April 16, 2008

Micro-Channels: Dell Outlet on Twitter

Have you ever had the challenge of having to clear out six pair of shoes, or a single couch, or a handful of sundresses?

Social media guru Shel Israel points us to Dell Outlet, who is using Twitter to clear out various items.

Think about the contrast in this style of marketing, and traditional direct marketing.
  • Direct mailers identify an audience, send direct mail at a cost of $0.25 to $1.00 per piece, and generally do a good enough job to make money targeting a list of "x" likely buyers.
  • E-Mail marketers identify an audience, send an e-mail campaign that is virtually free, then sit back and enjoy as 1 in 700 customers purchase something.
  • Micro-channel marketing combines an advertising channel (Twitter) with an e-commerce sub-channel (Dell Outlet) and a community (subscribers to Dell Outlet via Twitter). Those who wish to participate actually participate, those who don't want to don't have to. You're marketing to avid fans on their terms.
Given the cost of this marketing platform (hint, it is nearly zero), it is almost embarrassing to consider how few catalog/multichannel brands are willing to test micro-channel strategies.

We're in the very early days of micro-channels. Clearance strategies are a logical place to start testing micro-channels.

Now go give the strategy a try!!!

Memorial Day Weekend

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