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How Passbook will be used by email marketers

11 Oct 2012

When iOS 6 was launched, there were a number of great new features that were severely overlooked due to Apple’s Map-gate.  One of these new features which will be truly revolutionary to email marketers is Passbook.

Passbook is a brand new Apple developed app that allows users to store all of their airline boarding passes, tickets, coupons and store cards in one place.  There is also an Android compatible app called PassWallet which supports the Apple Passbook coupons, which is great news.

How will Passbook revolutionise email marketing?

Well... by clicking on a link in an email, users can download a passbook coupon to their app and store it for future use.  This would only work for iPhone/Android users, but by analysing your campaign statistics you should be able to effectively target these users.

Let me show you how it works.

You send an email campaign out to your list with a call to action prompting them to click a link.  In this example you are a jeans company called GVP.


John Smith, the recipient of the email has opened it on his iPhone and see’s the large ‘Get the coupon’ call to action and touches it with his finger.

A Passbook coupon with a 20% discount for GVP appears and asks him to save it.  John clicks on the ‘Add’ button in the top right corner of his screen.


The coupon has now been added to his passbook with all other discount coupons, concert tickets, store loyalty cards etc... for use when he nexts visits the GVP store.

Now, this is the clever bit...

John has forgotten about his “20% off at GVP” discount voucher as it has been a week since he downloaded the coupon from the email he received.  As it’s Saturday, John fancies popping into Brighton town centre for some new clothes and a video game, and as he is walking down the road he feels his iPhone vibrate in his pocket. 

John takes his iPhone out of his pocket and instead of seeing the text message that he was expecting, he sees the “20% off at GVP” coupon on his screen. 


John, a little dumbfounded looks up and to his left, and there it is... The GVP clothing store.  “Wow! What a strange coincidence.  I think I’ll go in there and get those jeans that I was after with my 20% discount. Brilliant!”

But unbeknownst to John, it isn’t a coincidence.  The coupon that he downloaded has geo-tracking included and as soon as he walks past the store, the iPhone knows and alerts him of his saved coupon.  The Passbook coupon has thus generated a purchase from John, making him a very happy customer with his 20% discount, and proved to be a brilliant piece of email marketing from GVP.

Passbook is still in it’s very early stages but I believe that it will prove to be a really vital part of email marketing in the future, by fusing email personalisation (the sending of content that recipients are actually interested in) with hyper-localisation (people or entities that are located within a well defined area and time), making it the perfect blend of marketing to people what they want, and giving them a great opportunity to use the coupon in the real-world for something they can obtain in their current location.


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