The money is in the list: How to develop an email marketing strategy

is what you read in countless marketing books and blogs.

It is a well documented truth that Emailmarketing is one of the most powerful tools for businesses to engage with their customers and to sell their products. Your list gives you the possibility to have a direct conversation with your customer. But most of all, a customer who signs in to your list tells you that she wants to engage with your brand or company. Everyone is complaining about the growing level of  noise at the marketplace and how difficult it is to get through to the customer and tell your story.

Ethical Brands have a lot of disadvantages compared to regular brands.They have lower margins and less marketing power, but they have on huge advantage: they know the producers, they have certified materials…… they only have to tell these stories to their customers.

“An Emaillist is the best and cheapest opportunity to get in contact with your customer and tell your story.”

The current State of Emailmarketing
During the last month we did some research on Ethical Fashion brands. I visited their website to get a feeling for the brand. One of the first things we did is to subscribe to the Newsletter form that most of the brands have on the Homepage.

To find out about the current state of email marketing we started to sign up to 10 different lists from major Ethical Fashion Brands. We expected to get some well written welcome mail perhaps with a discount code, and get weekly or monthly updates about the brand.

But guess what happened ? Close to nothing

Until today, we have signed into 20 websites.We also added some well known regular brands to compare with Ethical Fashion Brands.

Welcome Results

  • Double opt-in. 12 Web sites had a double opt-in which is the gold standard  to start a successful email communication with you customer. A double opt-in is  mandatory for the most of the big Email marketing Providers like Mailchimp or Aweber. The second click you have to add into a email simply avoids that spam robots are not able to subscribe with you email address.
  • Welcome Bonus. 4 brands have sent an automated mail with a discount code. We think a discount code is not the best thing to start the conversation. You simply train you customer to expect discounts. Check “Discounting is for Dummies” from Derek Halpern at Socialtriggers about the use of discounts.
  • Nothing. With 7 companies, we could not find out if our attempt to subscribe to their website was successful at all. A global Brand like Calvin Klein was even not able to get our email address. The Popup told us “Form not working”
  • Only 5 brands have sent me a personal message  about what i could expect in my communication with the brand. This is not rocket science, just check this mail from Woolrich. Please notice that the visual is positive and emotional. The text is also speaking to me as a person.



Woolrich-opt in


 What happens next ?

We wondered about what’s happening next. Which brand will send a newsletter?  When will they send and how appealing is the content? We were so surprised about the first results that we wanted to know more and will test the responses in a second podcast. So stay tuned.

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