We’ve all heard the expression that diamonds are a girl’s best friend – and whether you’re the proud owner of an ever-expanding collection or have given some sparkling diamond jewellery as a gift at some point, it’s a fact that is hard to dispute. But the concept didn’t just come from anywhere, and in fact, was the result of clever marketing by prestigious diamond specialist, DeBeers – which, having formed in the 1860s after a group of companies stumbled on an exciting discovery of the world’s very first stones, did a clever job of positioning them as being rare, exclusive and luxurious.
It’s a concept that remains strong even today, with these expensive stones still the most highly-sought-after across the globe, and is an example of true marketing greatness. It also begs the question, is a product ever truly luxurious – or is it all simply a case of careful positioning?
While the jury’s out on that one, for most luxury brands, marketing is all about creating and maintaining a perceived value that translates into acquiring loyal customers. By transforming potential buyers into die-hard fans who are happy to pay a premium for its products and services, it achieves prestige and an esteemed reputation that attracts yet more wealthy customers in their droves.
If there’s one thing that successful luxury brands do well, it’s creating a sense of pride amongst those who can afford it – and while social media is one of the first ports of call when it comes to attracting them initially, email marketing has a powerful role to play when it comes to converting those first impressions into loyal and enduring customers.
As an ecommerce email marketing agency, Hustler Marketing works with a number of brands that fall into the luxury or the premium segment, and supports them in building their brands with a high-end marketing strategy to create just the right perception amongst potential and existing customers.
Most luxury purchases are expensive and often rare – so in such a scenario, how do luxury brands ensure that they are increasing their repeat purchase rate and turn one-time shoppers into loyal customers who keep coming back for more?
We asked Monica Bansal, Hustler Marketing’s head of marketing, to share some of their top tips on email marketing for the premium D2C ecommerce brands who are looking to get into the luxury segment and extract more customer lifetime value.
1. Tell a great story about the history of the brand and why it commands the price it does
A great brand is one that tells great stories – it really is as simple as that. Luxury brands do it best, and what better way to do so than via a well thought-out email marketing campaign? The ideal text to image ratio is essential in telling long and evocative stories that capture recipients’ interest right until the end.
Trendia, an Indian ethnic wear store, leveraged an impactful email that goes into the genesis of the brand to establish the first point of connection with their potential customers, and to great success. Luxury bag brand Senreve, meanwhile, uses the marketing medium to trace back its journey and accentuate its inspirational background to justify its price tag. It’s a strategy that has worked especially well for a new brand trying to set its foot in the luxury space, and has proved to be a powerful way to cement the desired high-end status with customers early on.
2. Never lead by discounts or promotions
Most luxury brands know this, but for those still in their infancy and looking to make their way into the space, here’s a golden rule. Luxury and discounts or low prices simply don’t mix. If you want to establish your product or service as prestigious and highly sought-after, then it must be priced accordingly, and as marketers, the job is to convince buyers that it is worth the splurge.
Luxury brands should never lead by price. This doesn’t mean that you should never offer discounts of any kind, but keep in mind that luxury customers are mostly price insensitive and are looking for quality and status. The difference between a purchase and non-conversion isn’t because of a price difference – in fact, too much discount can actually put off a luxury customer. So hold your nerve, and maintain established prices to show that you have confidence in the quality of your product – and the desire from others to have it.
3. Create strong associations with emotions
It’s normal for most products to centre promotions and special campaigns around special occasions like Christmas and Valentines’ Day – but luxury products, especially in the jewellery, skincare spaces, go one step further by creating associations with abstract concepts and emotions. Most platinum jewellery bands sell the idea of ‘celebrating love’ rather than celebrating Valentines’ Day. Throwing back to De Beers, the esteemed South African diamond company has managed to associate the concept of ‘forever love’ with diamonds like no other lifestyle company has, and is a shining example of what can be achieved when it comes to marketing luxury brands.
4. Offer a welcome pop-up to join an early bird or VIP list
If there’s one thing that luxury customers love, it’s the feeling of exclusivity, and offering them a privilege that makes them feel like they’ve got something before anyone else does is a great way to achieve this.
This is where campaigns centred around joining a VIP or early bird list come into play, and a special welcome pop up on your website inviting them to join, combined with a polished email campaign to send to your email list of existing customers to urge them to join an even more exclusive club, can make for a powerful combination.
Offering them the chance to get a sneak peek of a new product or launch and the first chance to buy is often plenty to entice customers, and will further boost your brand’s association with luxury. Keep the exclusive offers coming via your marketing emails for maximum effect.
5. Keep it subtle
Luxury brands say it all with design. Work your beautiful and elegant designs in your email campaigns too, and let them do the talking – but be sure to keep things simple. Garish colours, busy patterns and clashing palettes are all a big no-no when it comes to creating a sense of luxury, so opt for minimalistic colours and simplistic, easy-to-read fonts. Monochrome and pastels are good choices when it comes to setting the desired mood. Take a leaf out of the email marketing playbook of Tiffany’s – the epitome of luxury, and a prime example of how to do subtle well.