Category: customer engagement

B2CRM News

Fashion Brands Email with Empathy and a Positive Outlook

For 2020, brands sought to build a connection with their customers based not only their products but on shared aspirations and good works, something they reflect on as we enter a new year.

Just like every year, the last quarter was dominated by a barrage of promotions to buy for the holidays followed by the post-holiday sales. But this year, there is also another aspect to emailed communication at the end of December, as exemplified by fashion brands Boden and ModCloth.

Thank you. We couldn’t have done it without you.

That was the subject line for Boden’s end-of-year email. It packed in a number of components.

As indicated by the subject, it did begin by thanking the customers who participated in social sharing and a count of all the downloads for children’s activities. It then proceeded to a point of mutual credit connected to the dollar amount of goods donated to needy people in the United States. It also gives itself a pat on the back for being recognized for its ethical standards.

Finally, it turns its attention to looking forward to the future with new fashions. It adds in the incentive of a reward of gift cards tied to purchase amount.

It then adds in the postscript it has been including on all emails since early spring: An observation of business continuing under unusual circumstances that can delay delivery and a link to all COVID-19 related questions.

What a difference a year makes.

That was the subject ModCloth used for its end-of-year emails. Like Boden, it worked in a humblebrag of its accomplishments over the year, though its message was packed into a single infographic that focused on numbers:

ModCloth counts Slack messages and dinosaur searches rather than downloads of activities, but it also touches on the company and its customers coming together for charity and adds a stress on its commitment to serving its customer base.

Both companies here say they’re about more than just selling clothes and seek out to connect with their customers on the communal and emotional level.

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B2CRM News

What can Marketers Learn from Alicia Keys, REM, Lin-Manuel…

Here on PF, we love ourselves a good podcast. That’s why we’ve recently been bringing you a monthly lineup of the best podcast episodes we think marketers should listen to.

And while we try to keep the list diverse, extracting marketing lessons from a podcast about artists breaking down their own songs is something so unique and intriguing, we 100% welcome it.

Which is exactly what Rony Vexelman, Optimove’s director of product marketing, did when he watched the four episodes of Song Exploder on Netflix.

Become the best CRMer you can:
CRM Hack: measuring the right marketing campaign KPIs
How To: use loyalty data to power retention and reactivation
See how brands take their email deliverability to the max
Get inspired: great sports betting campaigns to follow

According to Vulture, “Song Exploder is probably the best use of the podcast format ever.” In each episode, different musicians take apart their songs, and piece by piece, tell the story of how they were made.

They delve into the specific decisions that went into creating their work, discussing the creative process used to create a particular song, going from songwriting to recording, all the way to post-production, and more.

Recently, Netflix turned four of its iterations into TV episodes where Alicia Keys, Lin-Manuel Miranda, R.E.M., and Ty Dolla $ign break down their own work.

In many ways, what he saw there reminded Mr. Vexelman of some marketing challenges and truths he is facing daily. Why? We’ll let him explain.

Four Lessons From Song Exploder

1. Alicia Keys and Sampa teach us that the same message can be interpreted very differently by two people. So imagine how differently thousands of customers and prospects understand your messaging. One-size-fits-all is a method long outdated for marketers.

2. Lin-Manuel Miranda’s constant tweaking of the tones was masterful. But his understanding that keeping the audience off-balance is what struck me. Marketers should not be afraid to change little subtle things to keep their audiences engaged and surprised.

3. REM’s choice to go with no chorus and use a mandolin throughout ‘Losing my Religion” was against any convention and recommendation. But it taught us to be different and stay true to your gut. If you want your message to stand out, being unique while authentic is a must.

4. Ty Dolla $ign showed us maybe the most powerful lesson of all. Let others chime in and help you on your journey. His collaboration on the road to writing the beautiful “LA” is a core message to all marketing managers out there. Your best work would come from your best collaborations.

 Great lessons can come from any direction. You just need to keep your ears to the ground. Or to the Netflix…


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Vote for Doughnuts

Many brands have tried to connect with customers by reminding them to vote in this year’s election, but one is sweetening the deal.

As soon as we hit fall 2020, brands were getting on board with messages to their customers, urging them to vote. It became so blatant that the Atlantic published Why Is Uber Begging Me to Vote?

