Email marketing for VIPs

3 min

Email marketing is designed to develop a relationship, sell a product or service, and encourage the recipient to take action. There are different ways you can accomplish these goals. So let’s see which elements make up the Email VIP experience and not just in the traditional sense. 

Editor’s note: Want to send better email campaigns? Then make sure to read this post on the most important email marketing best practices.

Who are your VIPs?

Your email campaigns should treat all your subscribers like VIPs in the traditional sense, depending on who actually is a Very Important Person in your database. This could be high spenders, influencers, or lifelong customers, but don’t forget the new high potential clients coming in. So lay out the red carpet and get them hooked directly with an amazing welcome program. But what other lessons can we learn from those three letters (VIP that is)?

The really important people in your database might not be the ones you expected though. Through scoring and segmenting your email newsletter, you might find out that big spenders are also the ones that return a lot of goods or only buy on sale when margins are low. Slice and dice your data and find out if you are actually focusing your effort towards DIP: Deemed Important People.

Very Important Person

People who subscribe to your emails expect you to roll out the red carpet, and this email from Boot Barn does just that. The subject line says it all: VIP exclusive – just for you. Does it make you feel special already? I don’t think so, the joke and skunk is countering the exclusive / VIP message. A bad example. I remember a tagline of a Brooks Brothers email  “Carefully curated and personally selected just for you” now that is a VIP statement. A bit of Exclusivity goes a long way.


Very Intriguing Persuasion

Yes, although your VIPs might be loyal customers already, they like to be courted and pleased. Persuasion is a topic that should be endlessly interesting to a marketer. It might be the most important part of his job. Connecting with the recipients and presenting the most compelling messages and dialogue you can.

Take a look at this Red Cross email:


It isn’t perfect, but the brand already makes up for a lot of that.  So in keeping with its logo, I give this Red Cross email an A+. Some brands are already trusted and have a very engaged email list, so that is a great place to start.

It does show persuasion through emotion.  The email is in a letter format, “signed” by the Red Cross president/CEO (although that would have been much stronger with personalized salutation instead of “Dear Friend”). It is often better not to have your emails look too much like marketing emails.

A photo (although it’s a dreaded “grip ’n’ grin pose) humanizes the email and, along with the copy, appeals to those who want to help those who serve. The copy also makes a reference to children and uses emotionally charged words such as “inspires,” “comfort,” and “compassion.”, which can be very effective especially in this type of “Buy because you care” email.

Persuasion doesn’t always have to be for a cause; it can be words and imagery that make you feel you’ve got to have that product or service.

Very Interesting Product

OK, so it helps to have really cool products like those sold by Hammacher Schlemmer. But Hammacher Schlemmer doesn’t rely on the coolness factor alone. It gives consumers reasons why this is “The Best Portable Solar Charger.” (Yes, that’s actually the product name.) Many Hammacher Schlemmer products are pricey, so it helps to have content that justifies the expenditure.


This charger, however, sells for an affordable $149.95. Even if you’re trying to sell the most boring product/service around, you’ve got to make it become more interesting. Bring sexy back, but keep in mind your recipients might know you better than you know yourself. Do it poorly and you aren’t going to be convincing. If you can’t pull it off creatively, go with boring but trusted. And you’ve got to show its features/benefits to convert browsers into buyers.

FYI, if you follow these basic guidelines, your email campaigns will have better CTR and ROI. I suggest implementing them ASAP.

Jordie van Rijn
Jordie van Rijn
Jordie is an independent email and eCRM marketing consultant. Entrepreneur Magazine titled him “One of 50 Online Marketing Influencers to Watch”. Brands like Unilever and KLM turn to him for advice. Next to helping companies improve their marketing results, he is often asked as a trainer and keynote speaker. His practical and enthusiastic approach is contagious and will have you sending better emails the next day.