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  • January 15, 2009

AM Inbox: Appealing to subscribers' aspirations

The Retail Email Blog monitors the email marketing campaigns of more than 100 top online retailers. Here are highlights from my inbox this morning:

AbeBooks, 1/14 — Covers Worth Judging: Unusual Book Bindings‏
When I get Neiman Marcus’ Christmas Book (see Oct. 8 AM Inbox), the first thing I do is flip to the Wow Gifts section. These are the gifts that few of us will ever be able to afford, but it makes for some dreamy window-shopping and supports Neiman Marcus’ branding as a lux retailer. That way, when people shop at Neiman’s they’ll be thinking to themselves, I’m shopping at the same store as folks who commission life-sized Lego statues of themselves. So I must be cool too.

AbeBooks is doing something very similar with this email where it promotes books with unusual bindings (translation: really expensive). Are most of AbeBooks’ subscribers in the market for a book with a binding made of silver and turquoise? No. But most of them probably think it’s cool that AbeBooks sells these books. AbeBooks’ Avid Reader includes a section every month on the most expensive books sold that month. I spoke with someone at AbeBooks last year and they said that was an extremely popular part of the newsletter. It’s a great bit of aspirational messaging.

Click to view this Jan. 14, 2009 AbeBooks email full-sized

Fingerhut, 1/14 — Only one week left to save an EXTRA 50% on clearance from Fingerhut‏
Fingerhut is the first major online retailer to mention Barack Obama’s inauguration. Retailers trended fairly lightly during the elections. I wonder if it will be any different now.

Click to view this Jan. 14, 2009 Fingerhut email full-sized

SUBJECTIVITY SCANNER: Select noteworthy subject lines
Bed Bath & Beyond, 1/14 — Serve up a winning football party‏
Bluefly, 1/14 — Brrr...EXTRA 25% OFF COATS - Last Day!‏
Sephora, 1/14 — Sample Sephora's natural products‏
eBags, 1/14 — Save up to 50% on critically acclaimed bags + Free Shipping‏

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