Subject line Saturday: Summer is coming (and other stuff)

So, I did a great job last weekend cleaning out my inbox, writing and pre-scheduling three posts, and adding new ideas to my spreadsheet about other things to write about.

Then I had a really busy week at work, a long-term houseguest make an appearance, and a cold on top of that. So it’s back to 200 again. Sigh. An email snarketer’s work is never done.

I did find a lot of emails with interesting/horrible subject lines though, so it seems like as good of a time as any to actually do Subject Line Saturday like I always intended. Here goes!


From: Gap
When: 4/14/14 (A Monday…)
Subject: Is it the weekend yet?

I ask that every Monday.

From: Banana Republic
When: 4/24/14
Subject: Hey! You’ll want to see this…

I didn’t. It wasn’t introducing any new products, and it was the same 40% off discount they’ve been promoting for the last… all the time.

From: Bonobos
When: 5/7/2014
Subject: Almost 300 new items? Holy $#!%

Whoa. They had been pushing that they had a lot of new items for a few days, but this subject line got my attention. The email was very simple, but nice – a collection of various products (with no text around them) organized by color.

From: J. Crew
When: 5/12/14
Subject: OK, it’s really, truly, actually sunny out. Sandal shopping’s a go.

Love it. I was on vacation at the time, and it was definitely sunny and I was definitely wearing sandals. I’d like to think they geo-targeted this a little and saved it for days when it was actually sunny where they sent it. The body of the email was cute too – the header said “9 reasons to get a pedicure ASAP. Start scrolling” (Oh, J. Crew. I don’t need 9 reasons. If it’s warm enough for open toed shoes, I promise my feet will always have a pedicure less than 2 weeks old.) Then it showed 9 large, pretty pictures of cute sandals. Niiiiice.

From: Staples
When: 5/13/14
Subject: Think mailing supplies aren’t cool? Try mailing without them.

Um, could this subject line be any dorkier? I love it. I’m picturing someone who works in a mailroom or post office and is really, really, proud of their work, and trying to convince other people their job is cool. (And I think as email marketers, we can all relate to this. The struggle.) The email itself wasn’t anything special – showed some normal looking mailing supplies, offered a discount, showed some other products.

From: Barnes & Noble
When: 5/16/14
Subject: From Page to Screen – Top Books That Made It to Theaters & TV This Year

This subject wasn’t particularly flashy or witty like the others. It was actually really direct and clear. I love reading, and a lot of my favorite books seem to end up getting made int movies. I opened the email because I wanted to see if the ones I’ve read were “top” books, and I wanted to see if there were others I might like. I haven’t written about Barnes & Noble emails yet, but I think they do a great job of showcasing lots of different books, with just the right amount of text summarizing them.

From: J.Crew
When: 5/20/14
Subject: All packed?

Right before a holiday weekend, when everyone is daydreaming about not being at work. Yaaaaasssss. This email highlighted a few products that might be nice for a long weekend, and offered up a 25% discount, online only. (The flaw in that plan – would the products actually get to someone who was leaving 3 days later in time for them to pack them for a trip?)

From: Jack Spade
When: 5/21/14
Subject: Out of office

Jack Spade took a similar route. This email was so simple, but so great. It used one of the images from the road trip email they sent a few weeks ago, and then just had a few products that people might want to bring on a long weekend away. 

From: New York & Company
When: 5/23/14
Subject: $5?

Well, that’s the shortest subject line I’ve ever seen.  Their pre-header gave more detail: Unbelievable NY Deals + Everything else buy one, get one 50% off! Shop NOW. Since most of their emails rely heavily on discounts (it’s not like they can rely on having stylish clothes…), I’m sure this appealed to their customers. It only had one $5 item (sunglasses), but then had other things that were pretty low-priced.

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