Let’s talk about dildos. And, some other interesting products.
(And yes. In case you’re wondering, I purposely made sure the word “dildos” found it’s way into the text preview line for this blog post… so I can get more clicks from social media. Don’t hate the playa, hate the game.)
About two weeks ago, I got an email from Copy Chief Member James LaParl.
He forwarded me an email that was pretty interesting from the company Package Free Shop.
I’ve never heard of Package Free Shop. Don’t really know anything about ’em.
So, I did what I usually do when I write these breakdowns. I went to their website and started clicking around so I could see what their deal was.
From the looks of it…
Seems like they’re a pretty cool company!
They actually sell a LOT of different products… from beauty products… to bathroom products… water bottles… phone cases… candles… backpacks… tons of cool products on their site.
I DID have to do a little digging to find out exactly what makes them so different after initial landing on their site. I struggled to find a crystal clear benefit statement on their homepage.
When I checked out their about page, they had some gold in there. And in an instant, it all became clear.
Package Free Shop is a company that sells some really cool products… and they do it in WITHOUT all the traditional trash that comes in traditional e-commerce packaging.
You know what?
I dig it.
That’s pretty cool.
I think that’s a solid mission.
The thing that really made me like this company, though, was the email James forwarded me.
I gotta admit…
It’s a bit of a wild ride.
I’d recommend you instruct any small children to leave the room before we break this email down… because it DOES get a bit hot and heavy.
This PROBABLY would have been a good email to break down last Friday, on Valentine’s Day.
It’s going to be even better today.
One last thing before we get into it…
One of the cool things about Email of the Week is that I’m always on the search for new, pioneering email techniques to showcase. While I DO have my preferences for how I believe marketing emails should look and feel… I’m always willing to showcase other people’s methods for how they do it.
Today’s breakdown will feature an email with a style I’d personally never create, in terms of design and layout. Different strokes for different folks, and all.
But… I think this company did a really awesome job with this email. And I bet this technique was super effective and had a big effect on their bottom line.
Without further ado…
Let’s dive into this week’s Email of the Week!
This is the 26th installment of my Email of the Week series. (Catch up on previous episodes here.)
And in case you’re new around here, here’s how this all works…
The Rules For Email Of The Week
Each week, I go out into the wild to find a super-effective e-commerce marketing email… and I break down what made it work. My goal is for you to tune in each week, so I can teach you strategies and best practices YOU can use to make your own emails better.
I find these emails in my inbox, but I also accept suggestions from readers who have a remarkable email they’d like to share.
If you recently received an email that was so awesome it made your jaw drop, I wanna see it.
Forward it to me (chris at theemailcopywriter dot com) with a brief message about what you liked about it. If I choose to do a breakdown of the email you sent, I’ll give you a shout out and link to your site.
The only rule is… you can’t pick yourself.
Now then, without further ado, let’s check out the Email of the Week!
One of the best ways to demonstrate your product’s benefits is to tell a story.
Stories are seductive.
They draw us in with curiosity.
We always want to read to the end to know what happens.
When we read a story, we oftentimes place ourselves into the same journey the character is going through. We empathize and visualize.
This is well documented.
Boring marketers NEVER tell stories. Because, they’re lazy.
But the good people who work at Package Free Shop… these people… these people are anything but boring marketers.
They are smart.
They KNOW how to tell a story. A damn good one at that.
And they know how to grab a hold of your attention and make you wanna buy their stuff.
The email we’re going to look at today is kind of brilliant.
Because it “tells” a story in a voyeuristic way.
Instead of listening to a narrator, you get to peek over the well-oiled shoulders of two hot and steamy lovers as they dimensionalize benefits and pitch products… while weaving a love story only to be rivaled by Romeo and Juliet.
Let’s take a look at their email game…
Take a quick gander at that subject line.
1 Unread Message (envelope emoji that I’m too lazy to take the time to search and copy and paste)
This is kind of meta.
It’s an unread message in your inbox… about a previously unread message. And once you click it, it’ll no longer be an unread message… but you’ll be reading someone else’s unread message.
