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  • July 24, 2009

AM Inbox: Non-promotional content to hook subscribers

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

Ralph Lauren, 7/23 — Polo Golf Salutes Tom Watson's Historic Run‏
Emails that play off current events in a non-promotional way can really add some much needed variety to your email program. This Ralph Lauren email is a good example of that. As they say in journalism, the hook for this email is Tom Watson’s victory in the British Open. It highlights their 16-year sponsorship of Watson and involvement in golf, which strengthens their brand messaging. While there’s a link to their Polo golf apparel, it’s a secondary banner, so the “buy now” message isn’t in your face. They’ve captured subscribers’ interest with the non-promotional message, which should make them more willing to explore the promotional message.

Click to view this July 23, 2009 Ralph Lauren email full-sized

My only question about this creative is: Since the text is on the right, would the call-to-action have received more eyeballs had Ralph Lauren flipped the image so that Watson was looking at it, like so:

Click to view this first mockup of this July 23, 2009 Ralph Lauren email full-sized

UPDATE: I didn't take the time to flip the Polo logo to the other side of his shirt, but a little artful Photoshopping could fix that. The other option to test, of course, is moving the text box to the left-hand side of the design, like so:

Click to view this second mockup of this July 23, 2009 Ralph Lauren email full-sized

OfficeMax, 7/23 — $30 Coupon - Save Through Friday‏
OfficeMax, 7/23 — 2 Days Left to Save - $30 Coupon‏

OfficeMax was running an A/B subject line test with this email, but apparently didn’t keep its groups separate because I got both them. In this test, they varied the placement of the time and promotional elements, plus the wording of the time element (specific day vs. number of days left).

SUBJECTIVITY SCANNER: Select noteworthy subject lines
J&R, 7/23 — Back To School Savings: Apple Macbook 13.3" Now $999.99 + FREE SHIPPING‏
Toys “R” Us, 7/23 — Friday & Saturday Buy More, Save More 2-Day Sale – It’s Christmas in July!
NikeStore, 7/23 — Track Your Runs With the Nike+ SportBand‏

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