Qdoba’s Rainy Day Email Campaign

This is reposted from iContact’s Official Email Marketing Blog:

August 19th in North Carolina was a rainy day.  It was memorable not because of that crazy memory thing that Marilu Henner displayed on 60 Minutes, but because I received one email that made me think, “Wow, that’s a cool attention getting idea.”  Qdoba Mexican Grill, purveyors of burritos, tacos and other fine Mexican fare, sent the following email that arrived in my inbox at 12:08 PM.

Other than the mysterious gaps in the images (they should have read iContact’s post about gaps in Gmail), this is a great email.  It has so many appealing aspects:

  • Relevancy – It couldn’t get more relevant to me.  It was raining, I like Mexican food and hunger had set in.
  • Customized – They didn’t use my name but they didn’t have to.  They knew it was raining here in North Carolina.  Impressive customization, no?
  • Urgency – You’ll notice that the coupon was valid only for August 19th.  I had to use it or lose it.
  • Call to Action – The clear message is to “Click here for coupon.”  I love it.  It is clear, concise and to the point.

In the end, had there been a Qdoba closer to my office, I would have grabbed a colleague and hit the road.  That’s where the praise ends because I’ve now received essentially the same email eight times. Eight. That’s once every 2 weeks, along with another 8 to 10 emails as well.  The offer sometimes changes a bit here and there.  Sometimes it’s a BOGO, other times it’s $2 off or a $5 meal, but it always has the same “Remember that spare change” headline.

What at first was really clever, timely and relevant has ceased to be any of those things.  The last time their email arrived was this past Thursday and it wasn’t raining, but snowing.  The time before, it wasn’t raining at all.  I suggest it’s time for some new creative strategies from Qdoba.


Since I wrote this Qdoba made a few small changes to this weather-related campaign that were good improvements.  First, on 12/30/2010, with snow in the NC forecast, I received this email:

Unfortunately, they still haven’t fixed those Gmail image gaps but thankfully they moved on from the rainy weather message.  Then on Jan. 7th, a very cold day around these parts, the following landed in my inbox:

I’m glad that they decided to switch things up and go with some different weather messages.

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