One of the most important elements of an email message is its relevance to the recipient. If the recipient wants the message and divines purpose from said message, it’s likely to be a successful campaign. So that’s why I applaud Amazon.com for the message below:

When you click on the image to see the full-size version, you’ll see what I mean by relevance. Here’s what I like:

  • About three years ago, I bought my parents a Weight Watchers cookbook. The first paragraph reminds me of that purchase and links me to additional cookbooks. Nice little tug there.
  • Relevance in terms of timing: New Year’s Resolutions are played up in the headline. Good call there.
  • I really like the use of “Featured Recipes” as a portion of the message. Solid visuals compliment the cookbook theme. Because after all, if it looks delicious and you know it’s from a diet cookbook, you might even buy the book to cook the meal. Right?
  • It’s cut off in the above screen grab, but below the Featured Recipes section is a “More Weight Watchers Books” section. Good call with a big of a secondary offer module there.
  • The fact that everything is linkable makes this message easily clicked through to the desired pages. Nicely done.

There is one thing I don’t like about this message:

  • “Dear Amazon.com Customer.” It’s a bit surprising to find that since Amazon knows I bought the Weight Watchers cookbook that they couldn’t go for a Dear “First Name” at the least here. It’s a dehumanizing facet right before a VERY humanizing facet. Like I said, a little surprising. Almost like it was forgotten while they were building dynamic elements in the coding of the message.

All in all, I think given the time of year and the solid reminder of a previous purchase, this is a well-done email from Amazon.

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About the Author: Scott Cohen is the Marketing Copywriter for Western Governors University. He also writes on email marketing, fatherhood, sports, and politics on ScottWritesEverything.com and contributes to the Email Zoo Blog.