Category Archives: Brands

A Good Email Marketing on New Year’s Eve Helps You Win

Hi there! After a long winter break, I’m back. Although my digital marketing class is finished, I’ll keep blogging and sharing my thoughts about marketing in different aspects. This week let’s talk about how the email marketing on New Year’s Eve can help you win.

Time went back to December 31st, 2017. New York City was too cold at that day. I can still remember how freezing it was. I didn’t go anywhere. That night I stayed at my warm home with my cats meanwhile waiting for the New Year’s coming. When the clock passed to 12, I received the new year greeting messages from my families and my friends. Although we are in different county, technology changes the way we communicate. That’s great.

But that wasn’t my point. My point was, at that time, suddenly I received an email. Who sent me an email at night? With the curiosity, I opened the email. Oh, it was the new year greeting email from Shu Uemura USA.


You know what, this is the only email I received at that night before I went to bed. There’s no other brand sent me the same email until 3 o’clock. It was the greeting email from Dogeared. But I didn’t see it until I checked the phone when I got up in the morning.


Can you see the difference between these two emails? Yes, time.

A good time is really important to a brand’s email marketing. It can influence the audiences psychologically. At the moment I received Shu Uemura USA’s email, I felt surprised and warm. Think about that, who will send you message or something on 12 o’clock at New Year’s Eve? Your families, your best friends. People who cares about you most. Shu Uemura USA just made me feel like they care about me and I’m the most important person to them. This do improve my loyalty to them.

So, you can image my metal activity when I saw the second email. Come on, 3 o’clock? A little bit too late. But to be honest, not too bad. Because their contents were still what I would like to see on the first day of the new year.

Then I sorted all the emails I received on the first day of the New Year and found out that there can be three different types of contents:


1. New year wishes

Like what I mentioned above. Celebrating the new year with you or sending you the greetings on the first day of the year, this is really a good way for brands’ email marketing. Because it shows that you are treat your customers as your family, your friends, the one who you care about. Your customers can feel that they are valued and important to you. Also, the sending time can show your sincerity. You must remember that, details can make a difference.


2. Discounts offer

Besides the two greeting emails, the emails I received the most were discounts offer. Sometimes you may be happy with offers. Sometimes they can be annoying. Too many discounts offer fly to your inbox just like junk mail. Especially when you are surrounded by these kinds of email for a whole year, are you willing to see them at the beginning of the new year? At least I don’t. I just want a breath.

I found that there are some clever brands like Kiehl’s. They didn’t send you email on Jan 1st, instead of, they sent you before and after. That’s really interesting and smart. They know they can’t disturb you at the first day.


3. Others

Other emails I received at that day were just some regular newsletter or products recommendation based on what I bought before. Nothing surprise, and nothing too annoying. Just normal emails.


I know that the brands I followed are not the all. There must had other brands sent new year greetings on 12am. And there must had other kinds of contents I don’t know. But I just try to use the emails I received on the New Year’s Eve and the first day of the year as an example to show you that a good time and appropriate contents of brands’ email marketing do help them to win the heart of customers. At least Shu Uemura USA made me feel that I’m special.


So, what kind of emails did you receive at that day?



Adidas’ social media crisis of 2017

Last week, we talked about email marketing and discussed what the future of email marketing will be. Email marketing can bring you success. But it can also ruin you if you are not serious and careful. Do you want to know more details? OK. This week let’s talk about an example of social media crisis which was caused by email marketing.

We all know that this Sunday (Nov 5th), the 2017 New York City Marathon will take place. Our example is also a story about marathon.

What happened?

On April 18, 2017, the second day of 2017 Boston Marathon, some finishers of Monday’s race received a congratulatory email from Adidas, the sponsor for the 121st annual race. The subject line of this email was “Congrats, you survived the Boston Marathon!” which immediately reminded people of the sad memories of 2013 Boston Marathon bombing.


This email arose heated discussion on social media. Many people expressed their frustration with the company’s word choice, with one Twitter user calling it “the absolute worst email subject line of all time.”

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People also showed their dissatisfactions towards the employee who wrote this email.

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Just like one twitter user said, Adidas messed up royally. This whole email incident turned to be a social media crisis.

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How did Adidas respond to it?

Adidas quickly issued an apology for their email subject line which was posted on their social media accounts at afternoon of that day.

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They said that they are incredibly sorry. And they describe the subject line they sent Tuesday as “insensitive”. They also showed their respectful attitudes towards Boston Marathon: “The Boston Marathon is one of the most inspirational sporting events in the world. Every year we’re reminded the hope and resiliency of the running community at this event.”

Have to say that this apology is immediate and heartfelt. We can see the time of the twitter was 12:54 pm on 18 April 2017. So, it was only about 3 to 4 hours after people received the email. This reaction is quick and immediate. Their recognized their mistake and apologized. I think this was a good reaction because it prevented the whole incident from becoming worse.

My opinion towards this social crisis

Although Adidas reacted quickly and solved this social media crisis in a short time, this incident could have been avoided if their email marketing team were careful and double checked the contents before they sent the emails. This kind of mistake was too simple and careless. The company ought not to have this kind of mistake.

Hope Adidas can learn a lesson from this incident.

