This is the third post in my series which critiques the e-mail programs of four national theme parks. In my previous posts I talked about the registration process and the welcome messages I received. Today we'll take a look at the mail I got during my first week as a subscriber.
The first message I received was from Dollywood. Due to the recent flooding in Nashville, Dollywood was donating admission proceeds from Dollywood on May 22 and 23 to help displaced families. In addition, the e-mail gave information on how you could donate if you couldn't make it to the park. The theme of the e-mail was great, and e-mail is a great vehicle to use for these types of messages. Unfortunately, the text rendering issue that I noted in the welcome message appears here too, and in fact, the D in Dolly came through as an Asian language character.
I also got another e-mail from Dollywood during the week, which was a more expected promotional message. The e-mail was about all-inclusive vacation packages available in June and July. I really liked the creative and it made me want to relax and take in the view. I liked that the e-mail was focused and featured one message. Also good is the use of a simple pre-header and a link to Facebook.
This week I received my first Knott's Berry Farm Newsletter. The primary message of the e-mail was the upcoming opening of two water parks. Secondary calls to action were based on season passes and dates that discounted rates will expire. In total, there were seven paragraphs, each promoting either a discount or event. To me, this seemed a little excessive. It was a lot to take in. While the graphics at the top of the e-mail are exciting and appropriate, it made it more obvious how long the rest of the e-mail was because the graphics ended. If you are using a template that expands to hold more content, think about the possibility of also expanding the graphics.
Finally, I got one e-mail from Busch Gardens. Well, actually it was from Water Country, announcing their opening on May 22. When I signed up for e-mail from Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, Water Country was bundled in. From what I can tell, these parks operate separately, but are in the same geographic area. I can see why they might assume visitors would be interested in both, but it would be nice to have the option to choose. I did like the social links at the bottom of the e-mail, as well as the simplicity of the message.
Liz Lynch, communications editor, e-Dialog