Email Olympics: Spirit Airlines vs. Frontier Airlines

Email Olympics: Spirit Airlines vs. Frontier Airlines

For the first matchup in our Email Olympics series, we present a showdown between two budget airlines: Spirit and Frontier.

First, let’s take a look at how they stack up on the basics:


Now, let’s take a deeper look at each company’s email strategy.


Spirit Airlines is really good at sending socially-relevant emails. Take, for example, the latest Pokemon Go craze...Spirit was all over it:


They’ve also done a great job of keeping up with social media trends, like the obsession with the word “bae” or memes that use the hashtag #TFW (that feeling when):



Frontier’s email strategy is focused less on shock and awe and more on deals and imagery. Almost every subject line mentions the starting price of their fares, while Spirit’s subject lines, though pithy, rarely include prices. Additionally, Frontier highlights the animals and landscapes that embody their brand and adorn their aircraft. Take, for example, the two emails below; both the creative and copy are designed around animal photography.


And the gold medal goes to …

This was a tough one to judge, but we’re going to have to give Frontier the first place prize. Why? While the quality of Spirit’s subject lines is great, we have to wonder whether a straight-forward subject line including the price might perform better than shock value. Because of the nature of booking air travel, the actual content of an airline’s email can only be so powerful. The real value in an airline’s email marketing strategy is top-of-mindness, and getting a picture of what you might be paying or where you might be going, along with a cute voice, might be a better long-term strategy than sending out lines like We’re not smoking crack.
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