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EMAIL Audit: Living Social’s Roly Poly Email Offer


This morning I received my daily deal from LivingSocial and it confused the heck out of me. Below is what I saw in my email client preview window:


The confusion lies solely on the offer, which is THE ONLY thing that matters for daily deal sites like LivingSocial. Let’s dissect this email in further detail.

Subject Line: “50% Off Roly Poly”
Ok, I know of Roly Poly and they are a pretty decent sandwich shop that has catered some lunches at Brooks Bell in the past. 50% Off is the type of offer I have come to expect from daily deal sites so that seemed reasonable. But once I opened up the email, the confusion set in.

Headline: “$20 or $80 to Spend on Food & Drink”
Wait a minute! What’s with the $20 and the $80?Doesn’t 50% off mean its should be $20 and $40 or $40 and $80? I’m confused. Maybe the call to action will clear things up for me.

CTA: “$20 $10 View Deal”
Now I am really confused. So I get I’m paying $10 for $20 worth of food. That is consistent with the 50% Off message in the subject line. But what happened to the $20 and the $80?

The Real Deal
This deal left me with more questions than answers. If I wasn’t motivated to view the deal I probably wouldn’t have to clear up the confusion. Fortunately I already had the start of a good blogpost in my head from this confusion that I clicked the button to check it out. Here is the landing page the click takes you to:


As you can see the real deal comes through. The $20 refers to food and drink at Roly Poly and the $80 refers to catering. In actuality a pretty good deal especially for those who buy lunch for the office. The problem is I doubt too many people bothered to click through to gain clarity.

Why this doesn’t work
When it comes to converting online, cohesive messaging is key. This is not only true of email marketing — it is also true of search landing pages, display ads, and social media marketing. I want to know that the offer that hooked me in the first place is the offer I am getting.

In this case, that wasn’t the full problem. Roly Poly was delivering on the “50% Off” offer in the subject line. They were delivering on the “$20 or $80 to spend on Food and Drink” offer in the headline. And they were delivering on the “$20 for $10″ offer in the call to action. All 3 offers are factually true. But by phrasing them in 3 different ways, it creates an anxiety for the prospect that is tough to overcome. Especially in the decision to purchase low cost items like sandwiches.

Areas to Improve
This one is an easy one! Make the offers consistent! Clarify that the $80 is for catering like you do in the landing page! Oh, and as a bonus, maybe use a picture of a rolled sandwich not one with a bun.

Now’s your turn: What would you do to improve this email?