Our Email Olympics competition is well underway, and I’m happy to see that Kate Schmeisser chose BellyFlop as the first winner in “The Inbox Impression,” while Jillian Wohlfarth chose Congdon Park as the winner of our second event, “The First Glance.” As someone who composes marketing emails on a regular basis, I’m pretty excited to evaluate these three emails on “The Message.”

Once a recipient has seen the subject line and pre-header text, they’ve decided whether or not they want to open the email. Next, they take a glance at the message and decide if they want to continue reading based on the formatting, branding, and overall appearance. The third step, that we’re looking at now, is reading the content of the message, looking at the images included, and determining if the subject line was descriptive and accurate enough to move on to the final engagement step. Let’s look at the three messages below to see which one gets the gold:


The subject line for this email was “Welcome to BellyFlop.” Right away, we can tell this is a welcome email. The content itself thanks the user for signing up, but where’s the image? Where is the person bellyflopping? Personally, I’d like something along those lines. Also, there’s almost too much information in this email. This message is thanking you for downloading the app, telling you about rewards, reiterating the BellyFlop value proposition, giving you a couple action items, and asking you to connect on social media. I’m not sure if I have time for all that.

Tillas Sandals

The subject line for this Tillas Sandals email was “These ‘flops were made for walking.” Based on that subject, I’d be expecting to something about all their sandals, and that’s basically what they’re giving me. As a promotional email about a summer sale, this message is good because the three main points stand out: The summer sale is here, it begins at midnight, and I’ll get free shipping if I spend enough.

Congdon Park

The subject line for this email was “Here comes the sun” with a couple emojis around it. Unfortunately, I have no idea what that means, but they did have “August 2016 newsletter” in the pre-header text. Of all three emails, I like the images and information presented in this email the most. Not only do I get the option to see the full calendar right at the beginning, but I also get more information about August’s two biggest events within the email itself. Lastly, I think this message is the most professional of all three, despite the emojis in the subject line.

The Winner

For me, I think Congdon Park won this round, with Tillas Sandals coming in second, and BellyFlop getting third. For senders who are putting together their next campaign, you may want to think about using some intriguing images instead of extra text. You may also want to have a test email sent to you to make sure it looks professional and reflects your brand exactly the way you want it. For more tips about putting together a successful marketing email, download our newest resource The Expert’s Guide to Email Marketing.

Warren Duff
Warren is the Sr. Content Marketing Manager at SendGrid, specializing in email and content best practices, he develops many of the new guides you see SendGrid release as well as other pieces of content, including blogs, videos, case studies, and emails.