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  • September 5, 2008

AM Inbox: Long-form email goes wide

>>Going to Listrak’s Email Marketing Days next week? If so, I’ll see you there. I’m speaking about rendering challenges on Monday at 4pm.

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

TigerDirect, 9/4 — 1 Terabyte Hard Drives from $149.99, plus The Barebone Secret...
TigerDirect has a bit of a history creating long-form emails (see Oct. 22 AM Inbox) and also lately has been in the habit of including ads to the right of their main body copy. However, in this email, they decided to run copy in that ad column, making the email very wide—about 850 pixels wide. Used to seeing ad in that column, I nearly didn’t notice that copy and then I had to side-scroll to actually read it. Folks with their monitors set at lower resolutions may not have even seen that extra copy. This extra copy looks really forced and makes the design look messy, since that column doesn’t go all the way to the bottom of the email. While the messaging is good, the execution seems very ad hoc.

Click to view this Sept. 4 TigerDirect email larger

B&H Photo Video, 9/4 — Win a $100 Gift Card - Update Your B&H Newsletter Preferences
In the wake of Gap and Hallmark (see Sept. 3 AM Inbox) and Overstock (see Aug. 19 AM Inbox) asking subscribers to update their preferences, B&H launches a new preference center and offers up the chance to win some gift cards as an incentive to us it.

Click to view this Sept. 4 B&H Photo Video email larger

HPshopping, 9/4 — Shop the HP Labor Day Sale: ENDS SATURDAY!
You can use animation without being big and flashy. It can be fairly subtle, just enough to get a second glance, as in this email. The negative here is that HP unfortunately makes the first frame of this animated gif solid blue, which means that anyone viewing this email in Outlook 2007 (which blocks animated gifs) will never see the “Ends Saturday” message. Especially with an application like this, they should have had the first frame of the gif have that message, as I captured in this still:

Click to view this Sept. 4 HPshopping email larger

Here’s the animated portion of that email:

Refresh your browser to see the animation in this Sept. 4 HPshopping email from the beginning

SUBJECTIVITY SCANNER: Select noteworthy subject lines
Northern Tool, 9/4 — Chad, Your Fall Clean-Up Projects Just Got Easier
Home Depot, 9/4 — Home Organization Event: Store it. Stack it. Save it.
Ann Taylor, 9/4 — Shop Office Chic at a Special Value: New Modern Wide Pants + More Work Styles
Nordstrom, 9/4 — Not Your Daughter's Jeans: Fall's Freshest Looks

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