I am not the biggest shoe shopper in the world, but I do need shoes and I do like a good deal. So, during a recent trip to the store, when the DSW sales rep offered me a rewards program membership, I said: Sure.
Since then, I’ve received a variety of email marketing promotions — a mixture of discount offers and product features. The deals are great, but, unfortunately, DSW’s efforts (or lack thereof) to personalize the emails have been annoying, distracting me from the actual offers. I’m now more likely to delete their emails than even open them.
Here are a few of the subject lines from DSW emails that I’ve recently received:
Get excited, ladies! Your new My DSW Rewards is here.
Ladies, you’ve gotta get these shoes.
Get girly in cute Spring Sandals!
In addition, virtually every email campaign features photography of pumps, strappy sandals, and a lot of other shoes that I can only imagine would look terrible on me (even if they made ’em in a 12).
Now, I can completely understand that DSW’s customer base skews female. In lieu of more specific data, it would make sense to focus the imagery and messaging of the email campaigns on women’s products. However, DSW definitely has me registered in their database as a male.
Why are they squandering this opportunity?
Unlike many other products and services, here is a case where gender clearly matters. And it would not take significant effort to at least make the email campaigns gender-appropriate. At the very least, swap out the photos and modify the subject lines for the male portion of the database. For email campaigns focused on a women’s product line, simply exclude the male subscribers.
What’s the simple lesson here? If you’re asking your customers to take the time to volunteer information, then use it — and use it appropriately. If creating effective email personalization is beyond your budget or expertise, then it’s better to not even try.
Are there simple, even low-tech adjustments that you can make that will allow your email campaigns to truly resonate with your customers? While email personalization can be a rewarding practice, always use your own common sense to consider the subscriber on the other end.