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Peek into Yahoo!’s Approach to Email Marketing

Email marketing should be about selling more than products, said Sue Coakley, Yahoo!’s Sr. Director Customer Contact Strategy, at MarketingSherpa’s 2011 Email Summit . If it comes down to the product only, customers can definitely get it for cheaper at other places, she added.

Email marketing is about the long-term relationship you develop with recipients. This is why Yahoo! strives to provide its subscribes with an experience. It pulls them in emotionally and tries to become their go-to resource for a variety of topics. In this blog post we discuss how Yahoo! achieves this goal by focusing on particular types of emails.

Holiday-Themed Emails

holiday themed emails

Both the images and articles used in the email support the selected theme and are aligned with the interests of the specific audience segment. “Celebrate Yourself,” for instance, Yahoo!’s email campaign tied to the New Year, was targeted to women in their 30s. Hence, it included articles about wellness, food and yoga.  

Emails with the Content Picks of Similar Users

Another type of email communication Yahoo! engages in is spreading the favorite content of other similar users. It evaluates what types of highly-rated content will resonate with people who haven’t seen it. In this way, the company takes advantage of the human impulse to explore what others have found valuable. Yahoo! packages these emails in a sort of “Did You See It” campaigns, which are easy to produce and make the most of well-performing content.

Topic-Based Emails

interest based

While Yahoo!’s specific email themes might not be easily applied to your business, its approach to email marketing is. As Sue noted, it is all about the three Rs—build on the r elationship, keep it r elevant and r espect people’s preferences.


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