It used to be called the January sales, but it seems like most retailers have had sales since at least the beginning of December. And they're still going... 

This is apparent in the sheer number of emails I receive from retailers. However, rather than delete them, I've decided to study them in more detail to see which brands are doing this well.

I've selected a few examples from emails I received over Christmas and New Year. Not that many stood out but there are some good features here. 

Schuh

This is very useful indeed. Schuh provides links straight to the parts of the sale that are most relevant to recipients. 

So, when I select my shoe size, I get this landing page: 

It's a very useful feature which saves shoppers time which would otherwise be spent navigating through the sale section.

It also tells recipients that they can quickly check out whether there's anything in the sale for them. 

Pizza Express 

A similar example here, with a call to action on the email to retrieve the 40% off code. 

This leads to a landing page showing my nearest three Pizza Express restaurants so I can grab the relevant code. 

Zavvi

Zavvi's subject lines here are brief, meaning they are visible in most email clients. They are also descriptive and to the point. 

Argos

Click and collect is a key differentiator for multichannel retailers and comes into its own after the last Christmas delivery dates have passed. 

So it's a smart move by Argos to remind users about the service and provide links to check opening times of local stores. 

Amazon

Parry Malm wrote an article last Christmas explaining why sending more emails at this time of year is a good idea

Amazon has taken this on board and sent me one or two emails a day for the whole of December.

This is not just a scattergun approach though, the emails are generally personalised and based on my previous behaviour on the site, and thus are more likely to pique my interest. 

Norman Records

Nice simple and clean email with a clear call to action. 

Jet2.com

This is a great example of using the inbox as a branding tool.

Flights aren't the most obvious Christmas gift, and most people will probably book just one or two a year, but Jet2's emails work as they reinforce the message that their flights are good value. 

The company doesn't know when I'm going to book a flight and when I do decide it would be pure conincidence if I received an email from Jet2 at the time. 

However, even if unopened, the email subject lines, complete with plane icons, tell me that Jet2 is worth checking out when I need a flight. 

TruffleShuffle

This email, sent two days before Christmas, advises customers that they can still order in time for the big day. 

Offering late delivery options is a great way to grab some extra sales from less forward-thinking competitors, and provides a great hook for emails. 

 

Graham Charlton

Published 8 January, 2015 by Graham Charlton

Graham Charlton is the former Editor-in-Chief at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter or connect via Linkedin or Google+

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