If you’re anything like me, you’re very much looking forward to the three-day holiday weekend. However, if you’re really like me you’re slightly dreading the prospect of a Sunday night without Game of Thrones … and at least a year’s wait until the new season airs. Summertime is already a slow time for TV. What am I going to watch?! Am I going to have to talk to my friends and family? And what are we even going to talk about if not for a new episode of Thrones? Well, thankfully for me, HBO’s email marketing team apparently owns some real estate in my brain.

Knowing some of their viewers may be sharing many of the same thoughts, the email marketing team at HBO fired off a pair of emails as a sort of Doomsday survival kit … if your personal end of days is not being able to watch new episodes of Game of Thrones for a while (don’t judge me). There are a couple of lessons to be learned from this duo of email campaigns courtesy of HBO Now.

HBO Now email campaign

The first lesson is timing. The initial thought may be to send these emails Sunday night, shortly after the season finale aired. However, HBO understands the current climate. In the DVR culture of today, everyone isn’t watching episodes as soon as they air (no matter how silly I think it would be to wait to watch that show). Plus, it gives the audience a few days to really start missing Game of Thrones as they realize there isn’t another incredible episode on the way.

The second goal of these emails is customer retention. For those of us feeling the loss of Game of Thrones in our lives, HBO announced some of its new offerings to fill the void. Between the two emails, I learned about a new mini-series called The Night Of that seemed like it may hit me in my crime drama sweet spot and I got excited all over again about Vice Principals, the latter of which I’ve already laughed at the trailer for numerous times.

HBO Now email campaign

Also, in case their Game of Thrones audience wasn’t already watching other series the network offers such as Ballers, they made sure I knew I had a chance to catch up before the new season airs next month. They also reminded me of other series like Silicon Valley and even an older offering in Deadwood, for which I may just be due a rewatch binge.

Why is this important? According to HubSpot, email marketing was credited as the most effective digital marketing channel for customer retention in the United States in 2014.

Think about these emails from HBO as you’re sitting around with your marketing team pondering ways to build your brand and increase customer loyalty. Remember this lesson on timing and striking when the iron is hot (a phrase which has possibly never been more aptly used than in reference to Game of Thrones). Plus, by understanding the headspace of their audience, HBO capitalized on an opportunity to remind its audience of its other programming options. Not only can that serve to grow the audience for other shows, but it is a chance to delight viewers suffering from post-Games of Thrones grief.

How are you using email marketing to boost customer retention? Share your ideas with us in the comments below!