Email Olympics: Williams Sonoma vs. Sur La Table

Email Olympics: Williams Sonoma vs. Sur La Table

It’s time for the cutthroat competition between two luxury kitchenware and home furnishings brands- Williams Sonoma and Sur La Table. As the holiday season arrives, stores will be bombarded with eager shoppers. Let’s see how these two retailers are prepared to keep up with and capitalize on the craziness by examining some of their email marketing campaigns.

First off, let’s talk frequency. Both of these companies take the ‘more is better’ approach, and they send marketing emails several times throughout a single day. While this could slightly increase unsubscribes and complaints, that number is likely outweighed by engagement. Both companies send reminder emails about every sale or promotion, helping them stay top-of-mind with their subscribers.

Welcome Emails:

Subject lines: CONFIRMED! You’re Officially a Subscriber, Here’s Your First Gift From Williams-Sonoma VS. Welcome to Sur La Table

When sign up for emails from both of these companies, you are almost immediately sent a discount on your first purchase, while Sur La Table gives more an introduction to some of their services. WS also takes this opportunity to showcase some of their products with high quality photographs. Although SLT’s more simplistic approach may be a bit easier to digest, this round goes to Williams Sonoma, because everybody loves a discount.

Williams Sonoma




Sur La Table



Halloween Sale:

Subject lines: A Halloween Treat! 20% Off Your Entire Order + Free Fast Shipping VS. No Trick-Just a Treat For You

Knowing consumers will get on board with most themed sales, both companies sent out Halloween sales for 20% off. WS’s 1-day only sale created that sense of urgency, unlike Sur La Table’s sale, which extended for more than a week. The simple GIF in SLT’s email clearly showcases their value proposition and CTA. That said, WS once again takes this round with their pumpkin-border and white background that helps the easy-to-read font jump off the screen.







Subject lines: You’ve Unlocked the Friends & Family Event (Discount Code Inside) + Vitamix, KitchenAid, Breville All On Sale VS. It’s Our Biggest Scanpan Sale of the Year!

These two ‘Friends and Family’ emails will have you doing a double take with how similar they are. The main difference is the use of real images vs. graphics. Although WS’s photography beautifully showcases their products (and really, who can resist their peppermint bark!), we’re giving this round to Sur La Table. The value proposition and CTA do a better job of standing out in their design.


And the winner is…

Williams Sonoma. Although there are many similarities between these two brands and the campaigns they send out, Williams Sonoma’s emails prove the power of good photography; you can actually see the what the products look like. Sur La Table does a good job with on-theme graphics, but it might be tougher for people to commit to a purchase without being able to visualize what they’re buying.

Create emails that will knock out the competition. Contact Longstreet here

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