Content Creation & Delivery

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I am back again, unfortunately having had another issue with a Colourpop promotional email. Their products are generally really great, so I don’t want to dump all over this brand. However, this issue I have today is a real miss and would be very simple to fix.

Let’s look at the email.

The rest of the email talks about other products in the Xtra Celestial collection, but the look is the same. Lots of product images like what you see here, showing the products in their packaging.

None of these images show me anything about “holographic hues” or “multi-dimensional looks.” I scrolled through the whole email looking for images of these products on a real human, and there weren’t any!

I clicked through to the website to see if I would find some. There they are!

In the eyeshadow products, you get to see this image (apparently from @emmas__eye).

SIDE NOTE: The image notes “emmas_eye” with what appears to be a single underscore. The actual person responsible for these images is “emmas__eye” with 2 underscores. Did no one check this?

Anyway, all 3 shadow palettes have an image showing the product on Emma’s eye, and they are great.

I really get to see the sparkle and color in these images. This content should be in the email somewhere! I find myself much more interested now that I can see the shadow on actual skin. I’m sure that someone at Colourpop is analyzing their emails and perhaps just showing products in packaging gets more people to the website, hoping like myself to see images of the product in use. Maybe I am fretting about this being a fail when it is actually a HUGE win for them. I would absolutely love to find out.

It is a miss that there is not more skin tone representation here. They do have swatches of shadows on multiple skin tones, which is great (and should be the standard), but I find it hard to believe they could not have partnered with a few other makeup/beauty influencers with a variety of skin tones. If they know enough to create the images of swatches on arms, they should know enough to present looks on more skin tones as well.

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I am a Vanity Fair subscriber. I’ve only become one in the past few years, but in addition to enjoying the magazine, I think their online content is great.

Cut to me being very confused at a recent Vanity Fair email. This is a regular email I receive to alert me to new content.

Let’s take a look.

What is happening with that top ad? I have a few questions.

  1. Is the VF email designer aware of how large that ad would be?
  2. Are they blindly using an ad generator without vetting the ads that are populating in that location?

Here’s the second half of the message.

So, it’s the same ad at the bottom, just bigger. I do not like this.

I think of Vanity Fair as a well-designed, high-end publication. These ads do NOT match my perception of what should be showing up in a Vanity Fair email. I understand business and I know that revenue generation is paramount, particularly when your business is content, but this is just not the way.

Suggestions:

  1. Offer ad packages that would include funding for ads to be pre-approved by a VF employee or potentially designed by VF (additional cost)
  2. Hire an advertising agency to manage the ad spots (I realize that there is likely a significant cost here)
  3. Use the email ad spots to advertise other content on VF, sending them to the website, where the ads may be less obtrusive to the content (potential reduction in email revenue but hopefully would increase site traffic and improve earnings there)

Not much else to say. The ad content isn’t offensive, it just doesn’t vibe with the content of the email and is jarring to the reader.

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ColourPop Promotional Fail | Brand Experience Project

by Jamie Sanford on December 10, 2021

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While I have largely reduced makeup purchases over the course of the last few years, I have kept myself on the mailing lists of brands I enjoy because I like to keep up with new product launches and also to see sales when they are happening.

One of the few makeup purchases I made in 2020 was the RawBeautiKristi and ColourPop palette because I have been watching her on YouTube for years and the palette and the eyeliners were right up my alley.

Cut to December 10, 2021, and obviously I open an email from ColourPop with the subject line “20% off RawBeautyKristi fave Colourmom Products.”

I’ve dropped the email below, and I’ll continue below the image.

Oh ColourPop, why. Why did you create a sneaky and confusing email?

Big picture of Kristi at the top, from her product launch in 2020, which is fine. I’m going to get 20% off on her faves with their code, great!

Then the only product that they show is her makeup palette from last year’s collaboration which is back in stock! GREAT!

…until I see the fine print.

*Offer excludes RawBeautyKristi x ColourPop Collection.

Get the entire hell out of here ColourPop! This is shady at best. When you click the email, the first thing on the page is the palette that isn’t included in the sale!!!

I create sale emails on a regular basis, and one of the things I’m SO deeply committed to is trying to make my messaging clear. This feels like the opposite of that. Sure, ColourPop can point to the tiny disclaimer on the palette, but to only feature one product in the email and have it be the one that isn’t included in the sale they are touting frankly sucks.

My ideas for improving this:

  • Keep the subject line and keep the top of the email. However, add a huge indicator of “This one is not on sale, but you can also take advantage of the restock of this palette.” (Something along these lines.)
  • Keep the subject line and the top of the email, but show other products that are actually included in the sale with a “shop now” button, and have that link only show items on sale. At the bottom of that email, promote the re-stock of the eyeshadow palette, and perhaps be a bit more generous with the font size on the messaging that the palette is not included in the previously-mentioned sale.
  • Make 2 emails, one promoting the sale and one promoting the restock. I understand the interest in limiting to one email, but I doubt that ColourPop would regret a separate email promoting an item that was so popular that they are restocking it an entire year later.

