Erich Hellstrom

Digital Marketing Strategist, Chubbies,

Kevin Page – Sr. Manager Media Strategy and Measurement, Chubbies (@Chubbies) 

Writing pithy, click-worthy, compelling email subject lines and content is no small feat. But for the team at Chubbies, crafting humor-filled content has proven to be the lifeblood of a successful email marketing strategy. Learn how Chubbies engages its subscribers with really weird subject lines and targets email sends to non-openers.

Chubbies started at Stanford by friends who visited Lake Tahoe, saw pictures of past generations wearing shorter shorts and felt that market could reemerge. It’s expanded into 12 brick-and-mortar stores, wholesale sales and 160 employees.

The company’s email efforts involve two dedicated email employees, including a stand-up comedian, plus two more floaters and companywide brainstorming over Slack. Humor is vital, so Chubbies recommends interviewing funny, charasmatic inhouse talent extensively and write down every idea for brainstorming sessions.

Philosophies include:

  • All hands on deck
  • Test the test of the test.
  • Make content you would engage with.
  • Don’t say no; ask how.
  • Have fun.
  • Reflect your personality, especially if very funny.

Best of for non-openers:

  • Build segments (opened in last 60 days but not last 5 days)
  • Take your best email of the week
  • Make 4 identical variations to est
  • Find 4 subject lines (timely, witty, eye catching)
  • 3-hour test for highest opens
  • Chaperone unsubs

Email Schedule:

  • Weekend Promotion
  • Mon Non-Openers of Weekend Promotion
  • Tues & Wed Product Emails
  • Th  5-Day Non-Openers
  • Fri Weekend Newsletter (less promotional)

Erich and Kevin note that 9 out of 10 subject lines are trash, so relentless brainstorming is crucial. Assets are important, too, so photo shoots are conceived based on split tests and feedback. They involve two photographers and a video crew with emphasis on having media for all channels. Finally, Chubbies tests flows (subject lines, discounts vs no discounts) monthly.

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