Email Watch: J. Jill Dresses to Under-Impress

Posted on by Beth Negus Viveiros

While I am a semi-regular customer of J. Jill, I'm not always overwhelmed by their email creative.

I receive emails from J. Jill on almost a daily basis (today's March 20, and I've gotten emails from them 17 days so far this month, including two days they've mailed twice). Of those 19 emails, prior to writing this I had only opened five.

The subject lines aren't bad, more often than not they're straightforward information about free shipping or discounts—not overly exciting, but valuable information to customers. But, as was very clear after a message I received today, the emails' content is often just not quite on the mark.

"Save the Date for Our Spring Dressing Event!" Cool—is this about a dress sale? I could use something new for Easter (although the choice of dressing makes me wonder….is this an event about dresses? Or getting dressed? Or, inexplicably, salad dressing?)

Inside, I'm asked to "save the date" for the event this weekend. "Your style's the occasion!" reads the interior copy. Um, okay…..care to be a bit more specific? The graphic—an attractively set table outdoors—doesn't give much of a clue.

I click through the "find a store near you link," thinking maybe there's more information about the sale on the website. But no, there's just a plain vanilla store locator directing me to my three nearest stores, one of which is closed for renovations.

While this is obviously a teaser email, and it did pique my interest enough to write about them, it seems like a bit of a waste. If there truly is an event that would be worth my time to make my way to the brick and mortar store, I'd love to know about it today, so I could plan ahead.

(And to think, J. Jill did promise that they wouldn't "tees me" in an previous email for, yes, tee shirts. Tees, tease, tomato, to-mahto.)

Another email from a few weeks ago had the headline "Look what's cropping up, and an extra 25% off sale". This, I assumed, must be about crop pants. No, it was about sweaters, with the interior "Crop, in the name of love." Never mind that on first glance I read "crop" as something else (just replace the vowel…yes, I know I'm immature)—what does that mean?

Still, the confusing copy did get my attention, which is a good trick when you look back and notice that the creative is almost identical to that used for numerous other recent messages.

There is something to like in J. Jill's copy though—another recent email (again, using the same template) pictured a bright yellow sweater with the copy "fresh squeezed lemon shade—our perfect cardigan is back, now with a little more juice." Or another: "Give silk a spin (cycle)—fully saturated machine-washable silk makes everyday luxury a little easier."

Have you received any emails recently that got your attention, for better or worse? Let me know at beth.negus@penton.com (please put Emails We Love in the subject line).

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