Adventures in Mobile Marketing

Shipping Monday, Tuesday… Wednesday? Last Minute Retail Review

It’s a hectic time in any retail email marketing department. The rule of thumb was that 12/21 was the last ordering date online if you wanted items to ship by Christmas, but since that falls on a Sunday, 12/18 is the recommended online shipping deadline. Therefore we have a 3-day lead-up in emails to push orders online. Here are a few examples of this year’s emails, wins and flubs. (Note: for a list of 250 companies and their shipping offers: Holiday Shipping Deadline. As usual taken with images off.

Toys R UsArt.comRed EnvelopeSchug WineryCricket MagazineDiscovery StoreBack to Basic ToysGap

Toys R Us
(2344 unread) AT&T Yahoo! Mail, anna_billstrom
Toys R Us consistently misses the boat on images-off rendering, with no alternative text, teasers, or HTML tables and treatments with colored text. They also don’t certify the email which would avoid the entire problem. With no teasers before the add-to-address-book reminder, this is a big corporate email campaign boo-boo. The only alt-text is below the preview fold, too. So doesn’t matter what size company you are- even the big guys miss it.

Art.Com
(2345 unread) AT&T Yahoo! Mail, anna_billstrom
This campaign captures every best practice: teaser text before the inbox message, branding, and the offer is in alt. text, and no spacer images cluttering up the layout.

Red Envelope
Gmail - Save 25% on Orders over $100! Personalized Gifts Cutoff Extended until Tomorrow - banane@gmail.com
Red Envelope used to be as bad as Toys R Us, but they’ve really cleaned up their act. Nice use of font sizes and color to promote branding even in images-off environments. Branding could be bigger.

Cricket Magazine
(2347 unread) AT&T Yahoo! Mail, anna_billstrom
Everything is great here, except no branding. I like the hinting at new products- that promotes clicking and accepting images. Not enough retailers are tempting us, bringing us more into the experience. (technically a publisher, but nice techniques.)

Schug Winery
Gmail - Christmas shipping deadline - banane@gmail.com
Pretty good in all the respects- branding, messaging and images-off design. A little jarring and not really in step with a usual very classy design, but still manages to get the message across. Nice to see Mom & Pops hit all the bases.

Discovery Store
Gmail - FINAL DAY: Dec. Deals | 50% OFF + FREE SHIPPING on Blue Planet! - banane@gmail.com
I was disappointed to see this from the Discovery Store. Usually their images-off design is on par with Dell. So subtle to distraction, and the branding should be more prominent. Nothing seriously at fault, but still.

CW Kids
Gmail - Prices Starting at $9.99 - Stock Up on the Staples! - banane@gmail.com
It was hard to write this because I couldn’t find the branding! Companies really have to step up on the branding in their emails, for images-off. This is more a business question- why stock up on staples, during the holiday season? Last thing I’d want to give my niece is a set of t-shirts. So, uninspiring content, and no branding. Check Gap below for tips on how to do it.

Back to Basic Toys
Gmail - Finish Your Shopping With $5 Flat Shipping Plus 10% Off - banane@gmail.com
Wow. Use of color, and alt-text, but to uneffective ends. The branding is barely there, the toys are below the fold, and the odd use of green in the middle… I can see some valiant efforts but it falls apart.

Gap
(2342 unread) AT&T Yahoo! Mail, anna_billstrom
Just a quick note that certified email means that your message renders this prettily.They could have sent it without images, as it’s mostly just text, but it works: nice branding, dominant message, pleasant color combination.

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Written on Monday, 15. December 2008 at 14:36 In the category campaigns, design, images off. Follow the comments via RSS here: RSS-Feed. Read the Comments. Trackbacks- Trackback on this post. Share on FriendFeed

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