Retail TouchPoints: Banana Republic; Urban Outfitters Shine in Email Design Look Book
By Amanda Ferrante
Through a special arrangement, presented here for discussion
is a summary of a current article from the Retail TouchPoints website.
marketing service Smith-Harmon, a division of Responsys, recently compiled
an Email Design Look Book, bringing together
20 compelling emails, a large portion of which are retail-driven.
"While some form of conversion is usually the primary goal, engagement
is becoming an increasingly vital goal of email campaigns," said Chad
White, Research Director at Responsys. "With ISPs now factoring in engagement
metrics into their filtering algorithms, email campaigns that generate opens
and clicks are important to maintaining healthy deliverability rates. Plus,
the growth of social initiatives also means that email campaigns are often
focused on getting subscribers to participate in a brand’s community
by voting, uploading content, commenting or taking some other non-revenue-generating
Among the book’s shining stars:
- Banana Republic’s February promotional email bearing a subject
line "What to Wear 7 Days a Week," offered an image-focused
message to create clicks. By only revealing half of the third image, the
only way recipients could view the full "seven days of outfits" would
be to click through.
- With Valentine’s Day in mind, Uncommon Goods sent a promotional email
in early February with a cutout "Do Not Disturb" sign with directions
to "Print. Cut. Lock the Door." "Very few emails invite
physical interaction, so this email really stands out," Mr. White said. "But
even if subscribers don’t turn on their printers and pull out their
scissors, the ‘Do Not Disturb’ messaging sets a great Valentine’s
Day tone and the ‘Take a Peak’ call to action is enticing."
- To raise awareness around a new brand relaunch, Ann Taylor’s September
email communication stressed "What You’ve Been Waiting For: Meet
the New Ann." The company sent nine emails over 11 days, boasting
the company’s new fabrics, new web site, new styles and new attitude.
- For the busy holiday shopping season, Urban Outfitters kept it simple with
an email that boasted "Gifts Under $50." The innovative campaign
employed lettering that resembled gift ribbon, bringing the message to life
via creative typography.
Mr. White points to three major elements of email messaging that email marketers
should hold a lot of weight to. "First, is the preheader text optimized
and the header nice and tight, preferably with a navigation bar that’s
composed of HTML text links?" White said. He also said rendering is important,
especially when images are blocked. Lastly, Mr. White said email marketers should
ask questions like:
- How scannable is the email?
- Are content blocks clearly defined?
- Is the text easy to read?
- Are calls-to-action clear and easy to spot?
"Consumers spend very little time looking at an email, so the design should
aid them in quickly assessing the content," he said.
Which design elements should retailers prioritize in driving engagement around
e-mail campaigns? What have you liked and disliked in retailer e-mail campaigns
that you have seen?
- Banana Republic; Urban Outfitters Shine In Email Design Look Book – Retail TouchPoints
- Email Design Look Book – responsys.com