Run don’t walk

Run don’t walk

Liz, Did you know that the average life span of a pair of running shoes is only about 400 miles? Once the cushioning has worn out, your joints and muscles are unprotected and have to absorb all of the impact of running themselves. While 400 miles may sound like a lot, a person who consistently runs only fifteen miles per week will cover that distance in just over six months.

According to our records, you may be due for a fresh pair of shoes. Your most recent shoe purchase was on 1/15/2010, when you bought a pair of Women’s Brooks Adrenaline 10 in size 9.0, Regular (B) width.

That’s an email I got this week from Jack Rabbit Sports, reminding me that it’s time to buy new running shoes. But instead of sending some sort of poorly designed generic coupon, they sent a simple, well-designed email, making it clear they have been paying attention — and not just to me, but to something I care about: running.

What’s especially delightful, I now see, is that they let me in on three things: new information on items I wear every day (my shoes), new information on the path I run every day (my course), and what I can do to improve (my future shoes). The email also included information that makes it easy to re-order. They’ll even drop shoes off at my house, same day.

Seth Godin points out:

Direct marketers used to shoot for 2% conversion from a good list, but now, that’s a long shot.

And thinks:

[T]here’s a transparent wall, an ever bigger one, between digital spectators and direct interaction or transaction. The faster the train is moving, the harder it is to pay attention, open the window and do business. If all you’re doing is increasing the number of digital spectators to your work, you’re unlikely to earn the conversion you deserve.

Jack Rabbit, for one, is paying attention. And now, so am I.