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Posts Tagged ‘images off’

I recently joined Restaurant.com and promptly received this welcome email after I did so (click the image to see full-size):

Restaurant-com Welcome Email

This email starts off strong, and a lot of other brands could learn from it.

Granted, they did miss some easy opportunities to drive a few more sales from this email. But on the whole, I was impressed.

Let’s look at what makes this welcome email so… welcome in my inbox.

They Nailed The Preview Design – Even With Images Off.

The image above shows Restaurant.com’s welcome email as I saw it after I turned on images.

But being an email geek I don’t usually have images on – I like to see how emails look when images are disabled.

And Restaurant.com does a great job. Here’s that same email as I first saw it:

Restaurant-com Welcome Email With Images Off

I was shocked to see the vivid graphics after I turned images on, because the email doesn’t look half bad without images.

Start with the top of the email. Here’s the first 250 pixels of the upper left corner of the email:

Restaurant.com 250px Box with Images Off

It doesn’t get much better than this. I immediately know who the email is from, why I’m getting it and what I can do with it.

The password row of asterisks is kind of dumb (why include it? Better to either put the password in or have a “forgot password” link.), and it couldn’t hurt to ask me to add them to my address book, but other than that this is awesome preview design.

Oh, and that link at the top? It’s not just the ALT text for the logo; it’s also the first line that shows up in my Gmail “snippet”:

Restaurant.com Gmail Snippet

Beautiful.

So far this email rocks – but it does go wrong as we scroll beyond the preview pane.

Where’s The Links?

I really liked the three-panel section toward the end of this email…

Restaurant.com Three-Panel-Section

…until I tried to click on the images.

They’re not clickable! There’s not a single link in this whole section. Not even on call to action-y text like “Search for Restaurants” or “Give a Great Gift.”

Who puts a call to action in an email and doesn’t link it up?

To their credit, the banner just beneath that section was clickable…

Restaurant.com Banner

…though they could have targeted better (I haven’t made a purchase yet – I merely joined the site, which is free). The credibility of their special offer suffers, if only a little, since they’re thanking me for something I haven’t yet done.

Of course, that pales in comparison to the really glaring error in this email:

There’s No Postal Address.

Where is Restaurant.com based out of?

You sure can’t tell from this email, because they didn’t include a postal address in the email. Whoops.

You could argue that this email is transactional (sending me my login information) and thus wouldn’t fall under the provisions of CAN-SPAM, but it’s clear in the email that other promotional emails are coming.

Are those future emails CAN-SPAM compliant? If so, why go to the trouble of omitting the address from this one – especially when it does have an unsubscribe link?

I’m doubtful that future messages will include a postal address. But we’ll see.

All In All, a Nice First Course

After seeing their first effort, I’m looking forward to seeing what future emails from Restaurant.com bring.

Of course, this is all just my take. What do YOU think?

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