One of the big challenges in email/digital marketing is the disconnect between brand marketers and direct marketers. Each group is usually separate and often leave lit bags of dog poo on each others' doorsteps.
The sad thing is that this doesn't have to be the case - email and direct can exceptionally reinforce the brand, by delivering knockout content that engages the consumer's sense of connection with the brand.
It's a synergy that does not happen often. So when it does we need to pay attention and give credit.
The other day I received an email from Wynn Hotels. I'm by no means a whale (casino parlance for rich people with a penchant for leaving behind large sums of cash), but I have stayed at the Wynn a couple of times. I think that two of the neon bulbs in the hotel have a plaque with my name on them. I like the Wynn - except when I have a $500 blackjack bet and one of their guests sticks on a 16 with the dealer showing a face card - but am (honestly) not what I would call super-loyal.
One of the great brand promises of the Wynn is that it's special - that Steve Wynn had a vision of gambling perfection, then built it. The question is, how do you fulfill this sort of high-end brand promise in an uncertain economic period ? Many brands resort to sales (long live the direct marketers!), which works in the short term but only cheapens the brand in the long term. On the other hand, not doing something to engage consumers besides fancy words, nice images and promises (hooray, brand marketers!) during a challenging time does not add much value to the brand.
Here's the email. Simple, but a powerful subject line.
It's a very simple email. It doesn't try to sell anything. It doesn't allow you to know the promotion directly from the email itself. Yet it entices you with an exciting and dramatic message - it's actually a great marriage of email and brand. The email doesn't try to do too much but instead completely reinforces the brand's promise of "special."
But the fun part comes next, when you click on the button. You can click HERE to see what's next (and totally screw up the total/unique open rates).
For those of you who didn't click, shame on you. I'm not going to send you to places you don't want to go! You would have seen a fabulous offer of private jet and hotel shuttle service from LA/Burbank to Las Vegas - all at a price that is more expensive than commercial jet service, but far less than private jet service (I know, I've checked). The Wynn took a special/unique service and made it reasonably affordable to "the masses". Rather than resort to straight discounting, they raised the ante for all hotels in Vegas by showing that - despite the economy - they are maintaining their brand identity of special.
This is a fantastic synergy between the power of brand ("special") and the muscle of direct marketing ("special to YOU".) One that we should see much more of, but often don't due to intramural squabbles and fear.
The marketers at the Wynn are to be commended. Even if they can't keep people out who screw up the blackjack tables!