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  • August 12, 2010

Season Finale: Graduation 2010

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

Start to finish: The first reference to graduation season was on Mar. 23. The final reference was on June 15. The biggest day for graduation emails was Tuesday, June 8, followed by Tuesday, May 28. Retailers sent the majority of their graduation-themed emails after May 24.

Click to view the graduation 2010 retail email distribution curve larger

Noteworthy trends: There were two interesting trends to emerge during graduation season this year. First, some retailers spoke directly to older grads with their messaging, rather than speaking to parents, which is the norm. For example, in this Apr. 30 email, Ann Taylor speaks directly to soon-to-be college graduates. To reach more grads directly, the email includes a secondary call-to-action to “Pass it on to your favorite student.” This is a refreshing 180 on the usual graduation messaging.

Click to view this Apr. 30, 2010 Ann Taylor email full-sized

And in this May 13 email, Banana Republic also spoke to new grads, offering them style advice.

Click to view this May 13, 2010 Banana Republic email full-sized

And the second trend was a new focus on very young graduates, looking to reach out to parents who recognize kids moving on from middle school, elementary school and even kindergarten. For example, in this May 18 email, Barnes &Noble promoted “Great Books for Little Grads.”

Click to view this May 28, 2010 Barnes & Noble email full-sized

And in this May 17 email, Toys “R” Us goes after the full spectrum of graduates with landing pages with assortments that are tailored to each age group. Beyond the advantage of the targeted landing pages, subscribers’ clicks can be used for progressive profiling, giving Toys “R” Us a better idea of the ages of kids in a subscriber’s household. This can be used for segmentation and dynamic content in later emails.

Click to view this May 17, 2010 Toys R Us email full-sized

Email 2.0 angle: Looking to tap into the musical talents of their subscribers, the Company Store ran a “rockin’ bedtime song” contest, which it promoted in this May 12 email.

Click to view this May 12, 2010 Company Store email full-sized

Standout subject lines:
Toys “R” Us, 5/17 — Grad Gifts for Scholars of ANY Age! View our favorites‏
RitzCamera, 5/15 — Graduation Gift Deals, Tips For Memorable Graduation Photos‏
The Company Store, 5/12 — Win Scholarships up to $5000 & more!‏

Read previous graduation Season Finales: 2009, 2008

Explore graduation tag.
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