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  • February 26, 2009

AM Inbox: Varying the look of your emails

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

Overstock, 2/25 — 10% Coupon to Celebrate: Overstock #2 in Customer Service‏
Overstock dedicates this email to some brand-building, touting the results of an American Express/National Retail Federation survey that found Overstock’s customer service second only to L.L. Bean. This email really stood out because Overstock abandoned their usual promotional email format. Consider deviating from your usual template every now and then and see what effect that has on the engagement and response rates of those emails.

It’s also worth pointing out the O-Text call-to-action in the bottom right-hand corner of the email. Overstock debuted this sign-up CTA for their new mobile messaging program in a Jan. 21 email when they redesigned their template (see Jan. 22 AM Inbox). While their O-Text sign-up form sits prominently on their homepage next to their email sign-up form, Overstock has yet to promote it beyond this small reference at the bottom of their emails.

Click to view this Feb. 25, 2009 Overstock email full-sized

Office Depot, 2/25 — Choose Your Savings & Save Up To $60 Now‏‏
Office Depot is trying to optimize the use of the space to the right of their logo by adding a box promoting their Worklife Rewards loyalty program. Many retailers under utilize this valuable real estate. Here’s Office Depot’s new header:

Click to view this Feb. 25, 2009 Office Depot email full-sized

And here’s the old header from a Feb. 20 email:

Click to view this Feb. 20, 2009 Office Depot email full-sized

Kohl’s, 2/25 — As Seen on Entertainment Tonight: Get the Celebrity Look for Less!‏
In this email, Kohl’s uses a co-branded subheader to promote a video clip from Entertainment Tonight. It’s still quite unusual to see a video as the main call-to-action in an email, but this is definitely a growing (but still nascent) trend. Strangely, this video clip was posted more than a month ago. I’m not sure why they waited until now to promote it in an email. Perhaps because of the Oscars.

Click to view this Feb. 25, 2009 Kohl’s email full-sized

SUBJECTIVITY SCANNER: Select noteworthy subject lines
J&R, 2/25 — See Sony's Unbelievably Thin 40" LCD HDTV!‏
Toys “R” Us, 2/25 — Get Free Shipping on the NEW Nintendo DSi!
Frederick’s of Hollywood, 2/25 — Spring’s newest, sexiest styles. Plus free shipping.
Chadwick’s, 2/25 — Spring Shoes! What have you got to lose?
Alloy, 2/25 — Bright Spring Tops: Starting at $22.50 + Free Shipping‏
J. Jill, 2/25 — Our new spring collection is now online, in stores and in our catalog.‏
eBags, 2/25 — Say Hello to Spring with $25 Off‏
Bluefly, 2/25 — THIS IS IT! Spring is Here - Starting at 40% off!

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