Whose Stock Should I Buy?

It’s not every day you get an offer to buy some stock. Then two crowdfunding campaigns popped into my email feed on the same day.

It’s not every day you get an offer in your email to buy some stock. Maybe there’ll be some vague and/or shady promotions, though I don’t remember ever getting a single one from a company I could feel comfortable with.

Until last week, that is. Two equity crowdfunding campaigns popped into my email feed on the same day.

To be on the safe side, I checked to see if I had missed any like these before. Nope.

Both of these efforts are from retailers. So, I wanted to see how they go about persuading customers to become owners.

Xero Shoes
Xero email
This company manufactures minimalist footwear. Its founders appealed for funding on ABC’s Shark Tank, but rejected the deal offered by Shark Kevin O’Leary.

This email’s subject line: “Want to own a piece of Xero Shoes?  A special opportunity for you…”

Thanks to changes in SEC rules, the company can now offer stock to a broader range of investors.

A letter from Xero’s folksy founders (who are pictured) appears in the body of the email. It invites customers to “become part of our future.” And it provides a link that goes to a special page on their website.

There, a video explains a lot more about the company and the available investment.

Mi Ola
Mi Ola emailMi Ola sells women’s swimwear. Its subject line stands out a bit, beginning and ending with a wave emoji. “Invest in MI OLA!” Short and sweet.

But unlike the Xero Shoes offer, it takes a little longer to get to the point.

First, it runs a few pictures of women in swimsuits to remind the customer of why they’re a customer in the first place.

Then there’s some copy that starts with a quote by Warren Buffett: “Invest in what you know.”

It talks about how the customer knows how good their swimwear is. It says that women make better investors in start-ups. Nothing wrong with some flattery and girl power and … that’s about it.

It uses a link and a call to action button to get the investor to the company’s page on the StartEngine website. And that’s where there’s so much more, like a video, a heavy focus on the product, the company’s accolades, and individual team members.

Both sites require a deeper dive. Of course, there are many factors that affect how a potential investor may respond to offers like these. Thanks to the StartEngine platform, Mi Ola’s is flashier, maybe a little more impressive.

But there’s a lot to be said for Xero’s effort as well.  I like the pioneering embrace of this new funding method, and how it can be used for building community around a company.

I’ll keep an eye on both retailers, and maybe invest some money of my own.

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