Sending an email about a partner can be tricky. If your message is too off-brand, you might scare your subscriber away thinking it’s spam. If you’re unable to create a connection between the companies properly, you’ll leave them confused. Here are a few examples of partner emails I’ve received recently; some done right and some a bit off target.
From: west elm
Subject Line: Reminder – You’re invited! Top Dog Photo Contest
Here we have a home store (west elm) partnered with a company that mails doggy treats (BarkBox). I would imagine finding a similarity between these brands would be difficult, but this email did a great job bringing them together. It’s clearly west elm branded with header and prominent logo so there’s no confusion who the email came from. They perk interest and tie the brands together by creating a contest held in west elm stores: Snap a photo of your dog in our stores, Instagram it, and you’ll be entered to win a BarkBox. Nicely done.
Subject Line: Amy, new at LOFT: Horoscopes
Next we have a clothing retailer (LOFT) partnered with a company that provides horoscopes (Saturn Sisters). On the upside, I was able to tell who the email came from, but the tie-in between the companies left me puzzled. Rather than using the copy to explain the connection, it mentions coffee, twice. I thought maybe the landing page would bring it together somehow, but it didn’t. Furthermore, the landing page didn’t work for mobile and the email was missing the legal footer (not to mention a link to unsubscribe to partner emails). My suggestion for a quick solution would be to revise the wording both on the email and landing page. For the landing page, if the fortune was to take time to yourself, suggest or show a picture of some LOFT lounging pants; if it’s to embrace your wild side, link to some brightly patterned tights. I did enjoy the animation in the email and they did get a click from me, but there was so much missed opportunity and a bit of disconnect.
Subject Line: Prep for your party in no time with Sally Hansen and Evite
The final example comes from a company that sends digital invitations (Evite), partnered with a self-tanning lotion brand (Sally Hansen). Now that’s a reach to find common ground. On the up side, the email has the evite logo, a title that clearly states “from our partner,” and copy that (miraculously) was able to draw a connection between the brands: have great tanned legs at your next party. But, despite all of that, at first glance I thought this email was spam. My suggestion would be to include a bit more imagery from the evite side of the partnership — maybe more of the header from the evite website. Perhaps they could also work an invitation into the design — a “Best Legs Bash” invitation?