Separate from the pack

April 4, 2015 By 0 Comments

One of my pet peeves with marketers is when they fuel promotions with a “Crying wolf” approach; creating a false-sense of urgency in the customers world.  Out of curiosity, and after noticing I had 10 unread in my Inbox with similar verbiage, I researched my deleted email archives for words related to urgency.  What jumped off the page was the phrase, “Last Chance”.  It was by far the most over-used word within subject lines, across brands and industries. Here are (numerous) examples within the past six months.

Alloy Apparel
Last Chance For 30% Off + Denim Solutions!
Last Chance: Save 10% on AncestryDNA for St. Paddy’s Day

Banana Republic
Last chance to buy all the things.
Last chance to save on your new outfit.

Last chance for $50 in free search ads

Last Chance: Subscribe for ONLY $5

Last Chance: Your Free Hour Expires Monday @ Midnight


LAST CHANCE: We’ve sweetened the deal +3 Bonus Months!

City Sports
Last Chance to Score 20% OFF!

Crate and Barrel
Last chance: 20% off Wine&Dine

Danny’s Cycle
LAST CHANCE To Save 50% on ALL Winter Clothing!

Last-chance spring cruise deals + save on Europe
LAST days! Your chance to win a free flight ✈

Food Network
Last Chance! Up to 57% Off Rachael Ray Dinnerware

Frank and Oak
Last Chance – Spring Staples: 20% Off When You Buy 2 Or More.

Last Chance: Spy Goggles | And more on sale now!

Healthy Directions
Last Chance! Shop here instead. 15% OFF – today only!
One. Last. Chance.  Save up to 46% off our Fall Savings!
Last Chance: Save up to 48% this weekend

Last chance: Get free social media training plus 60 days of Hootsuite Pro

Last Chance: $1 for 30 Days of Unlimited Web Dev Courses

Last Chance to Save 15%
Last Chance, Act Today.
Last Chance: 30% Off Ends Today!

Last chance: take $20 off $50 purchase + Specials end tonight!
Last chance: get extra 20% off now!

Men’s Wearhouse
Last Chance to Get 2 FREE Ties!
Last Chance to RSVP for Select-A-Seat at Citi Field this Saturday

NBA Store
LAST CHANCE: Save 15% Today!

NFL Shop
LAST CHANCE! Save up to 50% on NFL Gear during the Spring Clearance Blitz!

Last Chance to join your favorite NHL stars in Las Vegas

Last Chance – save an extra 20% on sale online!

Last Chance! Parallels Desktop 10 Bundle Deal – 70% off – Less than 12 hours left
Last Chance! The Ultimate Mac Pack Smart Buy – 78% off – Less than 12 hours left
Last Chance! Parallels Desktop 10 Bundle Deal – 79% off – Less than 4 hours left
Last Chance! Parallels Desktop 10 Bundle Deal – 70% off – Less than 4 hours left
Last Chance! The Ultimate Mac Pack Smart Buy – 78% off – Less than 4 hours left
Last Chance! Upgrade to Parallels Desktop 10 and get a $10 iTunes gift card – Less than 12 hours left

Last chance for in-store savings!
Last chance for $10 off your order!
Last chance: $15 off in-store or online expires today!
LAST CHANCE to sign up, save & get 20 Reward Dollars!
Last Chance! Hotel Sale Ends Tonight

Saks Fifth Avenue
Last Chance to Take $75 OFF Your $300 Order
Last Chance to Get a $700 Gift Card

Shop USA Hockey
Last Chance to Get Your USA Hockey Hoodie for 15% Off at
Last Chance to Save on St. Patty’s Day at
Last Chance to Save on Brady Brady Items for Your Young Hockey Player at

Silver Airlines
Last chance for bewitching deals! Fares from $59*

Last chance! Pay just $5/mo. for the Sharp AQUOS Crystal

Tick tock. Last chance to save!

Travel Channel
Win a $100,000 Trip to Hawaii: Last Chance to Enter Again
It’s Your Last Chance to Win a Trip to Austin

You can’t stand out, if your subject line blends in

There’s plenty of opportunity to plow the road and stand out within your respective vertical (re-read the numerous copycat subject lines above).  Whether you choose to evolve as a business or not, the marketplace and technology (and eventually your competitors) aren’t waiting around – they’re evolving and at rapid pace.  Great companies are popping up to help (go check out Persado) and new functionality is being embraced within traditional messaging systems/marketing clouds.  CMO’s now have the ability to acquire software that enables them to test thoroughly, across multiple channels.  Here are some ideas once you get your hands on one of these platforms.

  • At minimum, heavy subject line testing across deployments.  And I mean for every single batch (one-time) promotional send.  No excuses, you need to let data and response/engagement dictate your best-practice library.
  • Make sure your marketing cloud / software allows for automatic winner selection, and not just for subject lines.  You should be able to systematically determine the best images, copy, and even channel-preference (email or a push message).
  • If you want bonus points, combine subject line testing with automatic winner selection, while orchestrating a personalized  conversation that goes beyond the promotion you are pushing (cross and upsell based on purchase or activity).
  • Lastly, your software should allow you to leverage external data collected from interactions within your apps, websites, previous emails, CRM systems, and any other data necessary to make decisions or personalize messages.

Shameless plug on the above testing approaches; Oracle Responsys does all of this and more.  Not that I am biased….

So simply put, realize that no matter how good your last ditch offer is, or how lucrative your value proposition is for your prospective consumer, your brands promotion can (and will be) drowned out by an ocean of like-voices.  Establish trust and credibility with customers well before you need them to react to urgency messaging.   Prove to your consumers that you aren’t “Crying Wolf” when they receive an offer.  Instead, consistently deliver them value and incentives that are personalized and generated from the data you have on them and their preferences / activity levels.