April 19, 2020

Do You Prefer This Instead?

So on Friday I asked you to view the creative presentation used in an email from Gardener's ... click here to see it.

Now, it's obvious many of you liked this, because more than 325 of you clicked on the link and reviewed it. I know many of you liked it because there were many new subscribers. I know many of you liked it because the clicks were highly concentrated among "brands" and were not "vendor-centric". I only received a couple of negative comments.

But I'm not sure seeing something different causes people to change. So let's look at sameness for a moment.

Here we have an email from Ann Taylor, from last week. This is the antithesis of what Gardener's sent. It's opposite in every possible way. It's the very definition of a "best practice". SHOP NOW highlighted twice. Savings everywhere you can imagine. 

We all know why Ann Taylor is doing this. They've got a horrific inventory problem ... through no fault of their own, their stores are closed and they have no choice but to liquidate as much stuff as they possibly can. And this isn't Ann Taylor (technically) ... it's Ann Taylor Factory. If you visit the website (click here) you'll be offered yet another 15% off. You're basically getting merchandise for free.

But that's not really why I'm sharing the email with you.

I'm wondering if you prefer this style of creative presentation over what I shared with you via Gardener's?? Do you honestly prefer this style, which takes zero work and is all about how much money the customer can save and has absolutely no brand perspective whatsoever and possesses zero creativity and shows that the merchandising team could care less about the merchandise being sold?

This style of email campaign leads to $0.04 per email delivered.

I know, you'll say I am picking on Ann Taylor. Here's J. Jill. Kinda looks identical, doesn't it?

Here's J. Crew:


And you wonder why we have to have an argument about whether $0.04 per email delivered is good performance? It's awful ... and of course it is awful when y'all are doing the exact same thing ... boring the living daylights out of a customer.

This isn't a new development ... you can't blame the plague for this outcome. We've been doing this for the past fifteen years ... we're told it is a "best practice".

It's not a best practice (I know, I can hear you howling from all the way out here in Arizona).

Email is going to have to do the heavy lifting over the next eighteen months. It's as close to free as you can get, it's fully under our control, and you (yes ... YOU!) can make a difference.

Be creative.

Try things.

Tell a story.

Sell the story.

P.S.: You want to know why I'm tired of best practices? Watch this video, you'll figure it out real quick!

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