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How Open Table and UrbanSitter are Targeting Valentine's Day Procrastinators

For online retailers, Valentine's Day promotions typically comprise the highest volume of email sends in the first quarter of the year. For a look at the Retail Email Blog's past Valentine's Day Season Finales, click here. In addition to the many retail-related Valentine's Day emails that have been hitting my inbox over the past few weeks, I've noticed several hospitality companies taking advantage of the holiday with smart messaging encouraging people to make this Thursday a date night! A couple of highlights below:

01.28.2013 open table.jpg

02.09.2013 open jpgFrom: Open Table
Subject Line: Table for Two?
Date: Tuesday, January 29, 2013


From: Open Table
Subject Line: Love & Dinner
Date: Saturday, February 9, 2013

The first of these Open Table emails (Jan. 29 send) was forwarded by a reader of the Responsys Retail Email Blog, who informed me that its timing saved his bacon. Open Table to the rescue! Email #1 from this series was sent with barely more than two weeks left before Valentine's Day, when securing a restaurant reservation can be a panic-inducing situation. The final email came with less than a week before the big day! For procrastinators everywhere, these emails must have been a very welcome time-saver, narrowing down the selections to places with availability and therefore eliminating the need to try making reservations at many spots that would already be fully booked. Open Table clearly knows that many of its subscribers are likely to be on-the-go, and has done a nice job of optimizing their email campaigns for mobile users. The emails in this template are just 500 pixels wide, and the font size is large enough to be easily read on smaller screens. Further, the top navigation has a link to the Open Table mobile site.

02.05.2013 urban sitter.jpg

From: UrbanSitter
Subject Line: Book Your Valentine's Day Sitter!
Date: Tuesday, February 5, 2013


As a busy, working parent, I can be overly swamped for time, and usually wait (or forget) until the last-minute to get a sitter. With just 9 days left, I would have assumed that all the sitters in town were already booked, and just resigned myself to a cozy, at-home Valentine's celebration. For those like me, this UrbanSitter email was a perfectly-timed. Additionally, the secondary restaurant recommendations are nice touch... although, coming from a restaurant background, I'd wager that at this late in the game, it will be quite challenging to secure a Valentine's reservation at any of the SF Chronicle's Top 100 Bay Area Restaurants listed. Maybe next year UrbanSitter should consider partnering with Open Table. :)

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