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  • March 4, 2009

Season Finale: New Year's 2009

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

Start to finish: The first reference to New Year’s was on Oct. 21 from Office Depot. The final reference was on Feb. 16 by Dick’s Sporting Goods.

The distribution curve: The biggest day for New Year’s emails was New Year’s Day itself, Jan. 1. Retailers sent the majority of their New Year’s-themed emails after Dec. 31.

Click to view the 2009 New Year’s distribution curve larger

Most interesting email: On Oct. 30 Backcountry sent an email with the subject line “The North Face Hookup: $20 off your first '09 order” that tied holiday purchases to a discount in the New Year. This was an interesting promotional tactic that I didn’t see anyone else using. It was done pretty early in the holiday season, so the deferred discount didn’t have to compete with as many immediate and deep discounts that characterized promotions in late November and December.

Click to view this Oct. 30, 2008 Backcountry email full-sized

On the design side, a Dec. 27 email from Neiman Marcus with the subject line “Countdown to midnight: New Year's Eve party must-haves + Free online shipping” encourages scrolling with its countdown design.

Click to view this Dec. 27, 2008 Neiman Marcus email full-sized

Overstock’s Jan. 1 email with the subject line “Happy New Year from Overstock.com” demonstrated how New Year’s is a great time to connect products with lifestyle messages. Overstock does a great job of matching up products with some typical New Year’s resolutions (with “Eat Out Less” being particularly timely considering that people are cutting back on spending). Pitching products through lifestyle messaging is a tactic that is effective year-round.

Click to view this January 1, 2009 Overstock.com email full-sized

Standout subject lines:
Kmart, 12/31 — Free Shipping over $20.08 and $20.09 off a $125 Purchase
EB Games, 12/30 — EB Games News: Our New Year's Resolution is to Bring You More Bonuses!
Bloomingdale’s, 1/1 — Happy New Chic! Take An Extra 50% Off & Save 50%-75% Off
Lands’ End, 1/1 — Lands' End Sport: solutions for your resolutions.
Saks Fifth Avenue, 1/1 — 5 Resolutions You'll Love to Keep
Circuit City, 1/3 — Make those resolutions stick! Save on gear for fitness, family fun & more‏
Sam’s Club, 1/4 — Start 2009 with Healthy Living on Your Mind‏
Lillian Vernon, 1/4 — Help Make 2009 Easier with These Handy Helpers
Bluefly, 1/5 — OMG! It's '09 - EXTRA 30% OFF All Sale Items…new styles added‏
Sports Authority, 1/5 — Start The Year Off Right - Free Shipping on Select Fitness Equipment!‏
Wal-Mart, 1/5 — Trim Your Body and Your Budget‏

Read previous New Year’s Season Finales: 2008, 2007

Explore New Year’s tag.
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