I’ve told you more than once that relevancy is the top reason that people are responsive to your mailings and receiving non-relevant emails is the top reason people unsubscribe from your email list.

And I’ve finally found a good example to show you how NOT to do it–courtesy of NBC Sports.

During the month of July I’m obsessed with watching the Tour de France, and last July I clipped a screen capture of how relevancy works.

What you’re looking at is a shot of Stage 8 of the Tour.  It basically shows that these guys ride 157 km and cross over 6 mountain passes on this day.


Now what do you see at the top of the screen?  Same thing as me, a banner ad.

A banner ad for Nike NFL Jerseys.

So let’s review.  The target audience is fans of the Tour de France.  That means cycling–and a pretty good chance they are cyclists themselves.

Here are the two mistakes:

1.  The ad targets NFL fans.

2.  NFL season is still 2 months away.  This was taken in July and the NFL games start in what, September?

The argument for this type of weak ad targeting is that some of the Cycling fans will also be NFL fans so this ad is relevant.  Some of them also own cars but that won’t make a GIECO ad relevant either!

And even if they are NFL fans, the season hasn’t started so NFL games are the last thing on our minds.  I abhor this type of advertising that suggests that any ad will work any where just because the audience is big enough.

What would I put there that is relevant?

– a cycling jersey ad

– a bike company ad

– another cycling event ad

– cycling clothing ad

– even an eBay ad with cycling stuff in it

All of those things would work way better for the advertiser than this.

How does this relate to your email campaigns?

Think about it.  You send email to your list all the time (I sure hope you do) and you’re tempted to throw in the kitchen sink.  If you provide it they will read it.

Really, just give your subscribers what they want.  If they signed up for How to Play the Banjo tips and techniques, that’s what goes in your email.

Stay on topic and your results will show less unsubscribes, higher open and read rates…

… you’ll basically be more successful with your email marketing strategies.