Fashion versus style is like social media versus email

Fashion forever tells us to do what other people are supposedly doing: favouring certain colours, cuts and lengths for the season. Style tells us to use what flatters our personal figures – those few pieces of clothing or furniture that we’re perpetually drawn to and consider drop-dead good-looking regardless of current favorites. Fashion comes and goes. Style is timeless.

Fashion_fades_style_remainsSocial media is currently in fashion. While it would be foolish to ignore the incredible power that a well-strategized and executed social media campaign can offer, for many companies, the time consuming efforts to keep up with various social media is a fashionable distraction. This is especially true if they are chasing the recent hot social media platform, simply because everyone else is and they don’t want to miss out. Sounds a little like fashion to me.

Direct marketing via e-mail may not be the latest hot fashion trend, and many companies in Canada had their customer contact lists kicked in the teeth by CASL legislation. But e-mail marketing has style. Somewhat timeless in its ability to connect directly with customers on a personal level, if executed well, it brings measureable results: engagement, brand affinity and sales.

A 2014 McKinsey research report found that email is 40 times (40 TIMES!) more effective that Facebook and Twitter combined. Click here for the full report: /why_marketers_should_keep_sending_you_emails

Direct email marketing speaks to an existing base. And the customer you’ve got is 3-7 times more likely to be a repeat customer. Quite simply, we get caught chasing the romance of new customers when the one we’ve got is more likely to buy again and buy more. Think about that for a while. Good email campaigns have these things in common:

  1. They are reasonably short and can be read quickly, respecting reader’s time.
  2. They are personal and invite interaction with readers.
  3. They are scheduled with some sort of regularity.
  4. They contain useful or entertaining information for a highly targeted reader.
  5. They are soft sell by nature, favoring positioning and top of mind awareness as a gateway to future sales. But they do invite sales, especially after a relationship has been earned.

Your biggest asset is your list of customers. The next biggest asset is your list of prospects. At the end of the day we shouldn’t over complicate things. Really only three drivers matter:

  1. Getting more customers
  2. Getting them to buy more
  3. Keeping them longer

Direct e-newsletter marketing can satisfy 2 & 3 easily, and arguably 1 if prospects are converted or if current customers share it. That is a meaningful and measurable result. It’s a longer-term investment in style over fashion. If you’d like to receive my weekly “5-Minute Marketing” e-newsletter, click here and choose, join our mailing list.  It will arrive Sunday morning, and in less than 5 minutes to read, you’ll gain some marketing insight to put to use in your business. That’s my promise. And of course you can easily unsubscribe at any time. If you’d like to check out past issues first, click here.


Mary Charleson

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