to the introduction of social networks, Apple has started to target local consumers with local area updates (or more specifically local area marketing LAM).

Apple has always been great at their email design, but there has never been any smarts to any of the emails they send, ie no proper data work before their email sends, they don’t recognise what products/software you own or have registered with them and they constantly repackage global emails and deliver them locally.

However, over the past month, Apple have sent out two emails both focusing on the Australian or, more specifically, the Sydney market. They are actually using their database for local area marketing (LAM). The two emails were to announce the following:

  1. New Apple store opening in Castle Hill
  2. Filmmakers camp for kids during school holidays.

As expected from Apple, both emails are beautifully designed and have very strong headlines and calls to action.

My only question about these emails is: Is this a new start for Apple emails or is it a once only?

NEW APPLE STORE – CASTLE HILL

Apple email - new store opening - Castle Hill - sent 16th August 2010

Apple email - new store opening - Castle Hill - sent 16th August 2010

Apple email headline - new store opening - Castle Hill - sent 16th August 2010

Apple email headline - new store opening - Castle Hill - sent 16th August 2010

FILMMAKERS CAMP EMAIL

Apple kids Filmmaker Camp email - 10 September 2010

Apple kids Filmmaker Camp email - 10 September 2010

Apple kids Filmmaker Camp email headline - 10 September 2010

Apple kids Filmmaker Camp email headline - 10 September 2010

WHY THIS IS GREAT?

  • Apple are starting to look at their database. They have only sent out blanket communications for such a long time. There was no smart data work done prior to any email send.
  • Apple are starting to use their database properly.

WHY THIS ISN’T GREAT?

  • Even though Apple are starting to use their database properly, they still don’t know that I don’t have kids. A simple data capture exercise or incentivised survey would have helped them know and understand this.
  • My expectations have been lifted and I am now expecting local emails from Apple. I’ll be disappointed if I don’t get them (but it won’t stop me loving Apple – sad).

ASSOCIATED APPLE & EMAIL MARKETING POSTS I’VE WRITTEN:

Overview of Apple’s email marketing


OK, so I have become a little obsessed with Apple’s email marketing and understanding what they are doing and not doing.

Below is a presentation showing Apple’s email marketing or a collection of all the images used in the previous posts, as well as a screen grab of the email visable in the preview panel. It’s an interesting journey and has definitely helped me understand more about their ongoing communications and why clients love Apple so much.

QUESTION:

Are there any other company emails/newsletters that you think are doing a great job? Would be really interested to read anything else?

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What else could Apple be doing in their emails?


As a summary to my review of Apple’s email marketing, there is really only one thing to look at: what else should Apple be doing with their email communications? Overall, like everything Apple does, it works. It is clean, simple and effective.

There really aren’t too many other things they should be doing. I have thought of three things they could be doing more of:

  1. Bundling: Apple have got their product emails sorted, they are clean and very focused, but there is a huge opportunity for bundling. They have started this with the latest uni newsletter. However, they can be doing this with so much more.
  2. Asking questions: Apple have never sent me a survey or asked me how I want to interact with them. I’m getting a combination of messages: software, product and event. I’m happy to receive all types, but they are all dry messages. I want something more. More content or more relevance to help me expand my knowledge.
  3. Tailor content: They know what products I have, but the messaging isn’t relevant to this, ie upgrade messaging rather than buy. Where is the accessories push or up-sell in all of these emails?

The common theme throughout these additions is the data smarts and intelligence. There really aren’t many companies getting that right within this space. Victoria Secret‘s and the other US retailers (Bluefly, GAP) are really pioneering the way. They are able to determine your site activity and marry it back to your data and actions, ie if you leave something in the shopping cart on their site, you get an email letting you know it is still there for a limited time.

Most companies think a blanket email (one email for all customers) is enough. With email being so cheap it means you can test things and really understand what works for consumers. The ideal would be to use email as a test bed before any of the above the line communications goes out. Similar to search, it gives you the opportunity to test real-time what is working with your customers before rolling it out with a bigger budget.

Due to the financial opportunity, I wonder if companies will start to realise this and place more importance on communicating to the customers they already have and using them as a test case before spending millions and millions of dollars on media and creative.

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What are the common elements in Apple’s emails?


