Email Marketing

Email Marketing Report Card: sells gifts, fashion accessories and home decor items. It claims to make the online shopping experience quick, fun and simple. But what about its email marketing? requested a review from Practical eCommerce of its email marketing activities, which we are please to do.

Opt-in Process: Setting Expectations

Unlike most sites that have a signup box on just one page of their website, every page of’s website has a signup box in the footer. One advantage to placing the signup box in the footer is the proximity to GeoTrust and Hacker Safe icons.

I submitted my email address in the signup box, and it took me to a page asking to specify my interest groups, and also offers links to view archived versions of past newsletters (this gives me a preview of what I can expect).

It’s odd that the site places the archives in a blog, however. It makes me wonder if it’s a search-engine-optimization tactic, or if it’s just a limitation of its email marketing system. There’s a $100 shopping spree incentive on this page, however, which is a great way to prevent bailouts and to generate some viral attention.
I received a “welcome” email that included all the right stuff (and then some):

  • It set expectations for the frequency of the emails
  • It asked me to add Delight’s email to my address book (so future issues wouldn’t be accidentally spam filtered)
  • It included yet another link to view archived versions of the past emails
  • And a bonus! It came with two free downloads.

Finally, the welcome email was signed by “Lynda & Tracey,” the two co-founders of This adds a personal touch to the email, elevating it above the usual automated transactional welcome message.

The Creative: Overall Design And Function

The overall design of the “Today’s Delight” newsletter is terrific. A nice touch is the Hacker Safe badge that’s inside their header.

I also liked how just about every featured product in the email was pink, to coincide with the Valentine’s Day theme. Even the “View Details” button is hot pink.

There were some peculiarities with Delight’s HTML code, however. Its big, featured product photo wasn’t a simple graphic with a link to the product page. It was an image map (something you’d normally use on a graphic that has lots of little clickable “hot spots”). I have no idea why they’d use an image map instead of just a simple link. Whatever the case, the image had no alt-text beneath it, which is a no-no with HTML emails. Since most email programs leave images off by default, you want to include alt-text descriptions to entice recipients to click the “turn on images” button. Otherwise, they might not realize there’s something there to look at.

List Management: Keeping Its Lists Clean

Every email that I received came with’s physical mailing address, and an unsubscribe link. It even has an “update my preferences” link that allows me to stay on one list, but opt-out of another. This is crucial for anybody who sends daily emails. If a recipient gets tired of your daily messages, he or she can still stay subscribed to your weekly or monthly emails. chose to use the single opt-in method. I always recommend the double (or confirmed) opt-in method, because it gives you absolute proof that a recipient truly wants to be on your list. A website like runs the risk of false spam complaints for two reasons: Friends are very likely to sign up other friends, without their permission; and the daily emails can get annoying to some people, who might just click their “Report this as Spam” button, rather than the “Unsubscribe” link. Using double opt-in can help prevent the first problem from happening, and provide proof of opt-in should you get blacklisted for the second problem.

Landing Pages: Making The Sale

Bonus points go to for making sure every product thumbnail is linked to its own landing page on its website. Some email marketers would have been lazy, and just linked to the company home page instead. Linking to individual product pages can be tedious, but the whole point is to make it easy for the recipient to “click and buy” rather than make them hunt down the product on the site. When I get to a product’s landing page, I didn’t even have to scroll down to buy. The gigantic “Buy Now” button is well above the fold, right next to the huge product photo. All of this is excellent.

Summary got a near perfect overall score. Its graphic design was top-notch, and so was its copywriting (a rare combination). When it comes to email marketing, it’s not just about pretty newsletters and e-coupons. The devil is in the details, such as the signup form, welcome emails, and landing pages. To that end, was devilishly delightful!

Email Marketing Report Card

Opt-in Process A+
Creative Design A
List Management B
Landing Pages A+


Want your site graded? Email

Ben Chestnut
Ben Chestnut
Bio   •   RSS Feed