Ted Lasso is a masterpiece. The AppleTV+ show entered the world, and our hearts, last summer. The title character’s emotional intelligence was precisely what our quarantined and pandemic-stricken world needed. The show is back for a second season, and promotion of the show takes personal marketing to another level.
On Friday, July 23 — the same day the second season premiered — I received an email from Ted Lasso himself. Ok, it wasn’t actually from Ted, he’s a fictional character, but the promotion email from AppleTV+ was written and designed as if it came from the head coach of AFC Richmond. The email itself is a masterclass in personal marketing.
Subject: Hey Justin, time to believe
The first season of Ted Lasso explores a southern college football coach transported to England to lead a struggling soccer — err — football team. He knows nothing about the game, but he understands the mechanics of coaching. He invites his team to believe they can achieve great things. Ted tacks a simple, hand-drawn sign above the locker room door to remind the team of their goal throughout the season.
The promotional email’s subject line immediately invites the reader to believe. Since the byline is “Ted Lasso (via AppleTV+),” anyone who watched the first season knows the Lasso mentality of belief. For those unfamiliar with the first season, an invitation to believe is intriguing. What do we believe in? Why is now the time?
The subject line is simple yet personalized and incredibly effective.
Body: Written by Ted himself (kind of)
The body of the email is four paragraphs long. It’s short, simple, and written in Ted’s voice.
First Paragraph: Introduction
In the first paragraph, Ted invites us to watch the second season of his coaching journey with AFC Richmond. The second sentence again invites us to believe. It’s a one-sentence thesis statement, driving directly into the point of the email.
My second season with AFC Richmond starts today, July 23rd, and I’d love it if you could watch our journey. More importantly, I want you to believe.
Second Paragraph: Analogy
The second paragraph uses an analogy to explain belief. Ted’s folksy charm is disarming and brings life to the visual created in the email. As the first paragraph, the second is short and endearing to the reader.
See, believing is kinda like when a crowd does the wave. It starts with one person just throwing their hands up, but then someone else joins them and, before you know it, that wave is wavin’ all ’round the dang place. It’s like seeing a big yawn…because you can’t help but do it too, and it kinda takes your breath away.
Third Paragraph: Call To Action
The third paragraph gets to the heart of the matter: Ted wants us to be part of his AFC Richmond family. He invites us to join others around the world who believe in the club’s potential. But Ted doesn’t limit the reader to just his team. He invites the reader to use the included graphic “believe” sign for whatever they want. Apple cleverly packages a social peer-to-peer marketing campaign in a single paragraph.
So I’ve made a little yellow sign to help remind you to believe in us Greyhounds. But hey, I ain’t precious. Use it to believe in whatever you want…like athletes from your hometown, or someone from work because they get the quivers when they have to present their monthly reports.
Fourth Paragraph: Salutation
The final paragraph is a single-sentence conclusion that ties Ted’s two points together.
Let’s start a wave of believing and get AFC Richmond back on top!
The body of this email brilliantly captures readers’ attention and suggests promoting the show to friends and family using the included graphic. It worked because I’m writing this entire post about the effectiveness of the campaign.
Signature: Personal and graphical
The signature includes his name, title, and links to his Twitter accounts. This final bit of personalization seals the email as if it came from the character himself, right into my inbox.
Conclusion: Write like Ted Lasso
We don’t have a multi-million dollar promotional budget that Apple had for Ted Lasso, though we can learn from the success of this personalized email campaign. With nine sentences, Apple invites us to watch Ted Lasso and talk about it with our friends. It’s subtle and clever, and extremely well-executed.
I often see promotional pitches and copy that runs for hundreds — if not thousands — of words. Sure, they’re often well-written, but are they effective? This personalized email from Ted Lasso shows that sometimes less is more, especially when capturing and maintaining attention.