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  • January 13, 2011

AM Inbox: Cascading S-curve email design

Subject Line Hall of Fame: Check out the 2010 class of inductees.

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

Coldwater Creek, 1/11 — Free Shipping...In with the New Outfits + 25% off in Outlet‏
One of the design concepts for creating emails is the S-curve, where elements (typically text and images) are on alternating sides of an email design so the eye travels back and forth while reading though the email. In this email, Coldwater Creek uses what I call a “cascading S-curve” design where elements alternative from side to side but are also offset vertically. So in this example, the first 300 pixels of the design present a text box and part of an image of a model. To view the image in its entirety, which will be the impulse for many readers, you have to scroll down, which exposes you to another image; and so forth. The overarching premise is that horizontal lines that go all the way across a design prompt readers to stop scrolling. Other retailers including Nordstrom have also used this design. While more difficult to design, this may be a concept worth exploring in your email designs.

In the screenshot below I’ve divided it up into 300-pixel blocks so you can better see how a reader might progress through the email.

Click to view this Jan. 11, 2011 Coldwater Creek email full-sized

Cooking.com, 1/11 — Slow Cooked Goodness! Our Favorite Time Saver + Bonus‏
Why would someone buy this product? What will they do with it? How can we make this product more appealing to subscribers? These are questions that Cooking.com clearly asked themselves when designing this email. Instead of simply promoting a slow cooker, they’ve paired with messaging about recipes for slow cookers and other products that make slow cooking easier. That’s a smart, multi-dimensional way to promote a product.

Click to view this Jan. 11, 2011 Cooking.com email full-sized

SUBJECTIVITY SCANNER: Select noteworthy subject lines
Sony, 1/11 — Check out Sony's 2011 Line-up Unveiled at CES‏
Newegg, 1/11 — Newegg's 10-Year Anniversary Sale + Intel's New 2nd-Generation CPUs-AVAILABLE NOW!‏
TigerDirect, 1/11 — Special 1/11/11 Event: One Day...11 Deals...up to 66% Off!‏
Oriental Trading, 1/11 — Get free shipping + $10 off sweet, simple Valentine Crafts‏
Neiman Marcus, 1/11 — Where's the after-party? Ken Downing dishes on our Spring launch‏
Abercrombie & Fitch, 1/11 — Rows of ruffles top off Spring in the Soft & Pretty Collection!‏
Dick’s Sporting Goods, 1/11 — Have Everything You Need for Winter?
Sports Authority, 1/11 — Run Anywhere With iFit Live - Now Available At Sports Authority‏
BROWSE... Archive / Post Categories / Selling Seasons / Topics Covered / Retailers Tracked

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