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  • March 2, 2013

Gold Star Email Award: Williams-Sonoma

The Gold Star Email Award posts celebrate and highlight outstanding examples of emails that excel in their creativity, design and effectiveness.

Williams-Sonoma originated in 1956 as a single brick-and-mortar store located in Sonoma, CA. Since then, founder Chuck Williams has grown the business to include 255 stores in the United States, and it is one of the top 25 online retailers, earning the highest ranking spot for online shopping experiences, according to a study by The E-tailing Group Inc. Despite the tremendous company growth and its powerful online retail presence, Williams-Sonoma still manages to connect with with their consumers on a more personal level. This is done in several ways, including (but not limited to): 1) free classes and demonstrations presented in the stores, 2) customer written product reviews on the website, and 3) a strong social media presence that is very welcoming to customer dialogue.

In addition to having multiple blogs which include The Blender and Cultivate.com, part of Williams-Sonoma's integrated marketing strategy includes having a seamless email program. Williams-Sonoma uses their customer data to its fullest potential for targeting and segmentation purposes. They send frequent (but not too frequent!) emails that are not overly-promotional. This email sent on Jan. 24 with the subject line 4 Simple Ways For Healthy Eating is a great example. Almost one month into the new year, the timing is nice - "healthy living" is still likely top of mind with many of Williams-Sonoma's subscribers, yet it wasn't sent so close to the start of the new year as to get lost in the shuffle with all the other "New Year, New You" emails. The newsletter style format features four stacked modules that each showcase brief articles on healthy culinary options. Each article has a link to the Williams-Sonoma blog, The Blender, and a complimentary product link. Refreshingly, the promotional products aren't the primary focus.

Congratulations to the Williams-Sonoma Creative and Marketing teams! Their commitment to promoting an all-around exceptional customer experience has made them cream of the crop among all the other retail brands.

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