Golden Rules of Introducing Sister Sites by Email

One of the many retail emails I subscribe to is Rampage, which recently notified its mailing list of a new brand called Golden State (separate e-store).

I’ve been a long-time follower of Chad White’s Retail Email Blog, and recall he’s commented a couple times on introducing sister brands in his AM Inbox column, including Gap’s Piperlime, Oriental Trading’s Terry Village and Harry and David’s Wolferman’s brand.

Gap / Piperlime

Oriental Trading / Terry Village

Harry and David / Wolferman’s

Chad said of the Oriental Trading example:

Oriental Trading gives us a good example of how to introduce your subscribers to a sister brand with a dedicated email. First, the email arrived with its usual sender name and address, so it’s instantly recognizable as coming from Oriental Trading. Second, it carries their usual Oriental Trading logo and header—again, guaranteeing that the email is recognized as coming from Oriental Trading. And third, they offer a separate sign up for Terry’s Village emails, and do a good job of setting expectations around the content of those emails.

Unfortunately Golden State dropped the ball, using a new, unfamiliar sender name and branded subject line.

The email itself (provided the subscriber actually clicked through) does refer to Rampage in faint, fancy lettering – easy to miss. Third, the unsubscribe link is an afterthought in the email footer – who reads email footers?

Golden State Clothing is a division of Larry Hansel Clothing, the creators of Rampage. You have received this email from the newsletters of Rampage.com.
To receive more emails from Golden State Clothing, sign up for the newsletter at http://www.goldenstateclothing.com.

So, if you’re thinking of introducing a new brand or store to your existing email subscribers, make sure you:

  • Use your regular sender name and sender address
  • Clearly reinforce the familiar brand while introducing the new one
  • Explain a bit about the new store and shopping experience in the email (set expectations)
  • Provide a clear opt-in to the new list, don’t hide it
  • A bonus would be a discount or free shipping offer

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