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  • June 16, 2010

Season Finale: Earth Day 2010

A look back on seasonal trends, email activity and standout B2C marketing:

Start to finish: The first reference to Earth Day was on Mar. 27. The final reference was on Apr. 24.

In addition to looking explicitly at Earth Day references, to provide the big picture I also looked at eco-friendly references, which spike in the run-up to Earth Day. The biggest day for Earth Day and eco-friendly emails was Earth Day itself, Apr. 22. Retailers sent the majority of their Earth Day-themed emails after Apr. 19.

Click to view the Earth Day 2010 retail email distribution curve larger

Most interesting emails: All of the interesting Earth Day emails this year included some social element. For instance, many of Overstock’s seasonal messages now include a “This Twitter conversation is sponsored by Overstock” element where Overstock offers a prize to one or more Twitter users who answer Overstock’s question. In this case, they want to know how folks are celebrating Earth Day. It’s a low-cost way of generating conversations that are tied to your brand.

Click to view this Apr. 21, 2010 Overstock email full-sized

In an Apr. 15 email, Hanna Andersson improves on Overstock’s formula by using a green product as the carrot to spur a conversation on Facebook.

Click to view this Apr. 15, 2010 Hanna Andersson email full-sized

I’m not a big fan of bribing folks to become a Facebook fan or Twitter follower—just like I’m not a fan of sweepstakes to build email lists—but the charity approach that Dell takes in this Apr. 20 email seems to rise a bit above simple bribery since the landing page (which has been taken down) included information on year-round green initiatives at Dell. It’s good branding, even if it doesn’t lead to engaged Facebook fans.

Click to view this Apr. 20, 2010 Dell email full-sized

Emails that missed the mark: You can have generic sales for certain holidays like Presidents Day and Labor Day, but Earth Day really cries out for something more, whether it’s highlighting eco-friendly products, donating a portion of the day’s sales to a green charity, or pointing out your company’s efforts to be green. In this Apr. 20 email, Linens ’n Things does none of these things—which surely made some subscribers question the retailer’s commitment to the cause. Since they didn’t have anything credible to say about the holiday, they might have been better off letting the holiday go quietly by. ‏

Click to view this Apr. 20, 2010 Linens n Things email full-sized

Standout subject lines:
Crutchfield, 4/21 — Want to go green? We can help.
J&R, 4/21 — Save the Planet and Some Money. . . Go Green This Earth Day!
Disney Store, 4/22 — Celebrate Earth Day the Disney Way!
Walgreens, 4/19 — 22% Off Our Earth Day Shop + Save on Contacts, Photo & More
Office Depot, 4/16 — Discover Smart Ways to Go Green and Save Green + $10 Coupon‏

Read previous Earth Day Season Finales: 2009, 2008

Explore Earth Day tag.
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