Christmas Time! Mistletoe and Wine plus the season of goodwill to all men. Unless you happen to be the person in charge of sending out the “you have won an iPad emails” for a gardening company over the weekend or Jeremy Clarkson. The former has caused a furore in comping circles, whilst Clarkson is probably wishing he’d kept his mouth closed when he appeared on The One Show. His comments about public worker strikers didn’t exactly win him a lot of friends.
Many people have been quick to give their opinion of the outspoken Top Gear presenter. Like him or hate him he most certainly courts controversy – something that Experience Mad knew when that launched a competition back in November. They’re offering a Supercar Experience to one lucky person in a competition. Just leave your view of “Jezza” by December 9th to enter.
However, if you have a view of not very thought out emails then unfortunately we couldn’t find any competitions for you. Neither are we going to comment on the site involved in the iPad incident.
What we can do though is offer some hints and tips to promoters who are thinking of emailing out “sorry you’ve not won emails” to their entrants. First off, stop and think! What you don’t want to do is upset your potential customers, mislead them or give them the wrong signals.
The big no-nos are as follows…
1. “Congratulations.. It’s Not You”
This kind of sorry you’ve not won email is not the best idea! It can mislead the entrant and give them a slightly dimmer view of your brand. For some there’s nothing worse than seeing an email subject line suggesting they’ve won only for it to turn out to be a damp squib.
2. “You’ve Won A Discount”
Discounts are not prizes so don’t tell people they’ve won them. If you wish to offer a discount as a “thank you” for entering a prize draw then word it as a thank you. “As a thank you for visiting our site we’re able to offer you an x% discount with code…”.
3. “You’ve Won (But Pay For P&P)”
Telling an entrant that they’ve not won your main prize, but have in fact picked up a runners up prize is fine. Unless of course the runners up prize entails the entrant paying for postage and packing. In fact no competitions should ask for P&P payment (and we’ve seen a couple).
The idea of a “thanks for entering, but you’ve not won” email is fine – you just need to make it work for you without causing upset. The idea is usually to thank the person for taking part and encourage them to return back to the site not encourage them to rip into on social media. Above shows a good example of a “thanks email” from Next!
However, one of the problems many email marketeers face is getting entrants to actually open their emails. The email from Next had a subject “Thanks for entering the Christmas Giveaway – why not try again in today’ s draw?” – a nice positive call for action. Of course you may not be running another competition so you may have to word your Subject line accordingly. You could perhaps use “Thanks for Entering – Winners Announced” or perhaps “Thanks for Entering – Are You Our Winner?”.
A good “thank you for entering” email can work wonders for revisits and brand awareness. A bad one can see you in the firing line! You might not become a hate figure on the scale of Jeremy Clarkson, but for a short time you will have some very angry soon to be ex-customers on your doorstep or Facebook Wall.