There seem to be two types of companies: product-centric and customer-centric. For any brand to reach long-term success, Blend knows that customer-centric is the way to go. Many already globally large companies rely simply on their fame to build their popularity - focussing on a one-time purchase from millions rather than a consistent and recurring purchase from thousands. Mathematically, you could make more money off of consistent and recurring purchases from thousands in the long run. Why? Because it builds trust, and loyalty and those thousands will more than likely give you referrals which could lead you to more loyal customers. In the end, if done right, your loyal thousands will become loyal millions.
Treating your customer well after their purchase is even more critical than treating them well before their purchase. Most companies will focus all their efforts on the beginning of the customer journey in the hopes that the customer will make a purchase. What they lack is the nurturing thereafter - throughout the customers’ thought process once they have made a purchase. However, we were deeply disappointed that the companies on our list didn’t even put effort into the pre-purchase phase.
What do the world’s leading Shopify businesses do?
After subscribing to 20 of the top Shopify business's email marketing, we have analysed their flows to figure out whether they are constructive or not. While some of them may start out strong, they fizzle off after around a week, simply with product emails. We’ll go into more detail as you read on but it’s important to note that many of them are simply well-known as they are either celebrities who have created brands, or they have built their customer base firmly on their products - not their customers. While their marketing is in good standing on social media and other marketing channels, their focus is on gaining reputation and their customers gaining reputation from owning one of their products.
The problem is that it is not sustainable in the long term and those same customers that found them on social media, will slam them on social media should something go wrong. And once that ball gets rolling, there’s no return. We’ve seen it happen time and time again. Whereas a customer-centric approach would be able to identify pain points before they even happen.
The Leading Shopify Stores
Two of the greatest Welcome Flows we received were from Omaze and G-Fuel. With attractive colours and copy that pulled our attention, it led us to want to know more. Keep in mind that these companies have no information on us as customers. They simply have our email address to work with. And what’s great about these companies is that they didn’t let that stop them from creating exceptional emails to draw us in.
G-Fuel creates a healthy, energy-giving formula for gamers. Their brand colouring is out there, catching your eye and drawing you in. What they did in their emails is provide customers who have signed up with what they actually want from doing so: early access. It’s probably one of the most popular reasons customers sign up for email marketing along with discount codes where possible.
Omaze is, in simple terms, a fundraising site that provides the opportunity for everyone to win something in their lifetime while contributing to charity. If you’ve ever watched Mr Beast, you would know that people love watching others get given something or win something, and this email truly caught our attention. The colouring coupled with the copy became the perfect recipe.
While we won’t mention their names, not all companies were as unique. The rest of the emails left much to be desired. Out of the top 20, only 18 of the stores had options to sign up for email, meaning two of the stores don’t bother with email marketing.
Of the remaining 18, almost a month later, we’ve only received emails from 13 of them, meaning that five of the stores don’t utilise the marketing channel at all. As we said, most of these stores are large businesses based on celebrity fame, or they are cheap gadget stores, similar to Wish. We’re not denying the loyalty of their customers, however, it’s clear that it isn’t due to their customer service and merely due to brand association and/or their price.
With the following email as an example, and while we understand that they don’t have data on us as customers, this was undoubtedly the most boring, limited effort email flow we’d received. There was no catchy copy, interesting colours, or great layouts. We understand the latest trend to be minimalistic, but if we wanted something like this in our inbox, we could have simply visited the website every day. Even the email subject line simply stated the names of the clothing lines.
The next email at least has some colouring to it, but the copy is simple and the email itself doesn’t offer much more information than one could find on the site. Also, this specific company was the one that ignored customer timezones and emailed us twice a day, which didn’t help their case.
For our next example, it’s not specifically terrible, and if corrected, could potentially lead to a large increase in conversions. The layout of an email is important, you want it to lead the customer on where to go next. The great part about this email is the copy. It leads customers to feel the need to buy now, or they may never get the chance again. Unfortunately, the catchy copy is below the fold. Ever heard that first impressions last? Exactly that. Opening the email to this doesn’t make us want to scroll to see more:
But the copy we see here once we’ve scrolled further catches our attention and makes us want to see what we’ll be missing out on.
