Author: Chris Pearson, Partner & Email Marketing Specialist at 3BM

Back when I first moved to Colorado, I heard about Sky Pond up in Rocky Mountain National Park. 

But, when I did a little research, it was “shoulder season,” which meant the trail could potentially have snow on it. 

Snow meant needing more than a pair of tennis shoes, a trail app, and some water. 

It meant shoe spikes, walking poles, and some grit to climb a partially snowed in path–one that could send you sliding to the bottom of about 80-yard hill (and off and into the treeline below) if you lost your footing.  

So my lady, one of her friends, and I went for it. 

We got some gear from REI, packed up our car, and drove up to RMNP. 

After a grueling hike, we were rewarded with this: 

Surprisingly enough, the trail up to Sky Pond was relatively clear. There were patches of snow here and there, but we made it unscathed. 

This trail is an 8.6-mile out-and-back trail near Estes Park, Colorado. Elevation gain is about 1,771 ft. And, the trail is open year-round. 

The best part?

We were able to use a trail app to make things easier on us transplants. 

AllTrails is a hiking and outdoor app that connects people to the outdoors. 

They believe nature is what unites us all. 

Their mission? To kindle the spirit of adventure. 

Here’s a bit more about AllTrails:

“AllTrails was founded on the idea that we’re all made better by spending time in nature. Today, we continue to be driven by the desire to share the outdoors with as many people in as many places as possible — and to do so responsibly and respectfully.”

And they had a pretty dang good “last chance” email on an offer. 

That’s the email we’ll break down today. 

Rules: The Email Muse

Each week, I venture through the marketing wilderness to find highly-effective ecommerce sales emails… and I shine a light on what made them work. 

My goal with this weekly tangle with the email muse is to teach you strategies and tactics you can use with your emails.  

Where do I find these magical electronic pieces of mail? My inbox, mostly, since I’m signed up to lists that I want to be on. I also take suggestions from readers who have a stellar email they’d like to share. 

Did you get an email recently that made you smile, your eyes tear up, or flat out gut punched you? I want to see it. 

Forward the email to me at (chris at threebeaconmarketing dot com) with a brief note about what you liked about it. If I choose to break it down, I’ll give you a shoutout and link back to your site. 

And no forwarding me your own emails. That’s the only rule. 


Let’s get started.

Subject Line: Last Chance 

When you’re running a promo or flash sale, it’s best to leave the clever in the creativity box. 

Instead, stick with clear, to the point, (and in most cases) on-the-nose copy. 

There is a time and place to get clever, but when you’re communicating a limited time offer to an audience who already knows your brand, you ain’t gotta get cute about it. 

AllTrails gets to the point with this subject line. 

Opening Image: The Promise + Direct Offer

If you’re making an offer to your list… and they already know who you are AND/OR buy from you on the regular, skip the “pain poking” and get to the promise/solution.

Here, AllTrails uses a promise and direct offer to let their readers to learn about AllTrails+ 

They also make a big promise in: “Great tools + great gear = great outdoors.” 

Customers who already subscribe to AllTrails are likely to take this offer, since it’s not much more in price to get way more in the app, discount, and the set fee. 

This is an A+ offer.  

Urgency + Recap Offer

Not everyone will understand the offer the first time you mention it, so AllTrails doubles down and explains the offer in different words. 

Clarity is conversion. 

They also bake in urgency to say that the customer has limited time to take up this offer, or they’ll miss out. 

FOMO is a huge psychological driver, when used correctly. In this case, I think AllTrails uses it well, since (I’d assume) they sent this to existing customers to upgrade their AOV. They may have sent this to non customers to get conversions, but this makes more sense to existing customers. 

Restating the offer in different words plus adding urgency is a great way to get conversions. 

Objection #1: How Does It Work?

With every offer you make, there will be objections. 

Some objections more obvious and apparent than others. 

For this offer, sharing how the deal works once the customer clicks “buy” is important. 

Showing the customer what’s on the other side of commitment will increase their confidence to take action. 

A lot of brands miss this small step and it’s killing their conversions. 

Sharing what to expect after the customer commits gives them “vision” beyond the action. It gives them something tangible to grab. 

You don’t have to do this every time you make an offer, but… 

If the offer causes some confusion, the “what’s next” copy can help ease that tension.

The Big Benefits

In case the image is too small, here are the benefits of AllTrails+: 

  • Download maps ahead of time and go where cell service can’t
  • Find nearby trails with Distance Away so you can head out the door and hit the trail fast. 
  • Trails Previews let you see the ups and downs so you can plan your perfect adventure. 
  • Keep your eyes on the view–not the map–with Wrong-turn Alerts. 

What I really like about this copy?

The “so you can” additions. 

When you share a benefit, also share what that benefit does for or gets your customer. 

This is called dimensionalizing the benefit. 

For example, “Download maps ahead of time” is a great benefit. Yes. But… 

“… and go where cell service can’t” paints a picture in your customer’s mind of how this app will make their lives better. 

Anyone can promise “download maps ahead of time,” but not many will go one step further and remind the customer that on some trails, you won’t have service and need a map to help you out.  

When you “paint pictures” in your customers mind, they are able to attach their lives to the offer. This helps increase conversion. 

Suggested Products

Continuing with the “imagery” in the customer’s mind… 

AllTrails suggests products, which tie right into the offer they made earlier in the email. 

Showing products here may seem odd, but it’s a counterintuitive move that is more about giving the customer ideas of what they could buy with their $20 off gear discount. 

This is recapping the gear portion of the offer while also future pacing the customer’s buying decisions. 

What You Learned

Here’s the tl;dr of what you learned today: 

  • Sky Pond is worth the hike. Do it if you ever get the chance. 
  • When using urgency to get action, keep your copy clear, not clever. 
  • Urgency helps drive action, if it’s real. Don’t make it fake. 
  • Restating or recapping the offer in different words can help increase conversions.
  • Sharing the next step after conversion gives the customer confidence to take action.
  • Reiterating the benefits and dimensionalizing them pain images in the customer’s mind, which leads to action-taking.
  • Suggesting products can future-pace customer decisions, even if you don’t sell any products in that specific email.

Now what?

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