Who will you French kiss this New Years?

Everyone knows that the week after Christmas (and before the new year) is pretty slow; at Grasshopper alone, I think at least half of our office is on vacation. Certainly a good time for a break, but if you’re like the folks at Moosejaw, it’s also a great time to experiment with some fun (and slightly bizarre) marketing. Case in point is the online retailer’s promotional email sent out today, cleverly titled, “New Year’s Eve Frenching Service.”

Frenching service?! Right away I’m interested, since this is not the typical “10% off today only!” email. Why would a retailer who sells The North Face and skiing gear send this out? Curiosity piqued, I open the email and find this:

So, what is this? This is a stellar example of the kind of creative marketing that everyone is looking for, and can’t figure out. Even though the email had nothing to do with the products they sell, here’s why it worked:

  1. Amazing copywriting that grabs you. Groupon’s got over 100 writers. Why? Because they understand that they key to hooking people is with great, lively copy. Moosejaw’s email succeeds because the writing is hilarious, engaging, and completely irreverent. Most brands fail at emails like this because they play it safe with stiff, formal copy. Don’t. If you want to get noticed, include copy that grabs a reader’s attention.
  2. Timely messaging. This fun “promotion” would only work at New Year’s or Valentine’s Day so the timing was perfect. Even better that this is a historically “slow” week for email, so I might actually read an email from an online retailer versus sending it to the trash.
  3. Brand personality. Anyone can send an email with a deal, but this email is actually in line with the Moosejaw brand (which, if you know anything about their brand, is a little quirky, definitely different, yet still polished). When you get a box from Moosejaw, it is most likely reused (not recycled), the wrong size, and has lots of stickers on it. These people understand how to make their individuality work for them, and they attract customers who appreciate that level of quirkiness.
  4. Trust in team members. I doubt this came from some marketing genius at Moosejaw, but instead, a team member that had a fun idea and was allowed to run with it. In a typical company you could never send an email like that to your valuable mailing list, but at Moosejaw, you can do it. Guess what? It works—after all, here I am writing this blog post about Moosejaw.com.

This is creative email marketing done right. Nice job, Moosejaw.