July 29, 2014

A Longitudinal Perspective On Messaging

Read the subject lines from this leading apparel brand. These are actual subject lines, on the dates I received the message from this company.

There are three things I want for you to think about.
  1. What is your overall perception of this company, after reading five weeks of messages? Do you think this company believes in the product they sell?
  2. If you were an Inventory Manager, how would you feel about the cadence of the discounts, given that fall apparel will be introduced next month?
  3. If you were a customer, how would you feel about receiving 30% off, only to receive a promotion days later that is better? Or 40% off, only to receive a promotion days later that is better? Or 50% off, only to receive a promotion days later that is better? Or 60% off, only to receive a promotion days later that is better? Or 70% off, ........ 
June 22: Save 30% on your order - ending soon.

June 23: Ends today: 30% off your order.

June 24: Save 30% on your order for one more day. (if you were pressured into ordering on June 23, ooops).

June 24: Tick tock: 30% off.

June 26: Limited time: 40% off swim! (if you were pressured into buying swim at 30% off for the past few days, ooops).

June 27: Dive in! 40% off swimwear | Mens.

June 28: 40% off swim, everybody in!

July 1: Ends today: 40% off swim for the family.

July 1: It's not too late!

July 2: Light the sparklers: 40% off 2 items!

July 3: Get ready for fireworks & save 40% on 2 items.

July 4: 4th of July savings: 40% off 2 + up to 65% off sale items.

July 5: Celebrate & save 40% on 2 items - ends tomorrow.

July 6: Final hours to save 40% on 2!

July 7: Sale on! Up to 65% off (and to think I was getting a good deal on 40% off 2 items).

July 8: All you need for summer is now up to 65% off.

July 9: Summer at Lands' End: save up to 65% now.

July 10: Summer Sale: beat the head with up to 65% off.

July 11: Swim spectacular: 50% off (hope you didn't buy swim on July 6, or June 28).

July 12: The swimwear you love, now 50% off.

July 13: 50% off swimwear for the entire family.

July 14: 50% off swim + summer's coolest shirts.

July 15: 50% off swimwear & more ends today.

July 15: Only hours left to save 50% on swim!

July 16: 2 days only: 40% off all shoes!

July 17: The buys of summer: now up to 60% off.

July 18: Up to 60% off summer styles for the family (swim better not be a summer style).

July 19: Sizzling summer sale - save up to 70%.

July 20: Save now on swim & summer styles - up to 70% off (hope you didn't buy swim at just 60% off two days ago).

July 21: Save up to 70%, beat the heat with cool summer savings.

July 22: Last day to save up to 70% on the Buys of Summer!

July 22: Only hours left!

July 23: Today only! 60% off swimwear.

July 24: Summer's Last Splash - up to 70% Off!

July 25: Don't miss summer's last splash, save up to 70%.


  1. Hi Kevin, the retailer gave themselves away in one of the subject lines:

    July 9: Summer at Lands' End: save up to 65% now.

    That is a lot of sales emails to send. What happens in August - does the discounting cycle start all over again?

  2. Some of the increases in discounting are associated with end-of-the-season activity ... many retailers increase discounts in June and July (and August) before Fall merchandise arrives.


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