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  • August 30, 2011

AM Inbox: Brookstone redesign + Irene messaging

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

Brookstone, 8/27 — FREE Shipping—missing them already?

After relaunching their website late last month (see Aug. 1 AM Inbox), Brookstone has redesigned their email template, introducing the new design on Friday and making further tweaks on Saturday. The new design abandons the reverse type for the logo, a move that a few retailers have made in recent months. They also ditch the reverse type for the recovery module at the bottom of their emails. Unfortunately, without any kind of box to hold these links, they look unanchored and floating around. A light grey gradient like the one in the primary content block would help make the recovery module more distinct. The other two significant changes were moving their social media links from the bottom to the top of their emails, and moving their navigation bar under their logo rather than next to it. Here’s the new design (left) and previous design from an Aug. 19 email:

Click to view this Aug. 27, 2011 Brookstone email full-sized Click to view this Aug. 19, 2011 Brookstone email full-sized

J&R, 8/27 — TECH EXPO 2011. . . 2 Days Left for the Best Deals Of Summer - Plus Free Shipping!

Through Sunday, I only received two retail emails that referred to Hurricane Irene, this one from J&R and the one from SmartBargains.com below. Noticeably missing in action were the home improvement chains Home Depot and Lowe’s. J&R used this email to notify customers that they might not be open and also to promote some hurricane-readiness products, the latter of which seemed a bit late.

Click to view this Aug. 27, 2011 J&R email full-sized

SmartBargains.com, 8/28 — It's Storming, We're Shopping. Sunday Night Clearance Starts NOW.

SmartBargains’ messaging is similar to what is used during snowstorms. While hurricanes do keep consumers indoors, hurricanes are much more likely to cause power outages and damage homes, which makes me wonder if subscribers are receptive to this approach.

In this Saturday’s Week-End Trends, I speculated that retailers were shifting email from Saturday and Sunday to the end of the work week—so they would avoid these kinds of messaging issues altogether by not sending over the weekend. That turned out not to be the case; volume over the weekend was at normal levels. So retailers pretty much ignored the storm in both content and cadence.

Click to view this Aug. 28, 2011 SmartBargains.com email full-sized

SUBJECTIVITY SCANNER: Select noteworthy subject lines

Office Depot, 8/26 — Perfect Timing: Fri. & Sat. Deals Are Here - Take A Look

JC Whitney, 8/26 — Free Shipping on Labor Day Travel items! 'til Sunday only!

Crutchfield, 8/28 — Labor Day savings start today

REI, 8/26 — REI Labor Day Sale and Clearance on Now

Cooking.com, 8/26 — Grill All Year Long - Top-Rated Smokeless Indoor Grill

HP, 8/28 — Procrastinate No More! Get It Faster with Free 2-Day Shipping

PC Connection, 8/26 — Save Now on Back to School Essentials!

Oriental Trading, 8/26 — Score free shipping for your team party

JC Whitney, 8/26 — Attention Sports Fans: Free Shipping on your order!

Lane Bryant, 8/26 — $100 Off Your $200 Order – Think How Good You’ll Look

J. Jill, 8/26 — The laundry can wait. Take an additional 30% off Sale & Outlet.

AbeBooks, 8/26 — Cats and Bats: The Eerie Glory of Edward Gorey

Dell, 8/27 — Introducing our thinnest monitors ever

Musician’s Friend, 8/26 — In The House: Eddie Van Halen On September Catalog!


BROWSE... Archive / Post Categories / Selling Seasons / Topics Covered / Retailers Tracked

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