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Mailbox Monday


Adding emojis to your email subject lines usually increase open rates. However, they can also increase complaints, so you need to use them sparingly and judiciously. In other words, does your message lend itself to an emoji? Or are you just jumping on a gimmicky bandwagon?

Last week we received an email that used an emoji that made sense. It was from Staples and the tiny piece of art that made the subject line stand out was directly related to the offer.

The emoji was a waving hand and the offer was for free hand sanitizer. Cute, huh?

This week, we received another email from Staples. No emoji this time, and the offer is $15 off an order of $60 or more.

Both emails plug their respective offers in the subject lines. Both effectively leverage Staples brand in their layout, design, and bright red color. So, emoji aside, we decided to take a closer look at the true — and the perceived — value of the offers.

The hand sanitizer (certainly timely as COVID rates increase across the country) is ours, free, for spending $30 or more. Click through and we find out that 8 oz. of unscented "Be Strong Be Well" gel hand sanitizer regularly sells for $3.99, but is currently on sale for $2.49.

So, in essence, Staples is offering us a $2.49 product (based on the regular price, assuming their cost is $2 — although it's probably less) for a $30 spend. That means the offer value is 6.66% of the purchase, or (again assuming 100% markup) about 13% of the profit.

If we do similar math for the second email's offer, we find that we're getting 25% off the purchase price (which, granted, is a larger minimum). Our $45 is being exchanged for merchandise that cost about $30. So, they are making only $15 profit, losing 50% of their usual profit.

Does that all make sense? (So glad we're creatives and not accountants right about now.)

Our rudimentary math makes a case for the second offer being richer in terms of what Staples is willing to give in order to get our business.

So, why are we so much more attracted to the first offer?

  • First of all, it's a "thing" not a percentage.
  • Second, it's about as relevant as you can get in the Fall of 2020.
  • Third, it includes that most magical of all marketing concepts: "Free."

Bottom line. The hand sanitizer offer costs Staples less but delivers more to us in terms of resonance. We give the first email a (thoroughly sanitized) thumbs up.


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