Amazon Accidentally Sent Out Their Email Template
Here’s what you can learn from it
It’s comforting to see that even the titans of industry occasionally blunder.
Last week, a Reddit user posted an email template that had been mistakenly sent out by Amazon. Although the full story behind the error is not known, it appears that a member of Amazon’s marketing team accidentally sent out the template before completing it.
The Reddit post immediately took off, receiving 76,500 upvotes. If you have not yet seen the template, it looks like this:
Although it is easy to chuckle at Amazon’s gaffe, it is important to recognize the intrinsic value of the leaked template. In fact, every marketing team could benefit from following the template’s simple instructions.
Let’s break it down.
The Image Attracts
A reader’s focus will initially gravitate to the photo at the top of the email. The image should be noticeable and attention-grabbing with bright and attractive colors. But, as you’ll notice in the template above, the image should not overwhelm the reader.
A 600 x 200 image is the perfect size for attracting without overwhelming. Placing the image at the top of the email allows the reader’s focus to dwell there before moving to the headline.
The Headline Is Succinct
The headline cannot be too long, but it must summarize the entire purpose of the email. This is the most valuable space in the entire email. The quality of the headline will determine whether the reader continues to read the rest of the content or stops reading entirely.
A good headline is hard to create. As the template states, the headline must summarize why this email is important. Why should your reader keep reading? What is in it for them? What do they stand to gain?
These are all questions that must be answered when creating a successful headline.
The Words Flow Together
It’s important to note that the contents of the email template are not Amazon’s own creation. The words come from the writer Gary Provost, the author of the book “Make Every Word Count.” Provost understood that combining short and long sentences created a melody of words that would attract readers.
Here are the same three paragraphs as above, this time highlighted in colors. The colors represent the length of the sentences — red being five words, yellow being two words or less, pink representing four words or less, green representing medium-length sentences, and blue representing long sentences. Look at how the colors of each paragraph change the rhythm and flow of the words:
The CTA Needs to Create a Response
The marketing call to action, or CTA , should provoke an immediate response from your audience. Your audience should feel that they must click on whatever you are selling them or telling them. They must be intrigued, and they must be convinced that they will miss out on something worthwhile if they fail to follow the CTA.
It sounds simple, but it’s shocking how many companies forget this advice. Time and time again, I see emails or marketing campaigns that just say “click here,” but that will never work.
I have never clicked on a button at the bottom of a marketing email that says “click here,” and I imagine you have not either. The CTA needs to invoke an urge to act. The reader should see the words and feel that they must click on the link or be left out entirely.
On their online blog, the marketing powerhouse HubSpot collected a list of powerful CTAs used by companies. Some examples: the agency EPIC uses “Let’s start a new project together,” and Humboldt County’s site invites readers to “Follow the Magic.” Others, like Netflix, follow a simple route by telling viewers to “Join free for a month.”
The point here is simple: Think outside the box. What do your readers want to see? What are they interested in? If your CTA is not compelling, perhaps it’s time to brainstorm something new.