Macy’s Email: Does It Have the Magic of Macy’s to Reengage Subscribers?

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Macy’s Email Grade: [B]

Subject Line


Preview Pane


Eye Path


Clarity of Message


Call to Action






Sense of Urgency


February 13, 2014

Organization Overview

Macy’s is the largest brand of premier retailer Macy’s Inc., which also owns and operates Bloomingdale’s. With its flagship store located in New York City’s Herald Square, Macy’s delivers fashion brands for him, her, and the home through its nearly 800 retail locations in the United States, as well as through its e-commerce site.

Subject Line Doesn’t Quite Do the Trick

This reengagement email was sent to a Macy’s subscriber who hadn’t opened or interacted with an email from the retailer in several months. “Hurry & say yes to Macy’s emails…the clock’s ticking!” was the subject line of the email. Macy’s is a huge, well-known brand. That’s why the inclusion of Macy’s in the subject line alone may be enough to encourage people to open the email. Plus, “the clock’s ticking” gives subscribers the impression that there’s a time limit associated with this email. We suggest, however, that more could have been done with this email subject line to encourage opens. For example, telling people what’s in it for them if they “say yes” to Macy’s emails is one way to make the subject line stronger.

The preview pane without images effectively uses alternative text in the images. Other than the unsubscribe line, however, the only clickable text in the body of the email is the “Confirm Now” alt text. And it’s not prominent — located within a blank image box and in very small font. Making the “Say YES to Macy’s emails!” headline and the “Yes” next to the box clickable likely would have increased the clickthroughs in this email, especially for those subscribers who viewed only the preview pane without images.

Excellent Eye Path and Crystal-Clear Message

The email has a simple design with an effectual eye path. The subscriber’s attention is drawn from the logo to the headline — “Say YES to Macy’s emails!” — to the “confirm now” call to action. The main purpose of the email message is also quite clear — let Macy’s know if you, the subscriber, still want to receive emails from the retailer. In addition, the unsubscribe message is also made accessible — centered right below the call-to-action button — for subscribers who are no longer interested in receiving Macy’s promotional emails.

The call-to-action button is prominent and clear with an attractive, standout design. Again, having the headline also clickable may have helped drive even more conversions. The offer is that by saying “yes” subscribers will continue to get information about sales, deals, and events. We suggest that an incentive — such as 10% off the subscriber’s next purchase — would make the offer much stronger. Plus, an incentive could be used in the headline, as well as in the subject line, to give subscribers even more reason to say yes to Macy’s emails.

Disappearing Sense of Urgency

Although the subject line hinted that there was a deadline for response, there is no sense of urgency in this email. Yet, if a deadline had been set and tied to an incentive offer — such as saying yes by a certain date to get a 10%-off coupon — recipients would have been more motivated to click.

The Macy’s brand is well known and has very high credibility. That alone may be enough to encourage many of the subscribers who haven’t recently engaged with the company’s emails to open and click on this email to continue receiving information about Macy’s sales and events.

Disclaimer: FulcrumTech does not have access to the performance data relating to this promotional email, so any tests performed on this email can’t be reflected in FulcrumTech’s commentary.

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