This is an interesting one. I saw an email this morning from the folks over at Hot Topic promoting a Harry Potter sale. The email looks great, but I found the subject line to be a bit disappointing. Let’s discuss:
Subject Line and Visible Text
First off, let me say that I do appreciate the effort in terms of speaking the language that your target audience speaks. Harry Potter has a legion of fans and lots of them can recite the names of several spells (as well as all sorts of other stuff from the Potterverse). Accio is one of the better known spells along with phrases like “Expecto Patronum” and “Wingardium Leviosa” (pronounced “Wing-gar-dium Levi-o-sa” to avoid pissing off Harmione).
As with any hardcore audience, these fans can and will correct you if you’re using a word, term, or phrase incorrectly. So when I saw the subject line stating “Say Accio! to this Harry Potter sale”, it immediately struck a bit of a nerve.
As most people who read the books and watched the movies know, “Accio” is an utterance one would use for a summoning charm. As such, the phrasing of the subject line is a bit awkward. To give you an example (yes, this is going to get nerdy), when Harry needs his Firebolt in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, he shouts “Accoi Firebolt!”, as the common use of the spell is saying Accio and following it with the item you are trying to summon.
With this in mind, a better subject line might have been something like “Accio Harry Potter Sale!” or “Accio Harry Potter Gear!” (just spitballing off the top of my head here). In addition, using an “inside baseball” term like “accio” almost automatically requires some sort of visible text to give an extra hint to casual fans who might be fans but not that hardcore.
Email Body Content
Nothing but praise for the email body. The images look great and the color palette are very on point for a Harry Potter themed email. The product selection is excellent as well, as it clearly demonstrates the depth and breadth of the collection at Hot Topic.
Overall, a very solid effort. I just expect a bit more accuracy from Hot Topic considering how much fandom they and their customers are all about.