Canada’s Anti-Spam Law, CASL, is now a done deal.
Last Thursday, the Treasury Board of Canada President (and champion of CASL) Tony Clement approved Industry Canada’s regulations in their finalized form. These will be published in The Canada Gazette December 18, 2013.
Today, Canadian Minister of Industry the Honourable James Moore announced CASL will come into force in June, 2014.
Bringing CASL into being has been an arduous, but meticulously thorough consultative process. Beginning in May 2004 with the Federal Task Force on Spam, The Government of Canada, with input from hundreds of stakeholders with an interest in safe and responsible online messaging have worked tirelessly to develop and deploy the world’s most stringent and comprehensive anti-spam law.
Canada’s Anti-Spam Law, CASL, is now a done deal.
Cyber Monday is officially upon us. As I navigated my crowded inbox this morning one email in particular stood out. This email from J.Crew grabbed my attention because of its clever subject line and message. The subject line reads “Even your boss is shopping today”. This message speaks to the taboo activity of shopping while at work. The model in the email is even winking which to me subliminally says “its ok, no one will know”. By some estimates 49% of workers are expected to shop online while in the office this holiday season. This makes the message you communicate as well as the timing of the email even more important during the holiday season.
When I logged into my inbox Friday I expected to see a lot of black and I wasn’t disappointed. Black is naturally the go to color for Black Friday creative. However, when everyone is using black, how do you make your creative stand out in the crowd? Let’s take a look at some examples that did just that.
First let’s look at some examples that get lost in the sea of black. These examples from Staples and Fab are representative of the average Black Friday email creative. Not bad by most standards but they don’t exactly stand out.
This example from American Apparel uses black. However, they’ve created an eye catching contrast by using black elements on a light background. By using plenty of whitespace they’re able to really make the bold text and image stand out.
J.Crew uses a splash of red to create high contrast. The use of a bright red sweater in this example really makes it pop. I also find it interesting there’s no mention of “Black Friday”. Instead they call it “The gifts, gifts, gifts! Event”.
Coldwater Creek chose to use black as an accent color. It still references Black Friday and uses the color black but red is the featured color here. All that red combined with black and green accents give the email a nice seasonal feel.
Tiger Direct used an animated ticker in their creative. Animation is a good way to draw attention. In this case it also helps emphasize the limited amount of time you have to take advantage of the sale.
Another way to stand out is to avoid using black at all. This email from Nordstrom is full of bright colors which help it stand out. Barring the dotted border they completely avoided using black. They could have used black for the text “BLACK FRIDAY” but instead chose gray.
According to Listrak CEO Ross Kramer, Listrak customers had lots to be grateful for on Thanksgiving and Black Friday. Early Saturday morning, he shared the good news:
- On Thanksgiving Day, Listrak customers saw 53% overall growth in eCommerce sales
- On Thanksgiving Day, Listrak customers saw 29% growth in the email channel
- 57% of customers’ Thanksgiving day eCommerce revenue came via the email channel
- On Black Friday, Listrak customers saw 70% overall growth in eCommerce sales
- On Black Friday, Listrak customers saw 58% growth in the email channel
- 64% of customers’ Black Friday eCommerce revenue came via email
Ross adds, “Many of our mid-market winners beat the averages by doing a better job acquiring more email addresses throughout the entire year. They did so by implementing a combination strategy of modal light boxes on their sites, sweepstakes promotions and leveraging social media to capture customers’ email addresses.A number of our customers that saw triple digit growth on Black Friday did so because their email list was twice the size it was last year.”
For more details, check out Ross’s Google Hangout chat with Multichannel Merchant’s Tim Parry.
During the holiday season, I see many retailers successfully tailoring their emails to holiday shoppers. Most holiday emails, however, are specifically focused on Christmas specials or sales; what I don’t see as often are emails focused on Hanukkah, especially with regards to the creative. A search through my inbox will return many emails with “Hanukkah” in the subject line, but there are few examples that carry the theme through to the actual design. Here are two nice examples I’ve seen that focus on Hanukkah.
Check out The Grommet case study on our website.
The good news about Gmail tabs continues. Previously, Return Path reported that Gmail tabs were doing retailers little harm, and now, has just released findings that the promotions tab might actually benefit retailers this holiday season.
In a press release titled, “Happy Holidays, Marketers: Gmail Teaches Consumer to Shop from the Inbox,” the email intelligence organization reports that Gmail users are actively searching the promotions tab and reading as much commercial email as before.
