I love Tommy Bahama attire. I’ve bought their pants and belts. I have their polo shirts, t-shirts, and sweatshirts. I have work shirts, bathing suits, and Hawaiian shirts. What I don’t have is any of their women’s attire. So why did I receive this mailer with some very… well, er, proportioned women begging me with their eyes to go swimming with them?
A colleague of mine who is also a Tommy Bahama enthusiast – and has also purchased only men’s clothes from them – received the same mailer. As customers, we have not purchased anything from Tommy Bahama other than for ourselves. Yet we received this self-mailer. It is printed on heavy white paper with some well-designed and superbly printed photographs. It cries to the aspiring summer bather, “Join me” or “Be me.” All the same, it gets a Fail for List. Mailing this piece to us is a waste of time and money.
Some direct marketing professionals might suggest that, perhaps, Tommy Bahama used a Big Data method as part of a growth strategy to try to bring in new purchasing behavior. Maybe we have credit card purchase data suggesting we buy things for our female significant others. I would be able to accept such a hypothesis if we were new customers. However, we both have years of purchasing behavior and we were identified by our customer number on the self-mailer. My hypothesis is that the merchant sent the same self-mailer to most or all of its customer base.
Lesson: Use your customers’ purchase history to your advantage. Target offers to customers that demonstrate a likeliness to make an incremental purchase.
P.S. As I write this, I am wearing a Tommy Bahama men’s shirt.