The Welcome Emails
First off, when a customer signs up for your email marketing, they want to feel celebration and excitement about what’s to come. Unfortunately, it seems that the majority of these leading stores don’t feel the same with most of them simply saying in tiny letters below the fill-in box “Thanks for signing up!”, with some simply saying “Thanks!”. If I were a loyal customer, I would have instant regret at signing up and would more than likely unsubscribe after the first email if it wasn’t exciting.
Customers sign up to email marketing to be the first in-the-know while also having a few perks and a special connection with a business that they love. They have given the company the right to collect data on their shopping habits and enrich their lives with the things they love. If a company doesn’t utilise the opportunity given properly, it’s a waste of money and time.
Time delays within email marketing are crucially important, as well as scheduling emails for the recipient's timezone. And it’s honestly not that complicated - it’s one button. But one particular business missed the memo as they sent us two emails a day, every day, including one at 2 am. Not only does no one want two emails a day, every day, from any company whatsoever, no one wants an email that early in the morning.
Timing your emails to arrive at the optimal time, for example, 6am for business owners as this is the time they are likely to check their emails, can make a large impact on whether that email is even opened. If the email does get opened, it’s likely that the customer will unsubscribe, especially if the email contains no copy and is just imagery spam of products.
Email Content and Segmentation
With one of the companies, a particularly popular fitness company, we had to unsubscribe three times before emails stopped. The content of this company’s emails, and most of them, were simply images of their products. There was little to no copy to entice customers, or even to wish them a good week. Headlines and previews were brought down to simply announcing a product line in the most boring manner, and the personalisation was zero to none.
While their block to insert your email didn’t require a name, they could have personalised it to the day of the week, or even set up a quiz with Octane to get the answers they want from these new customers. Customers are people and naturally love to talk about themselves and press pretty buttons. A multiple-choice quiz would have given them a perfectly sized hill of information that would increase the personalisation of their Welcome Flow.
Unfortunately, it seemed as though the emails were sent because John in the office said, “I guess we should do emails too, yeah?” and Karen replied, “Yeah but make them simple, we don’t have time for that.” While these large companies seem to be making some good money, they’re losing out on a large avenue to make money because of people like Karen.
Discount Codes and Follow-Up
Six of the companies sent discount codes for 10% - 15% off the first purchase, which is great. It pushes the customer into making their first purchase and most of the time, it will increase their AOV because they are getting a discount on their first order only. Not all of these companies made it enticing. On some occasions, the discount codes were hidden with low contrast text and high imagery to distract the customer.
Luckily, the number one store, (insert generic cosmetic name here) nailed the web redirect and the first email. They had an entirely new page-load with large, glittery letters saying “It’s official, we’re friends” before we received an email giving us an exclusive code to 15% off our first purchase. That stood out to me. And while their follow-up emails are non-existent, it’s probably an email we would search for should we want to purchase any cosmetics.
With all of these companies, there was no follow-up after these codes had not been used. The companies had the information they needed to realise that their emails aren't hitting the right buttons. They could have easily utilised this information to try and entice the customer more by starting a loyalty program such as one with Loyalty Lion, advertising the perks of being a loyal customer or advertising their socials to gain another way of connecting with their customers. These companies seem to give us the impression that they don’t care about their customers at all.
Improve your Welcome Flows with Blend
The possibility of building customer loyalty is large as the majority of these stores are apparel or cosmetic stores (or both), so why would they not focus on building their customer service? This industry often has a large following of customers who will buy again and again if they enjoy the products and the perks that come with it. But if the products are good, expensive (the companies in this list are all on the expensive side), and they get no recognition for their loyalty, there will be cause for them to start searching for another supplier of products that are just as good, less expensive, and show care and gratitude for their customers.
Our marketing team at Blend specialise in the perfect copy, imagery, segmentation, data analysis, and time delays when it comes to email marketing. Our client's goals are our goals. If you’re looking to increase your email marketing engagement, and decrease your unsubscribe rate, book a call.