I will now be keeping a closer eye on the ColourPop emails to see if this is a regular occurrence or if they simply got it wrong this time.

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Come to the Cheese Party!

by Jamie Sanford on September 9, 2021

I haven’t been super active here or on most of my personal social channels as of late, and that’s because I have been focusing on my new channel!

I don’t know if I actually coined the term “cheese party,” but I haven’t seen it anywhere else. I started using this phrase after a life-changing cheese experience at the New York Fancy Foods Show in 2014.

I am mostly focused on generating content for Instagram at this time, but I am also developing content on the cheeseparty.co website.

I am so happy to have an outlet to continue experiencing new cheeses. I have been pursuing cheese education and a few weeks back, took a Sensory Cheese Tasting virtual class!

Please follow @cheeseparty.co on Instagram!

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Shop Wright Promo Email | Brand Experience Project

by Jamie Sanford on March 19, 2021

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I am definitely a bit of a Frank Lloyd Wright-ophile. I have visited a few of his most famous buildings, most recently having made the journey to Spring Green, Wisconsin, to see Taliesin, his personal home for many years. (Unrelated to this specific post—Frank had a bit of a scandalous existence, but also went through some unimaginable horrors. I really enjoyed the Ken Burns documentary about him, which clocks in at around two and a half hours.)

My interest in Frank Lloyd Wright has led to me being signed up for many different relevant mailing lists. One of them is the Frank Lloyd Wright e-commerce destination ShopWright.org.

I received an email from them recently and opened it to see what items were featured. Let’s get into it.

I have issues with a few things here.

  • I don’t like the names of the plates here. I would like to see the size name at the front, and then an actual measurement so that I can get a better idea of scale here in the email.
    • Small Ginkgo Leaves Plate, 4.25″
    • Large Ginkgo Leaves Plates, 8.75″
  • There is a lack of grammatical consistency, particularly with punctuation marks. There are variable amounts of spacing around dashes and an oddly-placed period after “origami chair.” Here’s how I would re-write these:
    • Barista 12-Hour Tree of Life Travel Mug
    • Limited-Edition Taliesin West Origami Chair
    • Ginkgo Leaves Napkin Rings, Set of 4

Right off the bat here, you can see a promo for “all face masks are 12.99” with a floating image of a mask, but it is behind the image of the mailbox? It’s possible that this is just an error with this email in Gmail, but something there is awry. Clicking the image of the mailbox takes you to the face mask page. Something isn’t right.

The mailbox is very lovely but I would prefer to see the “back in stock” messaging on the image instead of in the text. Additionally, the text is a different font and size than the other product names, and the mailbox listing doesn’t have a “buy now” button, which is inconsistent.

I also have similar issues with the product naming here. Here are my suggestions for these:

  • Beachy House Locking Steel Mailbox
  • Deluxe Patinated Copper and White Birdhouse
  • Floral Bird Feeder in Slate Blue
    • Although I struggle with the inclusion of the color here since a click through lets you see that this bird feeder is only available in that one color. (UPDATE: shopping later on this site led me to discover other color options, but they aren’t grouped onto one product page! That is something to be fixed as well.)

Finally, I discovered another issue here that bothered me – the images for these items don’t link to the item! I clicked the bird feeder and got this:

I am kind of obsessed with this feeder, but if I click the image, I want to go to the page where I can buy the item, not just a giant version of the image in the email.

Let’s continue.

I have similar issues here with the product naming, so let’s get those fixes out of the way.

  • Pagoda Lantern Sandstone Outdoor Sculpture
  • Healing Gong Wind Chime
  • Midway Gardens Sandstone Sprite with Scepter, 64″
    • This last one is a bit long but since the Midway Gardens was such an important project for FLW, it seems appropriate to mention it in the name. Another version may also want to include the word “reproduction” in the product name in this email, but I’m leaving it out for the time being since it is clearly indicated on the product page this information links to.

The link to shop all outdoor accessories is a smart choice, given that the subject line of this email refers to spring and it is prime time to buy outdoor decor.

I make it down to the footer message about what my purchases support, and I see it as a missed opportunity for links. I see below that I can link directly to flwright.org, but a direct link to the “education and preservation programs” that I would be supporting might really engage me to want to justify buying more things.

All in all, this email did do the basic job of showing me some things that I might want to purchase to get my home into the spring spirit. The issues I ran across are easily fixable.

This post is about the email, so I won’t go further than that for now, but I also definitely noticed some issues within the actual shopwright.org e-commerce shop as well, but that is for another day.

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