Vistaprint Email Review: Is This Countdown to Black Friday a Winner or Down for the Count?

Get the Click - Vistaprint

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Get the Click - Vistaprint

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Vistaprint Email Grade: [C+]

Subject Line


Preview Pane


Eye Path


Clarity of Message


Call to Action






Sense of Urgency


December 15, 2014

Organization Overview

Vistaprint is an online supplier of printed materials and marketing services, including business cards, stationery, invitations and announcements, signs and banners, holiday cards, as well as websites and Internet marketing. Founded about 20 years ago in Paris, France, Vistaprint is now headquartered in Venlo, The Netherlands, and employs more than 4,100 workers worldwide. The company’s current president and CEO Robert Keane founded Vistaprint to give small businesses access to the same high-quality custom-printed products as large companies with big budgets.

Subject Line Lacks Congruency with the Email Message

This promotional email was sent to a Vistaprint customer on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving with the following subject line: “Black Friday sale starts tomorrow + 60% off holiday cards today.” Although the subject line lets recipients know about Vistaprint’s upcoming sale, it may not have motivated opens since the Black Friday sale hadn’t started yet. If recipients were interested in purchasing holiday cards, however, they may have been driven to open the email.

Once opened, the email is dominated by a huge countdown clock, ticking away the time until the “best deals of the season” begin. But there’s no mention of the holiday card sale described in the subject line. Plus, there are no links to a dedicated landing page for the holiday card promotion. This would likely frustrate those recipients who opened the email to find out more about that discount.

Preview Pane & Eye Path Could Be Stronger

Thanks to the use of alternative text, recipients get the gist of the email message in the preview pane without images. However, the alternative text could have been larger and better styled. In addition, there’s no motivation for recipients to download the images.

The eye path in this email is simple, drawing recipients’ focus to the clock counting down to the start of the company’s Black Friday sale. Though there’s no actual call-to-action button, the entire clock is clickable and takes people to the Vistaprint website. The lack of information or a call to action for the holiday card sale mentioned in the subject line, however, negatively impacts this email’s clarity of message. But if Vistaprint’s primary goal was to pique interest about the Black Friday sale, the email message works.

In terms of an offer, the primary one would be the 60% off holiday cards, which has no call to action. In addition, other than promoting a Vistaprint sale that will start soon, there are no specifics on what products will be discounted on Black Friday and by how much.

High Credibility & Outstanding Sense of Urgency

Vistaprint is a well-known brand with quality products and high credibility. And the sense of urgency couldn’t be any better in this email message. Combined with the high functionality of the dynamic content in the countdown clock, this email likely accomplished the job of building interest and excitement about the deals soon to be available at Vistaprint.

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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