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Given the depth of many ecommerce sites in terms of their product lines it often makes sense to single out products for one reason or another. Perhaps you need to dump suprluss inventory, or maybe you simply have a loss leader that you hope will get people into your shop. What ever your goal there is an asortment of approaches to this style of email blast.
The Sharper Image has this approach down really well. This particular sample is an email completly centered around a specific product. I find the focus of the email intriguing. It seems that so often it is tempting to throw tons of stuff into an email. This approach instead would seem to test the effectivness of a more focused approach.
The Borders emais also focus on specific products, but instead of a single item per email they typically have a whole bunch of them. These emails are clearly custom made and the visual interest of them is rather interesting. Great effort has been made to create a unified feel. This is much better then a simple list of random elements. It gives the products context and a sense of interest beyond simply showing the cover of the book. It can't be an easy task collecting all the artwork for their emails.
This New Balance example provides a special offer, in this case free shipping, with a list of specific items. This approach seems pretty smart to me, provide an enticing offer in conjunction with specific products the reader might like.
Overall the goal here is to move the shopping experince to the inbox. Why wait for the user to hit your site before you show them something to buy. This approach expedites the process and attempts to hook users early on.
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