• Last updated: Oct 17, 2016
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Ding Ding! Round (Q)3 of our favourite emails is upon us and we've decided to keep things simple and pitch two heavyweights against each other. Just pick a champion from these two contenders:


Name: Boden
Key strength: Creative
Previous wins: 2
Subject line: Mind the gap...

Why we chose it: Engaging idea, executed perfectly from subject line to copy to design

Why it's great:

Regular readers of this blog will know we have a bit of a thing for Boden but why not when they consistently produce some of the most elegant and thoughtful campaigns? This one is no exception.

Every element of the creative ties in with the chosen theme, the London Underground. Nothing feels tacked on or out of place. The subject line and snippet (Mind the gap... All aboard for Autumn) set up the iconic London Underground design, which isn't just a frivolous addition. It's a very effective device that pulls the reader right into the centre of the circle to the personalisation, then down the tube line through all the content.

The idea doesn't distract from the key goal of the email – recommending and selling clothes –€“ thanks to clean imagery on white space. The blue section titles echo station names but also stand out very clearly against the white space. Where appropriate, the copy continues the theme.

The grouping of the content does a great job of engaging a very wide group of people while feeling more personalised. It's highly likely nearly every female customer will relate to at least one of the themes: parents, career, friends and who doesn't hate Mondays!

And finally the theme and creativity is continued after the click, so there is no jarring disconnect with a very well-thought out email and generic landing page. Although we don't have access to results, we are willing to bet that an additional benefit of this type of joined up thinking and creative excellence is the positive brand impression it leaves. Kudos to all at Boden (again!).  










Name: O2
Key strength: Subject line
Previous wins: 0
Subject line: Whooosh. How's that for fast?

Why we chose it: Time sensitive trigger that also promotes a service benefit

Why it's great:

This is a service trigger email from O2 that is generated when a subscriber registers with O2 Coming Soon, a service that keeps subscribers updated with information about new products. It arrived within minutes of the registration. Traditionally the subject lines for such transactional emails are functional and to the point "Thank you for registering". But O2 take a different approach.

The subject line immediately stands out with a playful use of an extra "o" in "Whoosh". It then acknowledges the speed with which it was sent. The natural reaction to receiving this email so quickly is to answer "yes" to the question, "that was fast". That positive response is more likely to make people open the email and be in a positive frame of mind when they do so.

And by getting the subscriber to subconsciously acknowledge the speed of the reply, O2 are cleverly reinforcing a key service value - "€œgetting information quickly before anyone else!". Had this email arrived 1 day, 2 hours or even 10 mins after registration it would lose much of its power. So send time, a hotly debated topic in email marketing, is relevant when the concept behind the subject line is the send time itself.

It also highlights that the subject line of a service trigger can be a great place to promote a service benefit and, much like Boden, leave a positive brand impression.