Very curiosity inducing.
I do love when marketers “borrow” terminology from other mediums.
1 unread message might be something you see on your lock screen of your cell phone… or in one of those outdated “in-app” message inboxes on your phone.
Here… it’s being used as a subject line.
This is clever.
It does NOT look like all those other, crappy subject lines that are blatantly trying to sell you something.
Whenever we see that we have an unread message, we usually want to reconcile that and remove that little red number that stares you in the face every time you look at your phone.
The emoji is a nice touch.
The heart on the envelope is particularly intriguing.
That really draws you in and makes you want to click.
I normally don’t like title casing subject lines, but for THIS email it totally works. Because it looks more like an important notification than a traditional subject line from a friend. If it was all lowercase, it’d kind of look weird.
So, good form on this subject line.
It’s getting opened.
That’s for damn sure.
Let’s dive into the body…
I’m not going to lie.
I spent entirely too much time this morning looking for the perfect, “Hey, you up lol” meme for this article.
I found one a long time ago that was perfect, but it’s lost in the ether.
The important thing is…
Take a look at how this email begins.
The first thing you notice is that it looks like a conversation where two people are texting back and forth, by design of course.
That’s kind of cool.
I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like this before in an email.
Again… they’re borrowing an idea from another medium and applying it to email.
I CAN DIG IT.
Look at that first line of text, though.
“Hey, you up? What are you doing right now?”
So we have a setting. It’s late at night.
“I was sleeping, but now I’m wide awake… thanks a lot. emoji.”
“Guess what I’m doing?”
Anytime anyone ever asks you a question like THAT… they’re going to have your attention. This is brilliant execution of time-place-tension, to start this story.
You’re locked into finding out more…
The story continues.
We find out that one character is drawing a bath and using these special bath salts.
(Remember kids… you do NOT sniff the bath salts. You put em in your bubble bath! That is their intended, recommended use.)
What’s cool about this part of the narrative is that you see the first “product” not only being introduced… it’s being demonstrated.
You see the bath with a lit candle in the corner.
It’s a basic demonstration. But as you look at that picture, you kind of want to hop right in.
The crazy thing is…
This email doesn’t just have a link to this one product.
It actually links to numerous products throughout the body of the email, as the story develops.
This is really cool.
Look at that last line of copy:
Kind of inviting. Kind of suggestive.
You know how people ‘buy on emotion and justify with logic.’
This is a great example of appealing to people’s EMOTIONS.
The plot thickens.
The story continues. And a second product is introduced.
Now, I’m sorry.
I love this email, but I gotta say two things…
#1 – I personally don’t believe you should put soy anywhere NEAR your body, let alone apply it to your skin or even think about ingesting it (I know you don’t eat this candle, I’m just talking about soy in general).
But some people like that stuff, and they’re free to do whatever they choose. And at the end of the day, I really don’t give a shit what other people do. Literally could not care less, I got my own life to worry about.
So if you like soy, have yourself a day.
#2 – This part of the story reminds me of one thing.. and one thing ONLY…
I HAD to include that GIF.
Ok, back to business.
So in this section, we have the second CTA for a product. We have the characters introducing the benefits AND dimensionalizing them.
When people think about features and benefits, they usually don’t go far enough in explaining them.
The candle’s made of soy…
That’s a feature.
… which means you can pour warm wax directly onto your skin…
^^THAT is the benefit.
And, we can even take it one step further…
… so that you and your partner can get your jollies without taking a trip to the ER!
^^^THAT RIGHT THERE is the dimensionalized benefit^^^
See how that works?
Again… great stuff in this email.
Let’s keep it moving…
Again… introducing a third product AND demonstrating the benefits.
This is good stuff.
This was really well thought out.
I wonder if they storyboarded this email?
Seriously, I think this is great technique.
But, the next part is the absolute best…
I swear to god…
I almost spit out my coffee when I read that line.
“Come over so we can talk dirty about textile waste…”
I’m sorry… THAT is fucking funny. They have a great sense of humor.
