The inbox purge

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Erin Dostal, database reporter
Erin Dostal, database reporter

Lately — as a consumer, not a reporter — I've been purging my inbox. During the past week, I've probably unsubscribed from four or five different email lists.

So why do this inbox clean-up? Because getting 20 emails every morning from companies I don't communicate with all that often and deleting them every morning was starting to feel a little pointless. I kept the ones that continued to curate content that was relevant to me (no surprise there), as well those that I found the most well-designed and entertaining.

Fab.com for instance sends email that without a doubt I open every day when it arrives in my inbox. It always has something that feels like it's just for me, while offering me the ability to explore new products at the same time. I love fashion. I love design. And they give me both in large, lovely doses.

But perhaps most importantly, the vibrant visuals in the email always make me want to see more of whatever they're trying to get me to buy. The photos show exactly what I can get (I have a soft spot for handmade jewelry) and I almost always end up clicking through to the Fab.com site. Appealing images go a long way toward selling a product.

The click-through from the e-mail doesn't end at Fab.com's website either. I always take a peek at what else is on sale and click to see what other customers are looking for. Who doesn't want to know what other shoppers think is cool? What's so great is that Fab.com mimics how a customer would function in a real store. If a ton of people were gathered around one rack of dresses, you'd know there might be something special there, too.

And because the emails and website are so compelling, I've referred numerous friends to it, taking advantage of the company's program that provides a $25 incentive for each friend that signs on and makes a purchase within 30 days of joining.

This is how e-mail marketing speaks to me: through visual stimulation, socialization and incentives. How does it speak to you?

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