Courtney Eckerle

‘Twas the Night Before Sending: How Ebates created a compelling holiday email send in one day

November 11th, 2016

As marketers become fully entrenched in the hectic holiday season, it’s easy to just keep to the schedule while letting customer engagement opportunities pass by.

Derek Kazee, Director of Retention Marketing, Ebates, and I spoke about this issue in the Media Center at MarketingSherpa Summit 2016 about how his team overcame the biggest holiday season obstacle cutting through the noise.

By reacting quickly after some holiday inspiration, Derek and his team quickly mobilized to engage with members about current and upcoming promotions in a fun and informative way.

“I got an idea to do something different, which was actually to remind and to preview all of the promos we were going to launch because I was having trouble keeping track of it myself,” he said.

Derek came into the office with that idea and challenged his team to come up with something that would be informative, non-promotional and engaging at the same time. As a result, one of the copy writers rewrote “’Twas the Night Before Christmas,” and it was designed in just one day.

“The difference was, it wasn’t a sell call-to-action. It was a preview to the promos to come. So it was literally setting up the emails to come, which were sell, sell, sell,” he said.

We’re all inundated with email constantly, Derek said, especially in the holiday season. Marketers can stand out by breaking away from the content that is normally sent.

“It’s really tough to fight against that, and one way we can do that is to be creative, be engaging, be fun, and do something that isn’t typical. And that’s what we accomplished with this email,” he said.

The Ebates Cyber Days Preview email was delivered to millions of engaged subscribers. While the team’s goal was not to sell, but to inform and engage a loyal member base, “believe it or not, it actually sold quite a bit,” Derek said.

Ebates email

There’s a lot of clutter and noise in the industry, and marketers have to fight against becoming part of it, he said.

“I had to convince my boss to do it, but I’m happy with the results, and we’re going to do it more,” he said. “The answer always [lies] within testing. Testing and learning. So I would always set up a test that proves beyond a reasonable doubt that what you’re doing is making your company revenue.”

You might also like…

See stories like this onstage at MarketingSherpa Summit 2017

Cutting Through The Noise: How Ebates integrated compelling content into its seasonal campaigns and earned a 11.7% conversion rate and a leg up on the competition [Derek Kazee’s full session from MarketingSherpa Summit 2016]

The Marketer’s Blind Spot: 3 ways to overcome the marketer’s greatest obstacle to effective messaging

Email Marketing: Charity crowdfunding website sees 10x increase in engagement from personalized email

Courtney Eckerle

About Courtney Eckerle

With a focus on aspirational, customer-first marketing, Courtney’s goal has been to produce clear, interesting and actionable external content for MarketingSherpa readers. This has included writing over 300 case studies, moderating live event interviews, and producing video content. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in English Literature, Mass Communications and Film Studies from Saint Mary’s College in Notre Dame, Ind., and was a correspondent for USA Today College prior to joining MECLABS Institute.

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