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  • December 6, 2007

AM Inbox: A clever gift card alternative

>>Do you deserve the eec’s Email Performance Award? Read the submission guidelines and download the nomination form.

RetailEmail.Blogspot monitors the email marketing campaigns of more than 100 of the top online retailers. Here are highlights from our inbox this morning:

Sephora, 12/5 — The perfect gift. Really.
Perhaps responding to the recent Consumer Reports-led backlash against gift cards, Sephora presents this crafty alternative, allowing gift-givers to buy this package of perfume samples and a gift certificate good for the scent that the recipient liked best. It partners the flexibility of a gift card with the tangibility of a real gift. Very smart.

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Chadwick’s, 12/4 — A Message From the President...
It turns out that his message just says that Chadwick’s has decided to extend their promotional offer from last week. I was expecting something bigger, more personal—and frankly more negative, considering their recent site performance problems. Macy’s (see Oct. 24 AM Inbox) and Toys “R” Us (see Nov. 19 AM Inbox) have both sent emails from their executives, with the latter being damage control from the fall toy recalls. Also, some of the apologies this year for site outages or email snafus have been signed by executives. So generally the big guns are called in to make apologies and pledges more sincere. Using it to extent a sale is perhaps less than the best use of your executives’ names.

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eBags, 12/4 — Final Day: Extra savings ends Wednesday at Midnight.
This may be the first time that eBags has experimented with video in their emails. It’s a nice video that shows how easily this somewhat complex device works; however, there are a couple of weird things about this promotion. First, the landing page for the video doesn’t provide any links to the product page to actually buy the adaptor—or even to the eBags homepage. In fact there’s no navigation whatsoever. And second, the “Yeah, you heard him right” copy assumes that subscribers are watching the video and then coming back to the email before reading that line. It’s a commentary on something that people probably haven’t watched yet, which is very odd.

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Abercrombie & Fitch, 12/5 — Exactly What They Want.
“Make everything clickable.” Please print this in 120 point font and hang it over your desk. This is a nice-looking email but it makes subscribers work a little harder because it only links to landing pages that present a horizontal scroll of all the product categories represented here. Moreover, only the gray center box is clickable. If you click on the coat—nothing. Why not link the coat to their coat assortment? Boxers to their boxer assortment? That would make it one-click easier for subscribers to get to the products that they want. If nothing else, A&F should have linked the entire image to the landing page for this gift assortment.

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SUBJECTIVITY SCANNER:
Eddie Bauer, 12/5 — 2 Days Only: Free Shipping + Holiday Sale
Cooking.com, 12/5 — You Pick the Gifts, We Pay the Shipping
Target, 12/5 — Select free shipping on toys for kids of all ages.
Macy’s, 12/5 — FREE SHIPPING + save on Martha Stewart Collection Holiday!
Saks Fifth Avenue, 12/5 — As Always...FREE GIFT BOX
Neiman Marcus, 12/5 — Beauty gifts from Fendi & more + Double InCircle points
Musician’s Friend, 12/5 — Musician's Friend: Holiday Cash Back! Buy Today, Get Up to $150 for Next Order.
Sears, 12/5 — Find Every Wish Sale: Get 50% OFF our Hottest Items
Sharper Image, 12/5 — Gifts for Keeping Warm + Two ways to Save!
Orvis, 12/5 — Top 10 must-have gifts for anglers and hunters
Ralph Lauren, 12/5 — Perfect Looks For Sea & Ski Getaways, Plus Free Shipping

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