A few months ago, I received this email and this from Airbnb. It is, without a doubt, one of the best emails I’ve ever received. I thought it would be fun to dissect it here on the blog and see what Vero readers think.
1. It is personalized and triggered as a direct result of my behavior on their site.
Airbnb, like most e-commerce and SaaS websites, encourages users to sign up or log in when they visit. As a logged-in user, Airbnb can track my behavior. I viewed this listing as a result of a search, checked out the pictures and read through some of the reviews. I exhibited behavior that indicates I was prepared to book a stay. As a direct result of that behavior, they sent me an email one day later with the exact listing I was checking out.
This is no shot in the dark. They didn’t send it to their entire list. They sent it to me and only me as a result of my behavior. Now that is personalization.
2. It features a bold button with friction-free conversion language.
The use of a button makes it impossible for me to miss the call to action. And the copy – “Learn More” – is the right way to move me through the conversion funnel. When I click that button, I know what comes next … I simply learn more.
Had they used copy like “Book Now” or “Take a Vacation” they might have scared me off. What is behind that button with copy like that? A checkout page? Is it time to give up my credit number already? It’s too scary if I’m not already 100% committed. The idea is to move me to the next step, not seal the deal.
3. Airbnb had a backup plan.
A backup plan isn’t always a good idea. Often, you want your emails to have a single focus to avoid losing conversions as a result of distractions or analysis paralysis. In this case, Airbnb knows that I’m interested but they also know I haven’t booked. I’m not sold yet.
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Because they are closely watching my behavior on their site, they know where I want to stay and they know my price range. This means it’s not only safe to offer a “Plan B” but it’s a great way to keep my attention. One of these listings could be the right one. If I click (or don’t click) on these listings, they gather even more data about my upcoming trip.
4. It addresses my anxieties.
A quick look at my Airbnb account shows that I’ve never actually booked a stay on their site. This is not a hotel, it’s someone’s residence or vacation home. Based on feedback from other prospects and customers, they know that first-time customers might be apprehensive about trying something new.
The links point me to articles about safety – it’s their “number one concern”- and the Help Center, which is loaded with information on how and why to use Airbnb. It perfectly addresses the concerns I had about using their service.
5. It includes micro CTAs.
We’ve talked about micro calls to action on this blog before. Essentially, these are the small conversions that keep customers engaged with your brand before they are ready to buy. If Airbnb can get me to follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Pinterest, they have opened up a new channel of communication with a potential customer.
They take this a step further by linking to their email preferences page. While there is an option to unsubscribe, there are also options to get more emails, receive text message alerts, download the mobile app and invite my friends.
Btw: Discover how Airbnb crafted their newest welcome email.
Where do you think Airbnb can improve? And would you like to see more posts on the Vero blog like this? Let us know in the comments.
Update: We created a quick tutorial to show you exactly how to send this email using Vero. Read it here.