Does your email strategy need a re-boot?

Posted on June 26th, 2012 by

At the e-tailing group we see hundreds of emails flood our inboxes on a daily basis. A large percentage are consistently the same format with minimal changes being made from email to email, making us question if merchants are becoming complacent or even lazy in their email strategies.

During our 14th Annual Mystery Shopping Study, conducted in 4Q’11 we saw email traffic increase by 5.8% over last year with an average of 2.70 emails being received per week.  The large increase in email volume was due in part to multiple emails sent the same day or consecutively reminding recipients of rapidly approaching promotional deadlines and/or extensions. So while merchants are sending more emails in actuality they are frequently sending the same messaging

Smart, savvy merchants have broken out of this pattern by acknowledging email campaigns as a way to connect with shoppers while simultaneously branding their company through creative and engaging communications.

Here are a few of our favorites:

Sent: 5/1/2012
Subject line: The New Original Jean + FREE Shipping Every Day

  • Creatively makes a basic “new” and interesting again
  • Provides outfitting suggestions
  • Promotion of free shipping offer
  • Highlights family of brands


Lands’ End
Sent: 10/26/2011
Subject line: The Save $40 on $100 + move fast for $10 Turtlenecks – today only!

  • Incorporates many merchandising strategies while keeping creative clean
  • Iron clad guarantee front and center
  • $ off promotion called out in contrast color
  • Limited time offer showcased
  • New product featured


Sent: 6/1/2012
Subject line: Office Romance: The Clothes Our Employees Love

  • Clothing shown in lifestyle setting makes it understandable how to wear
  • Most stylish employees” verbiage persuades these are key pieces to buy
  • Ability to shop by outfit


Nine West
Sent: 5/1/2012
Subject line: Sally Says – We’ve Been Pinned

  • Nine West capitalizes on the importance of community
  • Most pinned shoes highlighted
  • Invitation to follow merchant on Pinterest
  • Mother’s day gift guide included
  • Spring sale highlighted
  • Frequent buyer promotion mentioned

The Checklist

By viewing the examples above and viewing the checklist  below you will be able to gauge how “fresh”, engaging and on brand your email initiatives are and what modifications may be needed  to achieve company goals.

  • Do your email campaigns excite you? Make you want to explore further?
  • Do you use the same template continually with only minor tweaks?
  • Is your email campaign aligned with the company branding strategy?
  • Are you optimizing your community to its fullest potential?
  • Are you using social media advantageously?

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