90-Day Action Plan

The *Ugly* $20,409 Email

design email Feb 01, 2023
Email marketer

AKA - the $20,409 email that my client almost canceled last minute. 


(Actually - he did cancel it, but we (thankfully) convinced him to keep going ;)  


So what happened? And how did this ugly email generate an insane amount of revenue before Black Friday even began?


Here’s the scoop: 


We wanted to send a really genuine thank you out to all of this brand’s customers and anyone who had been active on their list or site recently in preparation for Black Friday. 


This isn’t the first time we’ve done this. In fact, we know that around special days, the best marketing is actually just a heartfelt thank you. 


Instead of relying on photos, fancy fonts, and strong CTAs, we wanted to rely on the message and really let it shine. 


The goal was to send out an email that looked as though the founder himself typed it up on his phone while binge-watching the new season of Dead to Me on Netflix. Off-the-cuff kind of thing.

What we ended up with was a fairly *ugly* email. 


… which is exactly what we were going for. 


It was so ugly in fact that when the founder saw it he wanted to cancel it! But… we convinced him to give it a try. 


Fortunately, it worked. The email generated $20,409.  It didn’t include any graphics, any promotions, and absolutely no product photos… not even a real CTA. 


But what it did include was a genuine message of appreciation. 


Here are the lessons we can take away from this email: 


  1. Authenticity is still important. People connect to your message above all else. 
  2. Copy is king. A pretty design is ok, but copy is what really sells. 
  3. Breaking up the norm with something unexpected often attracts the right type of attention. 


But the biggest lesson? Don’t let little things like lack of Photoshop skills keep you from reaching out to your customers. You could be missing a 5-figure payday.

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