The Best Example of a Human Email…EVER.

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Posted: May 28, 2014 | Email Marketing

 “We don’t have time for a long email, and neither do you. It’s very important that we all stay focused and get to the bottom of this Jay-Z / Solange / Beyoncé situation. We’re collecting clues, so if you have any tips please tweet them to @Eat24 with #Eat24Investigates.”

This was the opening paragraph from Eat24’s May 16th weekly coupon email.

Let me break that down into some bullet points for you:

  • Opening paragraph
  • Weekly coupon email
  • From a company who facilitates food pickup

The first three lines of this “weekend coupon” email had nothing to do with a coupon, or food, or restaurants. Not only did the opening paragraph not include the central call-to-action (which was to use their new coupon), it detracted from the CTA by asking readers to tweet about a trending topic – Jay-Z and Beyonce, of course. But as you can see from a Twitter search of the #Eat24Investigates hashtag, lots of people are playing along. And having some fun…with a company.

Awesome. Amazing. Human.  It reminds me of the “Fitbit 2013 Activity Summary” email I recently got (minus the unicorns, rainbows, roller skates, and dinner plates, of course).

But the fun/human-ness didn’t end there – the email continued:

“So let’s order delivery this weekend, because French fries exist, and because Queen Bey needs us. Oh, and here’s a coupon*!”

If you scroll to the bottom of the email to see what the asterisk is all about, you get this:

eat24 fine print email

Eat24 figured out a way to make people actually read the fine print. How? They made it unique. They made it fun. They made it human. And while the connection may seem random (dogs?), they tied it all together: “fetch you things (mostly food)…” Brilliant. Also, the coupon code (“Willow”) is apparently the name of a dog.

Bonus: Notice the opt-out language? “Please stop sending me coupons.” Ha!

To be clear, this email was not just a bunch of references to pop culture and dogs. It may have broken a few email rules, but it also included a very strong, very clear call- to-action. See below:

 coupon code willow

As I’ve mentioned, this was Eat24’s Weekend Coupon Code email. (Side note: the subject line for this email was “Your Weekend Coupon,” and I would be interested seeing some A|B subject line tests. “Your Weekend Coupon” while clear and obvious, does not scream HUMAN like the rest of Eat24’s marketing. I wonder how the open/click/conversion rates would change with a subject line like, “Jay-Z. Beyonce. Dogs. And Your Weekend Coupon.” Just a thought.)

Anyway, Eat24 doesn’t just keep things human in their email campaigns – they bring the fun to their social profiles too. Take a quick glance at their YouTube videos. Better yet, peruse their Facebook page (oh wait, they “broke up” with Facebook. Ha!). Their Twitter account is amazing too (be sure to look at replies). All of their social channels have a similar flavor.

Oh, and just to prove they actually interact on social media, I tweeted to them. The ensuing conversation was pretty awesome. They’d already won my heart, but this Twitter exchange made me love them even more.

Human Marketing. Who Cares?

Let me direct your attention back to my last sentence. The (human) exchange I had with Eat24 on Twitter made me love them even more. I had a conversation with a company* on social media, which led me to become an even bigger advocate for them. Think about the power of that for a minute – a company was able to win me over by relating to me. It started with that amazing “weekend coupon” email, moved onto Twitter, and now I’m sharing it with you…in this blog post. Powerful stuff.

*To be clear, there is a human (or team of humans) behind the @eat24 Twitter handle. I think.

I know what you might be thinking: “That’s great for Eat24, but how does it help me do my job better?”  How does infusing human-ness into your marketing campaigns help with what matters most to the C-Suite? Does “being human” drive more revenue for Eat24? More orders? More partnerships?

Confession: I don’t know.

I’m not sure if Eat24 knows, either.

To be fair, it’s not easy to split test “human” vs. “non-human” emails. That being said, I do feel confident that from a consumer standpoint, we’d all prefer fun and human over dull and robotic.

Good marketing is about storytelling, not selling. Good marketing is about relating to people on a human level, not treating them like a number. If done right, good marketing will lead to excitement around your product or services which (fingers crossed) leads to more sales, more revenue.

What do you think, oh fellow human?* Agree? Disagree? Drop us a line in the comments below.

*Opinions from robots are also welcome.

DJ Waldow is the Digital Marketing Evangelist at Marketo, a writer, speaker, and a co-author of The Rebel's Guide to Email Marketing. He also hosts two podcasts – The Work Talk Show (a podcast about how work gets done) and The Marketing Nation (Marketo's podcast about all things digital marketing). DJ is a knowledge craver, a sponge, and a lover of beer, coffee, and people (in no particular order).

Read DJ's Blogs

.@Eat24's funny, human emails break a lot of rules, but they still make the case for more human #marketing

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