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  • February 14, 2009

AM Inbox: Costco redesigns with image blocking in mind

>>I’m back from the Email Evolution Conference, which was great. Today’s AM Inbox will get us caught up to Tuesday and we’ll get all the way caught up on Monday.

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

Costco, 2/10 — Exclusive Online Offers, More Than $3,000 In Savings!
With an eye toward making more of their email content visible when images are blocked, Costco has redesigned their emails to make more use of HTML text. Three other big changes: (1) They dropped the tabs from the top of the email, essentially going without a navigation bar now; (2) they added more white space to the design, making the email easier to scan; and (3) they add “Buy Online” buttons to each item, creating stronger calls-to-action. Here’s the new design:

Click to view this Feb. 10, 2009 Costco email full-sized

Here’s the old design from a Jan. 31 email:

Click to view this Jan. 31, 2009 Costco email full-sized

Gap, 2/10 — 3 Days Only: 20% Off for You (and a Friend)
Gap uses an interesting forward-to-a-friend strategy, making the promotional code in the email good for two uses and prompting a forward with language in the body and subject line.

Click to view this Feb. 10, 2009 Gap email full-sized

Linens ’n Things, 2/8 — Everything 80%-90% off*! Only 7 Days Left!‏
Looks like the Linens ’n Things brand name will live on after all. I’m anxious to see how the change of ownership is reflected in their email design and messaging. The CompUSA brand, which was acquired by TigerDirect parent Systemax a little over a year ago, gives us a couple pointers: (1) They added “All-New” to their logo and sender name (see Jan. 31, 2008 AM Inbox), (2) sent a pseudo-welcome email that discusses feature changes (see Jan. 28, 2008 AM Inbox) and (3) added an unsubscribe link to the preheader text for several months, giving people who aren’t thrilled with the change of ownership an easy way out.

Click to view this Feb. 8, 2009 Linens ’n Things email full-sized

OfficeMax, 2/8 — Your February 8 Weekly Ad is Now Online‏
OfficeMax gives us another example of progressive profiling—in this case, asking for a zip code so that they can send information about local sales.

Click to view this Feb. 8, 2009 OfficeMax email full-sized

SUBJECTIVITY SCANNER: Select noteworthy subject lines
J. Crew, 2/9 — Free shipping + J.Crew = Love.‏
Harry & David, 2/9 — Express Your Love (just in time) … with a FREE Express Delivery Upgrade!‏
EB Games, 2/10 — EB Games News: What your Valentine REALLY wants‏
Tiffany, 2/10 — Return to Tiffany for Valentine's Day‏‏
Overstock, 2/9 — Free Expedited Shipping for Valentine's Day‏
Cooking.com, 2/9 — Valentine Sweets: Baked Desserts, Pies and Cupcakes‏
Blue Nile, 2/9 — Top 10 Valentine's Day Gifts + 10% Off‏
Saks Fifth Avenue, 2/9 — Gifts they'll LOVE to get‏
Neiman Marcus, 2/9 — What SHE really wants: Hot contemporary items + Free rush online delivery‏
Victoria’s Secret, 2/9 — Save Up to $75 + Get It There By Valentine's Day.
Ross-Simons, 2/9 — Sitewide Savings! Hurry, Valentine’s Day Shipping Ends Soon‏
Etronics, 2/9 — Etronics.com helps you make their Valentine's Day special.
Frederick’s of Hollywood, 2/9 — $15 off the hottest Valentine's ever.‏
RedEnvelope, 2/9 — Only 5 days until Valentine's Day - shop now and save 25%
SmartBargains, 2/8 — Valentine's Day is in 6 Days, Save Extra 20-40% Ship for Free!
JCPenney, 2/8 — 6 Days Left! See Today's Valentine's Day Deal‏
Office Depot, 2/10 — We love giving you great deals‏
Toys “R” Us, 2/8 — Celebrate Fashion Week with Free Shipping at Toyrsus.com‏
J&R, 2/8 — Save Big on Grammys® Winners!‏
Alibris, 2/8 — Loyalty has its perks--here's a $10 coupon just for you!

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