An email that sells ice to the eskimos

I’ve already detailed this here and here, but I’ll say it again. Most of the recent emails I’ve seen these days are just plain full of crap.

Companies are just relentlessly copying each other, sending out emails to their entire lists saying, “we’re here for you” when in reality, the last thing they want to do is be there for you.

But I saw one email last week that was actually smart. It’s not perfect, but it recognizes tough times and it tries to get the word out anyways.

It’s an email from a company called Vacasa, which allows people to rent vacation homes. I’ve used them before and they’re very easy to deal with.

But right now, the tourism industry is in the toilet. Simply put no one is taking a vacation right now except the mandatory staycation that the government has forced on us.

And historically, that industry always suffers during a recession because hospitality and tourism only thrives in good economies. After the housing crisis in 2009, the tourism company I worked for took multiple hits in revenue year after year.

But whoever wrote this email and pressed the “Send” button clearly has a brain. Here it is:

Subject line: Got cabin fever?

We hope you and your loved ones are staying healthy and safe during this challenging time. We’re as committed as ever to delivering memorable travel experiences—and for now, we’ll keep sharing inspiration so you can start dreaming about the future vacation we all know you deserve?

The cure for cabin fever

Few things sound better right now than a private escape in the woods—just you, some peace and quiet, and maybe a couple marshmallows toasting over a crackling fire. If you’re feeling cooped up at home, cure your cabin fever with this tour of stunning, secluded cabins across the country.

*Shows a few vacation house photos*

Book confidently. Stay comfortably.

Your vacation time is valuable, which is why we’re here for you every step of the way. With around-the-clock customer support, easy check-in, dedicated local teams, and professional housekeeping — you can count on Vacasa wherever you’re headed.

Here’s what this email does right:

  • The subject line is kinda clever. Yes, everyone is completely over being trapped inside their homes.
  • It’s not addressed from the company President or CEO.
  • The email isn’t full of paragraphs no one is going to read. It’s mostly visual with a few paragraphs.
  • They actually have good looking cabins in the email. All that’s missing is an Instagram post saying, “Would you stay here with no internet for one year for a $1 million dollars?”
  • Their call to action is just to check out their rentals options. They know at some point after this coronavirus mess, people are going to want to get away, so why not get options in front of them now?

Anyways, this email is proof that you don’t always have to follow the rest of the herd off the cliff. There are people, in good times and bad, that are looking to buy something, and that includes taking a trip. And even though people might be stuck by themselves, they don’t have to be stuck at home to have a good time.

Plus this message is a lot better than the normal, standard “we’re here for you” coronavirus boilerplate email.

That’s it for now.


Write emails that don’t get ignored with my guide: Email List Loyalty