For online retailers, the days before and after Thanksgiving can determine a successful holiday season. Toys“R”Us, the large U.S.-based toy retailer, uses email marketing extensively during the holidays. I’ll analyze Toys“R”Us’s email strategies in this article — to help other merchants with their email promotion efforts.
For its holiday email marketing, Toy”R”Us is increasing its email frequency, utilizing creative subject lines, and promoting deep discounts. And it’s including mobile versions of its emails, in addition to traditional desktop versions.
Increased Email Frequency
As a Toys”R”Us email subscriber, I typically receive a few emails each week. Unless I have a birthday party for a niece or nephew coming up, I usually delete without opening or reading the emails. Despite that, I am still apparently in Toy”R”Us’s frequent email bucket as I receive the emails often. In the past few days, however, the company has noticeably increased the frequency. It’s not just daily emails, but as often as three times per day.
Creative Subject Lines
Subject lines can be the most crucial element of any email campaign. If a recipient is not interested enough to open an email, then the message and creative content becomes is useless. For the holiday season, determine the most interesting and appealing subject lines to get subscribers to open.
When increasing frequency, take special note of your subject lines. They should differ greatly. It is also a great time to test different strategies in subject line writing. Toys“R”Us is offering a wide variety of different groups of toys in its emails. It is also mixing discounted pricing and free shipping offers. The emails it sends multiple times per day have a wide range of subject lines and product and pricing offers.
For the holidays, shoppers look for great deals; retailers know they have to provide value to attract customers. Already, Toys“R”Us is offering free shipping — with no minimum order amount — and 10 percent off with rewards offers. Free shipping will no doubt be popular this holiday season, with more and more shoppers expecting it.
Offer a Mobile Version
For this holiday season, consumers will increasingly use mobile devices to read their emails. If you have a mostly image-based email, make sure you include a link — at the top — for a mobile version. The mobile version should not be glamorous. But if it means the difference between someone looking at your email or not, it’s better to have. The objective of any mobile version is to quickly convey the value of the email and provide easy links to the landing pages — in as few steps as possible. Ideally, merchants should create emails that are optimized already for mobile devices — it’s one less click a mobile consumer must take to get to the site.
Getting consumers to your site is step number one. Once they leave your site without completing the purchase, make sure you have all your retargeting efforts in place, including abandoned cart emails or other triggered emails to help bring those customers back to your site to complete their purchases. I’ve addressed triggered email strategies here previously, at “The Power of Triggered Emails; 6 Examples”.
The holiday season is here now; it’s crunch time for many retailers. In Toy”R”Us’s case, it is increasing its email frequency and using compelling subject lines for a wide variety of products and offers. It’s also linking to the mobile versions of the emails.