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  • November 19, 2009

AM Inbox: The tradeoff between rendering and relevance

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

Disney Store, 11/17 — Celebrate and Save Up to 40% on Holiday Decor + Deal of the Day‏
Staying relevant is extra critical during the holiday season. Every message and submessage matters. In this email, Disney includes a preview pane banner that promotes their Deal of the Day. The deal itself is rendered in HTML text so it shows up when images are blocked; plus it’s highlighted in the preheader text. However, subscribers who opened this email today rather than yesterday—and most probably did—saw an expired deal. While this might engender more urgency to open the next email so as not to miss the deal of the day, another tactic would be to use a single image for the preview pane banner, to use the same image source file for it in every email, and then update that image file every night with the current deal of the day. That way, regardless of when a subscriber opens the email, they’re seeing the current deal. That image could link to a designated landing page for all the deals of the day or to a URL that redirects folks to the right page. You trade off some rendering by using this tactic, but you’re increasing the relevance of the deals for roughly half your subscribers in most cases. It’s worth testing for sure.

Click to view this Nov. 17, 2009 Disney email full-sized

Sephora, 11/17 — Gift Tip: Separate these sets into multiple gifts‏
This is some of the smartest messaging I’ve seen so far this holiday season. At a time when many consumers are still trying to stretch their dollars, this is sure to resonate.

Click to view this Nov. 17, 2009 Sephora email full-sized

Gap, 11/17 — Limited Time Only. 25% Off All Styles. Exclusively Online.
In addition to debuting their holiday header—adding some festive plaid to their logo—Gap also promotes their seasonal microsite, CheerFactory.com, which allows you to send holiday cheer in cheer form.

Click to view this Nov. 17, 2009 Gap email full-sized

SUBJECTIVITY SCANNER: Select noteworthy subject lines
J&R, 11/17 — Housewares in Time for Thanksgiving!
1-800-Flowers.com, 11/17 — Save 20% on Thanksgiving gifts from Martha Stewart, starting at $39.95‏
Saks Fifth Avenue, 11/17 — Monogramming makes every gift better‏
Neiman Marcus, 11/17 — 90 of our TOP GIFTS for '09 + Free online shipping at ANY PRICE‏
Lillian Vernon, 11/17 — We're Giving You a Free Gift this Shopping Season‏
Harry & David, 11/17 — Holiday Gifts from $19.95, many with FREE Standard Delivery!
Victoria’s Secret, 11/17 — Have a Lacie Little Christmas + Get a Free Panty Cupcake! Details Inside.
L.L. Bean, 11/17 — FREE $10 Gift Card + The Gift with a Personal Touch‏
Abercrombie & Fitch, 11/17 — Give an A&F gift, Christmas 2009‏
ShopNBC, 11/17 — Today only If it's on-air, it's on sale‏

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