Compelling Email Examples: Part 3

Author: Lucy Barfoot

Marketing Automation whizz and creative entrepreneur. I love analysing what visually works (and what doesn't) in the marketing industry and helping people to devise marketing campaigns from a creative angle.

Compelling emails. We want to see them. We want to love them. We want to know how to write them.

This is the third instalment in my blog series of Compelling Email Examples - where I share tangible examples of excellent email marketing. The aim of this series is to deconstruct the emails in a bid to show you why they’re so compelling and allow you to bring some of that magic into your own email marketing.

Today, I’m tearing down a wonderful email that I received from The School Of Life. The email is a hybrid, comprised of list hygiene and re-engagement strategy and I love it.

If you’ve found your way here because you’ve enjoyed the past instalments of this series, thank you for joining me again. 

If you’re new to this Ninja blog series, welcome! Allow me to point you in the direction of the other blog posts in this series. You can come back and enjoy those later.

But for now, onward!

I received this email in the run up to Christmas. The School of Life is a particularly lovely company (founded by the well respected Alain de Botton), and they were asking if I still want them to be in touch with me.

Three Quick Compelling Things

1.  It begins with an engaging question to draw the reader in, which is also displayed in the preview text. The copy is well written because it made me feel compelled to answer it.

2.  It’s got excellent clarity: they’re telling me what they want me to do and why, making it very simple to take action.

3. It’s got excellent clarity: they’re telling me what they want me to do and why, making it very simple to take action.

Show Me The Email!

I had to really consider what the aim of this email was - is it a well veiled sales poke by way of reengaging me, or do they seriously want to stay in touch with me? 

What do you think? How does the email feel to you?

Is it a re-engagement tactic?

Let’s consider the timing - this email was sent just before Christmas, which makes me feel that perhaps it was tactical re-engagement. 

If so, it worked on me. I was reminded that I have an account with them as I have previously purchased from them. I clicked to stay in touch, then browsed through their website.

After receiving the email, I made a Christmas present purchase (It was the Table Talk Placecards. I know you’re wondering!)

If it is a re-engagement tactic, it’s quite risky. Email inboxes are rammed in the lead up to Christmas and so, the possibility that this email goes unopened increases. And, if it went unopened and therefore unclicked, would  I have been removed from their list?

This may be a little too cutthroat. People who are interested may have missed their opportunity and been removed.

Email Hygiene Practice

This is a standard practice as a way to reduce list-boat and keep that email database hygiene squeaky clean. Afterall, what’s a big list worth if not many of the people are opening your emails? 

Similar to a drawer full of single socks without pairs - it’s good to have a clear out - they’re no use to anyone. 

If this is the case, The School of Life is making it super clear to people - do you want to continue receiving communications from us? No tactics at play.

Re-engagement And List Hygiene

I think this is most likely the case. The bonus of it being a list-hygiene method is that you’re directing those that do care to your website - like I did - which re-engages them. 

Those are the good contacts you want on your list, the ones who open emails and engage with them. Everyone else could be seen as dead weight.

What Works To Make This Email Compelling?

The Simplicity

It’s short, it’s image-led, it’s a simple layout. These three things are ticks for me. 

Looks Good On Desktop And Mobile

Testing on both is very important - and lots of people don’t do this - some brief stats from Constant Contact and Adobe will give you a kick up the bum to prioritise this if you’re not already working on it.

You can see the full 2023 email marketing report here.

A Clear Call To Action

They want us to click that button, and it’s a clear button. (I notice that the main image also takes you to confirm your email, so any clicks of that image are not lost).

Friendly And Engaging Copy

I really like the line “We'd love to keep sharing our journey with you.” it’s compelling, it’s friendly, it feels personal. And yes, I’d like to share their journey too! 

The tone is friendly and encourages me to engage. Oftentimes, re-engagement emails can be quite blunt and straightforward. While I appreciate that they have a goal they want to achieve, it usually doesn’t bode well with keeping those who may be slipping through the net engaged.

How Could They Make The Email Better?

If I were to change anything in this email, my suggestion would be that they include a ‘stay in touch’ button within the top image. That would make it easier for the reader to take action without having to scroll down the page.

 (Yes, I know it’s not far. But, people can be inbox-lazy. Sometimes, save yourself the hassle).

Consider This If You Want To Send A Similar Email To Your List

If you’re going to create an email like this beauty from The School of Life, consider where you send people once they hit the button to stay in touch.

Do you:

A - Head to a form where they re-subscribe (more work for your audience!)

B - Head to a landing page where they are genuinely thanked, and some lovely products/resources are showcased / offered? (No work for your audience, and useful/interesting for them)

You know what I’m going to say don’t you… YES! Create a beautiful landing page and send people there. 

  • Ninja Top Tip: You could make it optional for people to give you further information.  Perhaps there’s a form on your landing page for them to tell you what they want to receive within your email communications.  

Be aware that making this a task they have to do will create a big drop off of people who simply can’t be bothered to form-fill.

You know your audience better than I. Communicate with them in a way that will engage them!

Happy Compelling Email Crafting!

I hope I’ve piqued your list-hygiene interest. It’s a healthy thing to do.

Reduce your list bloat and re-engage those docile customers. You’ll be left with a highly engaged list and your click rate is likely to massively increase, which is excellent for your email marketing in general.

I hope you’ve found this email example useful. If you liked this, you might like my other ‘email teardowns’. Scroll down and you can find them below!

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