20 Apr, 2015eCommerce Marketing Email – Weekly Spotlight 2
Would you buy or not?
This is the second article in our series of articles about how retailers apply different eCommerce marketing tools to engage their customers.
Our first article discussed the importance of email marketing and included reviews and ratings of emails from Snuggle Bugz, Holt Renfrew and Old Navy. (http://www.eradium.com/ecommerce-marketing-tools-email-spotlight/).
In this article, we are reviewing eCommerce marketing emails from the following retail brands: Tommy Hilfiger, Sears and Hudson’s Bay.
All emails will be rated from 1* to 5*, where 1 means poor and 5 is great.
We review on a weekly basis:
- Colors – colors have good contrast, consistent
- Typography – fonts have readable size, clear titles
- Images – clear, visible, easy to understand
- Formatting – blocks follow each other in an easy to navigate pattern
- Mobile Optimized – all elements are visible and formatted correctly on the mobile phone
- Subject line – signals urgency and clear main offer that will be found inside the email
- Clear offer – one main offer with clear call to action
- Urgency to purchase – time, stock, shipping that motivates the buyer to purchase
- Product highlights – clear description of the products to evoke the interest of the reader
This week we are reviewing eCommerce emails from the following retail brands: Tommy Hilfiger, Sears and Hudson’s Bay.
Tommy Hilfiger Corporation debuted in 1985. Tommy Hilfiger brand became popular in the U.S. after it was launched in the mid-1980s continuing to gain popularity globally throughout the 1990s and onwards under the original leadership of founder, designer and namesake Tommy Hilfiger and Chief Executive Officer Fred Gehring , the brand can be found in leading department and specialty stores, as well as in its own expanding network of freestanding retail stores, worldwide.
Email 1: Tommy Hilfiger
Subject Line: Annual Spring Sale – 30-50% off
- Colors: 3* – colors are aligned with the brand colors but do not correspond to the subject line of spring and are not very appealing
- Fonts: 2* – low contrast and hard to read, do not stand out and draw attention
- Images: 3*– one image that is somewhat related to spring subject line, could use a better spring like image and more clear shots of the products
- Formatting: 2* – there are many sizes of fonts used, does not have a cohesive flow
- Mobile Optimized: 4*- simple layout with 2 columns, displays well on the phone
- Subject line: 4* – clear and enticing the user to open the email
- Clear offer: 1* – there are too many discounts, there is 20% off your purchase of 150 – at the top, 20% of $100 purchase is it simply a typo? 30-50% spring sale, 10% entire purchase. I am really confused with the actual discount I will get once I make a purchase.
- Urgency to purchase: 3* – the discount is applicable for 2 weeks, there is no clear motivation to act on the discount anytime soon
- Product highlights: 1* – there is no mention of the products showcased in the photo, a good opportunity missed putting information about the featured products
Overall rating: 2.5*
Conclusion – BUYING FACTOR: NOT
This email did not really evoke any urge to shop at Tommy Hilfiger store. They do not have a Canadian online store so the offer had to be really appealing to make me drive to their physical location. The promotions are confusing, the images are unattractive and there are no product descriptions as well as urgency to buy. This email definitely deserves a delete button.
Sears (officially Sears, Roebuck & Company) is a chain of American department stores. The company was founded by Richard Warren Sears and Alvah Curtis Roebuck in 1886; it was previously based in the Sears Tower in Chicago, and is currently headquartered in Hoffman Estates, Illinois. It began as a mail order catalog company, and began opening retail locations in 1925.
Email 2: Sears
Subject Line: It’s Sears Days! Up to 50% off selected items.
- Colors: 4* – good use of brand colors, high contrast, modern feel
- Fonts: 4*– easy to read font, consistent use of colors and type of fonts
- Images: 4*– good lighting, clearly visible products
- Formatting: 3* – some blocks do not align properly, there are weird white gaps between the blocks
- Mobile Optimized: 4* – easy to follow blocks, clear visibility
- Subject line: 4* – clear and inviting offer
- Clear offer: 3* – there are too many various discounts throughout the email, it is not clear why the items displayed in that order, they should be grouped by the discount amount or type of product. There is also another offer at the bottom “flyer deals” how is this different than sears day offers?
- Urgency to purchase: 2* – there is no clear indication to tell when the sale starts and when it finishes, there is no urgency to make a purchase
- Product highlights: 3* – there is a good visual representation of the various products
Overall rating: 3.5*
Conclusion-BUYING FACTOR: YES
The email contains quality imagery, formatting and text to grab the immediate attention of the reader. If the reader does not over analyze the details, the email will capture their attention with one of it’s offers, clearly supported by an image. This email is a first BUY email in our reviews. The only negative part is the $99 dollars shipping minimum that would make me think twice before buying unless I was buying a mattress online, which no one ever does.
Hudson’s Bay Company
The Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC) (French: Compagnie de la Baie d’Hudson), commonly referred to as “The Bay” (“La Baie” in French), is a Canadian retail business group. A fur trading business for much of its existence, today Hudson’s Bay Company owns and operates retail stores throughout Canada and the United States, including Hudson’s Bay, Home Outfitters, Lord & Taylor, Saks Fifth Avenue and two Zellers liquidation stores. HBC’s head office is in the Simpson Tower in Toronto, Ontario. The company is owned by the New York-based firm NRDC Equity Partners.
Email 3: Hudson’s Bay
Subject Line: Bay Days Bedding: Save on sheet sets, mattresses, duvets and more
- Colors: 2* – the red and the black combination does not really represent the brand or the message of the email
- Fonts: 3* – there is inconsistent use of colors, sizing and types of fonts between main titles and other titles in the email
- Images: 2* – product photos are not appealing or don’t showcase the products well, the products appear dull and do not possess the wow factor that would make the reader click on them
- Formatting: 3* – the boxes follow each other in a checkered pattern, but the red outline and black lines throughout the email do not create an attractive visual appeal
- Mobile Optimized: 3* – the email displays clearly on the phone, but the images are low contrast and look washed-out on the screen
- Subject line: 3* – long and not specific, no clear urgent action to open the email
- Clear offer: 4* – the email is specific to discounts related to bedding essentials
- Urgency to purchase: 2*– the offer dates are hidden in the footer and do not really push the user to make an urgent purchase
- Product highlights: 2* – products do not appear exciting, or clear to what they actually are
Overall rating: 2.5
Conclusion- BUYING FACTOR: NOT
An attractive email design is a very important factor in connecting with the user and grabbing their attention. The horrid images will not evoke the desire for an impulse purchase. This email could have worked if it was sent to a targeted list that expressed interest in this category. It was not the case because I never visited their site’s bedding department and did not express interest in the category. This email will not receive high purchase conversion.
Just for Fun
Look at the R carefully, it is not the reverse Я that it is Toys R Us trade mark. Please make your brand consistent!
We had our first Buy email this week from the retail giant Sears. They have hit almost all the important marks of a successful email just need to be more pressing to make a purchase.
The common negative between 2 of the other emails Tommy & Bay is the image quality. Images are extremely important in today’s digital marketing. Retail marketers need to invest the appropriate budget and time to produce quality and relevant pictures if they would like to receive the attention of busy consumers.
With the rising importance of Instagram, where users simply sharing email pictures, product images are becoming more and more relevant. So next time when you send an email, please think: Would I find this picture worth sharing?