DESIGNER TOOLBOX: How Newsletters Can Help Your Fashion Business Achieve Solid Results

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Hi guys,
I witnessed a sad situation last week. I saw a fashion brand owner I worked with last year: she was totally exhausted. She has been posting relentlessly on social media for the past 6 months. She got a few likes and emoji comments here and there but in the end, her efforts did not bring the sales she was expecting. She was usually so peppy and full of passion but last week, she just llooked tired and fed up with everything.

I do not know if you have experienced this. That horrible feeling of deep fatigue when you end up questioning your choices. You were in for this whole thing because you were passionate about fashion. Remember? You just wanted to make beautiful clothes and share your passion to the world.
How did you end up there, desperately waiting for people to show up and wondering how to sell your clothes online?
I understand what you are going through: the struggle is real.
And I figured out that many fashion designers who start (actually even the ones who have been on the market for years and still struggle…) have ignored a totally basic tool.
Newsletters  and e-mail marketing.

I know…
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I am aware that the accessibility of a Facebook or an Instagram platform leaves the impression that everything is so easy. And it can be, if you use those tools properly.
But as you probably noticed, there is a lot of noise on social media and it is getting harder to get heard. According to, in January 2018: there were 2.2 billion active users in Facebook and over 800 million users in Instagram. And numbers are going up as we speak, making it even more difficult to stand out.
So you absolutely need to think of an alternative to get your message through to your target audience and inform people about that cute little dress you just got in your store.

#1 – Why you are in a desperate need of a fashion newsletter

Let’s start with hard facts.

The ideal way for fashion brands to generate repeat orders

Here is one thing you need to know: an estimated 40% of purchases in e-commerce stores are generated by repeat customers.
What does it mean?
It means that 40% of the sales in your online fashion shop are generated by people who will buy from you again again and again.
Yes! A few raving fans can do miracles to your sales.

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40% is massive: nearly half of your sales! And how can you make sure they keep hearing from your brand? The good old newsletter!

Your fashion brand needs to interact at least 7 times with a prospect before being able to sell

Yep. It is called the rule of 7. A prospect needs to interact and be in touch 7 times with your brand before buying from you. With social media becoming more and more crowded, you absolutely need a complementary way to reach your target customer.
How can you ensure that your message gets heard 7 times? Social media is one way but you can also send your messages directly to your prospect’s inbox.

Do not put all your eggs in the one same unpredictable basket

Thirdly you never know what will happen with social media. Today you have the Facebook or Instagram accounts of your followers but this is not a data you own. Facebook and Instagram own the information. And if for any reason they decide to change their platform, there is a risk you no longer have access to your own followers. It looks unprobable today but you never know!

At least with a newsletter you have an entire database with their email address. And this is at least an information that you own and can rely on.

Newsletters are just efficient. Period.

Emails are at least 4 times more effective in reaching your audience than Facebook for example. Email gets an average 20% open rate while Facebook has 5% talking about that same topic.
So I am not saying here that you need to forget about social media. On the contrary. All I am saying is that it is good to have the good old email to keep in touch with your customers.

A great way to tailor your message to your fashion brand and every single customer

The great thing with Fashion newsletters is: you can personalize the user experience. Because you reach them personally.
You will also be able customize your newsletter according to your brand identity. You can also use your subscriber’s first name.

You can connect on a more personal level and share more about your creative world.
In short, fashion newsletters contribute to create trust for your brand.
Fashion FXF - Fashion business newsletters - How to launch you fashion business

#2 What can you communicate with a newsletter?

I do get the issue of not knowing what to tell your audience about. And yet, you have a lot of things that you can talk about. To start brainstorming on this, you can also download our fashion newsletter brainstorming checklist. 

Learn more about your audience first

Before you do this I highly encourage you to have an idea of what your customer is into. So even a basic analysis of your audience is enough to understand what kind of content they value.

Then the content also depends on the kind of experience you want your target customer to have with your brand. But basically, you will be able to share more about your lifestyle and create a real connection with your readers. You have a whole space to tell about your brand story and your brand identity.

Show them what they missed on your fashion brand’s social media profiles

You can also get them engage more with you on social media by showing them what they have missed on social media. Depending on what you share but you can also give them a taste of the kind of content you have on your Instagram account (behind the scenes for example or events).

Generate even more trust

You can also show them customer reviews and show them what is trending in your shop right now.

Share news from your fashion business

You can also tell them about a new fashion item or an event that you launched. Basically any news in your fashion business can be shared here. Also news about an upcoming collection or a current campaign that you are preparing or what is in preparation in your workshops. There again, it depends on the audience, you need to get the feel of what they like.

Show that your fashion brand lives

You can share some lifestyle advice. How to wear your piece for example. Where people can wear it.

