November 10, 2013

The Merchandise Tournament Bracket

Do you really want to optimize your email marketing campaigns? And no, I'm not talking about A/B testing 30% off against 10% off plus free shipping - that doesn't push the peanut.

No, it's time to help your merchandising team.

Here's what I want you to do.
  1. Pick eight new items that have sold reasonably well in October/November.
  2. Randomly match up the eight items, in a tournament bracket.
  3. In email campaign #1, match up item 1 vs. item 2. Tell the customer you're running a tournament, and the item that sells best "wins", and advances to the next round.
  4. In email campaign #2, match up item 3 vs. item 4 - same premise.
  5. In email campaign #3, match up item 5 vs. item 6 - same premise.
  6. In email campaign #4, match up item 7 vs. item 8 - same premise.
  7. In email campaign #5, match up the winner of 1/2 against the winner of 3/4.
  8. In email campaign #6, match up the winner of 5/6 against the winner of 7/8.
  9. In the championship, match up the winner of 1/2/3/4 against the winner of 5/6/7/8.
What do you get for doing something like this?
  1. Your customers will tell you the new items that they like the most (let them "like" various items - measure via sales (80%) and likes (20%) - sort of like "Dancing With The Stars", if you will.
  2. You promote/advertise new items, and based on my work this year, most of us desperately need to promote/advertise new items.
  3. You do something different than the same, boring, 20% off plus free shipping that plagues email marketing.
  4. You can promote the tournament bracket across Facebook and Twitter - pleasing the omnichannel advocates to no end - you partner with your customers. Think of the virality of it all?!
  5. You "engage" your email subscriber list - theoretically pleasing everybody.
What would stop you from doing this? What would stop you to focus on selling, to not focus on teaching your best customers about your best new items?

Discuss.