As part of Apple’s ongoing customer communications, they send three different type of emails:

  1. Product: specifically relating to a new product launch or upgrade
  2. Software: similar to product, these types of emails relate to a new software launch or upgrade
  3. Event: these emails are around particular times of the year – Post Christmas, Valentine’s Day and return to uni.

Below is a review of each email type and the common themes for each.

PRODUCT EMAILS

Each of the product emails is slightly different, but there are some common elements to all of them:

  • Logo: the Apple logo always appears at the top. It’s only in the MacMini email that the logo appears as part of the computer screen. All other emails it appears either top left (majority) or top right with a lot of space around it.
  • Header: each header contains descriptive product text with a stong, clean product image. The MacMini email is the only one where the product image appears above the text.
  • Header CTA: the header has a strong call to action encouraging the user to ‘BUY NOW’ (in a button).
  • Imagery: each product email has a strong connection to the copy – all very large.
  • Content: under the header, the product content is diplayed in columns. Each column having copy with an image that reflects what is written. The columns vary from 2 to 4, depending on the product.
  • CTA: each email has a clear call to action at the bottom of the email. Replicating the similar format of all other emails: two boxes both promoting purchase – one online and the other instore.
Apple MacMini email - 19 March 2009

Apple MacMini email - 19 March 2009

Apple iPod/Shuffle email - 13 March 2009

Apple iPod/Shuffle email - 13 March 2009

Apple iMac email - 7 March 2009

Apple iMac email - 7 March 2009

Apple MacBook email - 26 Feb 2009

Apple MacBook email - 26 Feb 2009

SOFTWARE EMAILS

Each of the software emails is slightly different, but there are some common elements to all of them:

  • Logo: the Apple logo appears in the top left hand corner
  • Header: each header displays the name of the software in a very creative way and ensures the user knows what the email is about
  • Header CTA: the header has a strong call to action within it (button) either focusing on purchase or trial
  • Imagery: the MacBook Pro is used to bring the software to life via three separate computer, each featuring a different element of the software
  • Content: under each of the hero images there is some copy explaining the software. There are only a few lines, which are enough to read before moving down to the software features.
  • Features: the software features are highlighted with an image and then supporting copy. Both emails start with the image on the left hand side with copy to the right and for the next software feature it is reversed (copy on the left, imagery on the right).
  • CTA: each email has a clear call to action at the bottom of the email. Replicating the similar format of all other emails: two boxes both promoting purchase – one online and the other in-store.
Apple iLife email - 30 January 2009

Apple iLife email - 30 January 2009

Apple iWork email - 16 January 2009

Apple iWork email - 16 January 2009

EVENT EMAILS

Each of the event emails is slightly different, but there are some common elements to all of them:

  • Logo: the Apple logo appears at the top of the email, either top left or top right
  • Header: each header is a little different, but it heroes the product
  • Header CTA: the header has a strong call to action (button) focusing on ‘SHOP NOW’, which is different to the ‘BUY NOW’ buttons used in the above emails. I’m assuming this is because there are multiple products being communicated in these emails rather than just one.
  • Imagery: strong product shots are used for each email.
  • Content: under each of the hero images there is some copy introducing other products that might be relevant for the user. In the Valentine’s email, all of the content is iPod specific: Shuffle, iTunes Gift Cards and iPod Touch. In the December email, there is conent around the different product categories: iPod, Mac, iPhone and iPod & iPhone.
  • CTA: each email has a clear call to action at the bottom of the email. Replicating the similar format of all other emails: two boxes both promoting purchase – one online and the other in-store.
Apple Valentine's email - 27 January 2009

Apple Valentine's email - 27 January 2009

Apple Valentine's email - CTA

Apple Valentine's email - CTA

Apple Post Christmas email - 31 December 2008

Apple Post Christmas email - 31 December 2008

Apple December email - CTA

Apple December email - CTA

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LEARNINGS

Based on reviewing the above emails there are some learnings that we can take out of Apple’s email communications:

  • Different types of communications: Ensure that you have a framework that allows for more than just product emails. There needs to be a combination of emails that are sent to the consumer. The ideal combination is product and event. Both educating and pushing sales.
  • Set guidelines rather than templates: guidelines have more flexibility than templates, therefore it is important to set some guidelines for your email communications. These should details: logo treatments, header options, use of imagery, use of content, CTA, privacy, etc.
  • Product shots are key: most clients don’t have the budget to do a photo shoot for emails, but maybe they should. The key to all of these emails is the imagery and it’s simplicity.

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