As a kid, I always wanted a pair of Adidas sneakers.
They were the best.
All of the top athletes had them.
But, despite my howls of protest, my mum would never give in and pay the premium for the brand with the three stripes.
As she would patiently explain.
I was neither a track star.
Nor part of a hip hop crew.
My concerns at being disadvantaged come sports day, and stuttering attempts to freestyle over hastily improvised beats, did little to persuade her otherwise.
“This pair will do just fine”.
But, those cheaper imitations on my feet just didn’t compare with the real deal.
I gazed longingly at shop windows and flicked through endless catalogues.
Lusting after Sambas, Gazelles, Munchen and Grand Prix.
Released for the LA Olympics in ’84, when Carl Lewis announced himself to the world, they had an inbuilt computer chip to help you track your pace.
Like a fitbit on your feet, only 30 years ahead of its time.
C’mon, what kid could resist?
But, not even a tantrum or letter to Santa was ever gonna land me a pair.
The price tag was astronomical, way more than we could afford.
There was nothing for it.
I had to bide my time.
Become an adult.
And increase my disposable income exponentially.
Then buy every single old school reissue that Adidas ever put out.
Obsessed doesn’t even come close…
The thing about Adidas is their sneakers have a classic, timeless quality, that never seems to go out of style.
Plus, every time I wear my only pair of regular shoes, brogues, I feel like one of the Mr Men.
So, on a recent visit to the Adidas website, I was heartened to see a classic marketing tactic, that like their footwear, has stood the test of time.
And I ended up doing something I rarely do – subscribing to the mailing list.
I, Richard Phelps, a copywriter, supposedly on the inside track when it comes to marketing matters, willingly handed over my email address.
Because they offered me a FREE gift.
Not a discount or the vague promise of news and offers.
But, a FREE gift.
Flattered, excited and intrigued, I couldn’t input my deets fast enough.
And guess what?
They sent me a boring old discount code off my next order.
Hook, line and sinker.
But, like a classic pair of Adidas Superstars, it’s a throwback to another era, that still cuts the mustard today.
Remember, not everyone is ready right to buy right now, especially if you’re selling big ticket items.
So tease lurkers out of the online shadows by offering them something in exchange for their details.
Harvest those emails and communicate with your list every time you have something worthwhile to say.
All the while establishing trust and likeability until those folks are ready to buy.