Philippine Companies and Email Marketing: 6 Years Later

It’s been 6 years since I last wrote about how email marketers in the Philippines need to up their game. Within those 6 years, do you think email marketing in the Philippines has gotten better? Worse? Still the same?

Place your bets because today I’ll be showing you a bunch of emails I’ve received from companies in the Philippines!

As with my previous entry: I’d like to first say that I am not affiliated with any of the companies I will be mentioning and I do not work for an email service provider. I am just your regular email marketing recipient.

Without further ado, here are some of the things I’ve noticed in 2018:

1. They now use recognizable sender names! (I know right. Only took 6 years.)

My example in 2012 was S&R who used employee names (um, why) and Globe who just used the word “talk” as the sender name.

Globe Emails

Sadly, either S&R took me out of their email list or they no longer send emails. Globe on the other hand, fixed this and now uses the appropriate sender name which for their case is “Globe Telecom.”

I also haven’t seen any other Philippine company use unrecognizable sender names.

Looking good so far!

2. Unfortunately, some brands still use image-based emails.

Again, let me repeat to you why it is NOT a good idea to send emails with just images:

  • Depending on how big your image file is, it takes a while to load. And if you have email subscribers using their mobile data… in the Philippines… I’ll let you figure that one out.
  • If it takes a while for some people to get that image to load up, some subscribers literally won’t even see your email if they have HTML disabled.
  • Image-based emails are also NOT responsive. This means that someone on their iPhone will see something different from someone who’s on their 13-inch laptop.
  • Your emails won’t be searchable. If you used a hashtag or maybe a promo name that they can reference, they won’t be able to search it in their inboxes.

Here’s an example.

PLDT’s email marketing service recently got compromised. They wanted to tell their users about it (which is nice, don’t get me wrong) but they literally used a SCREENSHOT of their Head of Customer Care’s letter.

On my phone, it looked like a letter for ants. Sure, you can zoom in but that reading experience sucks. Imagine if someone like my dad (who uses the biggest font size possible for everything) had to read this email on their phone.


Don’t even get me started on that very clear and creative “Spam email received” subject line.

Another one is Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf. While I am very happy that they send out regular emails to tell their customers about promos and events, they still heavily use lots of images – even for text. What’s interesting is, it looks like they only recently did this. I checked their old newsletters and they weren’t so image-heavy then.

CBTL Email
This is what happens when you highlight that text

CBTL also likes using hashtags. A customer may want to copy and paste that to use it, but again, they can’t, because it’s an image.

3. Some brands still do WEIRD things.

Exhibit A:

For Father’s Day, SM Supermalls sent out an email with a link to a video that you can send to your dad in an e-card format.

SM E-Card
When was the last time you sent an e-card?


Not sure why they thought people still send e-cards like we’re all still using Hotmail. Looks like they missed this tweet:

Nowadays, we can easily tag our dads on Facebook (which I’m sure SM also used). We can also send YouTube or Facebook links to them via iMessage, Viber, Whatsapp, etc.

But who knows, maybe they wanted to reach out to people without any sort of social media presence and who just use email to talk to their family. Personally, I don’t know anyone who fits that description.

Of course, I could just be just speaking for myself. So if you received this email from SM and actually forwarded it to your dad by filling out the form, let me know in the comments section below. Or maybe you’re from SM’s marketing team and this campaign actually had a ton of conversions??? Would love to hear about that also!

P.S. Can we also talk about why SM’s posters still feature Caucasians???

Exhibit B:

BDO asks you to CALL them if you want to unsubscribe from their newsletter. (That and they also use one big chunk of image for all their newsletters.)

BDO Email Newsletter

I meaaaaaaan.

How does this even work?? How will they confirm that you’re truly the person who’s unsubscribing? Do you just give them your email address over the phone and then the person on the other line logs in to their email service provider dashboard and removes your email address from the list? Or do they forward your request to their Email Unsubs team?

Unfortunately, the Philippines doesn’t have anything like the CAN-SPAM Act in the US. I actually saw this one post by Dr. Atty. Noel G. Ramiscal saying “spamming is LEGAL in the Philippines.”

You know what you can easily do though?

Mark the email as spam. And you will never see them in your inbox again!

As an email marketer, this is what you want to avoid but they literally left us with no choice. Which is quicker? Pick up the phone and call a bank hotline or mark the email as spam???

Cheesus crust, just add an unsubscribe link! And don’t make us go through 127 steps to unsubscribe successfully either.

Thankfully, I also have a list of who I think are good email marketers!

1. Lowbrow Casual Restaurants

This is the restaurant group behind restaurant successes like Bad Bird, Hole in the Wall, and Wrong Ramen. Aside from the fact that they serve good food (at least I think so), their marketing team is also top-notch.

Lowbrow Email Newsletter

They’re also smart enough to promote their email newsletter via different means:

  • While eating at one of their restaurants, a server once handed me a flyer that promotes their newsletter. You can fill it out and hand it back with your email address in there.
  • They promote their newsletter via their social media accounts. They also do promos that are exclusive only to email subscribers.
  • They put out good content. This means people actually take the time to read them AND their readers also take the time to talk to their friends about it. Case in point, I had two friends tell me about their emails and how fun they were.

2. Flyweight Boxing Studio

They’re a group boxing studio in BGC that sends out simple but effective marketing emails that not only talk about their ongoing promos but also build their community.

Flyweight Email Newsletter

From leaderboards to sales, they’re able to really maximize sending emails. Their email marketing copy is also pretty good – straight to the point. Oh and when you click on their images, they actually lead to the right section of their website. Plus points!

I also am a big fan of their website. You get to learn everything you need to learn about Flyweight if you’re a newbie, and you can buy your package plus book your classes (including your actual boxing bag location) all on their website.


Coins is a mobile payments platform that allows you to send and receive money, pay bills, and even buy cryptocurrencies.

Their emails are also pretty good and they’re a solid example of combining text and images in email marketing. Email Newsletter

My only issue with their emails is the unclickable images. As a marketer, you want those images to link back to your website instead of not doing anything. Usually, when I open emails like these, I’d click on the company’s logo or images to lead me to their website just so I can check what’s new with them (aside from whatever they’re emailing me about).

Shameless Plug: If you don’t have a Coins account yet, use my link and get ₱50 free once you verify your account! I don’t work for them, I just have a referral code!

Aaand that wraps up my email marketing update. It’s not comprehensive by all means and is just a look into MY personal inbox. So if you have interesting brand email stories to share, let me know!

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