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The latest in marketing strategy, technology, and innovation.

  • October 15, 2012

AM Inbox: The dangers of tiny targets

>>Miss the holiday email marketing webinar? The webinar recording and slides are now available for download.

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

Nordstrom, 10/12 — Our Top Winter Finds
I used to argue that “Everything should be clickable in an email.” Too often brands make subscribers hunt for the piece of the email that they’re supposed to click on. Smartphones and tablets have made it necessary to revise that mantra slightly because of the need to design padding around calls-to-action so that fat fingers don’t accidently trigger the wrong CTA because they’re crowded together.

Even with that revision to the rule, the banner in this email is destined to frustrate some subscribers, as only the “LEARN MORE” is clickable. The brand name here seems more likely to draw clicks and is the portion that I initially clicked on to no avail. Sometimes banners and other email content that are constructed with HTML text to defend against image blocking suffer the downside of somewhat limited clickability, but this banner is just one image. So why not just link the whole image and make it a huge target to click or tap on?

Oct. 12, 2012 Nordstrom email

Toys “R” Us, 10/14 — Save up to 20%! Plus, BOGO 50% Off Barbie & Bonus Deals
Take a cue from our politicians: Repetition is powerful. Toys “R” Us is not only looking to lock in some early holiday orders by relentlessly promoting their layaway program in every email they send, but they’re also using a banner to communicate some brand strengths so they are top of mind when subscribers turn their attention to the holiday shopping lists. This is similar to how Nordstrom and Urban Outfitters hammer in every email that they offer free shipping and free return shipping, a policy that helps them stand out from other retailers but only if people remember it.

Oct. 14, 2012 Toys R Us email

SUBJECTIVITY SCANNER: Select noteworthy subject lines
Dell, 10/12 — Be the first to order a Dell PC with Windows 8.‏
Newegg, 10/12 — Reserve Your Windows 8 Starting From $59.99 Today w/ Our Exclusive $10 OFF Code!
Staples, 10/14 — It's here! Reserve your Windows 8 software and device now.
Sam’s Club, 10/12 — Discover the new Windows 8
TigerDirect, 10/12 — Deal Alert: $59 Windows 8 Upgrade, plus New Quad Core Windows 8 Laptop $449
Sony, 10/12 — Save Up To $700 at the VAIO PC Clearance Sale + Shop New Windows 8 PCs
Lowe’s, 10/14 — Prepare Your Home for Fall Entertaining
Wayfair, 10/14 — Host with the most: stemware, dinnerware, and tabletop décor. Shop up to 40% off wine storage.
Ice.com, 10/12 — Pink Gold - Shop for a Cure!
Bed Bath & Beyond, 10/12 — Fall asleep counting SHEEX.
Neiman Marcus, 10/13 — NEW Monogram Shop: UGG Australia + more
JCPenney, 10/14 — You're Getting Warmer
Macy’s, 10/13 — 20% off chic looks for cold weather
Ann Taylor, 10/14 — Get Cozy! Enjoy 30% Off Sweaters!‏
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