Daily Email Inspiration: Online Marketing Institute
Reading Time: 6 minutes
The latest email campaign from the Online Marketing Institute promoted a discount on new certifications. We thought it would be a great campaign to analyse as part of our #dailyemailinspiration series as we wanted to look at an email from outside the retail industry.
Take a look at the campaign here:
We analysed the email as part of our #dailyemailinspiration series:
Layout and Design
The email copy is split into several short paragraphs aiding the reader’s journey as they are able to scan the email quickly for key messages. Although the email has been split into short, scannable sections, the email body is very long and is unlikely to be read in its entirety. The email copy needs to be more engaging to ensure that all the email content is acknowledged by the reader.
The use of bold formatting in the email copy highlights the key messages however, we feel that bold formatting has been overused, reducing its impact as four different phrases are emboldened in the email.
The large feature image that is used stands out against the white email background and is particularly eye catching, however, the image itself does not contribute to the email content and seems irrelevant. The blue jacket that the image subject is wearing is consistent with the colours and branding of the OMI website.
Online Marketing Institute have used an intriguing subject line for their email campaign ‘It’s Party Time’. Whilst we feel that the subject line does build intrigue around the content of the email, it does not reflect the purpose of the email or reveal anything about the special offer it includes.
The email copy is informal demonstrated by the use of non-standard spellings, ‘maaaybe’, and colloquialisms including ‘Are we for real?’ which give the email a friendly, familiar tone. The colloquialisms ‘Are we for real?’ and ‘Insane, right?’ imply that the offers in the email should be irresistible to the reader.
The email is written in a very informal tone and flows as a result of its conversational nature. The parallels drawn between celebrations at Christmas and New Year and the transition that the OMI is going through make clever use of similes and metaphors to highlight the relevance to the reader.
The email footer, ‘Just a few friendly reminders’ increases the chance that the reader will take notice of the otherwise banal terms and conditions section. Using the term ‘reminder’ suggests to the reader that the company is aware they are presenting information which is otherwise commonsense.
Although the abbreviation ‘CMO’ will be self explanatory to digital marketing professionals, the email does not use the full title ‘Chief Marketing Officer’ anywhere in the email copy and could therefore be confusing to a newcomer to the field.
The main purpose of the email, to promote discounts on certifications, is buried in the 4th paragraph of email copy and could easily be missed. The first three paragraphs appear to contain superfluous information which may disengage the reader long before they scroll to the fourth paragraph containing the call to action.
Visuals and Images
The email from the Online Marketing Institute uses one large image positioned above a large amount of text. The image is colourful, unlike the rest of the email and is particularly striking because of the use of contrasting colours. However, we would question the relevancy of the image subject in an email promoting discounts on certifications. A more relevant image based on the email content would have added more value.
The social media icons in the email footer are likely to be missed as they are very small and have a weak call to action in a small font. To engage the reader, the social media icons should be placed in the email header which is more likely to be seen due to the length of the email. A stronger call to action should also be used to encourage the email recipient to give feedback or otherwise engage with the company.
Personalisation and Segmentation
The email has been sent out as part of a seasonal email campaign and we therefore feel that personalisation may be less effective than at other times of the year as the email recipient may buy a course as a present for a friend, colleague or relative.
To increase the appeal of the promotion, the content should be tailored to the user’s purchase history – offering the most relevant training course for their needs. The email also links through to a preference centre where the user is given the option to update their personal details. More information could be collected at this point to provide the user with a more relevant and easily segmented email.
Call To Action
The OMI email campaign lacks a convincing call to action. In order for a call to action to be effective, it needs to stand out, compel the reader to take action and be concise.
The hyperlinks used in the OMI email campaign are positioned below the fold in the email and do not inspire the reader to take action. The plain hyperlink text ‘Facebook’, ‘Content Marketing’ and ‘Digital Fundamentals’ are neither visually appealing nor descriptive. In order to improve the calls to action in this email, OMI should use call to action buttons which tell the reader what their next steps should be. We also feel that they would be better stacked horizontally rather than vertically as this would give the impression that each of the three courses were of equal value.
Although the calls to action are uninspiring they do link to a designated and appropriate landing page. However, there is a contrast between the message in the landing page and the intent of the email. The video on the landing page, which highlights the reasons why you should attend the course, is positioned below the fold.
The email does not drive the user towards one specific action, instead choosing to spread the intent over the three courses. There is an argument to split the email into three separate, more specific email campaigns which could be segmented according to the needs of the recipient.
The email’s final call to action is linked to a landing page offering the email recipient a free trial. This seems like an odd choice for a landing page as the email instructs the reader to enter a discount code at the checkout.
Overall Effectiveness and Summary
The main purpose of the email campaign from the Online Marketing Institute is to promote the discounts on their courses. We feel that this purpose has been achieved with little success due to a weak and diluted call to action resulting from the inclusion of four different hyperlinks, each with its own landing page on the company website. Although the email copy effectively builds a relationship with the reader, we would question whether it is engaging enough to result in a conversion.