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  • January 9, 2008

AM Inbox: First references to Valentine’s Day

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RetailEmail.Blogspot monitors the email marketing campaigns of more than 100 of the top online retailers. Here are highlights from our inbox this morning:

Oriental Trading, 1/8 — Buy now, pay later + $0 shipping
Oriental Trading gives us our first Valentine’s Day reference, a little more than a month before Feb. 14. Hanna Andersson also referenced Valentine’s Day yesterday, although it was very indirectly and buried deep in the email. Last year the first reference to Valentine’s Day was on Jan. 3, and was also from Oriental Trading. Check out last year’s Valentine’s Day Season Finale for trends, insights and ideas.

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Sony, 1/8 — Get a gift from Sony? Now the real fun begins.
Looking to increase customer satisfaction post-purchase, Sony reaches out to subscribers to offer them resources like information on online instructor-led courses, online support, registration information and links to accessories. Pointing out information like this not only shows that Sony cares about customer service, but can lead to upsells and a closer relationship with the customer. Sony sent a similar email, with the same subject line, last year (see Jan. 8, 2007 AM Inbox).

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EB Games, 1/8 — EB Games News: Helping you wake the neighbors at 2 am.
EB Games continues their recent testing of subject lines with this new “EB Games News” format. Traditionally they’ve used the subject lines “EB Games Weekly Newsletter m.d.yy” and “EB Games Weekend Specials m.d.yy” almost exclusively. Recent exceptions include the Dec. 24 subject line “Stock up on your gaming accessories!” which was notable in that it didn’t include any branding, and the Nov. 21 subject line “EB Games Black Friday Ad.” Using the same subject line can increase recognition and prove to be just as effective—or even more effective in some cases—than subject lines that include urgency or content call-outs. However, that's only true in a few cases so it’s best to test.

Trying a hybrid subject line, one that combines a fixed opener and a variable ending, may work best for some retailers. Barnes & Noble does this with some of their emails. For example, their subject line yesterday was “This Week -- Coupons, Janet Evanovich, Douglas Preston, More.” They keep the “This Week” fixed and vary the rest to highlight key words.

SUBJECTIVITY SCANNER:
Art.com, 1/7 — Get Motivated in 2008! Plus 20% Off
Road Runner Sports, 1/7 — You make the resolution. We'll help you keep it.
Kmart, 1/7 — Enjoy The New Year At Home
Old Navy, 1/7 — What's ON Trend This Spring? Must-Have Looks for Women
Frederick’s of Hollywood, 1/7 — Shop the sexiest new looks for spring and take $15 off your order.
Spiegel, 1/7 — First Look at Spring: Shop Our New Signature Collection + Pay Nothing Until May!J. Crew, 1/7 — New spring arrivals...
Gap, 1/8 — Love the Wide Leg? Brand-New Styles Are Here
Ralph Lauren, 1/7 — Explore Our New Cruise Collection In Stores And Online
Bloomingdale’s, 1/7 — Last Day To Take 30% Off Online! Plus, Resort To Color
Crutchfield, 1/8 — Need a TV for The Game? Save now on LCD & Plasma HDTVs
RitzCamera, 1/8 — Are You Ready For The Big Game?
Sports Authority, 1/8 — SportsAuthority.com: NFL Playoffs + Save Up To 75% At Outlet
Crate & Barrel, 1/8 — Giada Everyday Gourmet, new and only at Crate and Barrel
Sephora, 1/8 — Want 15 free skincare samples?

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