Context: I encourage members to add me to their email marketing lists so I’m indirectly (impersonally) updated as to their progress. I read emails and usually delete them and then go on about my day. I changed that policy over the past year. Now I save them in a special file with the idea of analyzing them for frequency, timing of special offers etc -with the idea of making suggestions to the broader readership.
I don’t have anything hard and fast to suggest today but wanted to make mention of a practice I’ve noticed with a new-to-me company that is not apparel related. I ordered a catalog from this company but haven’t placed an order yet. At least once a week I get an email from them with some kind of special offer -say free shipping or 15% off of an order I place. The day before the offer runs out, I get another email reminding me that this offer is expiring so I’d better get it while the getting’s good.
Rather than create a sense of urgency, it’s created complacency on my part. I’ve only been on their list for a month but owing to the number of emails with reduced cost offers, I know that if and when I do decide to order, I’d be crazy to pay full price so I should time my purchase to coincide with an offer.
My point is: if you email market to a list, you don’t want to create an atmosphere of complacency. This is particularly important if your products are relatively static; meaning that styles don’t evolve much from season to season. Perhaps this is more crucial to those who sell sewn products rather than fashion items which can age faster because with fashion items, a customer’s sense of urgency is tied to missing out on something they really like because styles are often discontinued.
This is not intended as a criticism by any means to those of you who sell products that don’t age as quickly. Some of you who fall in this category have been doing this very successfully for quite some time. My mention is really for those who aren’t as established. Keep in mind that it may not be advantageous to train your customer to think that the sale price is the real price. However, if the sale price is the real price, then the higher margin on any full price sales you make is a nice if occasional bonus.
In closing, it’s a good idea to get on the mailing lists of lines you aspire to compete with to get an idea of the company’s culture, appeal, timing of sales offers, the depth of discount, conditions of sale (and return) and the like.