Ideas From the Inbox: Secrets & Mysteries. Why Email Marketers Love ‘em by Hanna Andrzejewska

Nothing inspires the imagination and curiosity of subscribers more than a secret that can be revealed with one mouse-click. This theme is used successfully in campaigns all year round; mystery savings, secret offers and coupon codes seem to have a long tradition supported by increased engagement rates of these campaigns. In this post you’ll find a collection of great ideas, and a few tips on how to do it right.


Spin the wheel

Games of chance, trying your luck, a small gamble with a promise of reward — these are things we’re unable to resist, especially if all it takes is one click. This is the key to the popularity of the mystery savings motif in newsletters. And it doesn’t matter that we all know it’s a fake, as long as it’s convincing.


Why does it work better than a standard discount offer?


  1. An invitation to “play and win” is more engaging than an invitation to “shop” — and makes your open- and click-thru rates grow.
  2. The element of the unknown and the promise of a win increase motivation to complete the transaction — increased CTR and ROI guaranteed.
  3. The resemblance to a small gamble makes your newsletter offer more exciting and memorable — you gain brand recognition and bond with your audience.


The more attention to detail — the better the results. Take a look at the contents of my inbox. This year’s number-one trend seems to be the wheel of fortune, and the trick that’s back in vogue is the animated gif. These two go together very well. Hard not to click, isn’t it?


GetResponse Inbox Examples

Tafford Uniforms: Spin The Wheel & Save Between 30%-50%


GetResponse Inbox Examples

1-800-FLOWERS.COM: What will your Mother’s Day Mystery Savings be?


GetResponse Inbox Examples

Bloomingsdale’s: Our Gift To You: Mystery Savings!


GetResponse Inbox Examples

National Geographic: Surprise Sale: Click to reveal your savings. Up to 25% off storewide!


GetResponse Inbox Examples

Banana Republic: Find out how lucky you are.


GetResponse GIF Ideas

Ann Taylor: A Mystery Offer Awaits…



Welcome to the game

The “luck of the draw” type of newsletter requires a good, incentivized subject line. Without it, the effort of inventing “intrigue” is lost. Tease your recipients to create curiosity, but don’t reveal it all just yet.


Bluefly: Spin It Like You Mean It

Bluefly: The Suspense Is Killing Us

Tafford Uniforms: It’s A Surprise!

Bloomingdale’s: BOO! Reveal Your Mystery Savings

Banana Republic: Unmask the mystery: See your savings.

Banana Republic: Secret savings: Another reason we love Wednesdays.

1-800 Flowers: Psst…wanna hear a secret? Mystery SAVINGS up to 25%!

Trafford Uniforms: Happy 4th Of July! We’ve Got A Surprise For You…

GAP: Mystery deal! How much will you save?


Climax to the grand finale

When planning your “mystery deal” promo, always remember what your real goal is — the completed sale. If you give away your secret at the beginning, you lose the power of mystery, and the recipient won’t follow your CTA. One tried-and-true tactic is to reveal the final discount amount at checkout. That’s when consumers are least likely to abandon a full basket.

But here are a few things to remember:


  1. Be clear about how the deal works, so your subscribers won’t feel disappointed.
  2. Define the maximum savings, but make it clear that the discount can be smaller.
  3. Provide a clear CTA.
  4. Make it a win-win game. Not everyone can win the top discount amount — that’s clear. But let every subscriber win a small discount rather than nothing at all. This avoids having them feel lost or unlucky, which could affect your brand negatively.


Below are some examples of how others do it.


GetResponse Email Ideas



GetResponse Email Ideas

Tafford Uniforms


GetResponse Email Ideas



GetResponse Email Ideas



GetResponse Email Ideas

Banana Republic


GetResponse Email Ideas



Noticed any interesting mystery savings offer? Let us know in comments!

  • HannaAndrzejewska

    Thanks Idan, glad you liked it 😉





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