This was a very busy week for email blasts. On Monday, I received 31 emails from retail jewelers, on Tuesday 37 email, 43 emails on Wednesday, and even 35 emails on Thanksgiving day by the time I posted this. I sign up for new emails all the time and most jewelry stores never send any emails until the holiday season.
In fact, I saw a few emails on Tuesday from retailers I signed up with more than 6 months ago and had never heard from before then.
On the right you can see two emails I received this week that I want you to take a quick look at. One of them is clearly from a jewelry store and the other is clearly from someone with a serious identity crisis. You can click either of them to make them larger.
The red ad is from Rogers & Hollands Jewelers. It shows a happy couple with a gift bag next to a black and white diamond pendant. The pendant clearly shows a "Special Holiday Price," the original value, and the call to action of "3 Days Only, While Quantities Last."
The trick to Black Friday ads is that they always need to illustrate a clear discount that is unlike any other that's been offered before, or will be offered again. This Rogers & Hollands ad does just that. It's not cluttered at all. At the bottom, there are 3 additional pieces of jewelry with their holiday special pricing.
The center of the ad also says you can get an iPod shuffle if you purchase $399.99 or more. Notice how the ad simply mentions the iPod rather than promoting that free gift with a photo, yet it's clearly understandable.
On the other hand, look at the black ad now. That one is from EM Smith Jewelers, except that the word "jewelers" is visually usurped by the amazing amount of other clutter in this ad.
From my experience, I'd expect that an email recipient would see the name Smith, then Black Friday, then the 46" Flat Screen HD TV.
As an analyst, I can tell you that this layout look more like a Best Buy email than a jewelry store email. In the first half of the ad you see a TV, iPad, PS4, Call of Duty game, and the watches that can easily be mistaken as Android or iWatches.
It's really confusing to see a jewelry photo following that "Best Buy" ad. Then to make it worse, then there's a YouTube video of a couple being served drinks at a bar.
This email was possibly put together in haste and no one thought it through after a draft or two. I do agree with the free giveaway offers on Black Friday as a way to get people in the door, but a jeweler needs to remember that they are first and foremost a jewelry store.
Since I'm picking on EM Smith Jewelers so much, let me also chastise them for their use of Constant Contact, Twitter, and Facebook.
Take a look at this screen grab from the EM Smith Twitter account:
Both of those tweets were posted at 7:33pm on November 25th.
The top one says:
Black Friday Specialshttp://conta.cc/17SZZF7 http://fb.me/6DSAypIgT
The bottom one says:
Black Friday Specials #constantcontacthttp://conta.cc/17SZZF7
Both of them have the same Constant Contact link, that's the conta.cc/17SZZF7. That link goes to the archived landing page for the email. It's the same email I showed you above.
The one on the top also has a Facebook shortened link of fb.me/6DSAypIgT. That link goes to the actual Facebook status post.
What you see happening here is one of the worst ways to set up your Facebook and Twitter accounts. EM Smith allows Constant Contact to directly post to their Twitter account and their Facebook account. However, they also have their Facebook account configured to feed tweets as well. The result is an instantaneous duplicate post, which is wrong.
You should never feed your Facebook posts directly into Twitter. Deactivate that setting now if you have it. Instead, you should be posting to each social network individually.
FTC Notice: I randomly choose to review these email ads and won't be telling the retailer jeweler that I'm doing a review. I'm not doing this to solicit business from them, but rather as an educational exercise for everyone. This review is completely impartial and all my comments are listed in the order that I discovered them.