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  • February 9, 2010

AM Inbox: Spurring sharing more than sales

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

eBags, 2/8 — Last Chance - Extra 25% Off one item‏
Your run-of-the-mill emails probably won’t see much sharing. Subscribers are much more likely to pass your email along or post it to a social media site if there’s a super deal in it, quirky messaging, a charity tie-in, etc. One of our copywriters, Darrah MacLean, also says that emails are much more likely to be shared if they have crazy products in them. Think Neiman Marcus’s Christmas Book with its Fantasy Gifts section. In this email, eBags couples their 25% off offer with a selection of products that included these bags made out of license plates. It’s an unusual products that’s likely to spur sharing, but probably won’t directly drive a lot of sales of those bags. The question is: Is the sharing worth more than actual sales? Done selectively, it very well may be.

Click to view this Feb. 8, 2010 eBags email full-sized

Spiegel, 2/8 — FREE $10! Just VOTE For Your Favorite NEW Signature Look!
Spiegel returns with their latest incarnation of their “vote for your favorite look” email. While still a great non-pushy call-to-action that tells Spiegel which look a subscriber might be interested in, there are a couple of differences from how they ran the campaign compared to last year (see Jan. 28, 2009 AM Inbox). This year, the incentive reward is delivered on a landing page so subscribers who voted can take immediate action. Last year, they made subscribers wait until the next day, when they emailed the winning look. Allowing subscribers to take immediate advantage of the discount is smart. I’ll be interested to see how they announce the winning look.

One angle that was under-utilized in this email was sharing. While there’s a forward-to-a-friend link on the primary message block, it’s their standard language. For this one email, they could have changed it to something like: “Let your friends vote for their favorite look, too. Forward this to them!”

Click to view this Feb. 8, 2010  Spiegel email full-sized

SUBJECTIVITY SCANNER: Select noteworthy subject lines
Eddie Bauer, 2/8 — 90 Years in Seattle - We Know Rain!
Fingerhut, 2/8 — Fingerhut: Solve this Riddle + Get a Surprise FREE Gift!
J. Crew, 2/8 — Because we heart you...FREE SHIPPING‏
Art.com, 2/8 — Art as a Gift from the Heart, 22% off for Valentines!
Sony, 2/8 — VALENTINE EXCLUSIVES Enjoy Sweet Savings‏
Hallmark, 2/8 — Hurry-Final days to save on valentines‏
Harry & David, 2/8 — Red Roses + FREE Delivery = a Sweetheart Deal for Valentine's Day!
Ross-Simons, 2/8 — 25% Off - Hurry, Guaranteed Valentine's Day Shipping Ends Thursday!‏
Ann Taylor, 2/8 — New Work Style: Shop Our Office-Ready Suit Separates‏

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