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  • February 11, 2008

AM Inbox: Great news from Blair—we’re going to spam you

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

Blair, 2/8 — Great news from Blair
Orchard Brands is abusing permission practices again by engaging in egregious opt-out email marketing. Orchard, which is owned by private equity firm Gold Gate Capital, has decided that their Blair subscribers would love to receive emails from their other brands, which include nine other brands: Appleseed’s, Draper’s & Damon's, Haband, Gold Violin, Norm Thompson, Sahalie, Solutions, The Tog Shop, and Winter Silks. Orchard pulled this same stunt after it acquired Norm Thompson late last year (see Dec. 28 AM Inbox). If you’re so proud of your sister companies, why not list them in this email so Blair subscribers can not only see which lists you’ve opted them into but also that their email volume from Orchard will jump approximately 10-fold. With this tactic, Orchard has become a spammer. Hopefully Blair subscribers will greet their new, unwanted emails by reporting them as the spam that they are so that Orchard learns their lesson.

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Bed Bath & Beyond, 2/7 — Clearance - up to 50% off online
Bed Bath & Beyond is changing their sender address to bedbathandbeyond@bedbathandbeyond.com from Customer.Service@bedbathandbeyond.com, and to help ensure that subscribers whitelist the new address, they are pointing out the change to subscribers ahead of time. Few retailers take the time to alert subscribers to sender address changes. Williams-Sonoma (see Oct. 4 AM Inbox) and Blair (see Sept. 7 AM Inbox) are the only two that have done so in the past year or so. (Also see Reportlet: Retailers Gravitating toward Single Sender Addresses.)

Bed Bath not only points out the address change at the top of their email, where you’d typically look for whitelisting instructions…
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…but they aso wisely include a second notice toward the bottom of the email:
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Dell, 2/8 — Savings and Free Shipping on High-Performance Systems from Dell
Dell gives subscribers the chance to sign up to be notified when their new XPS 630 system comes out. It’s a nice way to build leads and deliver more targeted information to prospects.

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Saks Fifth Avenue, 2/8 — Thanks for Giving!
Many retailers promote the charity programs via their emails, but few take the time to tell subscribers about the successes of their fundraising efforts. Saks takes that opportunity here. This email is similar to the one that Ann Taylor sent on Jan. 16 notifying subscriber that they helped raise $735,000 for St. Jude (see Jan. 17 AM Inbox), although Ann Taylor used a more specific subject line: "Thank You for Giving to St. Jude."

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SUBJECTIVITY SCANNER:
Lands’ End, 2/8 — Valentine, be on time! Shop by Sunday
Frederick’s of Hollywood, 2/8 — A Valentine's Gift for you from Frederick's of Hollywood.
Saks Fifth Avenue, 2/8 — The Top 15 Valentines
Tiffany, 2/8 — Shop More Valentine's Day Gifts For Her
Coach, 2/8 — Introducing Signature Stripe: Online Today and In Stores Monday
Foot Locker, 2/8 — Win $1,000 in College Hoops Gear
J. Crew, 2/8 — Spring break ready?

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