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  • March 9, 2009

AM Inbox: Oriental Trading optimizes emails for preview pane

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

UPDATED: 3/10, 3/18

Oriental Trading, 3/6 — Make your party a slam dunk & get free shipping‏
Last month I suggested several changes be made to Oriental Trading’s email design in order to optimize them for preview panes (see Feb. 18 AM Inbox). In their next email, they dropped their whitelisting instructions and added a preheader message. But with this email, they make bigger changes—reducing the preheader text down to one line, reducing the height of their logo and navigation bar, and removing the green bar under their nav bar. While there is more that can be done, this is a huge improvement over their previous design. Just look at what makes it into the top 300 pixels:

Click to view this March 6, 2009 Oriental Trading email full-sized

Compare that to what’s shown in the first 300 pixels of their Feb. 17 email:

Click to view this February 17, 2009 Oriental Trading email full-sized

UPDATE #1: This new design is part of an A/B test that Oriental Trading is doing. Once they measure the results, they’ll roll out the winner.

UPDATE #2: This new design won the A/B test, beating out a less dramatic redesign of their old header.

RitzCamera, 3/7 — 10 Years & Going Strong!‏
Looking to counteract news of their bankruptcy, RitzCamera says that their “going strong.” It’s an indirect way of saying that this bankruptcy just means a reorganization, not a liquidation like Circuit City and Linens ’n Things. This email also includes a banner promoting their Facebook profile.

Click to view this March 7, 2009 RitzCamera email full-sized

SUBJECTIVITY SCANNER: Select noteworthy subject lines
Avon, 3/6 — Daylight SAVINGS Spree: UP TO 60% OFF + FREE SHIPPING‏
Petco, 3/7 — PETCO / Spring Forward Sale - Sitewide Savings from Saturday to Monday!
Blair, 3/7 — Spring ahead and save with 60¢ per item shipping.
Walgreens, 3/8 — Lucky You: Get 50 Prints for $5‏
Lands’ End, 3/6 — Free shipping + spring savings = Lands' End for less‏
Toys “R” Us, 3/8 — Find Super Deals in This Week's Ad PLUS Barbie's 50th Anniversary!
JC Whitney, 3/6 — Do It Yourself And Save 10% - 4 Days Only!
Buy.com, 3/6 — GET NOTICED! Bold NEW Bags & Shoes at 40% OFF!‏
Newegg, 3/6 — Early Adopter Edition! $278.99 Intel Core i7 920 CPU, $182.99 3x2GB DDR3 RAM...
Norm Thompson, 3/6 — Do you speak French Terry? It's so easy.
Alloy, 3/6 — 6 Reasons to Go Boho + Free Shipping‏
Saks Fifth Avenue, 3/6 — Top 10 Summer Essentials‏
J. Jill, 3/7 — Find just what you're looking for – and pay for it later!‏

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