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  • June 8, 2009

Season Finale: Memorial Day 2009

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

Start to finish: The first reference to Memorial Day was on Apr. 28 by Oriental Trading. The final reference was on May 28 by HPshopping.

The distribution curve: The biggest day for Memorial Day emails was Memorial Day itself, Monday, May 25, followed by Friday, May 22. Retailers sent the majority of their Memorial Day -themed emails after May 21.

Click to view the 2009 Memorial Day retail email distribution curve larger

Most interesting emails: The unusual clipped art technique and subtle use of animation in REI’s May 22 email made it really stand out. The campsite scene provides an entry point to several product categories while communicating a family focus.

Click to view this May 22, 2009 REI email full-sized

And here are the animated portions of the email:

Animated portion of May 22, 2009 REI email

Animated portion of May 22, 2009 REI email

I also like the military discount that Home Depot promoted in a May 21 email. There’s something genuine about a special discount just for military personnel on Memorial Day.



In their May 21 email, Musician’s Friend tried to tap the same genuineness as Home Depot, but with a wider scope, with their Private Memorial Weekend Salute‏. The special sale is open to anyone associated with the military or civil service and their families—which covers a good chunk of the population. The primary call-to-action is to call Musician’s Friend and use the discount code “HERO,” which is a nice touch.

Click to view this May 21, 2009 Musician’s Friend email full-sized

Standout subject lines:
J. Jill, 5/22 — Memorial Day savings—4 ways to save!
Musician’s Friend, 5/21 — Musician's Friend: Private Memorial Weekend Salute‏
eBags, 5/21 — Memorial Day Sale Preview: Save up to 60%
Home Depot, 5/18 — Get Fired Up for Memorial Day!‏Cooking.com, 5/18 — Memorial Day BBQ Recipes: Easy BBQ Chicken, Skewers and Kabobs, + Seafood on the Grill‏


Subject lines that stand out for the wrong reasons:
Alibris, 5/24 — GRAB your coupon and raid our shelves
Using what some might interpret as a war reference seems a little inappropriate the day before Memorial Day.

ShopNBC, 5/22 — Ready, set, summer Memorial Weekend Event starts now‏
Since its missing a hyphen or dash after “summer,” this subject line reads awkwardly.

Read previous Memorial Day Season Finales: 2008

Explore Memorial Day tag.
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