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  • December 23, 2008

AM Inbox: Last-minute holiday email tactics

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

Orvis, 12/19 — Top 10 reasons to give an Orvis Gift Card. Shipped free.
As Christmas Day approaches and the ability to ship products disappears, there are a number of promotional strategies you can use: Promoting gift cards is one, as done in this Orvis email. The twist here is that Orvis packages their gift cards with a copy of their latest catalog. This is a great multichannel tactic that makes the gift card seem like a more substantial gift and allows the gift card recipient to immediate look for products to buy. With catalog production costs going up, this seems like a really targeted use of those resources.

Click to view this Dec. 19, 2008 Orvis email full-sized

OfficeMax, 12/21 — Your December 21 Weekly Ad is Now Online
Another last-minute holiday email messaging tactic is to promote in-store special and store hours, as OfficeMax does in this email.

Click to view this Dec. 21, OfficeMax email full-sized

Circuit City, 12/21 — Good things come to those who wait: Holiday Blowout + up to 70% off Outlet
An additional angle on promoting stores is to promote “buy online, pick up in store” services, as Circuit City does in this email. For shoppers that really don’t like stores but need last-minute gifts, this option may be attractive.

Click to view this Dec. 21, 2008 Circuit City email full-sized

Neiman Marcus, 12/21 — After Christmas SALE STARTS ONLINE TODAY! Take an extra 40% off
Neiman Marcus gives us our first after-Christmas sale reference.

Target, 12/21 — Last-minute IN-STORE DEALS, plus FREE 2-DAY SHIPPNG on 100+ top gifts.
I really appreciate that Target correctly hyphenated “last-minute,” “in-store” and “2-day”—a lot of retailers don’t use hyphenation correctly. Unfortunately Target misspelled “shipping.”

J. Jill, 12/20 — New Markdowns + Guaranteed Delivery by Christmas
Granted the height of the holiday email season has passed, but was J. Jill really able to get more out of promoting Hearst’s magazine offerings than they would have gotten out of promoting their own products? Whether this was financially successful or not, it just seems sad to me that they’d rather promote someone else’s products rather than their own at this time of the year.

Click to view this Dec. 20, 2008 J. Jill email full-sized

SUBJECTIVITY SCANNER: Select noteworthy subject lines
Linens ’n Things, 12/21 — 4 Days Only! Take an additional 20% off New Year's Eve Party necessities!
Nordstrom, 12/19 — New Year's Dresses There's Still Time to Ship for Christmas!
J. Crew, 12/20 — 20% off. In stores only. Starts today.
Bed Bath & Beyond, 12/19 — $25 in-store savings to wrap up your gift list
Wal-Mart, 12/21 — Hurry! Order by December 22 for Delivery Before Christmas.
Costco, 12/20 — Order by 9 PM PST on Dec. 21 for delivery on or before Dec. 24
NFLshop, 12/19 — FREE Guaranteed Shipping on Orders Over $75 Through 12/21
Dick’s Sporting Goods, 12/19 — Free 2 to 3 Day Shipping + Guaranteed Delivery on Great Gifts thru Dec. 21st
Finish Line, 12/19 — Last Day For Express Shipping--Friday Dec. 19th!
Ross-Simons, 12/19 — Extra 30% Off + Free Shipping - Hurry, Guaranteed Christmas Delivery Ends Monday!
Avon, 12/19 — SAVE 66% on our LAST day of Guaranteed Christmas Delivery!
Eddie Bauer, 12/19 — Last Day: Free Shipping + Guaranteed Delivery by Christmas
Northern Tool, 12/21 — Final Day For Christmas Delivery w/ Standard Shipping Rates
REI, 12/19 — Last Chance for Standard Shipping + 15% Off Clearance
Sports Authority, 12/21 — Last Day for FREE Guaranteed Delivery + Save $10 Off $50 Order
DisneyShopping, 12/20 — Last Day - Order Now to Receive by Christmas!
Bloomingdale’s, 12/19 — Don't Miss Holiday Delivery + Free Shipping On Gifts Ends Today!
Orvis, 12/21 — Orvis is still shipping gifts: 24 hours to go!
Macy’s, 12/20 — There's still time! Order today for Guaranteed Christmas Delivery + great One Day Sale deals!
KB Toys, 12/21 — Final Day to Get Holiday Gifts with Premium Shipping
Bass Pro Shops, 12/20 — Hurry - Free Upgrade Shipping ends tomorrow
Spiegel, 12/20 — FREE Express Shipping Upgrade + Perfect Last Minute Gifts At Incredible Prices!
Bluefly, 12/20 — First Time Ever...EXTRA 20% OFF Everything + Free Upgrade to 2-Day Shipping!
MLB, 12/19 — Free 2 to 3 day shipping on all orders over $75!
Nascar, 12/19 — Guaranteed Delivery + Free 2 to 3 Day Shipping on Orders Over $75
Kmart, 12/19 — Get Your Gifts by Christmas with 2 Day Shipping
eBags, 12/19 — Final 72 Hours for Free Shipping Upgrade
Cabela’s, 12/21 — Hurry! Get it there by Dec. 24th -- use Overnight Air Express
Oriental Trading, 12/21 — Last chance for Christmas – Next day delivery for just $14.95
Coldwater Creek, 12/20 — 3 more days...Guaranteed Christmas Delivery is just an additional $5!
Cooking.com, 12/19 — LAST CHANCE Get it by Christmas with $14.99 Express Shipping + Popular Gifts and Holiday Recipes

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