Men’s fashion: Blast it!

To those retailers who think it takes big bucks to communicate a fashion message to your customer list, think again. Weekly e-mail blasts highlighting key menswear trends can be very successful marketing vehicles. For men who don’t read fashion magazines or blogs (most likely your customers), this type of focused fashion message might be just what it takes to inspire spontaneous visits to your store or website.

Sam Malouf of his namesake store in Burlingame (San Francisco) has figured out a successful formula. “My store’s been opened two years now and I’ve been doing these weekly e-mail blasts for a year and a half. I’ve found that weekly is the right frequency for my customers (median age 40); more often could get annoying. I’ve also found that doing the photography and styling in-house means it costs about $400-$500 per blast, all included.”

A recent e-mail blast (shot in store on mannequins) featured wool and wool/cashmere vests and showed four separate images with vests, pants, shirts, accessories, footwear, etc. “We got a 40 percent open rate,” says Malouf, “which is pretty good since the industry average is 23 percent. That said, the click-through rate was only 7 percent so I think we’ll stick with one opening image going forward.”

(Next on the agenda: Malouf will blast about sport pants, those trend-right bottoms between dress pants and jeans. “Our denim business is still strong but wouldn’t it be great to get more guys into little checks and wool flannels…)”

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