It’s said creativity is intelligence having fun. So who’s ready for fun? As the lighting, decor and furnishings industry is home to so many highly creative people, here’s a look at how to channel that creativity into digital marketing messaging.
If the thought of emails brings on the summertime blues, fear not. Just as interior designers help their clients envision what works, a few tips from savvy strategists can help you actually enjoy playing in the digital space. Digitally challenged? Consider this: the same creative thread that runs through you can help design effective email marketing. You furnish homes, select patterns, and rep lighting lines with ease. Surely you can use that skill set to conquer the digital marketing divide – that awkward space between wanting to make a strong impression with your customers, connect products and services with an eager audience (buyer/client), and simply not knowing how. Or why.
Email marketing done well packs a powerful, profitable punch.
If a subscriber isn’t taking the time to open your emails, read your content, or click your links, it could be you’re not sending anything they want. While there are ways to guess what they might be interested in, asking them removes the guesswork. This is a win-win opportunity. Your subscribers get emails relevant to their interests (and not emails that aren’t). You create more effective campaigns. If you offer a variety of products or services, sending customized emails can help you segment and tailor your list, send more targeted messages, and improve your overall results. You have the ability to reach individual members of your target audience with information they need to become customers, making emails a perfect tool for moving leads through the buying process.
A branding behemoth, Warby Parker sells eyeglasses directly to consumers (DTC). It was started by four students from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. News of their creativity is helping to establish the New York-based startup as a “Who’s Who” among digital marketing giants. A New York Times article recently reported on the out of the box thinking behind the company which has inspired a generation of e-commerce brands. While it aims primarily at a younger, hipper customer base, their approach is instructive for lighting and decor professionals seeking to connect to customers of any age.
Warby’s focus on design, customer service and a cultivated quirkiness have become a blueprint of sorts for other consumer brands. It operates brick-and-mortar stores as well as a well-funded e-commerce business. Tom Foster, Editor-at-Large of Inc.com, zeroed in on the strategies of Wharton marketing professor, David Bell, in identifying digital branding success.
How do they do it? They grow the brand by doing things people want to talk about. Some Warbly Parker wisdom, from their online expert Tim Riley, on its content playbook, from which referralcandy.com presented an overview.
1. Make Me Care: Start by putting together a fundamentally great story.
2. Understand your brand hierarchy – What’s most critical?
3. Steal the show! Get your early buzz + influencer buy-in by being tastefully rebellious. When they couldn’t afford to get involved in Fashion Week years ago, they invited editors to a ‘secret event’ at the NY Public Library. They created a buzz and a remarkable experience.
4. If It Ain’t Fun, Why Do It? Create content that’s legitimately fun. If you’re not enjoying your content, why would anyone else?
5. Figure out ways to turn mundane interactions with your brand into remarkable, social ones.
6. Better Together: Partnerships make sense for lifestyle brands. Examples of collaboration in e-commerce are easy to find and wise to mimic.
7. Create unique, memorable physical experiences. Every time they had a chance, they chose to do something unorthodox.
Another one to watch is Glossier.com. The NYC-based beauty product startup has established itself as a leader in digital messaging to boost visibility and its profits. Glossier’s tactics aren’t for everyone, but for anyone who has watched their analytics take a downward turn, tune in. Ben Davis of econsultancy reported on some of the beauty brand's more creative approaches.
“When simple, creative ideas are pulled off they can completely change some customers' perception of email and make them more likely to open the next one,” said Davis. Such has been the case for brands who have fun with their content.
If you have a loyal customer base, sometimes all it takes is a simple email that features one of your bestselling products. Glossier did this with a popular product, and scored big. The product featured in the email was a bestseller for the company, with overwhelmingly positive reviews. The email was a reminder for customers who’d previously considered purchasing it. Like theirs, good copy isn’t always pushy or sales-focused. Instead, it’s consistent with the company’s existing branding.
By being more playful, everyone enjoys the process. Go ahead — be creative, and have fun!