Fashion FXF - Fashion business newsletters - How to launch you fashion business
#3 –  How can you get your audience to opt in?
In the service business it is easier to share things in exchange of an email address. With physical products it is more complicated. You are not going to give away a product in exchange of an email. So you need to think about what you can deliver to your customer for free in exchange of an optin.
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Here are some ideas: you can do a styling quiz that helps to profile your audience. And in exchange of the results, you get the email.

You can send them the care instructions in exchange of the email address.
You can send styling advice, maybe get inspirations from a celebrity that resonates with your brand and put together a styling booklet to look like that celebrity.
Then of course, you can also give a discount in exchange of the optin. You can also market the newsletter as a priviledge and give the promotions in priority to the people who sign up for your mailing list.


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DESIGNER TOOLBOX: The 3 Critical Steps To Learn How To Price Your Fashion Line

Fashion FXF - Fashion business - How to start a clothing lineHey guys,

Finding the right price point for your fashion line is one of the most difficult tasks a designer can work on. So many of you fashion designers come to see me to view the collection and help you price your items.
I get it. It’s not an easy task, especially if you’re on your own.
On the one hand, you are afraid that if your price point is too high, no one will ever show up to buy your items at that price.  On the other hand if your price point is too low, you’re afraid that people may think that it’s low quality. And on top of that, you might not be able to make enough profit out of your fashion line. I get it!  This topic raises so much anxiety. You feel the fear just thinking about it: is it too high? is it too low? Maybe you’ve even gone a step further and you’ve  showed your fashion line to some people who showed some interest. Until you mentioned the price…
Yes trying to find a reasonable price point for your fashion line can feel like a real struggle when you’re figuring out how to start a clothing line. 
We need to address the main obstacles that appear during the pricing process. I observed three main obstacles that created fear around pricing your fashion line.

#1 – Get Rid Of Your Mental Limiting Beliefs

The usual traditional methods won’t tell you about this although I see it as the main difficulty you will have to overcome when you’re launching your clothing line.
It’s the first issue that holds you from pricing your line properly: you feel that you and your fashion brand are one and the same.
Since you made the collection, it feels very difficult to put a price on your own time and effort. How much is it worth?   You can’t say  since  you find it difficult to separate yourself from your own fashion brand. I understand,  it’s like putting a price tag on your own person.  If you have this issue, you will probably feel as affected when people give you a Bad review,  it hurts personally as if they stumped on your own heart.
To start with,  you need to step back and take some distance. What you need to do here is to clear your head and act as if you were hired by your own brand to perform a job.
Second obstacle is actually a consequence of the first obstacle.  Since you feel that you and your brand are one and the same,  you totally lack of objectivity.  So all your personal issues might reflect on your fashion brand.  As a result,  if you have a low self-esteem you will probably think that you work is not worth paying a certain amount. So you will probably be asking for a ridiculously low price for a beautifully made product.

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And if you are, let’s say unrealistic, you will be tempted to follow a high price point although the quality and the value added you deliver do not meet the level required.
You need to get rid of those mental patterns. They usually come in a form of a little voice telling you that you don’t deserve to ask for that kind of money or on the contrary, you feel that you worked so much on your collection that no matter the market reality, your fashion line should be priced like a high end product.  When you hear those voices, you have to reason yourself by saying that you cannot rely on an unverified information that is only based on fear or belief.
Once you  put aside the mental limiting beliefs, you have to take care of the actual pricing analysis.
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#2 – Compare your fashion line to your competitors’, criteria by criteria

If you carried out a proper market research,  now is the time to pull it out.  Take your analysis of your competitors and position your brand compared to your competitors. If you haven’t performed any market research yet, I’d highly recommend you do one even if it’s only to be aware of the biggest trends and risks you are facing nowadays in the fashion industry.  And you absolutely need to know who your competitors are,  what makes them strong and what are their potential weaknesses.  Concretely what does it look like?
It means that you will have to pick a few of them, analyse their offer and compare it to yours.  In the checklist that I share in the Fashion Fix Facebook group, I’ve prepared a little chart  to make the comparison easier and more objective.  The idea here is to compare your brand to your competitors’, criteria by criteria.  When you do this work, it’s important that you don’t lie to yourself. Otherwise you’ll just end up promising a value added that does not exist and disappoint your customers.

Choose a category you will work on (T-shirt, dress, skirt, trousers etc). And be honest with yourself, don’t just evaluate your product blindly. Also to do this exercise, you need to understand and to read the quality of the work.
When you put your product category in the chart, you need to ask yourself: how do you compare to your competitors on each of those criteria? if there are criteria on which you have a low assessment, can you maybe compensate with another criteria? For example if you are not able to make your products available on as many distribution channels as your competitor, which can make your brand less convenient to access to, maybe you can argue, promote rarity and the fact that you make limited series. Maybe you can even add that it’s handmade if it’s the case.

