Most email marketing happens before the sale, but that’s just the beginning of the customer lifecycle. The most successful businesses send their best emails after the signup, purchase or conversion.
Creating lifecycle emails require that marketers look at the whole customer, not just the sale. I was reminded of this after making a recent purchase from MeUndies. The post-purchase emails are surprisingly pleasant – it’s the right blend of clear copy, sharp design and personalization. The tone and style that I liked so much from my pre-purchase days is still there, but the messaging has changed to meet my new needs.
It’s helpful to look at the entire lifecycle to understand how MeUndies is communicating with customers and driving sales. I’ve separated the emails into pre- and post-purchase categories to make it a little easier to see the whole picture.
If you like these emails as much as I do, give @MeUndies a shout-out on Twitter.
Before the Purchase
Style blog, Racked calls MeUndies’ marketing “irreverent,” but it’s certainly been effective. The four-year-old company has raised more than $7 million and is growing quickly.
Underwear is a commodity, which is both a challenge and an opportunity for MeUndies. On one hand, this $15 billion market is ripe for disruption, but on the other, they are fighting decades of underwear apathy. Branding and design are fundamental ingredients for their success, which is exactly what these emails set out to achieve.
Laying the Foundation
Whether you subscribe or buy, the first email is a message from Jen that sets the tone for your relationship. (The MeUndies team won’t reveal Jen’s identity and there are billboards begging the question “Who is Jen?” around Los Angeles.)
The message is impassioned – it’s essentially a mission statement. MeUndies thinks shopping for underwear is boring and they want to change it. This email lays the foundation for the rest of your MeUndies experience.
The Welcome Message
A day later, a more traditional welcome email arrives. They use the 1-2-3 method to share three important things that differentiate their company: high-quality materials, great customer service and a 100% satisfaction guarantee. This email is all about alleviating anxiety. The even use the Unboxing Technique to show what a shipment looks like.
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The First Offer
Just three days later, the first offer arrives. It’s broadly personalized for blog subscribers that haven’t made a purchase yet.
This email shines because of its simplicity and clarity. MeUndies uses as few words as possible to provide direction.
A Different Type of Content Marketing
To understand the next email, you need to know a little more about the MeUndies business model. You can buy a single pair of underwear, or you can buy a monthly subscription. Each month, they release a new underwear design with an accompanying photo shoot. (These photo shoots have earned them more than 110,000 follows on Instagram.)
This email is content-driven. It announces the design of the month and leverages visual content to get subscribers interested. An email like this arrives each month, creating an expectation of new designs and photos. They also use this content to support their social media strategy in between the monthly email.
The Cross-Sell Email
Six weeks and five emails later, I still haven’t made a purchase. That’s when the cross-sell email arrives. It announces that MeUndies sells a collection of sweats that look really comfortable. If the underwear doesn’t do it, maybe this will. I like the strategy because they allowed plenty of time before deviating from the core product.
The Black Friday Email
There are a few reasons I love this email:
- The deal is compelling.
- It’s loaded with social proof in the form of customer testimonials.
- It offers a “Plan B,” i.e. buy them for yourself or give them as a gift.
- It uses clear, bold buttons to drive action.
Overall, this is a great email. And it was the last one I received as a non-customer.
After the Purchase
I really enjoyed MeUndies’ emails, but I also heard about them on several podcasts and saw people tweeting about them. They finally convinced me that my underwear was due for an upgrade, so I decided to try it out.
The Shipping Confirmation Email
Shipping confirmation emails don’t have to be boring. Derek Sivers famously wrote one that netted him thousands of new customers. MeUndies version is pretty good too. They use the same familiar email template and make the necessary information easily accessible.
Past customers are your best leads. If they like your product, it’s likely they’ll buy again if you give them good reason to. MeUndies’ product is a good one, so they double down by asking me to subscribe to their monthly package. This is their core business model. In some ways, selling one pair at a time is just a way to get the product in your hands so you can see (and feel) how good it is.
The best part about this email is that it cuts right to the chase by asking the question you’re already thinking: “Why Subscribe?” MeUndies goes on to answer that question, complete with testimonials and a strong call to action.
The Monthly Update
The best emails are both expected and surprising. The reason Product Hunt’s daily email is so good is because you know it’s coming, but you don’t know what’s in it. The same is true of MeUndies’ “Design of the Month” email.
As always, the design and photography are consistent and engaging. And perhaps more importantly, there is a clear path to the shopping cart.
A Really Good Offer
I didn’t bite on the first subscription offer, so MeUndies asks again. This time, though, they offer 20% off.
There are a few things I really like about this email:
- Clearly, MeUndies is segmenting their lists. This email only makes sense to send to past customers who haven’t subscribed. That’s not rocket science, but I’m always amazing how few companies do even simple segmentation like this.
- This email is triggered automatically, but includes the most recent underwear design. They are using a dynamic field to ensure the most recent design is featured regardless of when the email is triggered.
- Onboarding expert Samuel Hulick’s sums up marketing in one sentence on his blog: “People don’t buy products; they buy better versions of themselves.” MeUndies’ photography strategy leverages this advice over and over again.
The Small Win Email
Marketing lead Greg Fass told Racked that despite more than 200,000 Facebook fans, MeUndies’ “most active platform is Instagram.” To that end, they use email to drive more people to their Instagram page (just like another great business, Death to the Stock Photo). The brand is highly social, so while this may seem like a small win, it’s truly an avenue for sales.
The lesson? Not every email has to seal the deal, but every email should move your customers a step in the right direction.
We’re always curious to hear about brands sending great emails. If there’s a business you think does a great job, we want to hear about it. Just drop a note in the comments.