>>I’m back from vacation and will be bringing us back up to date over the next few days.
The Retail Email Blog monitors the email marketing campaigns of more than 100 top online retailers. Here are highlights from my inbox this morning:
Sephora, 9/21 — Ask the experts
Without doubt, Sephora is one of the savviest retailers when it comes to integrating email and social media. In this email, they bring forward some questions and answers from their BeautyTalk community. In the same way that B&H highlighted some social media comments when pitching subscribers to join their communities (see Sept. 21 AM Inbox) and J. Jill uses Facebook comments like they would product reviews (see Aug. 1 AM Inbox), if there’s a great conversation that happens between your brand and your customers, look for ways to propagate that across other channels like email. Don’t keep great content locked away in its channel of origination.
REI, 9/23 — Find Yourself on the Trail
REI partners the promotional content about GPS products with a quiz so subscribers can see how GPS-savvy they are. A promotional-educational combo like this engages subscribers on two levels and can garner clicks from subscribers who aren’t or didn’t think they were in the market for a new GPS device.
However, the landing page suffers from Back-Alley Syndrome. The whole survey takes place on pages without any REI branding or navigation and it’s only when you reach the final page of the survey (shown below in its entirety) that you are provided with a link to REI. Perhaps they didn’t want to be heavy-handed by pairing the quiz with products, but this is probably too hands-off. That said, the call-to-action to share your quiz score on Facebook is a nice viral touch. There’s also an opportunity on the final page of a quiz like this should present additional content or products related to the quiz—or even better, personalized to each quiz-taker’s answers. It would be worth testing to see if a sparse results page like REI uses here is better than one that includes more links for further engagement.
GameStop, 9/23 — Get More at GameStop – Free Upgrade, Creepy Crawler and "The Rock"
I keep expecting to see retailers touting many more digital goods—be they books, games, apps, or other digital goods—especially a day or two before major holidays. GameStop is a retailer that you’d expect to be pushing digital goods, but they haven’t made that focus. But that might be changing if the content block in this email because standard. Unfortunately, unless subscribers read the tiny type under the huge DLC logo or are familiar with DLC, they probably won’t realize that these are game downloads. Another aspect that’s user-friendly is that the Call of Duty: Elite pre-order is unclickable, so there’s no way to reach a pre-order page from the email.
SUBJECTIVITY SCANNER: Select noteworthy subject lines
Fingerhut, 9/21 — Fingerhut: It’s Time! Take a SNEAK PEEK at the Holiday BIG Book!
Frederick’s of Hollywood, 9/21 — Mix and match costumes. Plus $20 Off and free fishnets.
Oriental Trading, 9/23 — Over 2,000 NEW costumes. Shipping is free!
J. Jill, 9/21 — Love to layer our luxe sweater. Plus, $20 off $80.
Orvis, 9/22 — Sweater weather! Shop 135+ styles for men and women.
Sports Authority, 9/22 — The New Storm Fleece – Get Ridiculously Comfortable
Home Depot, 9/22 — Get Everything You Need For an Easy Fall Clean Up
NFLshop, 9/22 — Bring The Game Home With NFL's Interactive Game Day Party
Sam’s Club, 9/22 — Folding tables are a fan favorite; Get game day ready
Dell, 9/23 — You know it's time to upgrade to a new PC when...
Ralph Lauren, 9/23 — Introducing Our First Ever Girls Runway Show
Nordstrom, 9/22 — TOMS Shoes & Chic Shades, All for a Great Cause
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