Until now, the emails I’ve been getting from top Alexa-ranked clothing retailers have been curiously lacking in holiday spirit, despite the short timeframe the merchants have to promote it. I’ll be curious to see if emails begin looking more festive this week or if I’ll have to wait until after Thanksgiving. Take a look at what I’ve received so far:
According to my email files, Gap was the first to make a holiday mention on October 12. An email promoting a Columbus Day event featured this at the bottom:
Then on November 4, this appeared at the top of an email that had a non-holiday subject line, 1969 denim: new luxe treatments + washes:
The most recent (and only other) holiday reference I’ve seen from Gap was last Wednesday (November 13), and although it references gifts, it does not mention holidays specifically, nor does the landing page of winter items it links to.
Way back on October 17, Lands’ End sent an email with the subject line Sweater weather and an announcement of a holiday contest at the bottom of an email promoting a Focus on Fall Halloween sale. I’ve gotten nothing referencing holidays since:
On October 23, Victoria’s Secret sent an email with the subject line Your first gift of the season: Free tote with $75 purchase and a winter-themed hero shot with no particular holiday reference:
And the subtle winter (but not holiday) theme appeared again last Tuesday (November 12):
Then on Wednesday (November 13) an email with snowflakes and the visual above repeated lower in the email:
And on Friday (November 15), more winter, but nothing holiday-specific:
On November 21, I received this email from Forever 21 with the subject line Fab Holiday Finds For Your Favorites subject line and not a single email featuring a holiday reference since:
H&M began a bit earlier, sending this November 1 email. Although the email references holiday looks, the subject line was simply Stunning Party Styles + Exclusive Online Offers: 25% off & free shipping:
Then last Friday (November 15) a holiday subject line – New holiday collection + 50% off select sweaters online – and fairly subtle holiday references in the email’s photos:
I got my first and only holiday reference from J Crew in this email last Tuesday (November 12), but neither the email’s subject line nor images had a holiday theme:
American Eagle Outfitters
Last Wednesday (November 13) I got my first hint of the holidays from AEO with this subtle reference at the bottom of an email:
And on Friday (November 15) the words Warmest Wishes in this email gave the slightest hint of holiday:
Have the messages in your inbox been hitting the holidays hard yet?
I noticed that some retailers are using the word “Christmas” in subject lines and emails, instead of using a more generic term like “holiday” or a clever reference like “deck the halls.”
You certainly don’t want to exclude any of your customers, but that doesn’t mean that you have to leave out all references to Christmas in your holiday email campaigns. It is perfectly acceptable to mention it, like in the examples above.
Thanks to everyone who joined us this week on our webinar “Shopping Cart Recovery and Engagement Tactics of Top Retailers”. In case you missed it, you can watch it on demand here.
A lot of great questions came in during the webinar and we answered as many as we could during the live broadcast. However, we ran out of time and couldn’t get to them all. We wanted to follow up with answers to the ones we couldn’t get to during the live webinar:
Q - What content or message recommendations do you have for B2B companies that are unable to offer incentives/discounts as part of their abandoned cart campaigns?
A – Incentives aren’t always needed in remarketing campaigns. A lot of times, a simple reminder is enough to recapture the sale. But don’t rely on a single message. A series of three or four – or more – messages over a specific time frame works best. In this study, we received 11 messages from a retailer, and we have even seen another retailer send 24 messages in the series. The trick is to make the messages unique so customers aren’t receiving the same content over and over again, while keeping the abandoned products featured in the messaging. You should test to find out the right number of and cadence of the messages so you know what works best for your company. If you want to ease into sending multiple messages, you can always send the first three messages to non-purchasers and then send additional messages to non-openers. That way, you weed out the people who have opened messages but didn’t respond.
Q - How do you get shoppers email addresses if they just come to your site, add something to the cart, then abandon?
A – In order to send a remarketing campaign, you need the customer’s email address. Your checkout process should ask for that information first, but there is more you can do. We suggest using a modal lightbox or popover to acquire email addresses when customers arrive on your site as it greatly increases the number of customers you can reach when sales are abandoned. It is a tactic used by many of the top 1000 retailers and shoppers are becoming more familiar with the popovers. And, when done well, it enhances the customer experience and adds value. Check out this example from our client Beauty Collection.
Q - Do you have any information on whether or email senders are still sending promotional emails during the abandon cart cadences?
A – Any triggered email campaigns brings up this same concern. You always have to be aware of the different emails that your customers are receiving from you and how they work together. With Listrak, you can control what messages are being sent to ensure customers receive the right emails at the correct cadence. That way, they won’t receive messages that aren’t personalized or targeted to their needs, too many messages, or messages at the wrong time.
If you have any additional questions on the webinar or retail report, both of which may be found here, let us know!