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  • November 8, 2007

AM Inbox: Let me get right in your face so you can hear me better

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

Neiman Marcus, 11/7 — Just a few hours left! Today-only PRIVATE SALE + FREE SHIPPING
Neiman Marcus, 11/7 — Don't forget: PRIVATE SALE - TODAY ONLY + Free Shipping
Neiman Marcus, 11/7 — One day only PRIVATE SALE 30% off big names + FREE SHIPPING

This is a first. During the 17 months that I’ve been tracking the top online retailers’ email marketing campaigns, this is the first time that a retailer has sent three emails in a single day. Neiman Marcus was holding a one-day sale that it just wanted to make sure that every subscriber was aware of—and they accomplished this by the equivalent of sitting on their digital front porch waiting for them to come home. I see this as a pretty clear case of the retailer putting their sales goals above customer service—and I would only assume that they will see a spike in unsubscribes today and yesterday. Neiman Marcus has already been averaging more than one email a day since mid-September, so I’m a bit concerned what they have planned for the height of the holiday season.

Loren McDonald of J.L. Halsey has timely column out today about balanced scorecards, which give you visibility into how short-term tactics (like increasing email frequency) can cost you big down the line by raising your unsubscribes, which in turn raises your acquisition costs. Nearly every retailer increased their email frequency during the core of the past holiday season (see Reportlet: Holiday Frequency Increases). You should be monitoring your unsubscribes and spam complaints carefully during the holiday season to ensure that you’re not giving up big money in terms of lifetime value in exchange for small increases in near-term sales.

Dell, 11/6 — Wish For More - 1 Day to Save Up to $300 on a New Inspiron
This item about Dell’s latest soon-to-be-released XPS computer gets lost in the email design, but when you clickthrough it gives you the chance to watch the teaser video and sign up to be notified via email when the system is released. I haven’t seen this tactic used very much, but it gives you a chance to capture pre-release interest and come back at the time of release and capitalize on it.

Click to view larger

Office Depot, 11/7 — Weekly Deals + Meet the SLOBs
Office Depot introduces subscribers to the SLOBs—Strange Little Office Beings—and invites them to create their own and upload their pictures of them at theslobs.com.

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Here’s the animated portion of that email (a SLOB also pops up in the monitor at the top of the email):
Refresh your browser to see the animation from the beginning

Frederick’s of Hollywood, 11/6 — Our new Limited Edition rhinestone bra + 12 days of Dita, with a special offer.
More and more retailers are coming around to the realization that they have to be content providers in addition to product providers. This email from Frederick’s is a good example of this, with its secondary item on 12 Days of Dita. The promotion has pin-up girl Dita Von Teese modeling Frederick’s goodies. It has a little bit of a Maxim feel to it, and I think it’s smart to try to channel that vibe. Retailers should try hard to emulate magazines and other media.

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SUBJECTIVITY SCANNER:
Dick’s Sporting Goods, 11/7 — Gift Center - It's Never Too Early To Start Your Shopping
TigerDirect, 11/7 — Holiday Superstore: $499 HP Notebook...Few Left
Fingerhut, 11/7 — Prepare your home for the holidays with decorations from Fingerhut.com
Abercrombie & Fitch, 11/7 — We'll Keep You Warm. Outerwear At Abercrombie.
Spiegel, 11/7 — Online Gift Exclusives from the Best Brands!
Sports Authority, 11/7 — 25% Off Select Columbia & Convert Outerwear

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