How to Build Interactivity with Customers: A Look at Dubizzle’s Email Survey

by Gaby Abi Aad, January 26, 2012

Around end of November last year, famous UAE-based online free classifieds site Dubizzle, who just expanded their marketing team, wanted to survey its email subscribers.  What is generally a boring activity, and probably one that drives many people to unsubscribe (nobody wants emails asking them for their time without anything in return), was turned into a brilliant and very clever brand experience, using simple ideas, simple technologies, and a dose of humor.  Here is what Dubizzle did.

The email asked email subscribers to take a survey, or alternatively, “punish” the marketing director of Dubizzle, Arto Joensuu, for wasting their time.  Needless to say, the mere fact of giving you the choice to “punish” Arto, would get you curious about how you could punish him.

The “punish” button took you to a page on, where you were invited to play a video to fulfill the punishment.  The language, and tone were very playful in nature and easily induced you to actually play the video.  In a nutshell, the video shows Arto working on a desk, and the Co-founder of Dubizzle, walking into the room, taking a stroll next to Arto, not talking at all, then exiting the room and switching off the lights on Arto… this is the link to the “punish” page.

Dubizzle mastered several elements in this email that contributed to making it memorable, including the apologetic and candid subject line of “Sorry to bother you but…”, the informal yet straight to the point tone of the email, the choice of font, the 1st person “I” being used, humanizing the brand, and the choice of action verbs which, though harsh in real life, sounded very funny in the email when it offered, “Punish Arto for asking.”

It was a simple idea, using basic technology, that turned out to be excellent way to drive people to take a survey, or, for the people who did not want to participate, perhaps get them to interact with the video. By using a candid tone, Dubizzle drove clicks and interaction with their brand.

In conclusion, it’s not hard to drive more clicks and interaction with your customers. All it takes is a little planning and a little humor. But making the extra effort to design something that’s fun and exciting may make all the difference for your brand. Feel free to list any other examples in the comments.


Gaby is a digital marketing fan with a passion for all things web, particularly online lead generation, conversion, email marketing and marketing optimization. Gaby has worked for over 12 years in both the IT Services and digital marketing fields in the Gulf. In his spare time you will find him reading mostly about philosophy, history and theology. You follow him on twitter or connect with him on Linkedin.

Commentswith facebook
Commentswith Wamda
Sign in  to leave a comment
Not a member yet!
register now