Apr 9, 2010

Inbox roundup: Rags to riches

Miss Money Penny is a great Australian online small business success story. Their model is pretty simple, the site is designed to help people sell their unwanted designer clothing and accessories.

In the style of ebay, upload your product photos, the description & price and when it sells, the site gets a cut.

Putting aside the issues that I have with the usability and user interface of the site itself, I'm going to look at their email communication for now.  It's ripe for some tweaking.

First up, the subscription process is an interesting one.  While the form is pretty standard and concise, the resulting email is not a subscription confirmation or a welcome at all - rather it's an inquiry confirmation and seems to be a product of a questionable CRM.  Secondly, it's from Vanessa D, rather than MMP.  Lastly, this email states

Campaign Newsletter Subscriptions
[Miss Money Penny Newsletter] - requires you to verify your subscription.
There's no link here so I don't know what the purpose of that copy is at all.

So, about the email itself, I think there's a lot of things that can be improved.  Let's start at the top, the subject line (Just In Designer Resale Finds) is missing a hyphen or a colon or something after Just In.  Is re-sale hyphenated?

There seems to be a bit of a waste of space above the header with a few lines of blank white before the read online and unsub text.  Trimming this down would help get more content above the fold considering that the header is so big.

Next up is the centered text. What's up with that?  There's a reason why GeoCities doesn't exist anymore and this is one major one.  If this text blinked and the background was a repeating pattern, I could swear I was back in the early 90's!

Grammatically, this is a little epileptic, with the random use of capitalisation and the repetition in the "Click here for our Fave's our Fave's".

To improve the aesthetics and overall effectiveness of this email, I would put this feature item first and re-write the copy to be a short, personalised intro.  I'd crop this photo so as no to suck up so much real estate. Then I'd stick the first four images at the top of the email below this feature.  I think that layout makes more logical sense to the reader and flows nicer.

As for the last third of the layout, I get the idea of having a quirky image to sign off with but I think this section can be improved a little.  The whole site is about buying and selling desirable designer brands.  Those brands mentioned in the copy below the photo should be much more prominent and hyperlinked to the site.  It's a great CTA, use it!

I think there's a great opportunity for testing and optimisation of this email.  Guaranteed that whatever clickthrough stats are being achieved now could be improved with a bit 'designer alteration'.