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  • October 29, 2008

AM Inbox: The time for wish lists

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

Toys “R” Us, 10/27 — Announcing Wish List
As we head into the core of the holiday season, Toys “R” Us has launched a new wish list feature to encourage wish list building and sharing. I like how they outline all the capabilities of the wish list application—most especially the ability to access wish lists in stores. When launching a new wish list app or when entering a major selling season like Christmas, consider incentivizing list creating and sharing with a sweepstakes (like Old Navy did last holiday season) or by giving people who buy off your wish list free or discounted shipping or a gift card. You could also promote your wish lists by highlighting the most wished for products in your emails or on your site.

Click to view this Oct. 27 Toys R Us email larger

HPshopping, 10/27 — HP Customers Speak - See the Top Rated Products
In the Retail Email Rendering Benchmark Study I talk about optimizing your preheader to minimize the space that it consumes. In their preheader redesign, HPshopping does just that, collapsing it from five lines down to just two. They did it by cutting the whitelisting instructions—which I’m see increasingly—and combining the “click to view” and “click to view on a mobile device” links onto a single line. The moves cut the height of their preheader by more than 50%, allowing more of their message to appear above the fold and in preview panes. Here’s the new preheader from this email:

Click to view this Oct. 27 HPshopping email larger

And here’s their old preheader from an Oct. 20 email:

Click to view this Oct. 20 HPshopping email larger

Ross-Simons, 10/27 — Jewelry Clearance Blowout. Up to 70% Off + FREE SHIPPING!
Here’s an interesting use for animation that I don’t believe I’ve seen from a retailer: to communicate brand messages. In this email, Ross-Simons uses an animated gif to deliver three branding messages in a preview pane banner. If the email is viewed in Outlook 2007 and the animation is blocked, then subscribers only see the first brand statement, which is fine. But everyone else will see two other brand statements. Unfortunately, Ross-Simons only has the animation set to run once, rather than having it repeat at least two or three times so that folks have a good chance to see every brand statement.

Click to view this Oct. 27 Ross-Simons email larger

Here’s the animated portion of this email:

Click to view the animation in this Oct. 27 Ross-Simons email at full size

SUBJECTIVITY SCANNER: Select noteworthy subject lines
Hanna Andersson, 10/28 — ALL Holiday Baby & Girls Dresses Just $19, $29, and $39!
KB Toys, 10/28 — Start Celebrating with Up to 60% Off Holiday Gift Ideas
Williams-Sonoma, 10/27 — More than 250 New Items Added: Preview What’s New for the Holidays
Ann Taylor, 10/28 — Our Most Festive Tops: Buy One, Get One 50% OFF - Online Exclusive
Lillian Vernon, 10/28 — Here's $10 Off to Start Your Shopping Right
Cooking.com, 10/28 — We'll Pay Shipping on Top-Rated Thanksgiving Roasters + Best Classic and Modern Turkey Recipes
Macy’s, 10/27 — Going gourmet? FREE SHIPPING on select cookware and kitchen electrics!
Dell, 10/27 — Un-Boolievable Savings - Up to $345 off Select Systems
Oriental Trading, 10/27 — Last chance for Halloween - Next day delivery for just $14.95
Costco, 10/27 — Introducing Costco Reviews - Let Your Voice Be Heard!
Eddie Bauer, 10/27 — Over 50 legendary sweaters have just arrived.
Urban Outfitters, 10/27 — This Just In - Over 200 new items!

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