Email marketing can be a really powerful asset for fashion designers and brands, however, although many emerging designers and retailers have a mailing list, few actually send emails out on a regular basis. Instead, many tend to focus their attention on Instagram and other social media platforms to spread the word about their business. The irony, however, is that email marketing can be far more effective than social media marketing especially when it comes to driving sales.
According to a McKinsey and Company study, email marketing is 40x more effective than social media when it comes to actually making sales and I have to admit, I've definitely seen this first hand. Since I’ve begun working with designers and small business owners to create and send email campaigns, I've noticed that when we send emails my clients consistently make sales directly from the email while sales directly via social media aren't as frequent. (We use analytics to track sales.)
In talking to small business owners I've found that many would like to better utilize their email list but they don’t know what to send so instead they only send emails every blue moon when they have an event or a sale coming up.
If that sounds like you here are a few content ideas to get you started!
01. Welcome Email
This should be an email that automatically sends to new subscribers as soon as they opt into or sign up for your mailing list. Welcome emails tend to get a higher open and click rate then other promotional emails so make sure you take advantage of this by sending a well branded email. Many retailers and brands often include a discount code in this email as a way to entice subscribers to make a sale.
Things you can include are:
- a thank you note from the founder
- links to social
- discount code
02. Tell Your Story
There’s a reason why Instagram adopted the Snapchat like video feature and called it “Instagram Stories" and, why we all love stories so much. In a world that’s totally over saturated with brands and companies constantly marketing themselves and trying to sell something, people crave authenticity and genuine connections. Your story helps to give people a sense of who you are. It helps them to understand what your brand is about and if their values align with yours, it helps them to fall in love with you and become a part of your community.
Every business no matter how small, has a story. The trick is learning how to tell it in a way that evokes emotion and creates a connection. Creating a meaningful brand story is all about building something that people want to be a part of.
Things you can include:
- a short explanation of your story
- founders picks/favorite items
- meet the team
03. Styling Tips Featuring Your Products
Emails that seem to do really well are ones that offer value. So, instead of just sending an email with products and prices, educate your customers on the latest trends and show them how to style your designs. This is far more engaging to your audience and meaningful because not only are you selling them a product but you're also showing them how to style it and giving fashion tips. This may be a good opportunity to collaborate with a local fashion and style blogger and have them write a blog post sharing how they'd style your products and then create a collection of related items that your customers can shop. You can then share this content in your email newsletter.
Here's an example of an email I designed for a client that shared how their team likes to style a new collection.
Are you having a sale? Hosting an event? Participating in a fashion show or pop-up? Tell your subscribers! Many entrepreneurs struggle with promoting their business because they don't want to be "too pushy". They want people to authentically purchase their products without coming off like an ad. Unfortunately, that's just something you have to get over. Part of having a business is selling. However, the good thing about email marketing is that everyone that signed up for your email list chose to be on your list not just because they want to see your pretty pictures (like Instagram) but because they want to know more about your business and want to know what's going on. They want to be kept in the loop about sales and events so don't be afraid to share it with them.
TIP: Don't be afraid to send more than one email about the same promotion. For example, if you're having a weekend sale, you may one to send one email announcing the sale, another counting down how many hours are left in the sale and another when the sale is just about over. The reason being is that people are busy and receive a lot of emails. You can't assume that they'll see your first email. Also, counting down the end of the sale creates a sense of urgency and makes customers feel like they don't want to miss out.
Here are a few examples of promotional emails I designed for the same client.
05. New inventory
Again, don't be afraid to let your audience know about new inventory and offerings. They joined your mailing list because they want to be kept in the loop.
TIP: Focus on 1-3 new items but don’t share everything in this email. The goal of this email is to drive customers back to your website. Get them hooked with strong imagery so they want to visit your site. This could be a good time to partner with a local blogger or influencer.
06. Behind the Scenes
One of the reasons why people love social media is that it gives them an inside look at their favorite brands and people. Pull the curtain back and give your audience access to your business. *remember, what may seem boring and an everyday thing to you can be super interesting to your audience.
Things you can include are:
- a day in the life
- office tour
- the process of creating a garment
- BTS at a photo shoot
- the design process
07. Birthday Emails
Send personalized emails to customers on their birthday with a special note and/or discount code.
08. Reactivation Email
Over time your subscribers may start to stop opening your emails as frequently or make purchases. Reactivate your subscribers by sending an email with a subject line like, "Are you still with us, Ashley?" or, "We haven't talked in a while."
Do you send emails to your list regularly? What kinds of emails have you found the most success with?