Vitality Traveller wins Everlytic's You Mailed It Awards

Overview

Email marketing continues to be a dominant channel for brand communication and, as South Africa’s largest digital messaging platform, Everlytic wants to give marketers a chance to showcase their best mailers. This is why we started the You Mailed It Awards.

Discovery Vitality entered and won first place in our inaugural awards for its clever and creative travel newsletter called Vitality Traveller, which launched in October 2022.

Divisional Manager of Discovery Vitality Marketing, Katie Lu, said, “We create such beautiful work at Discovery, and to be able to enter a competition and win it is the best way to showcase our work.”

Let’s take a deeper look at what made this email so effective.

Objectives

While Discovery Vitality members have had access to travel rewards since 2000, in March 2022, Discovery Bank and Discovery Vitality launched the new Vitality Travel booking platform. In June 2022, Discovery Bank further launched the Discovery Account for Vitality members to access generous travel savings through Vitality Travel.

Katie explained this launch triggered the need for a new newsletter.

“We already have a Vitality monthly newsletter, but we didn’t want the travel benefits to get lost in it,” she said.

“For this newsletter, the idea was to showcase all the beautiful places a person can visit, using big pictures to entice a person to go travelling, so it is very different from our standard monthly Vitality newsletter. With that in mind, this is how the Vitality Traveller was born.”

The overarching aim of the newsletter was to ignite readers’ wanderlust in a bid to boost engagement with the Vitality Travel platform. The objectives to achieve
this were three-fold: To educate members on how to use the booking platform, inform them of their personalised discounts, and inspire them to book holidays through the platform.

Katie described the behind-the-scenes of producing the newsletter. “We did a lot of research behind what sort of content should go into a travel newsletter – it’s almost like a magazine for members, but we wanted to create a monthly newsletter.

“So, we did extensive research into how we would communicate it: how we would showcase all the beautiful places to entice people to think about their next holiday trip and book with us,” explained Katie.

Execution

The Vitality Traveller is a monthly newsletter, and the first mailer of its kind – that won Everlytic’s You Mailed It Awards – was sent to a target audience of 794 377 members and clients.

In their submission rationale, the Discovery Vitality team explained every element in the newsletter was intentional.

They described the newsletter as having a simple, clean design with a balance of short copy and beautiful imagery, along with some white space for optimal breathing room.

These are the elements that made the Discovery Vitality team proud:

Images

The Discovery Vitality team explained the images tell one brand story. This is enhanced by the use of the same muted colours as well as rounding the corners of the images to create a soft experience on the eye. They also brought in a touch of pink for the Vitality corporate identity.

They used gentle images, light font, and three primary colours – namely pink, grey, and white. They said this created a “personal, educational, immersive reading experience for the target audience”.

Katie added while both local and international holiday destinations were showcased, the local was important, especially following lockdown for the Covid-19 pandemic. “We are proudly South African,” she says.

“The first newsletter was focused on local destinations and local travel, and it’s about getting people out to see the beautiful country we have.”

Layout

Every part of the newsletter – the images, headlines, short blurbs, and call-to-action buttons – were centred to guide the readers’ eye from the beginning to the end of the newsletter for an easy read. A combination of the inverted pyramid and F-pattern were used for this.

Content

The team explained the content followed a logical structure to answer pertinent traveller questions, from what the newsletter was about to why travel makes one happy, where to visit, and how to get discounts and apply them to different types of holidays.

There was also some inspiration with a chef’s note and travel anecdote, followed by a word from the Vitality CEO and a product block linking to an article that summarises all you need to know about Vitality Travel.

Timing

The newsletter was sent in October, and Katie explained this is the time people think about their December holidays. “Timing was crucial,” she said.

Personalisation

The Discovery Vitality team used various techniques to personalise the newsletter. They used a play-on-words in the subject line, calling the member a “Vitality Traveller” – the same name as the newsletter – in a bid to make each recipient feel they were already a Vitality Traveller.

In the first line, the member was greeted with different languages – which “signifies this is no ordinary newsletter” – and by their name.

The newsletter also used personal pronouns, such as “you” and “we” to make the recipient feel they were chatting about their travel plans with an old friend.

The mailer was segmented into two cohorts: Members with a Discovery Bank account and those without. Dynamic content was used in a bid to upsell the Discovery Account to the members without one.

Results

The newsletter succeeded in nudging members to engage with Vitality Travel. This was seen as just under half of the recipients (44%) opened the newsletter. The click-through rate was 2.32% and the click-to-open rate was 5.1%.  

Here are the elements the You Mailed It judges liked best:  

  • Beginning-to-end storyline 
  • Fun, creative, and easy-to-read copy 
  • Clever, integrated calls to action 
  • Calming, aspirational imagery 
  • Enjoyable pace and simple message delivery 
  • Biteable content that made it easy to consume 
  • Relevant use of personalisation

Success Factors 

Strong Reason to Open: The Discovery Vitality team attributed the open rate to the effectiveness of the email subject line: Go everywhere, Vitality Traveller with an aeroplane and car emoji. The team also believed the members were curious to see something new in their inbox.

Powerful Content Upfront: When looking at the top three links members clicked on, the team found the second article from the top had the highest open rate (a total of 4 741 clicks). They believed this indicated the value of putting powerful content upfront.

Poetic Devices Persuade: The title of the article with the most clicks was, “21 show-stopping South African tourist destinations”, and the team believed the uneven number as well as the use of power words with a touch of alliteration, nudged the readers’ intrigue to click the link. The first article in the email received the third-highest number of clicks, and the blurb used the “power of three” effect to entice readers.

Discounts Create Drawcard: The last piece of content on the page received the second-highest number of clicks (2 954) and explained how to access Vitality Travel. The Discovery Vitality team said this taught them the importance of discounts and that readers will scroll to the bottom of emails to find them.

Advice 

Katie said the team enjoyed reflecting on their process and research for their Vitality Traveller newsletter when entering Everlytic’s You Mailed It Awards.

She shared some advice for others looking to compile effective mailers.

“When you put together a newsletter, it’s about who your audience is, what you are putting out there – it’s not a one-size-fits-all [approach] – and I think that would be my advice: depending on who your audience is and what your content is, go research and find out what is the best way to speak about the content to your members,” explained Katie.

She added it is important to ensure you are using the right channel for your readers to access your content.

Optimise Your Marketing Mailers 

Do you want to follow in Discovery Vitality’s footsteps and create engaging and marketing emails? Get some tips from our step-by-step personalisation guide, or reach out to us for a demo.