Toys “R” Us Email Review: Is This the Mother of All Nurturing Emails?

Toys 'R' Us Email Review: Is This the Mother of All Nurturing Emails?

Toys “R” Us Email Grade: [A-]

Subject Line & Preheader


Preview Pane


Eye Path


Clarity of Message


Call to Action*


Offer & Urgency*



*Not applicable
Email grades are based on a 5-point scale: A = 5, B = 4, C = 3, D = 2, F = 1

July 11, 2017 —

Organization Overview

Founded in 1948, Toys “R” Us, Inc., is a toy and baby retail company based in Wayne, New Jersey. In addition to a wide variety of toys, Toys “R” Us offers such merchandise as baby gear and furniture, bedding, apparel, bikes, video games, sporting goods, play sets, pools, and other outdoor products.

According to the company’s website, there are currently 880 Toys “R” Us and Babies “R” Us stores in the United States, Puerto Rico, and Guam, as well as more than 780 international stores and more than 245 licensed stores located in 37 countries and jurisdictions. Shoppers can also choose from an extensive online selection of products at the company’s websites: and

Outstanding Subject Line and Preheader Capture Attention


That’s the subject line of a nurturing email sent on Mother’s Day to a customer who signed up to receive promotions through the Toys “R” Us and Babies “R” Us rewards programs. This subject line is distinctive and stands out in the inbox. And it’s also amusing—especially to moms, who can identify with children sounding just like that when demanding immediate attention.

The subject line is followed by the simple and nurturing preheader: “Love you ❤.” Just like the subject line, this preheader helps to cut through the clutter of the typical promotional emails that fill inboxes.

Clean Preview Pane and Strong Eye Path

The preview pane without images is clean and uses alternative text for the images. For example, the phrase “happy mother’s day” is featured in the main image box. However, the alternative text in the preview pane provides little motivation for recipients to download the images.

The eye path is strong, guiding the recipient’s attention to the black text that expresses appreciation for mothers and aptly starts with the headline, “Celebrating you, Mom.” The playful image of a mom and 2 children is compelling and evokes happy emotions; however, the white text on the image wishing recipients a happy Mother’s Day is difficult to read.

Copy Is User-Centric and Successfully Communicates Customer Appreciation

The main message of this nurturing email is to express appreciation for customers. This appreciation is clearly and effectively communicated and highly user focused in the main text of the email: “Through every diaper changed, nose wiped, cry comforted, milestone celebrated, setback weathered, laugh shared, discovery unearthed, skill mastered and all that’s yet to come—so much love from you. So much love for you.” Nice!

Because this is a softer, subtler “sell,” no primary call to action, offer, or urgency is needed to meet the nurturing objective. But for those customers who may be interested in shopping, links to the “savings centers” of Toys “R” Us and Babies “R” Us are provided and stand out, thanks to placing them in the bright green banner below the main message. In addition, specific links to strollers, car seats, cribs, and the Rewards “R” Us program are positioned just below the green banner. Navigation links are also provided to “All Categories,” “Find a Store,” and “Wish List” in both the header and footer.

Was the Email List Segmented?

This is a great example of a successful nurturing email. The message of appreciation is clear and the copy is customer-centric. In this case, the email was sent to a mother. But we wonder if this was a bulk email sent to the entire email list or if demographic data collected by Toys “R” Us were used to segment the list. Obviously, segmenting the list would be most effective, because the nurturing objective of the “Happy Mother’s Day” wish and email copy are relevant and resonate with mothers.

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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