Duluth Company ad

Open Letter to Duluth Trading Company

Dear Duluth Trading Company,

I love your stuff. Before you, my pants never lasted more than a month before the edges started fraying or my wallet wore a hole through the back pocket. It was a miserable existence, since I hate clothes shopping and was forced to do it more often because of bad quality – something that couldn’t easily be fixed for someone just past the high end of what most stores carry for sizes.

Then you came along, with fire hose office pants that fit well in business casual environments and durability to last for, well, seven months so far for my first pair. They are indeed as advertised, especially the flexibility they provide.

Nutcracker ad

And your marketing is great. I’ve been loving the Christmas mailings, the billboards, and generally everything. I know I’m getting some stuff from you for the holidays. I’ve previously gushed about how much I love your campaigns, so I won’t repeat myself overly much here.

There is one thing that’s been nagging me, though, as a subscriber to your email list. A quick perusal of the below emails (I deleted the few that didn’t match this pattern during the time period, though even those were often 20% discounts on a particular item) will reveal the issue. You appear to have forgotten what the meaning of words is.

Duluth emails

For instance – you seem hooked onto this 20% idea. You also like to create urgency with a false timeline, so by this point, I’ve been trained to ignore any of that. I’m sure if I wait a few days, another 20% deal will start up again, perhaps this time with free shipping. I have grown immune to your exclamation points.

Look, as a marketing copywriter, I know how tough it can be to fit eye catching info into a subject line. I imagine your testing might even show that starting nearly every email with a percentage off is working for your click through rates – though you can see in the pic above how often I opened.

I’m just saying, for variety’s sake, mix it up a bit. Like you do with your lovely ads. Maybe to borrow an idea from your own ads, it’s like your marketing campaign covers most of your body, but this 20% thing is like the butt crack your products cover up for visible-butt-crack-challenged people like me, and your butt crack is showing.


Joel Hagen


Santa's butt crack
I love this visual
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2 thoughts on “Open Letter to Duluth Trading Company

  1. I think it would make me insane to have your background because I would endlessly nitpick everyone else’s ad copy. I’m surprised you stopped at just one thing. 🙂

    1. I imagine it’s like going to a science based movie for you. I’m pretty relaxed for the most part, this was a case of just wanting a favorite brand to not fall into a familiar trap. I have a friend that once traveled a city to confront business owners using apostrophes incorrectly.

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