The Queensboro Shirt Company’s Fred Meyers on E-mail Marketing
Wilmington, N.C.-based customized shirt marketer The Queensboro Shirt Co. launched its e-mail program approximately six years ago. As customer response to its e-mails increased, the marketer found itself slowly, but surely, phasing out its catalog and direct mail efforts. Aside from a monthly postcard program announcing special offers, the marketer moved to a nearly e-mail exclusive marketing strategy in 2003.
Target Marketing spoke with Fred Meyers, Queensboro’s president and founder, about the company’s approach to and success with e-mail marketing.
Target Marketing: What are some of the benefits of an e-mail focused marketing strategy?
Fred Meyers: Part of [what] we see as unique about Queensboro is that our market is very large, but every product that goes through our order process is customized, so each item has to be handled individually. The fact that it’s customized gives [us] the additional benefit of having more of a dialog with our customers, to develop a relationship with them. I think that helps a lot on the e-mail side, because when the customer is accustomed to having an actual dialog via e-mail, the e-mail takes on a lot more of a non-spam tenor. I think that’s helped us make the transition from a paper-based direct marketer to an Internet-based direct marketer.
Also, our cost to retain a customer over the last couple of years has gone from about $30—when we were doing catalog-based customer retention—to under $5, and in some months under a $1. I’ve always been a strong believer that the lower our prices, the more we would sell. We have a very strong competitive position in the small home office market and e-mail has helped us reinforce that strong position, because the cost of marketing to target the customers is so much less than it has been in the past.
TM: How are you using e-mail to retain and grow your customer base?
FM: We … strong[ly] believe in the importance of merchandise- and offer-based marketing. We do a lot of work trying to come up with unique and fresh merchandise offers for our customers. We create unique e-mails each time we e-mail to our housefile and will do that as many as three to five times a week, depending on what kind of merchandise we have available to us, the kinds of offers we can come up with, and what our capacity issues are.