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  • August 21, 2009

AM Inbox: Barnes & Noble newsletter redesign

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

Barnes & Noble, 8/18 — This Week -- Coupons, Philippa Gregory, New Lower Textbook Prices, More‏
Barnes & Noble has redesigned their “This Week” email again. (You can see their previous redesign effort in the Mar. 5, 2008 AM Inbox.) This time there are three major changes: (1) They’ve introduced a two-column design to bring more links up in the email. (2) At about 2,400 pixels, this email is about 33% shorter than the previous most recent “This Week” email. And (3) while old design also used HTML text for their navigation bar links, the new design makes much more use of HTML text in the body of the email so that it renders better when images are disabled. In addition to those changes, they’ve made some minor changes like giving the newsletter a subtitle and adding a date.

Here’s the new design (left) and the old design from an Aug. 11 email:

Click to view this Aug. 18, 2009 Barnes & Noble email full-sized Click to view this Aug. 11, 2009 Barnes & Noble email full-sized

Toys “R” Us, 8/20 — Get FREE Shipping on Dolls, Action Figures and more!‏
Starting with an Aug. 17 email, Toys “R” Us has redesigned their navigation bar, dropping their “Wish Lists” link and adding a forward-to-a-friend link and a “join our community” appeal for their Facebook, Twitter and YouTube pages. Here’s the new design:

Click to view this Aug. 20, 2009 Toys R Us email full-sized

And here’s the old design from an Aug. 15 email:

Click to view this Aug. 15, 2009 Toys R Us email full-sized

Hanna Andersson, 8/20 — Halloween Hannas That Help Kids In Need!
Hanna Andersson uses some clever wordsmithing to promote their “eek-o-friendly” Halloween sleepwear. You also don’t see much cause marketing paired with Halloween promotions, so it’s bit different in that regard too.

Click to view this Aug. 20, 2009 Hanna Andersson email full-sized

Gap, 8/18 — Now Only $35, The Ultimate Weekend Khaki‏
Gap uses a bit of animation to draw attention to the “join our community” appeals at the bottom of this email. I don’t think I’ve seen anyone else use an animated gif for this purpose.

Click to view this Aug. 21, 2009 Gap email full-sized

Here’s the animated portion of this email:

SUBJECTIVITY SCANNER: Select noteworthy subject lines
Bass Pro Shops, 8/19 — Labor Day Sale + Win a $100 Gift Card‏
NikeStore, 8/20 — Hoodies for All: Back to School Basics‏
Barnes & Noble, 8/20 — Don't Miss Our New Lower Textbook Prices plus Free Shipping‏
J&R, 8/20 — Apple Computers: The Essential Tool for School‏
Blair, 8/18 — The dog days are here. So is $1.99 shipping.‏
Bluefly, 8/19 — For an Evening You Will Never Forget…
L.L. Bean, 8/18 — Layers You'll Love--in Irresistible Fall Colors‏
Harry & David, 8/19 — Bibs optional (but highly recommended!) [promoting peaches]
CB2, 8/18 — what's that amazing new chair on our catalog cover?
J&R, 8/18 — Pre-Order the Beatles Remastered CDs starting at $11.99‏
Orvis, 8/19 — Go organic with our new pure cotton chinos for men. Plus, 9 other organic styles.
Norm Thompson, 8/19 — NEVER BEFORE: 25% OFF EVERYTHING!
Frederick’s of Hollywood, 8/19 — Get an hourglass body + $15 off your order.‏

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