A Total Eclipse of The Inbox

A Total Eclipse of The Inbox

Did you see the amazing total solar eclipse? Here in PA we only got a partial eclipse, but it was still absolutely stunning. This was the first total solar eclipse visible in the contiguous United States since 1979 and will be one of history’s most widely document eclipses. And get this: in order to chase the eclipse across the nation, you would’ve had to travel roughly 2,400 mph!

Scientists don’t expect to see another total solar eclipse for another seven years – but you can definitely expect to see deals in your inbox until then.

Some companies decided to use the excitement from this awesome phenomenon as a theme in their emails. Let’s take a look at how email marketers were capitalizing on this rare spectacle!

A sweet solar sweepstakes

Casper and Outdoor Voices wanted to get you to a prime viewing location in Wyoming, so the two companies teamed up to create a sweepstakes! This was a great tactic – not only does it increase brand awareness for both parties, but it also shows how the customer can use their products together.

These two companies both have a similar design style too, which made bringing them together harmonious. Both have very clean lines and tend to use illustrations rather than lifestyle imagery. They also both use neutral colors and focus on one big, bold call-to-action button to get you to enter that sweepstakes.

Recommended products to help you prepare 

With recommended products, Backcountry encouraged their customers to enjoy the eclipse no matter where they were. If you’re at a camp site, here’s a blanket and a wine cup set for you. Venturing out a bit further on your own? Make sure you bring this hammock and some food. And if you’re stuck at the office… that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the eclipse! Grab this camp chair and speaker and make it a work party. And P.S. don’t forget the viewing glasses! This adds a nice personal touch to show they genuinely care that their customers are going to enjoy this amazing phenomenon comfortably and safely.

Take note at the very bottom of this message – there’s a survey on how you’ll be experiencing the solar eclipse. This is an interesting tactic to gather information on their customers, and I’ll definitely be watching their future campaigns to see how they’ll be using it!

Reverse psychology to make you do a double take

I opened this email and it told me to GO AWAY.


As I kept reading a little further, I found that Sierra Designs was encouraging you to “go away” and “chase the eclipse.” They show off some of their gear you’ll need for the road trip and take you straight to the sale section (it’s like they know me!). To wrap it all up, they offer free shipping – because who wants to worry about shipping fees when you’re about to witness a total solar eclipse for the first time since 1979?

Keep up the reverse psychology – it’s clever and it’s working! 

Clever puns to share with your pals

When it comes to great copy, Spirit Airlines is a personal favorite of mine to read. Their copy is so laidback and fun – it feels like they’re having a casual conversation with me as a friend, and not just me as a customer. Plus, I love a good pun, which they do an excellent job of utilizing in this email!

“This deal won’t be eclipsed” is a clever way to reference the marvel that has everyone buzzing, while also noting they have the best deals around and won’t be overshadowed. That’s a pretty bold statement, but when you look at the low numbers that pop out at you, you have to agree!

Not only do these guys play off the word “eclipse,” but they also play off the rarity of the event. By saying this deal is “literally the most savings thing to happen in a hundred years,” they’re drawing on that urgency to book and get the deal of the century.

Fashion (and safety) musts

Francesca’s got festive for the eclipse by having their models sporting not just gorgeous styles, but eclipse glasses as well! This is a great way to encourage watching the eclipse safely… but looking cute while you do it! Francesca’s also took this opportunity to drive traffic to their website for their “total eclipse of the site” sale. With the fun hero image and featured categories, Francesca’s gives you ideas on what to wear on the big day!

Get dark (just like the skies)

Instead of focusing on the sun, Nike honed in on the darkness of the eclipse by featuring almost all black shoes and clothing. While they didn’t offer any special discounts, the email in and of itself felt exclusive because they showcased their “top picks for the solar eclipse on Aug 21.” I don’t see many retailers picking out their favorite trending products for just one day too often!

A sale hidden in an eclipse GIF

Earlier I said I love puns, but I think I love GIFs even more! Here, J. Crew Factory played off the excitement and created a GIF of the eclipse with a special offer inside. The cool part of this GIF is that the offer is essentially hidden until the big moment: when the moon totally covers the sun! Then the yellow text shines brightly on the blue background and you see that they’re having a flash sale. To get you to their site, J. Crew Factory includes a call-to-action that says “Shop now, bright eyes,” giving a nod to the karaoke favorite, “Total Eclipse of the Heart.”

Did you get any awesome eclipse emails in your inbox? Let us know in the comments! Also, if you have any personal total eclipse stories, we’d love to hear them!


Elsie Compton
Graphic Designer

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