Email Marketing: A Spring Holiday Retail Review

Let’s take a quick peek at how some email marketers in the retail sector are hoping to capitalize on the arrival of Spring and the approaching holiday weekend. Each email will be scored with an A-F grading system in 4 areas: Subject Line, Relevance, Creative, and Call-to-Action. 

 

1. Better Home & Gardens - 

o   Subject Line – B Big News! You’ve Been Selected is an ok subject line because it makes it seem like I’m special, and I get a special deal. What would have been even better is if they had used my name or told me more about the deal they are offering. o   Relevance – A It’s an exclusive Spring offer. The creative is Spring-y and sets the right mood after the Winter we just had on the East Coast. o   Creative –  A The Spring theme follow through and minimal copy works well. It shows the product and the offer clearly. o   CTA –  A It’s pretty apparent they want you to shop now with the large clear SHOP Now buttons above and below the fold.  The green circle specifies “Limited Time Offer,” so you know you have to hurry because the offer may not be around when you get around to it! 

o   Subject LineB Big News! You’ve Been Selected is an ok subject line because it makes it seem like I’m special, and I get a special deal. What would have been even better is if they had used my name or told me more about the deal they are offering.

o   RelevanceA It’s an exclusive Spring offer. The creative is Spring-y and sets the right mood after the Winter we just had on the East Coast.

o   Creative –  A The Spring theme follow through and minimal copy works well. It shows the product and the offer clearly.

o   CTA –  A It’s pretty apparent they want you to shop now with the large clear SHOP Now buttons above and below the fold.  The green circle specifies “Limited Time Offer,” so you know you have to hurry because the offer may not be around when you get around to it! 

 

2. Cole Haan Outlet - 

o   Subject Line – A Celebrate Spring with Savings: Enjoy 50% Off is a great subject line because it’s crystal clear. They are acknowledging Spring and telling you what the offer inside is going to be. o   Relevance – A Once again a reference to Spring, so it works and the email pays off what the subject line lead in with. o   Creative – C The offer is clear and the email is clean, but the picture could be a little more exciting and Spring-y. You can’t really tell what season they are promoting from the background picture. o   CTA – F The CTA is non-existent. Not a good thing. There should be a clear SHOP NOW or SAVE NOW button. You can click through to their site by clicking on the email, but Cole Haan should lead the consumer to his or her next move. A strong, clear CTA increases the likelihood recipients will take the desired action.

o   Subject Line – A Celebrate Spring with Savings: Enjoy 50% Off is a great subject line because it’s crystal clear. They are acknowledging Spring and telling you what the offer inside is going to be.

o   Relevance – A Once again a reference to Spring, so it works and the email pays off what the subject line lead in with.

o   Creative – C The offer is clear and the email is clean, but the picture could be a little more exciting and Spring-y. You can’t really tell what season they are promoting from the background picture.

o   CTA – F The CTA is non-existent. Not a good thing. There should be a clear SHOP NOW or SAVE NOW button. You can click through to their site by clicking on the email, but Cole Haan should lead the consumer to his or her next move. A strong, clear CTA increases the likelihood recipients will take the desired action.

 


3. Pottery Barn Kids - 

o   Subject Line – A- Hello Spring! BIG savings are going on NOW! is a good subject line it’s timely and relevant and lets you know there’s a deal inside. o   Relevance – A This email does a fantastic job of incorporating relevant messaging throughout. The copy at the top is geo-targeted to the Pottery Barn that’s closest to my house. It’s letting me know about events in my area, so I know this email was created for me. The creative is based around the upcoming holiday weekend, and the sale is called a Spring sale. o   Creative – A The creative clearly shows what the offer is, and even incorporates the upcoming holiday into the Nav bar at the top. It shows a cute bunny which is on brand and related to the holiday, plus it has fun with the copy using “Hop to it” o   CTA – B There are three CTAs depending on what action you want to take. It’s pretty clear which CTA takes you where, but it might have been better to get the recipient to the site and let them navigate from there. 

o   Subject Line – A- Hello Spring! BIG savings are going on NOW! is a good subject line it’s timely and relevant and lets you know there’s a deal inside.

o   Relevance – A This email does a fantastic job of incorporating relevant messaging throughout. The copy at the top is geo-targeted to the Pottery Barn that’s closest to my house. It’s letting me know about events in my area, so I know this email was created for me. The creative is based around the upcoming holiday weekend, and the sale is called a Spring sale.

o   Creative – A The creative clearly shows what the offer is, and even incorporates the upcoming holiday into the Nav bar at the top. It shows a cute bunny which is on brand and related to the holiday, plus it has fun with the copy using “Hop to it”

o   CTA – B There are three CTAs depending on what action you want to take. It’s pretty clear which CTA takes you where, but it might have been better to get the recipient to the site and let them navigate from there. 

 

4. 1-800-Flowers.com- 

o   Subject Line – A- Easter Friends & Family Sale: 20% Off Sitewide is a good subject line because it’s a sale that has a clear end date, which gives a sense of urgency. It also introduces you to their deal. You can use the code on other purchases, so using Spring may have been a better option than Easter. o   Relevance – A Once again a reference to the upcoming holiday weekend o   Creative – A The discount is very clear and reiterated from the subject line, but even better they are using a promo code to track which recipients are using their offers. This will allow them to follow recipients through their CRM to understand customer buying habits and figure out how to get them to purchase repeatedly. They are also reminding people about their loyalty program by mentioning the points program at the top of the email. o   CTA – A- The CTA is above the fold and very clear what to do next. The color could have been a little brighter and more festive like the rest of the email.

o   Subject LineA- Easter Friends & Family Sale: 20% Off Sitewide is a good subject line because it’s a sale that has a clear end date, which gives a sense of urgency. It also introduces you to their deal. You can use the code on other purchases, so using Spring may have been a better option than Easter.

o   RelevanceA Once again a reference to the upcoming holiday weekend

o   CreativeA The discount is very clear and reiterated from the subject line, but even better they are using a promo code to track which recipients are using their offers. This will allow them to follow recipients through their CRM to understand customer buying habits and figure out how to get them to purchase repeatedly. They are also reminding people about their loyalty program by mentioning the points program at the top of the email.

o   CTA A- The CTA is above the fold and very clear what to do next. The color could have been a little brighter and more festive like the rest of the email.

Overall each brand did a good job of capitalizing on the upcoming holiday weekend. Moving forward, it would behoove these companies to remember to use a relevant subject line, pay it off in the creative (the simple, imagery-driven, minimal text creative) and use a strong Call-to-Action to drive the clients to take desired actions.