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  • October 19, 2012

AM Inbox: Building anticipation for gift-buying

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

Target, 10/18 — Take A Peek: the Neiman Marcus + Target Collection
Now that Columbus Day has passed, holiday promotions are starting to get serious. Already 44% of major retailers have sent at least one promotional email referring to the Christmas season, as of yesterday. That number will exceed 50% sometime next week. Retailers are promoting holiday décor and entertainment products, as well as starting to build anticipation for gift-buying, which is what this Target email is about. This is truly a startling partnership that’s sure to get attention and further burnish Target’s reputation as a style-on-the-cheap powerhouse. It’s interesting to note that this collection debuts on Dec. 1, the first Saturday after the sale-focused Black Friday-to-Cyber Monday weekend. It gives them something new and exciting the following weekend and the expectations for huge discounts are diminished.

Oct. 18, 2012 Target email

SmartBargains, 10/18 — Pop-Up Shop: Limited time, Limited Quantities!
I’m a huge fan of inventing new words, but I’m less of a fan of trying to apply a new meaning to an existing word. In this email, SmartBargains uses the term “pop-up shop,” which refers to temporary shops that are opened, usually unannounced, in vacant store locations and elsewhere. They’re exciting because you don’t know how long they’ll be around and they’re usually a brand you don’t have easy physical access to.

When I saw this email, I thought that SmartBargains was opening some pop-up shops in major cities and that the email would tell me the nearest one, which I thought was really cool since eBay and some other online retailers have done this. But that’s not what the email was about. It was just promoting a flash sale. Fab.com and some other online retailers have used the term “pop-up shop” for special, limited time online store assortments before, but it’s not a common usage at all and it wasn’t clear from the email or from the landing page that the assortment was special compared to what they usually offer.

So while I was excited and intrigued when I opened the email, the words they used set the wrong expectations and I was therefore ultimately disappointed and let down by the experience in the end.

Oct. 18, 2012 SmartBargains email

SUBJECTIVITY SCANNER: Select noteworthy subject lines
Lowe’s, 10/18 — Learn How to Get a Black Friday Sneak Peek
Ralph Lauren, 10/18 — Holiday 2012 From RRL
J&R, 10/18 — Upgrading to Windows 8? Western Digital Has Your Back.‏
Barnes & Noble, 10/18 — All Treat, No Tricks – Save 15% on One Item‏
Eddie Bauer, 10/18 — Winter Was Made for Flannel & Denim. Plus, All Down on Sale.
J. Crew, 10/18 — 151+ ways to winterproof your closet & free shipping
Wayfair, 10/18 — You're getting warmer. Shop plush bedding, loveseats, bakeware and more!
J. Jill, 10/18 — It's The Great Denim Event! Take 20% off. | 20% off select boots!
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