Sales Vs. Story: The Balance of Content
Due to the nature of the products being promoted the emails for the Fashion industry are primarily image based. However there is a stark contrast in the imagery used. The brands that target a younger audience often include more colourful imagery, with bright colours used for backgrounds and models wearing the product with some limited text.
The more ‘premium’ brands tend to use a monochrome based colour palette, with simple block lines and text.**
Emails targeted at women use very simple text and lots of whole body shots, whereas the ones targeting men focus on the actual items rather than the whole model. The is also usually an additional article or hook which tends to be an exclusive music track or interview.
The phrasing between the gender’s emails is also different. Female targeted emails assume that women know what they are looking for and are more savvy The male focussed campaigns are more questionable, reasoning with the audience in a “Hey, we understand it is difficult, let us help you out” kind of way.
A definite point of note is the tone of voice and how it varies so much between brands, some brands like Topman, Topshop and Vans tend to speak to their audience, almost filling a magazine type role. This is reflective of the lifestyle brands they aim to be and shows a great understanding for their customer base.
Other brands like Treds or The Gap are very much “Sale! Sale! Sale!” - an almost lazy approach to speaking to their audience. It is only an opinion, but I feel it lessens the quality of the brand and doesn’t really compliment with their in-store experience, more specifically with The Gap, classically known for when you get your basics from - jeans, plain t shirts, but good quality simple stuff. This is something I feel they could really play upon.
Starting at the top of the experience with the Subject Lines, these brands the push the sales do exactly the same in their subject lines - Dorothy Perkins are a prime example of blasting the Sale across their opening gambit. If you check out the Dorothy Perkins analytics page for their Top Subject Line Keywords, you’ll see the following:
Those who are more in tune with their customer base - or at least hold a dialogue with them, then use conversation starters as their Subject Lines ie “Iceland’s Greatest Export?” and with the nature of this client, the audience will know it may be something of interest, or at least it will incite some curiosity to open the email.
That being said the most common chart topping keyword in subject line analytics for fashion retailers is most definitely “Sale”. But Here you can see Selfridges & Co do their best to connect with their audience on a range of topics.
On that note we will leave it there for this chapter, but here is my favourite email’s to receive from the premium surf brand Finisterre who really do try to connect with their audience in their ‘Sunday Broadcast’ emails (there is no mention of a sale anywhere there, just glorious content!)