Putting Your Best Face Forward: Showing Personality in Marketing Email

As we all know from our own experiences as subscribers, the marketing emails that people look forward to are those with the most distinctive personalities. Subscribers are much more eager to engage when they feel like they have a relationship with an individual or a persona than with a company.

For most brands, infusing messages with personality means cultivating a unique and consistent tone with design and copy choices. Increasingly, though, brands are finding ways to put actual human faces and/or human emotions into their email, making the messages seem more personal and creating continuity between messages. Below, we’ll take a look at how some top retailers are adding personality to their email.

Backcountry’s memorial message is the most sincerely poignant example of personality in email that we’ve seen recently. The April 10th Backcountry email was sent with the sole purpose of memorializing a professional skier and inviting subscribers to help support his family. The message fosters a supportive sense of community between Backcountry subscribers.

SmartBargains’ holiday message shows subscribers the actual people behind the brand. This is an approach not usually taken, very literally demonstrating that actual people are creating and sending the emails.

Crutchfield’s marketing email features a picture of and quote from their CEO. In a similar way to the SmartBargains message, this makes it easier for subscribers to feel an individual connection to the company.

Urban Outfitters’ top reviewers email creates a community feeling and also encourages the subscriber base to become more active. When they see reviewers recognized, subscribers understand that their own reviewing efforts are valued, and they may be inspired get more involved. Sephora customer reviews function similarly.

J.Crew’s Jenna’s Picks is a novel way to put a face on the fashions. The only problem? In many J.Crew emails, we don’t quite know who Jenna is! In this message, they describe her as “our in-house style expert and muse” (vague, but we’ll take it), but in other messages they just call out “Jenna’s Picks” without reminding subscribers why we should care about Jenna.

Barneys New York’s Barneys Babble invites us into the sharp, funny mind of Simon Doonan. We get to follow Simon’s adventures and hear his insights on fashion, and Barneys thereby takes on more character.

Nordstrom’s “At your service” email makes online shopping seem more personal by calling out special services. It’s always personal to shop in-store at Nordstrom and interact with sales associates, and this email extends the service experience across the email channel.

There’s room in almost any brand voice to add a personal touch that will invite your subscribers to feel more connected with your company. For more musing on this topic, check out Silverpop’s Engagement Marketing Blog article, Do Your Emails Have a Personality?.

Bubbling with Personality,
Lisa Harmon and Alex Madison, Smith-Harmon

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