The murmur of the snarkmatrix…

August § The Common Test / 2016-02-16 21:04:46
Robin § Unforgotten / 2016-01-08 21:19:16
MsFitNZ § Towards A Theory of Secondary Literacy / 2015-11-03 21:23:21
Jon Schultz § Bless the toolmakers / 2015-05-04 18:39:56
Jon Schultz § Bless the toolmakers / 2015-05-04 16:32:50
Matt § A leaky rocketship / 2014-11-05 01:49:12
Greg Linch § A leaky rocketship / 2014-11-04 18:05:52
Robin § A leaky rocketship / 2014-11-04 05:11:02
P. Renaud § A leaky rocketship / 2014-11-04 04:13:09
Jay H § Matching cuts / 2014-10-02 02:41:13

Best. E-mail marketing. Ever.

Bonobos, the internet haberdashery (and increasingly, curator of cool gear), sent out this email today—plain text with no formatting, no “Display images below.” I present it here in its entirety:

Looks like we’re all stuck in the same security line…

Couple of observations:

-should have left before your boss. 30 mins you waited is costing you now. 20 bucks says we both get stuck in dallas
-nice pants, but u need a new bag. At least risk of yours getting stolen is zero. Use code “bodyscanner” to get 20% off upgrading your bag anytime this wkend.
-it’s only polite to tip the person who frisks you. $5 is reasonable
-window seats r for idealists. Aisle is for pragmatists. choose accordingly

Good luck with travel. Best wishes for exit rows, free drink tickets, and a seat next to someone attractive

-Sent by my mobile device from Security Line #4, JFK, casual traveler line

Cute, right?

P.S. Bonobos is the brand to which I traded a short story for pants about a year ago.


I paused on this email curiously long. I thought that it was a mistake, a stupid employee emailing the entire customer base.

Then it looked like SPAM. The title (“hey u in security line”), the text, the format–it feels like the all too familiar Viagra email in my spam box.

Either way, I’ve always been fan engineering emails, building creative, a/b testing subject lines, and drafting pristine copy.

But this is the art of marketing, throwing all the rules out the window and creating marketing that doesn’t feel like marketing.

I wonder why more companies do this. Is Bonobos, a small pants startup, the only one with credibility to pull it off?

Matt P says…

Perhaps this is why this is such a successful message — it doesn’t fit neatly into our common email categories (spam! ad! casual message from friend!), so we pause to consider. It grabs our attention by hiding its genre.

–it’s only polite to tip the person who frisks you. $5 is reasonable

I’m travelling in India and this cracked me up to no end. Luckily, hasn’t been an issue.

The snarkmatrix awaits you

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