How to Use Comparisons In Email Marketing [Updated for 2023]

Post by
Mehdi Boufous
How to Use Comparisons In Email Marketing  [Updated for 2023]

When you learn how to compare with competitors, and be able to communicate the differences,  you’d be educating your customers, showing them insights that they’d not get otherwise, and helping them make better decisions. 

Note: “Merchant Comparison Copy” doesn’t mean you belittle your competition or say anything negative about other eCommerce companies that happen to be your competitors -- it only means that you just let your customers get access to differences (in benefits and features) in a simple way. 

If you write comparison-type content -- be it blog posts or articles -- it’s relatively simpler since you have more room to communicate (with practically no word limit), use several other content types within: videos, infographics, and more. 

With emails and ads with the “comparison” angle, however, space is limited. You have much less room, and you have to make the point: quick, but convincing; Elegant, but neutral. 

See some of the examples below and take a quick glance at how certain eCommerce brands compare their products with competitors in their email campaigns and ad campaigns: 

Flow Vs Tap Water 

Flow Hydration is a 100% natural alkaline water sourced from natural springs, making water available in collagen, original, or flavored products. In email campaigns that can be as simple as a comparison between Flow’s products and beverages or tap water, their campaigns are informative, intuitive, and downright helpful in a tabular format. 

Take a look: 

What we love about this comparison: 

  • The comparison is with tap water. Much needed and no competitor bashing at all. 
  • Science and logic can be compelling, when it’s presented like this. 
  • Love the highlights. With Flow’s branded colors. 
  • A singular, simple Call-to-action button that means business. 

Recess Margarita Vs Margarita

Do you love “closure”? We all do -- whether we admit it or not. 

“Settle this once and for all” has a nice ring to it and it’s exactly what Recess Margarita uses in its comparison email with, well, “margarita” -- a nice way to drive the point home. 

Recess sends in a simple comparison of how its Recess Margarita compares with the average margarita -- just a few more solid reasons for you to choose one over the other. 

See the campaign below: 

What we like about Recess Margarita’s email campaign: 

  • Straight-forward comparison between the average Margarita and that from Recess. 
  • Clear, simple, On-brand email campaign 
  • Call-to-action button that doubles up a little for “brand recall” as well. 
  • Well-used images & visuals -- they add a wee bit of delight  

Ghia vs. Negroni 

Similar to the Recess campaign above, here’s another comparison email campaign that compares the Brand Ghia with Negroni -- a classic Italian cocktail also considered as an aperitivo. 

Ghia just happens to allow you to make a better Negroni. See how Ghia compares itself with Negroni in this email: 

What we like about the Ghia vs. Negroni campaign: 

  • Simple comparison of how Ghia is better than the usual Negroni, with short and snappy copy. 
  • Clever use of visuals (even if they are simple) with clear comparisons. 
  • A ticker-style coupon code announcement at the bottom of the email campaign 
  • Use of Ghia’s branded social media handle -- a little boost for its social presence. 
  • Call-to-action using brand name -- great for brand recall. 

Retro vs Botox

Retro positions itself as “nature’s Botox” -- as such Retro’s email campaign does a comparison of how it’s better than Botox. 

The email campaign even has a snippet of information there (for those that are still wondering as to what Retro does). 

See how it looks like below: 

What we like about Retro’s email Campaign: 

  • Comparison with Botox, in a tabular format. 
  • HTML-based emails, on-brand
  • A sharp and clear call-to-action button 
  • A coupon code with a clear offer. 
  • Short and succinct copy. 

Dossier vs the perfume industry

As an outlier in this list, Dossier doesn’t compare itself with “one other major eCommerce brand”. A simple table inside an email campaign compares Dossier with at least four of its competitors in the Perfume industry: Gucci, Tom Ford, Le Labo, and YSL -- picking on specific products of each brand, along with the price.

Along with that, Dossier also compels you to note their specific and “new” pricing with offers ready to go.  

See how that looks like: 

What we like: 

  • Pulling off a multi-comparison, without really saying much (except for showing the price difference) 
  • Simple Call-to-action button that you can’t miss. 
  • A neat set of icons with accompanying copy under the call-to-action button that lets you know what “else” you get -- such as free shipping (3+ products), Vegan, Cruelty-free, free returns, made in France, and more. 

We’ve created a pre-curated list of these comparison-style email campaigns that you can use for inspiration and for ready reference.