In my opinion, PR department is the most responsible one to handle these sorts of crisis. They need to react immediately after the crisis happening. And they need to give the best and quickest solutions to keep the company’s reputation. But in this case, the mistake was made by marketing department. So, I think it’s more important to avoid this kind of crisis from the root rather than just give apology after things happening. It would be better if there’re no social media crisis at the beginning.

Do you agree with me?













How Airbnb is using their digital story to engage with people

What kind of travel do you want?

Last year, Airbnb came up with a new campaign: “Don’t go there. Live there.” In this campaign, they gave people a new idea about travel. “Don’t go to Paris. Don’t tour Paris, and please don’t do Paris. Live in Paris.”

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When I first saw this video, I felt being inspired. What an interesting comparison in this video, in this campaign! In most of the time, people go to somewhere just to show that they have been to somewhere. They take photos before the scenic spots no matter how crowded it is in their background. They eat specialized tourism food instead of eating local food. The photos can show that they have been to this place. Food doesn’t matter at all. To be honest, people in my parents’ generation still like traveling in this way. They like traveling with tourist groups with all the things well-planned before their departure. They like to see the view on the tour bus and take fast photos on tourist attractions then leave with satisfaction. This kind of travel can give them a sense of safety.

But for most of young people today, things are different. We don’t like being bound by the rules of tourist groups. We don’t like all the things are well-planned. We want surprise. We want to experience more. Just like the slogan of Airbnb’s campaign, yes, we don’t want to go there. We want to live there! Airbnb just said what we were thinking.

Airbnb also uses different digital tools like Instagram, YouTube, Twitter and Facebook to convey their new ideas about travel. In my opinion, they really did a good job to engage people with their stories. So how is Airbnb using their digital story to engage with people? I think the reasons can be discussed from three different aspects.

1. High Quality of Contents

If you open the Instagram of Airbnb, you can see all the photos have high quality, good composition and beautiful colors. What’s more important, they don’t like normal photos of visitors. They were more like taken at home. You can see girl were thinking in the room. Kids were playing with their grandpa. Man were enjoying himself in playing with guitar. Friends were running together.

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Can you feel that? Just looking through these photos can make me feel excited! Airbnb let me know there are so many beautiful places in the world. And there are so many possibilities during travel. Can you image having yoga class on a mountaintop? Well, Airbnb told you that nothing is impossible. The likes of this photo shows that they really did a good job.

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The quality of contents is vital to brands’ digital stories. In 2009, Airbnb almost dead because of the low revenue. The founders did lots of researches, finally found out that the photos on their site sucked. After they improved the pictures, the weekly revenue doubled from $200 to $400 per week. So, from this story, we can see the importance of the quality of content. I think not just the photos, all the contents the brands post online should have a high quality. It can show your sincere.

If you want your audience engage with your story, show them the high quality of contents. Be sincere please.

2. Focus on People

Opening the official website of Airbnb, you can find that it’s not all about booking a room like other websites which have the same function. You can see they call it homes. “Home” is the word can give more belongingness and safety to people. Besides, there are lots of experiences hosted by different local people to help you live as a local. It’s cool, right?

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Airbnb uses all their tools(FB, Ins, Twitter, YouTube) to convey their key message about their brand, about their campaign. To help you live as a local, they even added restaurants reservation function. Just as the video mentioned, at home you know your favorite restaurants, to make you feel like at home, Airbnb add this new function for you to find local favorites wherever you travel to.

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Airbnb really cares about people. Can you feel that?

They created Airbnb community to let people communicate with each other. If you explore their YouTube channel, you can see the stories from the big Airbnb community. The stories are not only from influencers but also from some ordinary people. When I saw some of them, I felt related to the stories. And that can inspire me to explore more with Airbnb.

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Different from other brands which just provide a room for you when you travel, Airbnb choose to provide a home, a community, a kind of culture for you. In their stories, you can see people communicate with different people, with nature, with animals… Although stories are different, they have a same concentration that is people. They use stories to show that Airbnb cares about you. So when their customers or potential customers watch the stories, they can feel being relevant and related. That’s how Airbnb engage with people.

3. Leading the trend

As I mentioned above, the young generation today don’t like traveling in an old way. They want surprise. They want unique experiences. According to data from Airbnb, 52% of these younger-minded U.S. travelers find crowds at major tourist attractions to be more stressful than doing a tax return, while 47% don’t like to be labeled as tourists when they go to a new place. Airbnb just captures the ideas from the generation and comes up with the ideas of modern tourist industry that is “Don’t go there. Live there.”

So, Airbnb is leading the trend of modern tourist industry. They told us what we really want when traveling. One important thing for marketing is that create the demand before your customers even realize they want it. I think Airbnb is doing things like this. They use their stories to inspire new generation to find out new trends in traveling. They are the leaders of the new industry.

Airbnb not only change the tourist industry, they also change the vacation rental industry. They provide a safe and transparent platform for hosts. And most important, the user experiences are simple and good. The success of Airbnb shows how crucial to find the blue ocean industry and lead the trends.

However, Airbnb might face some problems even though they did a good job by using different digital tools. The trust is easily to build online but hard in real life. Although Airbnb wants to build a harmony community in both online and offline, if there are some people use this platform to cheat, to fraud or show discrimination, all the effort from Airbnb will waste. Once you lose your trust, you can’t get it back. Airbnb must take it seriously.

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But at least so far, they have done well. People are inspired by their stories and they trust Airbnb. Just like me. I’m already thinking about the destination for my next holiday. How about you?