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  • April 18, 2008

AM Inbox: No more tricky subject lines

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

SmartBargains, 4/16 — Surprise!
While I was at the MarketLive eCommerce Summit earlier this week, I got into a discussion about open rates and subject lines with Bill Moran, the e-commerce director at Gaiam, a retailer focused on healthy living. I said you can definitely trick subscribers into opening emails with mysterious subject lines, giving your open rates a boost, and cited Urban Outfitters as a frequent user of vague subject lines. But over time you risk damaging the trustworthiness of your subject lines, which subscribers use to determine if they’re interested in your content. If you train subscribers to disregard your subject lines and they are repeatedly disappointed by the relevancy of your email content, then they may just stop opening your emails. The goal is not a 100% open rate, because regardless of what you put in your email—even if it’s highly targeted—it’s not going to be relevant to every subscriber. So respect your subscribers’ time by using a succinct, punchy and informative subject line that give them the ability to open only those emails that are likely to be most relevant to them. Otherwise you may be *surprised* to find your subscribers tuning you out.

HPshopping, 4/16 — Check out HP's Most Energy Efficient Green Machines
As part of an Earth Day promotion, HP is touting their Energy Star computers. I didn’t even know there were any computers that were Energy Star rated so there’s some consumer education going on here too.

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Ann Taylor, 4/17 — STARTS TODAY! 25% OFF Spring Friends & Family
This is the most prominent send to a friend link that I’ve ever seen. Ann Taylor also includes a second STAF link with a “Pass it on” message at the bottom of the email, making it super clear that this discount is intended to be shared. Such prominent STAF messaging definitely results in higher pass-along rates.

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SUBJECTIVITY SCANNER:
Saks Fifth Avenue, 4/16 — Like Mommy, Like me
RedEnvelope, 4/16 — For all that Mom's given you, now it's your turn + Free shipping offer
Harry & David, 4/17 — Mom Really DOES Have Her Favorites ...
Cooking.com, 4/17 — Mother's Day Favorites + Shipping Deadlines
Frederick’s of Hollywood, 4/16 — What's hot in Hollywood, plus $15 off your order.
Victoria’s Secret, 4/16 — Summer Dresses, $29 & Up
Ralph Lauren, 4/16 — Trend Report: Bright Pinks Of Summer
Nordstrom, 4/17 — Summer Denim Takes Shape
Fingerhut, 4/16 — Get ready for warmer weather with Fingerhut
Linens ’n Things, 4/17 — New Outdoor Furniture & Living Sale + 20% Off
Petco, 4/16 — PETCO Get Your Coupons - We're Having a Bath Special!
Sony, 4/17 — Backstage 101 - Sony's online learning community

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