Don’t copy your competitors

Okay, so the one thing I see happen quite a lot when we take on a new customer at MailNinja is that people will always look at a competitor and see what they’re doing. Now, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. There’s a tool out there called MailCharts, and there’s Owletter that allow you to actually spy on your competitors and other big name brands to see what they’re doing, how many emails they’re sending, what the emails look like etc. Obviously, you don’t get to see their open and click rate data, but you get to see how often they’re sending emails and what email they’re sending out. It’s good practice to have an idea of what your competitors are doing. BUT, the mistake I see is that people try to copy them exactly. That’s a bad thing.

We once had a customer, a watch brand, who had a well-known competitor, and as soon as that competitor sent an email, they asked us to replicate that email just changing the watches and their brand. Like for like. The same wording, same everything. And no matter what we said, they wanted to stick to that. Now, that could have worked for them, but I’m going to say that don’t do that. You don’t want to copy exactly, instead you want to create a unique brand and you’re only going to do that if you create your own path. So actually, it’s a good idea to have a look at your competitors to learn from them, like to see how they deal with abandoned carts and how often they send emails and what they’re selling etc, but it really comes down to your brand, your tone of voice, your price point, your products, and your customers. There could be lots of things that are almost identical in terms of what you are selling and how you are positioning your brand as another brand, but in actual fact you are not going to be the same. They’re going to have a larger audience or a smaller audience. They’re going to have a more engaged audience. Lots of different factors. So, it’s good to look at your competitors and monitor what’s going on, but please, don’t try and copy them.

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