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  • August 3, 2009

AM Inbox: Avoid 'back alley syndrome'

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

Hallmark, 8/1 — Ideas to encourage kids on the first day of school
Imagine if a customer in one of your stores asked a rep where to find a particular product and that rep directed them to a door that led to the alley behind the store. What do you think that customer would do when she found herself standing in alley? They’d get the heck out of there.

I see this same scenario playing out in emails sometimes—most often on sign-up, opt-out, forward to a friend, preference and other administrative pages. Suddenly all the branding and navigation disappears and subscribers find themselves on a barren-looking page. That’s what happens in this Hallmark email. When you click through to watch the video, the landing page is devoid of Hallmark branding and there’s no navigation or product links. There’s only the video console. Hallmark gives subscribers no indication of what to do next. You would think that they’d want subscribers to buy some related cards or gifts like those in the email, but Hallmark’s landing page screams, “Get lost!”

Click to view this Aug. 1, 2009 email full-sized

SUBJECTIVITY SCANNER: Select noteworthy subject lines
Office Depot, 7/31 — Back to School Savings PLUS $10 Coupon‏
Oriental Trading, 7/31 — Best buys for back-to-school + free shipping‏
JCPenney, 8/2 — Free Shipping Just in Time for Back-to-School!
Disney Store, 8/2 — Ends Tonight! Take 25% Off Our Back-to-School Apparel‏
Sports Authority, 8/2 — Free Shipping Deals on Footwear + New Back 2 Sports Gear‏
Bloomingdale’s, 7/31 — Embrace The Sunshine AND 40% Off!‏
Neiman Marcus, 8/2 — FEATURED ARTICLES: The newsworthy Fall must-haves‏
JC Whitney, 7/31 — Breaking News, Great Offer - Don't Miss!
Barnes & Noble, 7/31 — New -- Complimentary Wi-Fi Service‏
Lillian Vernon, 8/2 — Spend Less and Still Get Free Shipping in the Catalog!

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