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  • August 21, 2009

AM Inbox: The right channel for the right job

>>Retail Email Guide to the Holiday Season: Download this free 43-page report. Register for the companion webinar

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

HPshopping, 8/17 — Your HP Home & Home Office Store Deals - Week of August 17, 2009
While at the DMA Annual conference last year, I met an online retailer of crafts supplies who was thinking about launching a mobile alerts program to tell customers about deals. Since they didn’t have any stores for mobile subscribers to pull into while out running errands, I questioned the logic behind the decision. The marketer just felt they should have a mobile program because everyone else was talking about them.

I had that same reaction when I saw this banner promoting HP’s Toner Club, which sends mobile “reminders” to buy HP ink. Why does this need to be mobile? Do they expect customers to reorder ink on their cellphones? And if so, they’re limiting their upsell opportunities by not sending folks through their website. The program is also a little fuzzy on how many alerts they’re going to send you and what it’s based on (it’s not based on usage). Another approach would be to offer this program as an email preference and then use a dynamic content module to insert ink deals into HP’s emails.

Click to view this Aug. 17, 2009 HPshopping email full-sized

Spiegel, 8/17 — VOTE for Our Next Big Idea and get $10 instantly!‏
Spiegel continues to do a great job of periodically reaching out to subscribers for feedback (see Feb. 23 AM Inbox). This time they’re asking subscribers about the kinds of clothing designers that they like best. Not only does this help Spiegel make decisions about merchandising, catalog covers, etc., but it also gives them preference data on subscribers so that they can receive segmented offers that are more relevant. The other great thing that they do in this email is that the P.S. tells subscribers to email them any additional ideas on designers. When there are still retailers that use donotreply addresses, these kinds of appeals are refreshing.

Click to view this Aug. 17, 2009 Spiegel email full-sized

Williams-Sonoma, 8/14 — Shop New & Exclusive Foods‏
To put the focus squarely on their food offerings, Williams-Sonoma uses a food-oriented navigation bar in this email that’s different from their standard nav bar. Do you have opportunities to support the focus of your email with a custom nav bar? For more on navigation bars, check out Email Navigation Differs Radically from Website Navigation.

Click to view this Aug. 14, 2009 Williams-Sonoma email full-sized

SUBJECTIVITY SCANNER: Select noteworthy subject lines
Sam’s Club, 8/14 — Simple steps to saving green with Sam's Club‏
Linens ’n Things, 8/15 — Staycation Savings: 10% Off Your Order Over $50‏
Cooking.com, 8/17 — Favorite Cake Recipes: Angel Food and Devil's Food‏
Crate & Barrel, 8/17 — New Strut Office works through dinner. Upholstery Sale starts 8/28.‏
Frederick’s of Hollywood, 8/14 — See who's starring in fall's sexiest screen romance.
Lands’ End, 8/16 — Ends today: Fast, Free Shipping + Back-to-School Sale‏ ‏
Kmart, 8/15 — Buy One, Get One 50% Off Shoes, Free Shipping on School Supplies and More‏
Office Depot, 8/14 — School's Back! Save Now - $10 Coupon Inside‏
Dell, 8/14 — Smart Back-to-School Prices on Dell's Electronics & Accessories‏
Lands’ End, 8/14 — Fast, Free Shipping + up to 40% off: back-to-school Sale
Lillian Vernon, 8/14 — Back to School 15% Off Special - This Weekend Only‏
Newegg, 8/14 — Limited-time coupon: 15% Off Hard Drives + 72-Hour Back-to-School Essentials Sale!
TigerDirect, 8/14 — Final 24 Hours of Laptop Week: 20 Amazing Laptop Deals Starting at $329...Hurry‏

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