DTC chat Recap- Email + SMS Marketing (May 15th 2020)

Email Marketing

On Thursday, May 14th, Mark Johnson (head of eCommerce at Hydrant) came to me with an idea...

In less than 24 hours, we had roped in the infamous Aaron Orendorff— VP of Marketing at Common Thread Collective—as a third co-host, and Klaviyo as a sponsor. So we knew it was about to be lit.

We didn’t realize it was going to be THIS lit, though.

Damn, you guys blew us away. 

Let’s recap everything we talked about for our first ever #DTCchat, shall we?


#1: How do you create a post-purchase email flow that drives repeat purchases?

Unsurprisingly, this question got the most responses (and the most tactical advice). Here's why: Your post-purchase email flows have the potential to drive massive ROI... when done well.

Here’s the quick and dirty of our chatter:

  • Empower your customers through proactive product education 
  • Focus on value
  • Allow customers to change email preferences
  • Send follow-ups that are unique to purchase type
  • Treat customers like humans
  • Don’t waste space

In a nutshell, it’s all about value. Onto the experts…

Empower your Customers


Here's a great example of in-box activation from Journ Beauty:

And if you really wanna get deep into this, check out Val doing some live workshopping with Joy Milk Tea: 

Allow customers to change email preferences

Now this one is not talked about all that often in eCommerce, but it’s super important. An unsubscribe is the end of the relationship. Use the flexibility within Klaviyo to engage customers they way they want to be engaged. 


Val Geisler : “Empower your customers. Create a preference center for emails and give them the power to determine what kind of emails they can/will get.”

Here’s a good example of this in action from the wonderful team at Blume:


Send follow-ups that are unique to purchase type

Not sure why brands struggle with this simple thing so often....but if you’re gonna upsell, it better be applicable. I talk about this more in-depth (and use Outdoor Voices as a *poor* example) in this post.

The community had a lot to say about this one...


Don’t waste space, bring the value, and treat email recipients like… humans






#2: How do you incorporate SMS into your marketing efforts?

TLDR; SMS is a personal channel. Balance is required. 


And if you really wanna see how operators and marketers are thinking strategically about the balance, I highly recommend going through this killer thread: 

#3: What is your #1 tip for email or SMS?

We love a good go-to tactic. Let’s see what the community put together:




Our Thoughts:

This conversation was more than any of us ever expected. It was so amazing! At the end of the day, there was one very clear lesson:

Mark also had a few reflections on the function of our chat (aka- we love Twitter)

And of course, Aaron wrapped with a huge piece of content (that you absolutely need to read):

Thank you!

Again, thank you to every single person who read, responded, and engaged with this group think! We will absolutely be doing a round 2 on customer retention.

Stay tuned :) 

P.S. big shout out to the team at Klaviyo for sponsoring, supporting, and helping us connect with so many entrepreneurs!

Kristen LaFrance

Head of community at Churn Buster, host of the Playing for Keeps podcast, and (unofficial) mayor of DTC Twitter, Kristen is an expert on all things retention. When she’s not interviewing leaders in the eCommerce world, you can catch her hiking 14-ers with her three rescue dogs.

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