Tone of voice in customer communications is one of the strongest and most controversial dimensions of branding. Communicating with customers happens through so many channels, that combining all of them together with the same attitude and ‘feeling’ is crucial to maintain a consistent brand identity.
Few years ago, a friend of mine, let’s call her Anna, received an email titled: ‘Anna, We Need To Talk!!’. The sender was Michelle Bridges, the creator of the 12wbt weight loss program she had recently joined. When opening the email, there was an image of furious Ms Bridges, asking why Anna had not recorded her weight. Even though the email was clearly commercial, automated communication, it really got her to record her weight to her profile as instructed. She also laughed about the memorable email and shared her experience with me. I’ve been dying to know how their campaign went, and whether that was a test cell and if so, how did it perform against the other tests.
Last week it was my turn. I received an email starting with ‘Kuules Kaisa.’ That’s Finnish and translates loosely to something around the lines of ‘Now you listen to me, Kaisa!’. Sender was Wolt, a finnish startup that delivers restaurant food to individuals through an app. For a second I was shocked when I read the first line through preview, and from 20 commercial emails I had received that day, that was the only one I opened.
Obviously, the main reason I opened the email was my curiosity as a marketeer. Who is doing that, how does the email continue? Does it work? Luckily I happened to know someone from Wolt, who put me in touch with Vivian, Wolt’s Marketing Manager. She kindly shared some insights of the campaign, and told they had received overwhelming amount of feedback - and all positive. Apparently their clientele loved the quirky message and different take on the mindnumbingly boring acquisition messages that everyone’s inboxes are full of.
Most interesting in Wolt’s campaign was, that they had contacted the same target group multiple times, without any traction. It was only this campaign that got them moving, and they got much higher response from email’s call to action than anticipated.
It would be very interesting to see this type of campaign to be executed with a strong control group, to understand the incremental lift of this campaign. Not only in the open rates of the email, but the effect in buying behaviour and retention. To be able to contact all of the target, one option would be contacting the control group after the measurement period. That could work well in something like this. I wrote a post earlier about this method, which you can find here.
Have you done any similar experiments? What did you learn or find out? Did it work? I would love to hear about that. All questions are welcome too!