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  • March 24, 2008

AM Inbox: Rotating gifs in headers

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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:

Banana Republic, 3/21 — They're here! Handbags at Piperlime.
This is a rare sight: a rotating gif in a header/navigation bar. Avon was the last retailer I’ve seen use animation in their header, and that was only a seasonal header for the holidays (see Dec. 7 AM Inbox). In this Banana Republic/Piperlime email, they use animation to draw attention to their free shipping and free returns offer a la Zappos. Animation used sparingly like this does a great job of drawing the eye to low-value screen real estate, like the upper right-hand corner. The only misstep here is that if the animation is blocked, readers don’t see any of that animation because the first frame is blank. They should have started with a full frame just in case the email was being viewed in Outlook 2007, which only shows the first frame of animated gifs. (Explore tag: Animation.)

Gap Inc. has been using their Gap, Old Navy and Banana Republic lists to promote Piperlime for over a year now. It’s a practice that I don’t recommend, at least not for that length of time and with such little effort to find synergies between Piperlime’s products and those of the other brands (for instance, showing Piperlime shoes with Banana Republic outfits). Crate & Barrel similarly abuses their permission by sending their subscribers CB2 emails regularly, and J. Crew does the same thing with their Crewcuts brand for kids, regardless of whether subscribers indicate that they have kids or not. That kind of permission abuse can lead otherwise interested customers to unsubscribe because some of what they’re receiving from you is totally irrelevant to them and unwanted.

DisneyShopping, 3/21 — Join Our Easter Egg Hunt & Save Up to 40%
DisneyShopping uses a fun Easter egg gimmick to promote site browsing. Their egg hunt goes like this: “The more pages you visit, the more your chances increase to find an egg packed with savings of up to 40%. When you land on a page that has a hidden egg, it will drop and crack open to reveal the Promotion Code.” So the promotion encourages you to browse pages until you receive a promotional code. It’s a smart promotion that encourages interaction.

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Finish Line, 3/21 — The Easter Bunny Wears Chucks----Do You?
Cooking.com, 3/21 — Hop-to-It! Savings
Furniture.com, 3/22 — Hop to It - This offer ends Sunday at midnight!
Circuit City, 3/23 — Eggs-clusively for you! Easter savings coupon inside
Ralph Lauren, 3/23 — Happy Easter From RalphLauren.com
Kmart, 3/21 — Last minute Easter Savings at Kmart
Chadwick’s, 3/21 — Take an Extra 50% off. From our Sr. Vice President!
SmartBargains, 3/21 — Just jetted in: Portuguese towel sets at an extra 20% off
Bluefly, 3/21 — NEW Shipment of Denim from J Brand, Joe's Jeans, True Religion...Up to 40% Off
J. Crew, 3/21 — boy's board shorts to dive for...
Spiegel, 3/23 — The #1 Dress of the Season says Harper's Bazaar and Spiegel +20% OFF

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