I have sounded off on Albright a few times. Their marketing drives me kind of crazy with a constant “70% off sale” that isn’t so much a sale as it is pretty much what their every day prices are.
Instead of just continuing to gripe about it, I decided to write a note through their customer service email form.
Funny thing. The President of the company wrote back. After a couple exchanged emails my phone rang and I got to talk to the Prez. himself.
I expressed how much I disliked their constant “sale” approach and the silliness of the $1,000 MSRP on the EXT fly rod. He admitted that the $1,000 MSRP was sloppy and they fixed that a while back. He also revealed something that I found pretty surprising. Their strategy works. They have something like 10K or 15K names on their email list and they get something like a 20% open rate. Now, knowing something about email marketing I have to say… Whoa. That’s actually phenomenal.
They feel pretty strongly about the quality of their gear. The sticks are made in Korea but all the components are made in the US and they don’t pull punches with the components. See… wouldn’t that be nice to hear about?
One thing you have to give Albright… they were way ahead of most of the market on selling direct. Now everyone is doing it. More and more companies are doing it. Not everyone does… not yet, but that the trend. Of course, the shops are slowly going away, but that is probably a trend well beyond just fly fishing.
The 70% off sale does something else too… it plays into the Grouponization of the consumer. People don’t pay retail anymore. They wait, they look for deals.
I’ve been looking for someone who owns one of the EXT rods. I want to know what the consumer has to say. It could be that I even take one to Belize when I go in September. I really want to see how it stacks up. If you have one, give a shout. I’d love to get your feedback.
One way or another, it was nice to talk directly to the source.
By the way… I actually own an Albright GP.