Best Buy

A Great Start

I’ve seen some inspiring marketing strategies from Best Buy lately. Unfortunately, the email designs have been a little lackluster. With a few adjustments, however, these emails could really stand out. Check out some of the ideas they’re bringing to the table and my suggestions about how to improve the email experience.

From: Best Buy
Date: 9/11/15
Subject Line: Man Caves and She Sheds—the ultimate getaways
Landing Page

Best Buy

I love the idea of the “makeover” email. The before and after room transformation is a fun, compelling, and original idea. Imagine how this could be applied across other brands. I’d LOVE to see a before and after makeover from a clothing or makeup retailer! As for the design, I like that they provided before and after photos. But the pros stop there. This email has a lack of hierarchy, too much information, not enough flow, and the supporting content doesn’t have enough tie-in so it feels almost unrelated.

From: Best Buy
Date: 9/24/15
Subject Line: ✈ Don’t Delay! Tech you need for your next trip.
Landing Page

Best Buy

“Six Activities for Family Fun.” This email focuses on fun ways to spend your summer and features products that make each activity possible. It’s a great soft sale, making the focus the activities instead of the products. I like the product cutouts that overlay the environment photos. It helps add dimension and ties the activities and products together. But, there is a lot of room for improvement with this email. The biggest missed opportunity has to do with the images. On the landing page each picture has a fun animation, but they didn’t include it in the email. This could have really made this email POP in a fun way. I would also suggest losing the 3 subsections (adventurous days, peaceful nights and connected at all times) — they create unnecessary division. Staggering the images would also add some much needed flow to this design. Finally, although the copy for each activity is short, they could use titles for even quicker scanning: Scavenger Hunt, Family 5K, Movie Night, and Staycation.

From: Best Buy
Date: 10/05/15
Subject Line: Got an appetite for fright?
Landing Page

Best Buy

Best Buy offers up 5 ways to make your house spooky for Halloween. They have some great ideas that are original (electronics that turn on unexpectedly and objects that move on their own), trendy (head in a jar) and awesome (who knew you could make your own two way mirror so easily?!). The pranks are quickly and easily explained, each with their own how-to video. It’s clear that a lot of thought was put into these. However, the email fell short by a landslide on this one. It doesn’t give any indication about what type of pranks can be found by clicking through. The lack of imagery and design really is a bummer. They also missed a BIG opportunity by not including an animated gif of the video/s from the landing page. On the plus side, the text is concise and scannable, so at least people know there are haunted tips to be found. But without any teasers, it’s not as likely to get many clicks.

From: Best Buy
Date: 10/21/15
Subject Line: Hey McFly—The Future is Here!
Landing Page

Best Buy

Movie fans around the world were celebrating October 21st this year for a unique reason. This was the day that Marty McFly and Doc jumped into the future in the classic Back to the Future sequel. Countless people were dressing up, watching the movie and sharing this event through social media. However, not a lot of retailers were cashing in on this craze. Best Buy was one of the few. They were able to stay current, to recognize chatter in social media and keep up with what people are interested in. Their landing page evaluated which tech from the movie actually became reality. It included everything from the hover board to the food hydration machine. I found the concept smart and fun. But, like the other examples, the email was lacking. On a positive note, the copy was concise and scannable. The subject line was clever. The hero image was a nice way to set the mood of the email – bringing back the nostalgia. But what the email is missing is a preview of some of the tech from the landing page. Rather than using a general hero image, I would have preferred to see staggered images of scenes from the movie with the tech they touch on.

Bottom line: Put the same amount of thought into your emails as you do for your landing pages. If you take the time to make a video or animation, include it in the email. Also make sure to keep in mind email design best practices: scalability, hierarchy, and flow. No matter how good your landing page is, without a compelling email, no one will see it.

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Who Wore It Better Hero

Who Wore It Better?

I’m sensing a trend here. What better way to make someone feel like they’re getting the most bang for their buck than to offer a versatile garment that can be worn day after day? Here are three emails that highlight just that. So which email design “wore it” best? Let’s evaluate.

From: Anthropologie
Date: 8/14/15
Subject Line: Our most versatile dress yet (+ free ship).


0825_check-mark Product image above the fold
0825_check-mark Design flow
0825_check-mark Outfit pairing(s)
0825_check-mark Stunning product imagery
0825_uncheck Landing page expectation

I love this email’s outdoor photography (as opposed to studio) and the product pairings with each outfit. These two elements make the design most appealing and adds value by doing the tough “pairing” work for the subscriber. Not to mention that it offers the most opportunity for click-throughs. My only criticism is that none of the links take you to the featured product. Instead they go to the general category where you are forced to scroll to find the product. Even though their copy suggests that it might go to the category (tanks, shirt dresses and pullovers), the imagery and email topic sets another expectation. I would suggest either providing links for the product in addition to the category, or at the very least providing the name of the featured products.

From: Banana Republic
Date: 8/21/15
Subject Line: Take this dress in 2 directions

Banana Republic

checkmark Product image above the fold
checkmark Design flow
checkmark Outfit pairing
uncheck Stunning product imagery
checkmark Landing page expectation

Banana Republic comes in a close second. While it has lots of things going for it, it doesn’t have as much versatility when it comes to product uses and pairings. Out of the three emails, it’s landing page was handled the best (although still not entirely ideal). It too only has a link to shop by the category. However, what makes it better than the others is that the product list begins with the featured dress.

From: LOFT
Date: 8/25/15
Subject Line: How to wear it: 1 piece, 2 ways


checkmark Product image above the fold
uncheck Design flow
uncheck Outfit pairing
uncheck Stunning product imagery
uncheck Landing page expectation

Although LOFT places last, they excel in original uses for the featured product. The text slightly overlaying the images (also done in the Banana Republic design) is a nice touch to break from the norm and tie in the copy with the images. Their biggest downfall is with their landing page. Like the other emails, the “shop” links all take you to a category page, again forcing you to scroll and search for the product. The “explore” button (that’s above the fold) takes you to a more appropriate landing page that matches the email design, but even the links on that page have issues. For example, when the “shop” button below the cargo skirt is clicked, it goes to a page featuring the poncho or the cardigan first. IMHO, the skirt should appear first and the pairings below it. The hero image is also broken on EVERY product page, saying “Hold, please. Image coming soon.”

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