Ah, the clearance sale. Take all the stuff that didn’t sell, throw it on a page with deep discounts, cross your fingers, and hope to move some dead inventory.
The clearance sale email announcement gets handled in several different ways, but today we’ll look at how the folks at Kohl’s makes the announcement.
Subject Line and Visible Text
First, let’s look at how they try to grab the reader’s attention. Kohl’s uses the time honored tradition of telling the reader that they’re getting something special or secret with “Psst! Clearance is up to 80% off (not a typo)” along with some shopping cart emojis. It isn’t the most original subject line strategy, but it does tend to work well from an open rate perspective. The “Psst!” gives the reader the impression that whatever is in the email is a big secret and then they clearly show value with the “up to 80% off”.
I must say that I’m not a fan of the parenthetic message, as one should be able to safely assume that a company the size of Kohl’s would not send a subject line with a typo. The shopping cart emojis are fine, I’m just not a fan of adding them to email subject lines, as they don’t have the impact they had years ago.
I also did not care for the visible text, as it felt really thrown in and unintentionally takes attention away from the primary message. If the message is “Clearance Sale”, don’t muddy it by telling readers to also check out the “Kids’ Sale”. It really takes away from the overall message and is not important to people who don’t have kids (as this was clearly not a segmented email announcement).
Email Body Content
Here’s where it gets tricky. When running a big sale like this, the instinct is to show off a few of your deepest discounts to try and get people to click (especially if the discounts are on known or loved brands). Kohl’s correctly fights this instinct and goes with a clean image explaining the sale and providing links to the different subcategories of the sale.
As mentioned previously, I’m not a big fan of them adding the Kids’ Sale to this email, so the additional image promoting the sale in the body takes away from the overall body content. I do understand why they did it though. If you mention it in the Subject Line or Visible Text, you need to provide details in they body. It just should have been saved for a separate email that was only sent to parents of school aged children.