Icebreaker: Driving Holiday Sales with Email Marketing
Strategy behind holiday email campaign
Analysis of each email used in the campaign
Advice to utilize in your campaigns this holiday
To encourage Icebreaker consumers to purchase
Icebreaker clothing as holiday gifts for their
friends and family.
The primary market for this campaign was
Icebreaker’s US list of over 25,000 subscribers
who are active outdoor sports enthusiasts
familiar with the Icebreaker brand.
―In 2009, more than 83% of online retailers increased
their email volume in November and December, with
retailers increasing their frequency more than 39% on
average compared to the proceeding July – October
Retail Email Guide to the Holiday Season 2010: Email Insights and Inspiration from Christmas Past to Plan
Your Christmas Future - Chad White, Responsys, 2010
How do you stand out from the
crowd and connect with
We chose 3 areas of focus…
The strategy was to increase
email frequency from once
or twice a month to an
aggressive 2-3 emails per
Most of the emails in the
holiday campaign carried a test
and/or segmentation element.
In the end, the campaign
included 11 unique and
creative emails, each
weaving in a distinctive
gift giving angle.
Because Icebreaker is a
sustainable product, it was
decided that ―Give Green‖
would be a good entry theme
for the campaign.
Introduced the concept that
Icebreaker would make a
great gift for the 2009 holiday
Set expectations for the
frequency of emails that
would be sent over the
Showcasing Icebreaker’s top
ten selling items. Not only was
the goal of this email to further
―sell‖ customers on the
Icebreaker brand, but it
provided easy options for
choosing the perfect gift for
that special someone.
The lower right-hand section
of this email was used to
entice the viewer and prepare
them for the upcoming Black
To play off of the Black
Friday theme, the emails
a ―Black Friday Items‖
An additional promotion of
―15% off‖ on non-promo
The email was sent early
Thursday and Friday
Direct users to the ―Gift
Guide‖ landing page,
highlighting items that would
be perfect for anyone with any
type of interest.
Only items that were left in
inventory could be showcased
in this fifth email due to
success of Black Friday
campaign. What resulted
however was an email
depicting a wide variety of
clothing items, appealing to a
wide range of users.
Rather than using the top portion of
the email to showcase Icebreaker in
general, we introduced a specific
collection of the brand.
The lower sections of the email
were used to highlight specific
products that had an overstock of at
One segment received a promotion
code for a free beanie and the other
received a promotion code for 20%
The free beanie out performed the
discount by 20%
Similar to the previous send, this
email highlighted a specific
collection — Bodyfit. Products
within this collection include
various weights of active base
layers, perfect for the outdoor
man or woman. Because of this,
a skier was used as the main
A/B testing showed that a
consumer review drove higher
sales than a magazine review.
This email was the last of the
campaign to highlight a specific
collection. The collection used was
travel and light weight wear. In this
email, the bottom section was
again used to highlight specific
products for which Icebreaker had
a large quantity of stock.
A/B Testing showed that by
increasing the percentage offer
(25% off), it out performed the
product offer (Free Socks) in
Targeted towards recipients who
only had one week left to get a
gift for that special someone.
Icebreaker assembled gender
specific kits, each containing 3
items, to showcase the wide-
range of Icebreaker product
offerings, which were depicted in
The success of this bundle
promotion helped formulate
plans for additional bundle offers
The goal of this email was to
remind recipients that there
were only 5 days left before
Christmas and that the
deadline to order and have
items shipped in time was
Specifically, Icebreaker wanted
to communicate the different
shipping options available to
The two lower sections of the
email linked out to landing
pages with items costing under
$50.00 and under $100.00
Icebreaker is a New Zealand
based brand, it was decided to
share ―Boxing Day― with the
Boxing Day follows the
and, for this email, was
portrayed as a day for
recipients to purchase the
items for themselves that they
did not receive as gifts.
Campaign ends with a focus
on the subscriber
• Not only did this campaign have massive residual brand
impact, successfully creating positive US awareness for
Icebreaker, but the results exceeded all sales
expectations for the campaign.
• The sales for Black Friday were triple the goal and, as a
whole, the campaign influenced more than a 32%
increase in total holiday sales over 2008. Of that
increase, 58% were direct sales from the campaign.
Look at last year’s holiday emails and top
performing 2010 emails. Repeat what
worked, avoid what didn’t.
Avoid a complete creative overhaul.
Stay true to overall look subscribers
are familiar with.
Give subscribers the option to manage preferences and frequency or you
may lose them.
Test important elements (subject, copy, call-to-action) with each email.
Stay fresh and creative with your offers, segmentation will add relevancy.