How not to do Email Marketing: Westside

In this post I look at two important things in an email, relevance and timing.  I received this email from Westside. Several things are wrong with this email. Let’s look at some of the positives first.

How not to do email marketing

The name of the sender is Westside. This is a good practice as the consumer can identify the brand at a glance. This is better than simply mentioning “customer service” as many companies do. The “from” and “reply-to” address says “mywestside.com”.  This is the official domain of Westside but probably Westside.co.in (which is available) or westsideonline.in could be also some possible domains. This just about gives the email a “pass” grade.

I see that it’s mailed by someone called Juvlon.  Juvlon may be your email service provider but this could appear suspicious to your consumers.  A simple solution to this is to create your own sub-domain mapped to the service providers servers.

There is a legal disclaimer which is a plus point, but on looking closer it says “Trent Limited proposes, subject to receipt of requisite approvals, market conditions and other considerations, to issue cumulative compulsorily convertible preference shares on a rights basis to its existing equity shareholders and has filed a draft letter of offer”. Huh? A, don’t expect your customers to know that Westside is a brand owned by Trent, and B, what’s with the preference shares?

One big image = no display = email fail.  If Westside is paying its email service provider per email delivered then this email and many such are wasted money.

When I view the email, the contents look like they are for some competition for children. The contents tie in to the subject line which is again a good point.  However, I don’t have children and this is totally not relevant to me. Looks like someone has just sent an email “blast” (I hate this word and cringe at it every time) without any thought to the profile of the consumer. I guess that there is zero integration between the CRM and email marketing and there is no process of customer segmentation.  Notice the nice flashy GIF image telling me the competition ends on 30th May? Well I received this email on 29th of May.  How successful do you think this email was in getting responses from people?

What was the objective of this email anyway? Was it to get me to sign-up for this competition? Was it to create brand awareness? What has this email achieved irrespective of the Open rates and CTRs? Curiously, even though I am not the target audience, when I click through and go to a landing page, I am unsure of what the child needs to do in the competition; enter a spelling test perhaps or a general knowledge test, probably walk on a ramp.

I believe this was a very well intended idea (asking parents to do something for children in our reality TV obsessed culture sure sounds like a good idea) and if the campaign was executed better it could have made a significant impact in the overall marketing objectives.

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