Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Leap to it

A friend of mine, who I’ve known for more than 20 years, is convinced my birthday is 29th February. It doesn’t matter how many times I tell him my birthday is in January, the notion has taken on a tradition status, that I now look forward to the leap year to receive birthday greetings from him.

Email marketers have also cottoned on to the fact that an extra day is sort of special and have been sending me offers to ensure I spent my “spare” day shopping with them. I tallied a dozen emails in the past few days promoting leap year deals. And some were executed much better than others.

Lingerie etailer sent me an email with a 29 percent off discount code, making it the most generous marketer of the bunch. Similarly, Presents for Men also offered 29 percent off, but customers had to shop from a special “leap year” range. Other offers included “up to” 29 percent off, with an additional 10 percent discount code from Asos, while apparel and maternitywear specialist Isabella Oliver included a free mystery gift to leap year shoppers. 

Presents for Men

As well as the best offers, Isabella Oliver and Figleaves also stood out in my selection of 12 as having the most enticing subject lines. Isabella Oliver went for “Fashion for free, TODAY ONLY! Receive a special gift with every order” while Figleaves went straight for my wallet with “Because it only happens every 4 years! 29% off - Email Exclusive!”


Beauty and cosmetics etailer CheapSmells, seemed, well, cheap in comparison. The subject line was punchy enough: “One Day Only Leap Year Saver - 5 Percent Off Everything Voucher Code”. But upon opening the email, the code only applied on orders of £50 or more. As it only happens every four years, perhaps CheapSmells could have pushed the boat out a little more.

Clearly keen to capitalise on the leap year concept, QVC also sent a themed email. But I felt it missed the mark: “Miri, spread the cost of your favourite brands with QVC this Leap Day”. My first thought was “what, no special offer?” The email copy went on to say: “Leap Year only happens once every four years so to help you celebrate in style we are offering all on-air items and selected online items in 4 Easy Pay instalments. Enjoy a full day of your favourite shows and brands, including beauty from Laura Geller, home electronics from Bose and much more”. Is it just me, or does this email leave you feel a bit deflated?  Have we all become “too trained” to expect money off?


Another marketer I wanted to see more from was The Last Detail, which sells wedding favours and table decorations. Its email was definitely on the right tracks—with plenty of calls to action for subscribers to get involved in its debate as to whether women should propose to men (well, it is a leap year tradition). There were links to The Last Detail’s Facebook page, where subscribers could take the quiz to see if they’d found Mr Right (I have, it says), videos including “Our top 5 Wedding Proposals” and a blog post on the “Top 10 places to pop the question to your man...” Plenty going on in the email, but it wasn’t selling me anything. I would have liked to see at least a couple of product offers—after all, we have a whole four years to wait until the next leap year.--MT

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