At the end of this exercise, you will get a price range for each product category as well as a more objective assessment.
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#3 – Make Sure Your Price Point Covers The Costs

In the last step, you compare the price obtained to your production costs. There are different formulas out there. The most common you will find is
Production costs X 4 = Retail price
However if in your business model, you consider selling wholesale, you need to have some room for potential price discounts and sales promotions that retail stores will ask you to apply. So in the end, that’s why you can find markup levels of 7.
But what does that mean? It means that your retail price cannot be more than 7 times higher than your total production costs.


Do you want to know how to apply this pricing method to your fashion line? 

Join the Fashion Fix and download the pricing checklist to guide you through your pricing process

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Be part of the Fashion Fix 

Get more tips and support for your fashion business. Exchange with like-minded designers

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SALES: How To Best Sell Your Fashion Pieces Online

Hi Guys,
As the State of Fashion report of 2017 noted, online sales in the fashion industry increased and are expected to keep growing in future years (+12% as of 2020).
This is all fine and good but you’ll ask me: how can your fashion business benefit from this trend?
This is exactly the subject of today’s article. We interviewed Juan A. Montilla, Creative director at Mortimerland Design about the success factors of selling fashion online.

Why would customers prefer shopping online instead of in a brick and mortar shop where they can touch and try on the products?

There is no doubt that the digital revolution in fashion business is about immediacy and straightness. Purchase decision processes are nowadays more instinctive and brief than they have ever been. People decide what they want in a few seconds. They get suddenly excited about a bag or a dress they are viewing for the very first time on Instagram; and in matter of seconds they are praying to find it on the online store. They just can’t wait.
And the most amazing part is that all this sequence takes place in less than thirty seconds! In the old times the same process would have taken an entire evening going from one store to another. The point is that if you are unable to satisfy this brief excitement with the fastest, easiest, most pleasant, and most sophisticated experience, you are definitely loosing the train.
What are the key ingredients to make a fashion brand successful online?
The key factor is undoubtedly the capacity to become part of your customer’s “social persona”. It is no wonder that we are all two different persons online and offline, although 90% of people won’t ever admit it. Your “social persona” is the projection of all your aspirations, goals, and expectations, come true in the magic land of The Internet.
Your “persona” is the way you want everybody to see you: successful, trendy, interesting, outgoing, intelligent, fun, etc. And that is exactly the field where fashion brands have to play the game, in the social aspirations of customers. For instance, by interacting with brands like Aston Martin, Louis Moinet or Hacket you are trying to define your social persona as a young, sophisticated, outgoing gentleman. If your brand becomes a useful factor for people to build their online personas, there is no doubt you will be also one of their first options while deciding where to buy their new dress. Furthermore, if their customer experience is good enough, they will become evangelists of your brand, providing you with free brand exposure on digital media for a long while.

The benefit of selling online seems obvious when it comes to ready-to-wear designers. What about Couture designers? Is selling online applicable to all kinds of designers?
Of course “Couture” shopping behavior is different to “prêt-à-porter” one. Couture customers are looking for high-end, personalized experiences. Nevertheless, the decision to buy clothes and accessories is usually taking place online, so if you are not there to show not only your clothes but your brand experience, they will find other clothing references to follow and your brand will be pushed into the background. In the case of Couture designers it is more about starting friendly relationships with your customers, interacting with them, talking to them, giving them advice, etc. in order to drive sales to your firm and build long lasting relationships with them.
What would you recommend fashion brands to do to ?
We should keep in mind that every brand is a single universe that should be targeted towards a specific area of customer’s brain. Becoming a relevant part of people fashion interests is not an easy task. You will need to develop such a singular, interesting, strong, coherent personality that stands out from the current, overcrowded, fashion business establishment. Your fashion DNA must be something unique, something precious. True brand experiences are successful because all the people involved understand its fashion DNA and work together in the same direction to keep the coherence in all the branding actions.
Fashion DNA, as human DNA, needs to be unique. It makes no sense to imitate other brands. The brain of your customers is a wide universe where most of the opportunities are undiscovered. Just try something different, something only yours.

Juan A. Montilla, Creative director at Mortimerland Design


Did you find this article interesting?

Find more tools to help you with your fashion business in the number one FXF guide. “The Fashion Business Plan” by Bako Rambini is available on Amazon.


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NEWS PICK: How Retailers Can Find Which Technology To Use

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Technology evoloved so fast, so many applications can be used. However how to decide which ones are worth investing in?
Through the angle of the Customer of course. Key for retailers is to correctly identify their demographic and Customer and see which application enables to better “assisting them on their journey to discovering what they need, offering perfect product value and curation of interesting things, providing a personalized experience, and delivering a frictionless, easy path to purchase.”

More here via Fashion United:


Did you find this article interesting?

Find more tools to help you with your fashion business in the number one FXF guide. “The Fashion Business Plan” by Bako Rambini is available on Amazon.


To receive more news and fashion designer tools, follow us