Thursday, April 29, 2010

Are You Our Sea Otter Winner?

A few weeks ago I attended the Sea Otter Classic biking festival. As a marketing guy, I'm always keeping my eye out for creative ways to get folks attention so I was pleased to get an email yesterday titled "Are You Our Sea Otter Winner?" At the festival, I had signed up for a raffle with Cog Wild, an Oregon mountain biking tour company, and having run expo booths at IT conferences, I know the challenge of turning contacts collected into qualified leads. The conference attendees get carpet-bombed with marketing email by conference vendors after the event ends so its tough to make your company stand out. I was pretty sure that I wasn't the winner of Cog Wild's raffle, but with a teaser like "Are You Our Sea Otter Winner?" how could I not open the email to see?

I've always felt that the subject line of a marketing email message is the most important part because its a go or no-go point for the recipient... if they don't open the message it doesn't matter how compelling the content is. I also liked that Cog Wild referenced Sea Otter in the subject line rather than themselves. To be honest, I probably wouldn't have remembered Cog Wild by name, but I did remember entering several raffles at the Sea Otter Classic so it was a smart and humble decision on their part that got me to their next step. Don't get me wrong, the subject line is just the first step -- the content and actions in the message body matter -- and the actual "Are You Our Sea Otter Winner?" copy could be refined, but I love the concept and will probably use it the next time I run a raffle at an expo booth.

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