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  • January 22, 2013

AM Inbox: MLK Day Marketing Musings

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

Janie and Jack, 1/18 -- For MLK Weekend Only - Enjoy Free Standard Shipping (No Minimum Purchase!)
The subject line of the Janie and Jack email jumped out at me, because of the hundreds of emails I look at daily, it is the the only one that directly referenced the MLK weekend. Traditionally, most retailers use the generic "holiday weekend sales" or references to the "long weekend." It has me wondering where the line is between what is okay to market to, and what comes across as potentially exploitive. Is it okay to mention MLK weekend in a subject line? But not okay to have a "Martin Luther King, Jr. Sale"? Where is the line crossed into out of bounds inappropriate capitalization territory? The Retail Email Blog has highlighted instances where retailers truly have an admirable tie-in to MLK Day, such as this one from Target. The topic is particularly fresh in the mind, as the creative group with whom I work was recently asked by a client to design and write copy for a Martin Luther King Jr. weekend sale. It had us all squirming in our seats a bit, as it felt a little awkward to come up with the right approach. On a related note, I wrote about appropriateness in regards to Hurricane Sandy here. Readers: I would be interested to know your thoughts on if there is ever an appropriate way to market to MLK day without it seeming exploitive? If you have input, I would like to continue the conversation on twitter.

west elm MARKET, 1/19 -- Timing is everything...
In Q4 of 2012, west elm (one of the Williams-Sonoma, Inc. portfolio of brands) launched a new line call west elm MARKET. Many of the products have retro flair and would appear to be marketed to the urban "hipster" crowd. This email caught my eye because of the interesting subject line and it features a good use of subtle animation. There are only 4 frames in the animation which is good for a couple of reasons: 1) it is just the right amount to notice, without it being too distracting and taking away focus from the actual product (also note, only 2 of the clocks featured are animated --if all the clocks had been, it likely would have been so busy as to repel the reader). and 2) with only 4 frames, the file size is relatively light. It won't take forever to load or weigh down the recipients inbox. west elm clearly knows the ins and outs of animation in email, as I have previously written about here in the Responsys New School Marketing Blog.

Click here to see the full animation.

SUBJECTIVITY SCANNER: Select noteworthy subject lines
Michael Kors, 1/17 -- Cross Your Heart
Lowe's Home Improvement, 1/17 -- It's What's Inside That Counts
Tiffany & Co., 1/17 -- All Heart
Fingerhut, 1/17 -- Fingerhut: Happy National Ditch Your New Year's Resolution Day!
The Land of Nod, 1/17--Give your floors the red carpet treatment.
Bloomindale's, 1/17 -- It's the 5 Day Weekend Sale + EXTRA email-only offer!
Joyus, 1/17 -- Refresh Your Hair: No Water Required
Crate and Barrel, 1/18 -- 15% off leather we love. One week only.
See's Candies, 1/18 -- The Valentine's Day Collection Has Arrived!
Walmart, 1/18 -- Game-time snacks delivered free with Walmart To Go
Coldwater Creek, 1/18 -- Hurry. Before it all melts away...
Coldwater Creek, 1/19 -- How LOW can SALE go?!
The Children's Place, 1/19 -- Time's Almost Up! Monster Sale Up to 80% Off + Free Shipping!
west elm, 1/20 -- Feeling blue? Meet our latest crush (plus take 20% off rugs)
jcpenney, 1/20 -- ♥ Spread The Love
Lowe's Home Improvement, 1/20 -- Your Dream Kitchen: Now Within Reach
eBags, 1/20 -- One Day. One Item. 30% Off.
Backcountry.com, 1/20 -- The North Face Sale Is On - Shop Epic Deals Now
Bluefly, 1/20 -- "It’s All About the Accessories! Bags, Shoes & More Up to 80% Off
The Home Depot, 1/20 -- Get Valentine Blooms Delivered
Gojee, 1/20 -- Gojee Jewelry | Cupid's Backup Plan
Coldwater Creek, 1/20 -- "You Must Have Great Jeans!" OR our Slimming Shaping Jeans ;)
Tiny Prints, 1/20 -- See What’s New! Celebrate, Connect, Be Cupid
Crate and Barrel, 1/20 -- 6 big ideas for small spaces.
Petco, 1/20 -- Winter Savings are Melting Fast! Save 20% Sitewide!

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