Prographics E-mail Autoresponder

I'm sure right now you are wondering exactly what an e-mail autoresponder is. If not, congratulations, feel free to move on to the samples. Now, let me start by asking you a question. What happens when you get a client's e-mail address? Do they get an e-mail when you have a sale or get a new product? Do you send them an e-mail welcoming them to the company, and then move on from there?

You have a goldmine at your fingertips. You probably know that first impressions are everything. Well this autoresponder was sent out over the course of 12 days after a new client made an account with Prographics (A t-shirt company specializing in fraternities and sororities). On top of this, each new client filled out a brief survey about their experiences as a student leader. I created custom e-mails for each possible scenario. Here's the thing though, I barely sold Prographics. I gave the new clients information as well as putting 'deposits in their emotional bank.'

The point was not so much to sell specific products, but to build the relationship between the client and Prographics. Remember, there's a difference between e-mail sales and e-mail marketing.

Here are a couple examples of what I did for Prographics:

If you had said that you were the person in charge of designing t-shirts, this is what you would have gotten about the creation process:

          So you need to design a T-shirt. You don't know where to begin. Well don't worry, we got your back. First thing is first. Budget. Know your budget. This is critical when it comes to T-shirts. When you know your budget, you will know pretty well several factors: Weight of the T-shirt, # of colors, whether or not you want designs on the front and/or back. These are decisions you want to make up front, as they affect the design process.

          The next thing you want to do is make sure you understand your deadline. Although Prographics will accommodate you for practically any contingency, you will have a lot more fun if you can take your time and pace yourself.

          While you are walking to class, take a look at all the Greek T-shirts on campus. Is there a trend? Do you see a pattern? What do you like and what don't you like? These are things you want to take into account.

          The next step is to ask yourself the important question: Who are these T-shirts for? The most critical step when marketing and designing anything is to understand your audience. If this is a recruitment shirt, then obviously you are targeting freshman women and men. If you are advertising a party, you are going to have a different tone indeed. Is there a theme to your recruitment drive? Are there other posters going up for the party? Is there a particular font that the 'high class' shirts are using?

          Allow me to take this time to talk about Comic Sans. If you don't know what Comic Sans is, you should probably pay attention. In no way, under no circumstances, even ironically, should you use Comic Sans for anything ever. No one thinks its cool and you look like an idiot. If your message is 'We are stupid and don't care about anything', then yeah, by all means, use it. Good luck with that. There are literally thousands of interesting fonts out there, so there is no reason to use the typographic equivalent of showing up in a clown costume to a black tie event. There, I said it. You're on your own now.

          That having been said, your best bet is to do your research. Look at T-shirts from past events. Prographics has a seemingly limitless archive of designs. There's a reason they call us the 'Google of Greek T-shirts'.

          Once you have a general idea for what you want, it's time to start putting it on paper. Yes, you read that right, on paper. I'll explain why in the next e-mail. Until then, get your creative juices flowing.

Or, for example, if you said that you said that you were a President, and said that the best thing that Prographics could do was offer free shipping:

          Sometimes our customers tell us about how it was before they found us. One of they biggest problems they had was paying for shipping. Some places don't even ship to you. They make you come and pick them up. Slackers. What would happen is that they would be all set and done, they would be well within budget and they would be ready to checkout and BOOM, the shipping costs were extraordinary. Back to the drawing board to stay under budget. Even worse is the local shops that make you come and pick them up. Seriously, does a full time student have time to pick up T-shirts? No. But its either that or pay out the yahoo for shipping.
          Most people start looking for a new company after they start factoring shipping into their budgets. When they find us they can't believe it. Free UPS ground shipping. Let me repeat that. If you get your shirts and gear shipped via ground, you will not pay for shipping. I really don't know how we can pass discounts on to you much better than that.
          Most customers can't believe it. They always call and ask to make sure. It makes us feel pretty great to offer something so simple that makes so many people feel great. It's why we get out of bed in the morning, really.
          Our company philosophy is based around bringing your the best T-shirts as cheaply as possible. We know that you are on a budget, so we will do everything we can to keep your costs down. Our customers think this is the greatest because if they are under a time crunch, the price we quote is the bottom line. Isn't that simple. Yeah, it's just business as usual here at Prographics.

Final example, I promise. If someone answered that one of their biggest problems was dealing with time management, they would receive this in their inbox a week or so after signing up:

          When you learn how to manage your time effectively, that is when you will truly be in control of your own destiny. Managing your time means that you will be able to cram more of the stuff you want to do into your day. First let's discuss the importance of goofing off.
          You have to goof off. If you think that you can study for hours on end without checking your Facebook and all that important stuff then you are a fool. Your brain, like your body, needs time off. Some people fight this and end up reading Facebook when they should be working. Managing these distractions is crucial to good time management. Let me introduce you to the Pomodoro technique:
          Set a timer for 25 minutes. Once the timer dings, you take a 5 minute break. After 4 of those sessions, you take a longer (15-20) break. This way you get your distractions out of the way and still get work done. You can do this yourself, or there are a number of timers on-line that you can download.
          Time management is another case where simply writing down the things you have to do makes it more likely for you to accomplish them. Start by making a list, every day of all the things you need to do. Then, write down the estimated time that these will take, and at what time you need to do them. Let me repeat, at the very least, write down all the things you have to do.

Here are some tips for getting the most out of your working time:

-Listen to music. Music helps you get into the zone. We recommend music that doesn't have words, especially if you are writing a paper or something like that.

-Do your studying for classes at the same time that you take that class, but on different days. So if your Econ class is at 11:00 AM on Monday, do all your Econ studying at 11:00 AM. Your body/mind is very good at getting into a rhythm. Use this to your advantage.

-Have an 'office'. You don't really need to have an office, but have a space where you go to do work. This can be a cubby in the library, a table you like or a desk in an empty room.

There you go. You're 1 step closer to managing your time correctly. Now, start making your list.

No hard sale. Yes, in many cases you will get a lot of sales through e-mail. This is not the case for college students. We build a relationship by giving them information about how to have a great student organization. Then, when they are throwing killer parties, they get their T-shirts and other paraphernalia from Prographics. Correct e-mail marketing, and all marketing, means that you have to understand who your target market is. College students are willing to spend a lot of money, but they have to build their trust first.