Timmy's Message from Mordor

Timmy’s Message from Mordor

So many marketing emails are boring, untargeted, and irrelevant.

But every once in a while I’ll get an email that knocks my socks off (and actually makes me order something).

Today I got one of those.

Here’s the background:

Over the weekend I was perusing ThinkGeek because I got a couple gift certificates for my birthday back in May.

I picked out three t-shirts and added them to my shopping cart. Then I signed in to my ThinkGeek account so I could save the items in my cart. I figured I’d check out later this week.

But this morning, I saw this subject line:

ThinkGeek’s Tree of Gondor + $10 off!
What a coincidence! I thought. I was just about to buy the “Tree of Gondor” t-shirt yesterday!

Here’s the body of the email:

Timmy's Message from Mordor

The email shows all three t-shirts I had picked out, plus custom email copy framed around the Tree of Gondor t-shirt. Here’s the copy in case you can’t read the image (by the way, Timmy is the monkey in the top right corner of the email):


Much like Sauron, Timmy has a roving-but-less-evil eye that sees all. And from his home in Mordor (located in Fairfax, Virginia) he saw that you recently fancied our precious.

And so, humble hobbit, Timmy extends to you the coupon code XXXXXXXX, good for $10 off your order of $50 or more.

It was made with magic so powerful it can only be destroyed in the scorching fires of Mount Doom from which it was auto-generated! Or it expires on 07/24/2012 at 11:59pm ET. Whichever comes first.

Here’s what I love about this email:

  • It’s targeted to me.
  • It makes a specific offer with a deadline.
  • The language in the email speaks specifically to my interest in Lord of the Rings.
  • The email is entertaining and fun to read.
  • They’ve reminded me of the three t-shirts I want.

Basically, it’s brilliant.

So brilliant that I just placed my order.

Shopping cart abandonment is a pretty big problem for a lot of online retailers. Customized emails like the one ThinkGeek sent me would reduce shopping cart abandonment to a minimum. Something to think about.

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-Ryan M. Healy

Ryan M. Healy

Ryan Healy is a financial copywriter and the author of Speed Writing for Nonfiction Writers. Since 2002, he has worked with scores of clients, including Agora Financial, Lombardi Publishing, and Contrarian Profits. He writes a popular blog about copywriting, advertising, and business growth, has been featured in publications like Feed Front magazine, and has been published on sites like WordStream.com, SmallBizClub.com, and MarketingForSuccess.com.