First on my list for the email marketing tip series – The Observer. This time, I ask the question: ‘Why oh why can’t the “big guys” get it right?’

I received an email the other day, with this is the subject line: ‘Introducing the new Observer’

Hmm… I wonder how long that took to come up with? No hint of testing there, let alone personalisation, data they just must have captured.

Next Time

Next Time – test a variety of subject lines on a small section of your list.

Now, I don’t remember signing up to get email from these guys, and I haven’t had a mail from them in the 6 months since I got my new laptop. They also didn’t put any trust earning text at the top of the email, for example: “you are receiving this email because…”

Next Time – let me know why you are emailing me, especially if it has been a while.

It was also a massively long email – email length is regularly cited as a reason people unsubscribe, and one of the things we always take note of when helping clients with their Email Marketing solutions.

Next Time – keep it short!

When I eventually got to the bottom of the email and found the click through, I noticed that I hadn’t read the “letter from the editor”. I clicked on the link even though there was no real call to action (must have been a slow day at work) and what did I get? A home page that looks nothing like the email I’ve just received. Where did all the orange go? Why doesn’t it match the email for look and feel?

Next Time – click through to a specific custom landing page or at least to a page that gives me a feeling of a fluid journey to and from the same company.

Integrate your email campaign

Now these are all pretty basic Email Marketing problems in my view, but what is really really annoying me is the tweet I just read from @RealDMitchell.

In my opinion…

Why didn’t they use this in the email? They have a well known celebrity, a really cool TV advert and a promotion which will appeal to their target market. I could sell ice to the Eskimos with that kind of collateral.

Clean, clear lines with no large header image and the perception that a video will play within your email client. The landing page would have to start playing the video with a simple one column form to enter the competition.


Subject line-wise, I’d go for something like:

“The Observer is changing, [firstname] what do you think?
Read what David Mitchell has to say about our new format”

The best way would be to test which is most popular, but something a little more imaginative would without a doubt help the open rate.