Become the best CRMer you can:
CRM Hack: measuring the right marketing campaign KPIs
How To: use loyalty data to power retention and reactivation
See how brands take their email deliverability to the max
Get inspired: great sports betting campaigns to follow

“The trend seems to be a logical outgrowth of the widespread activist marketing that reached a fever pitch this year,” it noted.

Do people really need to be nudged to vote? According to the figures cited by the article nearly half of us don’t. Four years ago, not even 56% of those with the right to vote exercised it.

Now we’re in the home stretch of the highly anticipated Election Day 2020. In fact, it has already begun with many places extending voting earlier to help avert crowding conditions as COVID19 still remains a threat.


While most brands simply remind us about the election and urge us to fulfill our civic duty, Krispy Kreme decided to actively reward voters. The delicious donut maker just announced that those who voted won’t only get an “I voted” sticker but also a free Original Glazed doughnut on November 3.

Given early voting, I’ve already seen some of my acquaintances share selfies wearing such stickers (in one case on their masks). That kind of social sharing is what the doughnut chain is hoping to capitalize on, realizing the ROI on the freebie in extra exposure.

It said so explicitly in its press release: “Share how you’re enjoying a FREE Original Glazed Doughnut on Election Day and your civic pride by using #KrispyKreme and tagging @krispykreme.”

Perhaps next time around, it will play up the theme even more by allowing its customers to cast their vote for their favorite doughnut.

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“Make Every Touchpoint Shoppable”

The shift towards eCommerce has undeniably accelerated due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Both the cancellation of events and global store closures have caused a major shift towards social media and other online channels where brands can engage with their customers.

Shoppers seem to know what they’re doing when it comes to finding the items they want and purchasing them online. Brands must make sure every interaction on social is meaningful as the customer journey is now mostly digital.

A recent MarTech Virtual Event, led by Michelle Belcic, VP of Brand Strategy at Dash Hudson, aims to answer just that – how brands should create a social-first strategy through a shoppable storytelling journey.

Become the best CRMer you can:
CRM Hack: measuring the right marketing campaign KPIs
How To: use loyalty data to power retention and reactivation
See how brands take their email deliverability to the max
Get inspired: great sports betting campaigns to follow

“If we take a look at offline sales, it’s predicted that it’s going to take five years for offline sales to return to pre-pandemic levels,” Belcic said in the session.

“At the same time, we’ve seen eCommerce sales grow 18% from the previously forecasted 13%.”

She cited Nike as one of the first companies to announce that they want 50% of overall sales to be digital. The sportswear powerhouse is already at a pace to hit 30% by 2021.

Here she also points to Inditex (Zara’s owner among other brands), who announced that it will close between 1000 and 1200 stores globally over the next two years and has plans to invest $1 Billion to grow their eCommerce platform. Inditex also aims for online stores to account for 25% of its overall sales by 2022.

Belcic explains that the line between shopping and social networking has blurred. There are so many new channels, once unheard of, that must be taken into consideration, too.

TikTok, Instagram, and Pinterest are just to mention a few of the hotspots a brand must be spot on to reach the right people who want to shop online. YouTube is also joining this wagon.

She mentions that there has been a 61% increase in social media usage during the pandemic, and U.S. adults spend 82 minutes a day on average online using Twitter, WhatsApp, and Facebook.

Belcic also mentioned a sharp increase of 20% in Gen Z and Millennial demographics who say that they will immediately lose interest in a brand if they don’t have a proper Instagram feed.

Since we used to mostly rely on real-life experiences, Belcic is anticipating that one of the biggest factors to consider as a company has to do with the visual factor when marketing and that brands must understand why storytelling and context are more important than ever.

She emphasized that 90% of the information transmitted to the brain is visual and processed 60K times faster than text. Looking at the future, she says brands must execute a successful social commerce strategy to enhance engagement.

While Belcic does not know how you can always make sure to share the visuals that will convert your target audience, at Dash Hudson, they see the key to social commerce success as taking a social-first shoppable storytelling approach.

The company’s strategy is now focusing on these four factors:

  1. Define your brand strategy
  2. Tap into your community
  3. Optimize with AI
  4. Make every touchpoint shoppable

Michelle Belcic works with some of the largest corporate accounts, like Amazon, Unilever, and Estee Lauder. She helps brands understand what videos and imagery resonate with audiences before created and shared on social media channels. Her goal is to optimize all digital touchpoints. And we approve this message!

How to Manage Infinite Customer Journeys

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