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  • August 7, 2012

AM Inbox: How we're making JCPenney better

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

JCPenney, 8/6 — A message From Ron
JCPenney, 8/6 — A letter from our CEO
I’ve been a big fan of JCPenney’s rebranded and redesigned emails, but this email seems like a huge step backward. I was glad to see that JCPenney was A/B testing the subject line of this email—putting the vague and strangely capitalized “message From Ron” up against the more authoritative “letter from our CEO”—although they probably could have come up with stronger, more substantive options. While I like that they abandoned their usual header and navigation bar to keep the message focused and I like the single call-to-action for feedback, the message itself is stiff, corporate and vague, failing to address what’s is in it for customers until the latter half of the email and then only in a minimal way. A picture of Ron Johnson would have been a friendly, humanizing touch and more specifics up top would have given subscribers a compelling reason to keep reading. But the biggest failing of this email is that it seems like it was sent six or more months ago and just arrived in inboxes. With the exception of mentioning the free kids’ haircuts, there’s nothing really timely at all in here, which made me wonder why they bothered to send it.

Aug. 6, 2012 JCPenney email

The focused and clean design of the email is mirrored on the landing page, which also is devoid of a navigation bar or other links that would distract from the purpose of securing feedback. It sends a strong message that JCPenney really does want to hear from customers.

Aug. 6, 2012 JCPenney email

SUBJECTIVITY SCANNER: Select noteworthy subject lines
Kohl’s, 8/6 — We're looking for lessons worth sharing & the people who teach them. Nominate someone now!
Newegg, 8/6 — Chill Deals! $54.99 Rosewill 630W PSU + Sweeps--Up to $29K Prizes to Pimp Your Dorm!
Sam’s Club, 8/6 — Get an A+ in Back-to-Class Savings
Target, 8/6 — This week at Target: Back-to-school deals plus Computer Event & Toddler Sale.
Coldwater Creek, 8/6 — New! Fall Denim in Full COLOR + $25 off
Blue Nile, 8/6 — First Ever: Up to 35% Off Select Diamond Jewelry & More

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