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  • July 9, 2008

AM Inbox: Dell experiments with header product tabs

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

Dell, 7/8 — Save $350 on a Dell XPS M1530 - The Perfect System for the Student on-the-go.
In this back-to-school email, Dell is experimenting with their headers, adding 5 product “tabs” to the top of the header. They’ve also dropped a free shipping call-out that they’ve been running for a while. While I applaud the experimentation, I’ll be surprised if this new header sticks. First, using the same color for the product tabs makes them blend in with the header too much. I nearly didn’t notice them. Second, most readers look right past the header to the main message, so if you’re going to include any promos before the header, they’ve got to pop and stand out. They may have been better off placing those tabs right under the header. Here’s the header in this email…

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…and here’s their previous header from a July 1 email, which was the first to feature that “Click to Chat” option:

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NFLshop, 7/8 — NFL Auction - Bid on unique items from the Pro Bowl and NFL Draft!
Building upon last week’s example (see July 3 AM Inbox), here’s another case showing how personalized greetings can get you in trouble: Pay attention to your defaults. In this case, NFLshop’s default greeting is “Nfl Fan.” Why the lower case “f” and “l”? The proper style for their brand is all caps: “NFL.” The other problem here is that the greeting isn’t grammatically correct. If you dropped the “Hi” then you’d be okay with the comma after the greeting. But since they include the “Hi,” it turns it into a sentence and requires a comma after the “Hi” and a period at the end like this: “Hi, NFL Fan.” The way they have it now just looks sloppy and unprofessional—and worst of all, distracts the subscriber from the main message of the email.

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SUBJECTIVITY SCANNER: Select noteworthy subject lines
Lands’ End, 7/8 — Indestructible and functional: the $29.50 Classmate Backpack
L.L. Bean, 7/8 — On a Roll--REAL SIMPLE Magazine Rates Our Duffle #1
Blair, 7/8 — Get this outfit for $14.99 and free shipping
Apple, 7/8 — iPhone 3G is coming Friday. Get ready.
SmartBargains, 7/8 — Looking for kitchen gear? Our expert buyers picked these for you
MLB, 7/8 — Shop for Official 2008 All-Star Player Jerseys
Backcountry.com, 7/8 — Gear to Stay Cool - Hot Weather Hiking Gear
Tiffany, 7/8 — Entertaining Ideas

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