-In the early days of our email program, we had a small list—under 100k.
-At this time, we had a very basic email strategy.
-Our list was so small at this time that this strategy worked for us. We didn’t need to put our focus on segmentation and personalization, we needed to focus on growing our email list.
-Early on, we always saw very strong email metrics
-That was in part due to having a smaller, easily managable list, but it was also a result of the quality of traffic we were receiving.
-It’s easy for young brands to want to grow their list as quickly as possible which usually includes sweeps or a similar tactic, but we never did that. We were concerned about getting the right people to our site
-This strategy has stayed with us to this day. Quality over quantity.
The basics of collecting email addresses
Learning where to collect email address/ testing incentives
-When you need to grow your customer list, where and how you advertise your brand extremely important.
-Aside from traditional strategies (display, SEO, etc.) we’ve tried to think outside of the box. Knowing that part of our customer base is a professional man, we advertised in the Wall Street Subway station.
-We put out a commercial addressing the reality of men wearing uncomfortable underwear and we’ve teamed up with media outlets and partners (KH) who speak the way we do, who understand our story, our goal and can help us bring customers who appreciate our brand and who come with an intent to purchase and become a loyal customer.
-You may not always get a large amount of email addresses from tactics like these—this is not like a list swap—but you get high quality email addresses. You get people who will engage with your emails, keep your list healthy and active.
-This is important to address because again, a lot of young brands look to a tactic such as sweeps to grow their list. From experience, sweeps deliver a huge amount of email addresses that tend to opt out at rates as high as 50%, if not more, shortly after you send them their first marketing message.
-We only work with brands who feel natural to us.
-If our respective customer bases can’t benefit from each brand, it’s not worth moving forward.
-This makes sense if you look at your own behavior. People enter sweeps for a prize, not because they care about the brands who are involved. Sweeps give you a large amount of subscribers who are not interested in your brand and will likely never be. If these people do not unsubscribe, it puts your deliverabitliy in jeopardy.
-As our list grows, it’s become more and more important to keep as much our list active and engaged. We don’t just talk to our best customers, we try to talk to everyone just in different ways.
-With list growth, it’s natural to see dips in email metrics but using segmentation and learning what our subscribers need from us and when, we’ve been able to keep these strong.
-We still don’t have one of the larger lists, but we do have a strong list. While we of course want to grow our list, we’ve learned you don’t need a million subscribers to make an impact. You just need to know how to speak to the subscribers you do have.
Over 50% growth YoY list growth
There are a lot of ways to get the most out of your email list, no matter the size. However I think segmentation, triggered sends, frequency and personalization are some of the most important and at least a great way to start if you can touch at least one of them.
-Becoming more “personalized” and “targeted” is much easier said than done.
-We all know that we should be doing this but where do you start?
-We used to do very basic segmentation but realized we had to start diving our list in a better way. As our brand and catalogue grows, we had to find a way to give people different messages depending on who they were, where they were and more.
-This past fall, we did a large campaign around our Undershirts
-This campaign was an omni-channel effort. We had a commercial made, we had display ads, social ads, a specialized landing page, and of course email.
-Because we wanted to maximize success, we knew we had to segment our customer based on what their past purchase behavior was with this category.
-We were able to treat each group differently, and the results we saw exceeding expectations we had going in.
-This campaign showed us the power of segmentation. If we could revive this category, purely with segmentation, imagine what we could do to our email program overall.
Up to 10 workflows that we now utilize and are always testing and optimizing.
-Maximizing your email list, no matter what the size, really depends on whether or not you can keep your subscribers active and engaged.
-We tend to look at the window in which we feel our customers are most likely to come back and then optimize for that. For us, we want our customers to come back within 120 days. We’ve broken out our reactivation series to start at 90 days. They obviously are not inactive at that point but we send them a “friendly reminder” to try and get them to repeat early. We think of it as a pre-emptive re-activation.
-For example, if you know your customers tend to come back within in 6 months, at 5 months you could prompt them to make sure you don’t lose them. -This is something we’re still very much working on and improving to make sure we can increase repeat behavior.
-Due to healthy open rates and low unsubscribe rates, we had a hypothesis that we could send an additional email per week to our customers.
-We wanted to be able to serve more branded, educational content in additional to our regular “newness” each week.
-Maximizing list: Our list isn’t huge but it’s active and engaged and based on this test, we found we could successfully speak to them more often.
-Test can work both ways—next phase: which customers don’t need this.
-Learning to understand what your customers need, want and how to capitalize on that.
-We are still at the early stages with personalization but I know it’s the key to taking our list and our business to the next level.
-Customers want personalization, they want to feel like we’re speaking to them so it is a huge priority for us.
-As a smaller team, it can be hard to find the resources to do personalization well.
-Working with MI and BounceX to tailor our messages
-We are very much a work in progress
-We have a long way to go but I think learning's we can all utilize are to segment, be as personalized as possible and try to focus on each customer’s journey
-A big list means nothing if they are not engaged. Quality over quantity will be the most powerful and meaningful for your brand.
Bigger Isn't Always Better: How to Get the Most From Your Email List - Katie Hansen, Tommy John