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June 5, 2020


Marketing in a time of social unrest

As protests continue to sweep across the U.S. in the aftermath of George Floyd’s murder, protesters have received support from an unexpected source: corporate America.

Major companies are often wary of conflict, especially during polarized times. They tend to be afraid of offending their customers and associating their brands with sensitive subjects.

Following Mr. Floyd’s death on May 25 in Minneapolis, a wide range of companies began to take much more public stances on racial injustice and police violence.

Companies like Nike, Twitter, Netflix, Ben and Jerry’s, Disney, and Citigroup have aligned themselves with the Black Lives Matter movement.

Brands lending support to the protests have primarily used social media to align themselves with the movement via a set of hashtags, including #BlackLivesMatter and #JusticeForFloyd. 

However, social media has made it entirely easy for lazy progressives to feel politically fashionable or better about their position on racial inequality by tossing up a thematically appropriate GIF or TikTok. Also, these quotes are often taken out of context and lose all sense of meaning.

What is the big picture?

A statement on social media does not give brands a free pass in this climate. Brands are now facing scrutiny over their own actions, business practices that have hurt people of color, and a lack of diversity – especially in executive ranks.

Back in 2017, Pepsi released an ad that depicted the model Kendall Jenner handing a police officer a soda during a protest. It was heavily criticized for the way it trivialized protests against racism and rightly so – a good lesson for other businesses. 

Take action

Do something powerful with your marketing. Speak up – not just this week, but from now on.

See how other brands have spoken up.


How your eCommerce store can capitalize on Father’s Day

Father’s Day spending rose by 70% to a high of $15.96 billion in 2019 – good news for email marketers and a great reason to plan relevant campaigns.

According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), the biggest spenders are those aged between 35 and 44 years. Gift cards, clothing, and special outings are among the most popular gifts for dads.

But what does all of this mean for your eCommerce business? 

Although it’s a relatively small holiday, Father’s Day is a great opportunity to capitalize on holiday spending. However, to achieve the best results, you’ll need a solid email marketing strategy and a campaign that stands out from the crowd. 

That’s why, at Essence of Email, we’ve prepared catchy Father’s Day copywriting ideas that’ll give an additional push to your content strategy

Here are the key points from our latest article: 

  • On-point subject lines to touch everyone’s heart
  • Creative copy ideas that’ll help show off your products
  • Catchy CTA ideas for a definite sale

Meanwhile, having an overall marketing strategy in place is also essential. Luckily, our agency partner Klaviyo published a thorough marketing guide for the upcoming holiday. Their must-follow checklist covers the following: creating segments, making a buying guide, setting a content schedule, and planning the content strategy. 

Happy planning! 

Quick access:

Essence of Email’s Father’s Day Email Campaigns: Catchy Copy Ideas article.

Klaviyo’s Father’s Day Marketing Guide.


Facebook adds the option to send marketing emails via Pages app

Facebook is evolving again! The platform is now offering a service that allows users to “send customized marketing emails” through their Facebook Pages app

To use the feature, Page Admins must first confirm the email address of their page, then manually add email contacts to the database. Once you’ve agreed to Facebook’s terms and conditions, you can then create email campaigns via the Pages app. You can also preview your subject line and content in the lower section, making it easy to extend into email outreach. 

According to users who already saw this feature on their profiles, you can systemize your emails, which is something of an advantage, but other than that, the process is no different than any other CRM software you upload the contact info, compose the email, then send it out en masse.

The Pages app seems to be aimed more at businesses that are not familiar with email marketing by enabling them to connect with their audiences with simple, CRM-style tools. Larger brands are likely to be familiar with such processes, but smaller organizations will find the option valuable, as it can help them to expand their reach.

It could also help businesses to target their Facebook ads – once you have an active listing of email contacts, you can then use that to build Custom Audiences, and use Facebook’s data matching tools to reach people with similar traits and interests. 

Given that many businesses are already looking to upload their email list for this purpose, providing a direct mail-out option within Facebook’s dashboards actually makes some sense. But again, it’s a simplified version of the existing CRM options.

Since this feature is still not live for every user, Social Media Today is getting deeper into learning about this new Facebook tool. Look out for updates in their article.


The merging of eCommerce and video games

Scuti, an eCommerce technology platform, recently announced its new marketplace. It’s the first retail store accessed directly through video games and marks one of the most innovative recent developments in eCommerce. The platform lets brands market, sell, and ship directly to game players from within any enabled game.

Now a mainstream activity, video games represent new and uncharted territory for brands to engage their audiences. Surpassing the entire movie and music industries combined, video games attract all ages and genders (63% of all mobile players are women and girls, according to the Electronic Software Association).

Players are incentivized to set their shopper profiles and Scuti’s algorithms ensure players only see the products they are interested in buying. Brands can execute promotions and rewards and are targeted to specific customers through competition-free product pages.


Empathy: the new COVID-19 business buzzword

COVID-19 has had an unprecedented effect on businesses and its impact is still being measured. Crenshaw analyzed dozens of B2C emails sent between mid-March and mid-May, and found that a third of them offered free or discounted services. According to  Dorothy Crenshaw, CEO of Crenshaw Communications, businesses are “wrapping deals and discounts in a care package of empathy.”

A quarter of the emails mention being “home” or “indoors” to convey their understanding of customers being socially isolated, and/or having to work remotely. 

Another 20% emphasized that consumers were not alone in their predicament using words like “together” and “community.” Other emails mentioned the difficulty of “these times” while offering well wishes of “safety” and “comfort”.

Empathy wasn’t only conveyed through words; it was also seen through the creative content of the emails. Of the 75% of the email campaigns that included images, only two campaigns didn’t include images reflecting the current environment of social distancing.

Additional findings include:

Subject lines: The average word count was about 6 words, which is fairly standard. However, some campaigns had up to 14 words, which is far above the usual.

Overall tone: About 50% of the campaigns analyzed were uplifting or upbeat in tone.

What’s next?

How long will this positive vibe last? Will customers grow weary of the “we are all in this together” narrative and look for more real value, in the form of promotions and products, than simply packaged empathy? We’ll have to wait and see. However, it’s likely that the changes in messaging to a tone of  “new normal” will be around for some time.


A phishing attack impersonates Amazon Web Services to steal user credentials

A recent post by Abnormal Security reports that phishing attacks are taking advantage of Amazon Web Services (AWS) to steal user credentials.

Attackers are deploying an email that contains an automated notification, allegedly from Amazon Web Services (AWS). The anchor text used in the body of the email looks like legitimate AWS links. However, the URL used as the anchor text is different from the actual URL in the hyperlink. By disguising the URL this way, the attackers hope to convince the recipients that the site they’re accessing is the real AWS page.

Instead, the attached hyperlink redirects the user to a webpage that looks identical to the AWS login page, complete with official Amazon images and the usual layout. Of course, unsuspecting users who sign in will see their Amazon login credentials stolen and their sensitive AWS data compromised.

While sending an email to the wrong person, forwarding company data to a personal email account, or disregarding security policies every now and then may seem inconsequential to employees, these behaviors can and do lead to data breaches.

Bottom line: Whether accidental or intentional, data loss is a big problem for organizations. People control data, and people make mistakes.

These days, as more people are working remotely due to coronavirus, cloud services have seen a surge in demand. But as this trend unfolds, cybercriminals are finding ripe targets to exploit.  


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