What’s In My Inbox | Cornell Lab Bird Academy’s ultra creative “early bird” special

April 26, 2017


I’ve never seen anything quite like this email communication, and that’s just one reason why I wanted to share it with you. So for this week’s inbox installment, I’m casting my spotlight on the most recent message from Cornell Lab of Ornithology, which contains an early bird offer for enrolling in their self-paced ecourse, Be a Better Birder: How to Identify Bird Songs. As someone who consistently offers online training in the form of ecourses (specifically, my Basics & More roster), this email, a sales email, immediately captured my attention. It is short, sweet, and speaks directly to CLO’s audience of supporters and birders who share a specific, specialized area of interest.

Here, CLO has made a product of possible interest easily accessible to donors in a creative way, and they’ve sweetened the pot by offering it on an early bird basis, along with bonus content providing information on how to identify over 1,000 different bird species. The message is completely focused on the class (which is available at a reasonable price point); there is zero mention or encouragement when it comes to making a gift. Subject header: One more day for early bird pricing on new bird song course. Notice the beautiful graphic and economic word usage, as well as the “learn more” button. When I clicked on this, I was directed to a lively (not to mention amusing) video that spotlighted fellow birders and offered additional detail on the course content, format, and bonus material.  The “handwritten” signature from their Project Leader is a nice finishing touch.

How can your organization “inspire and delight?” Brainstorm ways that you can provide value.

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