5 marketing lessons we learned from The Bachelor

February 11, 2016 McKenzie Gregory


You might be skeptical, but there really is something to be said for the immensely popular TV series, “The Bachelor.” It's one of the most-watched shows on network television (and a guilty pleasure for lots of Emma staffers) for a reason: It’s just plain fascinating watching that level of insanity play out right in front of your eyes every Monday night.



And we just can’t help but be interested in what it tells us about human psychology and, yes, marketing. It may be reality TV (and therefore a less-than-accurate depiction of reality), but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t still shed some light into what makes people tick. So without further ado, here are five marketing lessons we’ve learned from watching "The Bachelor." Use them in your email program, and you just might earn a rose of your own!



1. First impressions are powerful.

That’s because they stick, regardless of whether or not they’re accurate. Case in point: After getting the first impression rose from Ben this season, everyone’s favorite villain stuck around for much longer than she should have – especially considering she was clearly a nut job. He couldn’t get past the fact that she gave off such a great first impression, and it took him a solid six weeks to realize his error in judgement.



In a similar manner, people tend to cling to their first impression of brands. And if your brand leaves a bad one, it’ll prove incredibly difficult to recover from that initial misstep.

So make sure you’re starting your relationship with new subscribers and customers on the right foot: Automate a welcome email, develop a loyalty program, and thank individuals for their purchases. It’s all absolutely essential to ensure you develop an engaged, happy audience of brand advocates.



2. Be memorable.

A cocktail party at the Bachelor Mansion is a great analogy for the modern marketing landscape. It’s filled-to-the-brim with attractive brands (women) all vying for your (Ben’s) attention. So when competing against that much noise, it’s important to do everything you can to stand out.



Differentiate yourself from the competition by finding a voice that’s uniquely your own and staying true to it. And try mixing it up a little by adding a fun GIF to your content (they can boost click rates by 42%) or an emoji to your subject line. Everyone has their own perspective and something new to offer – just be sure not to try so hard to stand out that it feels inauthentic or downright weird (we’re looking at you, girl who insisted on giving Ben a dental exam). Being memorable won’t do you any good if people are remembering you for the wrong reasons.



3. Honesty is everything.

There have been A LOT of seasons of The Bachelor (this one’s number 20!), and still, this happens every single time. Despite the fact that these women are fully aware that they’re being filmed and that their every word will be broadcast on national television, someone makes the decision to tell a whopper of a lie. This season, it was Leah throwing Lauren B. under the bus for no apparent reason. And in one fell swoop, she was both given the boot by Ben and instantly hated by America.



Just don’t do it. Lying to your audience is a terrible idea, and you will be inevitably found out. Whether it’s (like Leah) talking smack about a competitor, refusing to be transparent about a product or service, or pulling the ‘ol click-bait-and-switch, dishonesty will get you absolutely nowhere.



4. Be human.

Despite what you may think, most people aren’t huge fans of perfection. Ben always tells the girls to be authentic and vulnerable with him; after all, when he’s made his final decision and the cameras disappear, he wants to know what to expect from them.



Always try keep your marketing as real as possible. People like things that are relatable – consider those Dove beauty commercials or the overwhelming popularity of user-generated content. It’s much more useful to provide potential customers photos of real people wearing your clothes than to bombard them with glossy images of perfect, Photoshopped models. So keep it human, keep it personal, and keep it real.



5. Winning someone over is just the beginning.

Even when someone wins “The Bachelor," only a few of the relationships actually end up working out. Strolls on the beach become strolls through the grocery store, and elegant evening gowns become t-shirts and sweats. Real life is much less attractive – and much harder – than that initial honeymoon phase.



For marketers, it’s important to remember that even after you’ve won over a new subscriber, prospect, or customer, it takes work actually keep them around. At first, they’re super excited about your brand and want to hear everything you have to offer, but that won’t always be the case. So continually nurture them with valuable content, exclusive offers, and the occasional display of appreciation. You’ll lower your unsubscribe rate and reap the reward of a brand love that lasts a lifetime – no roses required.


About the Author

McKenzie Gregory

McKenzie Gregory is a content writer on Emma’s marketing team. A Nashville native, she can be found covering all things email on the Emma blog, debating hyphenation rules, and watching obscene amounts of Netflix without a trace of shame.

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