Starwood Innovates In Email

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Take a look at this Starwood Preferred Guest Newsletter and see if you can figure out what they’re doing that very few email marketers have the guts to do:


(You can click the image to get a larger version)
Need a hint?  It’s orange.  🙂

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9 thoughts on “Starwood Innovates In Email

  1. Stefan Eyram

    There are a couple of things Starwood is doing that you don’t see much of from email marketers.
    For one they are promoting their RSS feed. A good idea since the more channels someone is using for interacting with your brand the more likely these people will be higher value for you. RSS is still not broadly adopted by consumers but what the heck…the additional cost is negligible when you already ahve the content.
    Starwood is also asking subscribers if they want to switch to text-only format. Another good idea since many people may be frustrated by getting graphically rich HTML emails in their email client if images are blocked or if they read most emails on a PDA like a Blackberry of Treo.
    Options like these can only be construed as Starwood being customer-focused and offering an optimized online experience for all.

  2. Kevin Behringer

    I thought it may be the RSS, but I also think it’s the link to They are directing their customers to a place where they may be reviewed, potentially badly. Removing control from themselves.
    Just my thought.

  3. Ken Schafer - One Degree

    Joy said:
    “Add their email address to your whitelist”
    I never understood the point of adding that IN a message. If you’re blacklisted they won’t get it, if you’re not, then there isn’t a problem.
    Seems to be the right time to bring up whitelisting is on the thank-you page after a person signs up for the list in the first place.
    Maybe this is kind of a “suspenders and a belt” thing – just in case.

  4. Kelly Rusk

    “I never understood the point of adding that IN a message. ”
    Adding it in a message can help if if it delivered to junk boxes and a user finds it in there. Also it’s possible that this message may get through and that another maybe blocked because of spam filters – but not if the user has added.
    From the emailer’s perspective, we want you to add us to the address book because many popular email clients will override blocked images if the from address is in an address book, and then open rate tracking is more accurate.
    But I do agree that it definitely should be on the thank you/confirmation page when signing up as well.

  5. Stefan Eyram

    My take is it is always good to get people to add you to their contacts, address book or safe senders list personal whitelist).
    What if a subscriber signed up before you used your confirmation page to ask them to add you to their whitelist? By asking them in an email, while they are still getting your messages, you might end up saving the subscriber in case their systems group tunes up the spam filter.
    I don’t like emails that have too much information in the footer (all that legal and other stuff at the bottom of many emails). Starwood has the footer taking up at least 50% of this email. Rather than make this request a standard thing you might want to use it from time to time and have more focus on it. Similarly, from time to time you might want to focus on asking subscribers to visit your Profile or Subscription Centre to review and update their info.

  6. Marina Mann

    This was fun. My guess is you’re referring to However, if you mean “guts” to spend money on content, I agree. Creating targeted editorial means having guts to spend spend money on brand equity in an otherwise ROI driven, heavy CPA mindset. However, if you’re gonna go, you might as well go all the way. You’ll notice that some posts can accept comments but others can’t. For the most part there are no comments. I did manage to find one comment that goes back to April 2006. Alas, IMHO, without engaging the audience, this remains traditional advertorial.

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