Inbound MarketingMarketing Tips and TricksOutbound Marketing

Online Holiday Shopping: Messaging for Retail Success

By December 8, 2016 June 14th, 2019 No Comments

With Black Friday and Cyber Monday behind us, we stand at the task of wading through our inbox full of promotional email from our favorite retailers. We see subject lines like, ‘Black Friday Sales: 50% off everything!” and “Don’t Miss Our Cyber Monday Deals.” So on, and so on. As the skeptical marketer that I am, I typically go for the select all + delete method.

 I’m currently in the process of consolidating email addresses, so I’ve been paying extra attention to my “junk” emails to unsubscribe from what I don’t want, and updating preferences for those I do. The emails I typically purge immediately, I’ve been scanning through. This has given me an unintentional look at the tactics retailers are using to get shoppers to click on their emails.

I can picture these content marketers bouncing around subject lines in their head asking themselves, “What will make customers click on our email?” While attractive and effective subject lines are all well and good, if the offer inside your email doesn’t get them intrigued enough to click through to your website and make a purchase, what’s the point?

Here are 3 emails I received during the furor that is the holiday online shopping season that I found (1) the subject line compelling enough to open the email, and (2) the email message was intriguing and I clicked through to the site and likely made a purchase.

1. Amazon

Subject Line:


What about this subject line made me click? 

I’m already a loyal Amazon customer, so naturally I’m going to be clicking most email from them during this season. Reputation proceeds them with their historically stellar deals on Cyber Monday, especially when I’m invited to get in “early.” I know, I know. They send these emails to a huge segment. I’m not special in that regard. But it makes me FEEL special. I get early access to something that regular people don’t.

Why was this email effective?


It’s simple and to the point. There isn’t a lot of extra imagery and text, the call-to-action is easy to see, and there are no extra hoops to jump through. Clicking through this email, I’m directed to a page of the top deals and getting right to where I can spend money.


2. Nordstrom Rack

Subject Line:


What about this subject line made me click?

Free Shipping! As a regular Amazon shopper and Prime member, I’m spoiled with free shipping. So I get cranky when I don’t get it at other retailers (Like I said, spoiled). I like to take advantage of these free shipping offers from online retailers whenever possible. Making loyal customers feel special keeps them coming back even more often than they already do.

Why was this email effective?


After the ‘Free Shipping’ subject gets me to open the email, they throw in an additional 75% off! I can’t resist a deal like this. Making an offer in the subject line is great, but tossing in another once the customer opens, will ensure a click through and probable purchase.

3. Fitbit

Subject Line:


What about this subject line made me click?

Last chance!? I better act now. Urgency is a great way to get customers to open your email.

Why was this email effective?


The urgency of “last chance” gets me to open the email. After I open, the retailer gives me details on what I’ll be saving. I’m likely to click through and shop if the deal is good enough and it’s a product I like.

Other than learning that I’m a sucker for a good deal, I hope these emails helped show you effective ways to get customers to open and click through your emails.

To recap, making your customers feel special and reward them for loyalty, a bait and switch (the good kind), and urgency are great tactics to to killer open and click-through rates, and hopefully more sales!

Have you received some great emails this past week? Comment below and let us know. Get some really bad ones? Share those as well!

Enjoy the Holiday season and Happy Online Shopping!

Solomon Solution

Solomon Solution

At Solomon, we believe every lead, contact, and opportunity is more than a transaction – they’re relationships that need to be nurtured far beyond a single campaign or transaction. We are an engagement design firm that focuses upon the real motivators for strong customer engagement and we deliver actionable solutions and company-wide marketing strategies. Solomon Solution uses innovative products and expert consulting services to transform your customer engagement journey – from initial spark to advocacy.

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