Less (or fewer) is More

Colourful flowers in window boxes outside The Ritz, London

I always enjoy walking past The Ritz on Piccadilly and checking out their windowboxes; the simplicity of design is always spectacular and provides real impact.  They really do embody the notion that ‘less is more’.  Unfortunately so few people in marketing seem to follow that line.  I expect, like me, you are inundated with emails just because you signed up for a special offer or some information, or opened an account which was supposed to make your life less complicated.

ritz windowboxes

I have a friend, a design and fundraising consultant, who developed a strategy along these lines to help charities build a base of particularly interested supporters.   One recommendation was that a charity should reduce by one each year its regular appeals by letter to supporters.   Actually one such charity sent me a special appeal a few months ago and I noticed it – and took action!

In contrast, I regret buying two polo shirts online from a well-known company for a male family member a couple of years ago.  Nice shirts, but they were followed by a welcome letter with a voucher (appreciated), and then another catalogue (a bit pushy).  Emails arrived weekly – they were soon deleted, and then I unsubscribed – and we got communications in the post for 12 months until finally and thankfully we fell off their radar.

There are so many companies whose emails I would be quite interested in reading if they didn’t send me more than one or two a month.

As a consumer, I take care to provide a gmail address which helpfully segregates ‘promotions’ from the rest of the in-box.  I use a different personal e-address for emails with friends or useful contacts.

As an administrative professional and business-owner, I advise clients to consider reducing the frequency of marketing communications in order to maximise impact.  Familiarity breeds contempt. Less (or fewer) is very often more.