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  • August 6, 2010

AM Inbox: HSN design tweak + we're only telling our SMS subscribers

>>Email Design Look Book 2010: Our second annual collection of outstanding email designs is now available for free download.

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

HSN, 8/5 — Your Featured Products of the Week, Including Eat, Pray, Love + Presale TV from Sony
HSN has redesigned a portion of the HSN Weekly email, going with a much cleaner look for their vertical navigation bar. The previous design was heavy and crowded, with background blocks for subheads and every link underlined. While it’s often wise to underline links to make it clear that they’re clickable, in this case it made the design feel very congested. The new design is much airier and more relaxed. Here’s the new design:

Click to view this Aug. 5, 2010 HSN email full-sized

And here's the old design from a July 22 email:

Click to view this July 22, 2010 HSN email full-sized

Victoria’s Secret, 8/5 — Something INCREDIBLE is about to happen...
I feel strongly that each channel has their strengths and weaknesses, so I naturally bristle when I hear about synchronizing messages across all channels. That said, broadcasting a message has its place. For instance, in this email, it’s not clear to me why I need to sign up for SMS messages from Victoria’s Secret in order to find out about this new launch. Couldn’t they just as easily tell me via email? They’re only hurting themselves by making it harder for email subscribers to find out about the launch. Also, I’m more than a little doubtful that they’re actually going to withhold this information from email subscribers. Really? I guess we’ll see soon enough.

As a side note, Victoria’s Secret dropped their navigation bar for this email. Sometimes a nav bar can be a distraction, like in a double opt-in confirmation email where it’s vital that the recipient click to confirm their subscription. However, this doesn’t feel like this is one of those moments.

Click to view this Aug. 5, 2010 Victoria’s Secret email full-sized

UPDATE 8/10: Victoria's Secret did indeed include email subscribers in their announcement about their new Incredible line of bras.

Spiegel, 8/5 — Spread The Word: SPIEGEL LOVES TEACHERS! Save 15% Off Now!
Spiegel makes themselves relevant to back-to-school with this nice campaign in support of teachers.

Click to view this Aug. 5, 2010 Spiegel email full-sized

Ann Taylor, 8/5 — SEE HOW WE WEAR ANN + Enjoy 30% Off Friends & Family!
Ann Taylor injects more personality into their emails by featuring their associates in promotions. Featuring more non-models seems to be part of a concerted effort by Ann Taylor. In addition to their long-running LISA LOVES series (see Oct. 27 AM Inbox), more recently they featured celebrities wearing their clothing (see June 1 AM Inbox) and their Facebook appeal also had a behind-the-curtain feel (see Mar. 22 AM Inbox).

Click to view this Aug. 5, 2010 Ann Taylor email full-sized

SUBJECTIVITY SCANNER: Select noteworthy subject lines
Lillian Vernon, 8/5 — This Double Offer Gets Two A's in Back to School Shopping‏
Abercrombie & Fitch, 8/5 — Check out new Classic Looks for back to school!‏
J&R, 8/5 — Back to School Sale - Get Prepped with these Notebook Deals!‏
Sports Authority, 8/5 — Free Shipping on ALL Backpacks + Cash Card Savings‏
Nike, 8/5 — Training Essentials: Gear Up for the Season‏
Dick’s Sporting Goods, 8/5 — We've Got Everything You Need for the Un-Lazy Days of Summer‏
Williams-Sonoma, 8/5 — Introducing Shun Edo: Top Ratings From Chefs Bryan & Michael Voltaggio‏
Sam’s Club, 8/5 — Tell a friend: August 6-8 try Sam's Club Free‏
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