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  • August 10, 2010

AM Inbox: Half-hearted sidescroller + Disney redesign

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

Eddie Bauer, 8/9 — All-New Denim! Introductory Offer - Save Up To $20 On All Jeans‏
Eddie Bauer joins the small but growing list of retailers that have experimented with the horizontal scrolling email format. While I give them kudos for trying the sidescrolling format, they were seriously hedging, looking to limit the what would be missed if subscribers didn’t scroll to the right. However, in doing so, they didn’t make good use of the extra horizontal real estate. Here’s what the email looked like in my inbox when I didn’t scroll to the side:

Click to view this Aug. 9, 2010 Eddie Bauer email full-sized without the extra width

Besides the body copy exceeding the widths of the header and footer, there aren’t any other visual cues that there’s additional content to the right unless the subscriber’s preview pane clips one of the models in half. Some body copy text stretching the length of the email or a special or centered header and footer would have made it clearer that you needed to scroll.

The other less-than-optimal element in this email was the addition of a secondary message banner, which made the email too tall to be able to view all of the email with a single sidescroll. You have to scroll to the side once to view the primary message and then scroll down some and scroll again to the right to see the banner.

Here’s what the full email looks like:

Click to view this Aug. 9, 2010 Eddie Bauer email full-sized

Disney Store, 8/9 — Get Dream Savings on Kids Sleepwear‏
Disney Store has redesigned their email template, creating a stronger header with a bold block of color, but regrettably abandoning their HTML text navigation bar. They also smartly dropped the whitelisting instructions from their preheader and then consolidated the preheader message and “view with images” link on a single line. The changes reduced the height of their header to 140 pixels down from about 155, which allows more of the body copy to rise up into preview panes. Here’s the new design (left) and the previous design from an Aug. 4 email:

Click to view this Aug. 9, 2010 Disney Store email full-sized Click to view this Aug. 4, 2010 Disney Store email full-sized

SUBJECTIVITY SCANNER: Select noteworthy subject lines
Coach, 8/9 — Backpack to school with Poppy.‏
Sears, 8/9 — 20-30% off Laundry Spectacular, Dorm Essentials on Sale & More!
Hanna Andersson, 8/9 — $14 Essential Tees School Deals and Unders Sale Ends Sunday!‏
Hallmark, 8/9 — Win big! Enter your original card design‏
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