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  • November 29, 2011

AM Inbox: Black Friday recap

>>Email Engagement & Deliverability Study: Download this free report that examines how major retailers treat subscribers who have been inactive for 40+ months.

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

The Company Store, 11/25 — 15% Off + Free Shipping | Black Friday Starts Now!
More than in past years, there was a lot of email messaging about buying online being easier, less stressful and a way to avoid crowds and lines, as The Company Store does in this email. Black Friday this year was definitely not just about buying in stores, which has historically been the focus.

Every Black Friday there are a few retailers that go with a reverse type treatment of white text on a black background. Periodically the text in the preheader and footer is also rendered in white, making it essentially invisible on the white background that’s often used in preheaders and footers. It happened to J&R a couple of years ago (see Nov. 9, 2009 AM Inbox) and unfortunately it happened to the Company Store this year, although not all the text was reversed.

Here’s the email (left) and here it is highlighted to show the “invisible” text:

Click to view this Nov. 25, 2011 Company Store email full-sized Click to view this highlighted Nov. 25, 2011 Company Store email full-sized

Eddie Bauer, 11/25 — Amazing Black Friday Deals!
Also this year, more multichannel retailers promoted their online sales just as vigorously as their in-store sales, just as Eddie Bauer does in this email. In past years, Black Friday promotions have been very focused on driving subscribers to store. But this year, even big box retailers like JCPenney and Office Depot promoted both online and offline deals in equal fashion.

Click to view this Nov. 25, 2011 Eddie Bauer email full-sized

Crate & Barrel, 11/25 — Top 10 gourmet items up to 30% off. This weekend only.
Crate & Barrel, 11/25 — Black Friday Deals: This weekend only up to 30% off our top 10 gourmet items.‏
Crate & Barrel tried to stand out in the crowded Black Friday inbox using a horizontal-scrolling design. This email had a couple of novel design elements: First, it has a navigation bar that spans the content blocks at either end of the email and acts as a continuation of the primary call-to-action button. And second, they placed the footer at the far right side of the design rather than along the bottom of the email. That move strikes me as somewhat risky as it may confuse some subscribers looking to unsubscribe.

I also received this email twice with different subject lines, so apparently they were doing some A/B subject line testing and there was a glitch in the segmentation. I see this kind of error many times a year and it’s also insightful to see what elements they were testing and how.

Click to view this Nov. 25, 2011 Crate & Barrel email full-sized

SUBJECTIVITY SCANNER: Select noteworthy subject lines
ShopNBC, 11/25 — A better Black Friday: Great offers, no stress.‏
Musician’s Friend, 11/25 — Black Friday Savings Up To $500 - Forget The Crowds & Shop From Home
Frederick’s of Hollywood, 11/25 — Shop Black Friday online. 25% off everything + free shipping & amazing doorbusters.
Sony, 11/25 — All the Deals, None of the Crowds | Up to 50% OFF + Free Shipping
Harry & David, 11/25 — Don't shop 'til you drop. Click and save 20% or more! Black Friday Sale going on now.
Avon, 11/25 — Black Friday SALE! No Lines, No Crowds
Orvis, 11/25 — FREE shipping! Holiday shopping made easy.
SmartBargains, 11/25 — Black Friday Doorbusters & Free Shipping. Why even leave the house?
JCPenney, 11/25 — Black Friday's Here! Shop Stores At 4am Or Online Now
OfficeMax, 11/25 — Black Friday is Here – Shop In-Store or Online
Office Depot, 11/25 — Shop Black Friday Online Specials Today Or Plan Your In-Store Visit -- Most Stores Open at 6:00AM
Sears, 11/25 — Over 900 Doorbusters and up to $3000 in Savings
Toys “R” Us, 11/25 — ALL Black Friday Doorbusters and Bonus Deals Extended to 10PM! Save ALL DAY LONG!‏
JC Whitney, 11/25 — Black Friday Starts Now! Unbelievable Door Busters Plus Most Orders Ship Free!‏
SmartBargains, 11/25 — Black Friday DOORBUSTERS start NOW + Free Shipping!
Kmart, 11/25 — Save big on Blue Friday doorbusters + Receive a $5 or $10 eGift Card with layaway
Bluefly, 11/25 — It’s HERE…Black FLY Day Event: Shop 10 AMAZING Sales (Now Up To 75% Off Retail)
JCPenney, 11/26 — Black Saturday Deals: Giftbusters, jcp cash & More!
Home Depot, 11/26 — Save up to 50%: Super Saturday Only
Brookstone, 11/26 — Black Friday Specials Extended
Barnes & Noble, 11/26 — Forgot a Few Things Yesterday? Our Black Friday Sale is Still On!
Dell, 11/26 — More leftovers or more Black Friday?
J&R, 11/26 — The Hits Keep Coming. . . Black Friday Deals All Weekend Long!
Neiman Marcus, 11/26 — Free NM Cookies + Sweet Deals! Just TODAY
BROWSE... Archive / Post Categories / Selling Seasons / Topics Covered / Retailers Tracked

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