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  • June 22, 2011

AM Inbox: SmartBargains experiments with social thresholds

>>The 2011 Email Design Look Book celebrates 20 inspirational emails. Download it for free today.

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

SmartBargains, 6/21 — Want a Site-Wide Sale? (We thought you might)
Taking a page from the social media playbook, SmartBargains is setting a threshold in new subscribers as a condition for an unspecified sale the next day. These kinds of social thresholds were important to activating Groupon’s deals early on. I’ve seen a couple of other examples of this tactic at work, but usually they involve campaigns to grow Facebook fanbases, which is much more transparent in terms of letting people know how close they are to the goal. In this case, I wonder if the mystery sale format is motivation enough.

Click to view this June 21, 2011 SmartBargains email full-sized

Staples, 6/21 — 15% off, plus a FREE bag. Offer ends Saturday!
Staples puts their own twist on OfficeMax’s in-store “Bag Event.” Instead of directing subscribers to their local newspaper to get a paper bag that gets you 20% off in stores, Staples tells subscribers they can get a free reusable bag at the store that gets you 15% off. While the discount is less, it’s fewer hurdles to jump through to get the discount. Plus, the reusable bag might have more appeal to some consumers—and if Staples runs these promotions regularly then it encourages shoppers to keep their eco-bags handy, which boosts brand impressions.

I like how Staples includes branding prominently at the bottom of their emails. Footers can be so sterile and legal. The branding makes it a little more friendly. Disney Store also does this.

Click to view this June 21, 2011 Staples email full-sized

Backcountry.com, 6/21 — July 4th Sale Up to 40% Off‏
This is just some fun, relaxed, summery imagery from Backcountry. It’s then followed up by a large recovery module that functions like an expanded navigation bar, with subcategory links. Backcountry is one of the few retailers that doesn’t use a navigation bar in their emails.

Click to view this June 21, 2011 Backcountry.com email full-sized

SUBJECTIVITY SCANNER: Select noteworthy subject lines
Cooking.com, 6/21 — Fourth of July Appetizers: Sour Cream, Avocado + Cheesy Bites‏
Victoria’s Secret, 6/21 — This July 4th, Let Sparks Fly...
Lands’ End, 6/21 — Made for sittin' on the dock of the bay: Summer Sale favorites.
Williams-Sonoma, 6/21 — Summer Fruit Tools Starting Under $15‏
JC Whitney, 6/21 — Make Every Drop Count 15% Off on Fuel Saving Products!‏
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BROWSE... Archive / Post Categories / Selling Seasons / Topics Covered / Retailers Tracked

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