Cross Brand Marketing Can Be Tricky

p>If I am a customer of a particular brand, it’s no secret that their sister brands might also try to market to me. This happens all the time in postal mail advertising (think of all the seemingly random catalogs you receive during the holidays), but is a bit trickier in the email marketing realm.

I recently received a cross-branded email from Soap.com. Apparently this is a sister site to Diapers.com, a brand which I subscribe to. Soap.com/Diapers.com did a good job overall with this email. I thought I’d quickly share my thoughts on the pros and cons of their campaign, which can be used as a teaching point for other brand families considering launching new brands.

Pros of this example:

  1. The “From” address is really clear about who this message is from — Marc & Vinit, Diapers.com Co-Founders
  2. The “From” address compliments the subject line — Introducing Soap.com!
  3. Most of the email is just text, so users will be able to read the message even if they have images blocked. This cuts down on spam abuses, recipient confusion and suspicion.
  4. The content is clear. The recipient is told who sent this email, why it was sent to them in particular, and what the new brand is all about.
  5. The email uses personalization and asks the recipient to join their Facebook page. They know who the user is and would like them to join their network.

Cons of this example:

  1. It is not clear if the recipient has been automatically subscribed to receive Soap.com emails as well as Diapers.com emails. There is an unsubscribe option, but it is not clear if clicking it will remove the recipient from Diapers.com or Soap.com, or both? It’s unclear.
  2. The sister site is not live. The message says, “In a few weeks, we will launch our new sister site Soap.com.” They should have waited to send this email until the site was live so that those customers who needed cleaning products could start shopping right away.