They’re not only rehashing their overall “mission” as a company… they’re interweaving it into this objectively, semi-ridiculous story (rife with product placements) to sell.
This is totally my sense of humor.
They’re selling product.
My god… whoever wrote this, hates off to you. This really is an awesome email.
But, it’s not done…
One thing I love about this copy is that while yes, it makes us laugh, and yes it sells product… it also “shifts your worldview” to a place where it’s kind of hard to buy from anyone else.
Once they introduce the fact that bed linens account for 10,000,000 TONS of waste alone EVERY FUCKING YEAR in the US alone… how do you ever, in good conscience, buy from someone besides Package Free Shop?
Are you actually going to walk into a regular department store and buy linens elsewhere, knowing that you voluntarily became part of the problem?
That one line of copy is a CLINCHER.
That is great copy.
Keep that one in your back pocket.
Also in this copy block:
They ‘tease’ the next product they’re about to introduce.
They introduce another fact about a different kind of product. They mention how sex toys normally don’t get recycled. And, again… contribute to the problem Package Free Shop is trying to solve.
“dildo in the dumpster”
I see you!
Snuck in a cheeky little alliteration there.
They tee’d this CTA up perfectly.
Talk about the problem… link to the solution.
Really smart stuff.
In all seriousness.
You wanna talk about “selling without selling”?
This email did it in spades.
They weren’t pushy.
But they raised a ton of ‘awareness’ about a few of the products they offer.
AND… they probably made a ton of sales, as these products were probably more top of mind a week before Valentine’s Day.
Overall, brilliant email.
Even though I love plain text emails… this one won me over.
Package Free Shop… keep up the good work.
Special Shout Out to James LaParl
Like I mentioned earlier, this email was submitted to me by James LaParl.
Here’s a little bit about James, if you don’t know him yet:
James is an email marketing copywriter, specializing in e-commerce, fitness, and self-development brands. He’s an active member of Copy Chief (if you’re not you should be), and a founding member of Make It Rain Monthly (again, you should be too). If you’re looking for someone who dives deep into the mind of your customer to write emails that sell, you can reach him at: James [at] HowTo.Email.
Hey… look at that!
He gave a shout out to my brand new print newsletter, Make It Rain Monthly!
If you’d like to get my best, money-making email campaigns shipped to your door every single month, make sure you subscribe to Make It Rain Monthly today. I’m offering a life-time discount to people who use the code FOUNDER at checkout… but only until March 1st, 2020.
Here’s what James had to say about this email:
This email is reeaaaally good.It’s funny, personal, engaging, and it pushes the limits of what you’d generally expect in an ecomm email.I bet some people read this, can’t stop, but ALSO look around to make sure no one can see their screen.
When you first open the email you think “Wait, what is this…”And as soon as you get a few lines in you’re like “oh man, is this… Are they… THEY ARE. I can’t believe they’re writing this in an email!”(and once you’re that far, there’s no turning back)The body of the email has 5 product links, but they’re placed so masterfully that it doesn’t feel sales-y. It’s almost like a modern-day twist of the J. Peterman approach… building a story and experience that you can fall into.By the time you get to the end, you’re just waiting for that next message to come through.Enjoy 🙂
Big Takeaways from Package Free Shop
- Tell stories.
- Borrow language from other communication mediums. Don’t be afraid to cross-pollinate.
- A well-placed emoji can draw people in.
- Sell to people’s EMOTIONS.
- SHOW people how to use your products in your copy.
- Don’t just list features. Turn them into benefits and then dimensionalize those benefits.
- Use facts that shift people’s worldview so the only option that makes sense is to buy form YOU.
- Alliterations are fun.
- If you demonstrate and dimensionalize, selling is effortless.
- Always remind readers of your USP.
What You Should Do Now
- Subscribe to my email list so you can get ALL of the Emails of the Week delivered straight to your inbox, automatically.
- Leave a comment for me below and let me know what you liked about this email.
- Send this breakdown to someone you know who has a physical product business. You might help them sell a lot of product.
- Buy something from Package Free Shop. I am down with their movement to eliminate unnecessary waste.
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