Email is an essential marketing tool for merchants of all sizes and in all stages of maturity, ranking among the most effective channels for acquiring and retaining customers.
Just how integral is email to online success? Consider that even a hot startup, like MVMT Watches, with crowdfunding and social media in its DNA relies heavily on email to engage shoppers and drive sales. Hiring Elite SEM gave MVMT the means to communicate on a whole new level with followers, stay in touch with existing customers, and drive sales through innovative, tailored promotions.
In 2013, Jake Kassan and Kramer LaPlante kicked-off their dream of reinventing the watch industry. Tired of big brand markups, the duo set out to create a direct-to-consumer model built on the premise that style shouldn’t break the bank.
Fashion aficionados endorsed the concept, and thanks to a groundswell of support, MVMT become the second highest crowd-funded fashion brand on Indiegogo in 2013. Kassan and LaPlante used the startup funds to launch a line of six men’s watches in 2014 that featured high-quality minimalist design at revolutionary prices. Since then, the company’s offerings have expanded to include additional designs, watches for women, and accessories.
Building on the grassroots origins of the business, Kassan and LaPlante relied on social media to build MVMT’s reputation for quality and service by collecting social media followers and verified customer reviews. The MVMT social media community now numbers 1.5 million and counting. MVMT Watches have also been featured in high-profile media outlets such as GQ and HypeBeast.
“With our rapid growth, it was reassuring to know a full-service team with broad experience was handling essential communications with our customers.” —Jake Kassan | CEO, MVMT Watches
The MVMT team recognized that even with a “social-first” strategy, email had a crucial role to play — offering the brand an additional avenue for engaging with followers and customers, an opportunity to communicate in-depth information about the brand, and spotlight relevant products to targeted audiences. Swift growth meant the MVMT team had to ramp up quickly on all fronts, and in Elite SEM they found a partner whose expertise they could trust to integrate email as a vital component of the brand.
Consistency Reaps Immediate Gains
Elite SEM strategy and content experts went right to work to establish a consistent cadence for email messaging, and developed an editorial calendar that showcased engaging content. Optimized email design spotlighted calls to action and clarified the focus of each campaign.
As a result, MVMT saw immediate and substantial gains in email performance: the first three months of the Elite SEM relationship saw email conversion rates grow by 55% compared with the prior three months. And email-generated sales more than doubled in the same time frame.
The MVMT team was so impressed with the impact of the improved design and content developed by Elite SEM that they incorporated elements of campaigns on the brand’s flagship e-commerce site.
Hitting a Holiday Home Run
As with many e-commerce brands, MVMT relies on strong sales during the holiday gifting season to drive a large percentage of annual revenues. Thanks to white-glove management from Elite SEM, MVMT realized significant holiday gains in 2015. Revenues soared by a whopping 262% for seven-figure revenue growth.
The season’s success began with a strong opening salvo. In analyzing MVMT’s past campaigns and performance for the crucial Black Friday/Cyber Monday weekend, Elite SEM strategists pinpointed an opportunity to set the stage early for a successful campaign. First, they introduced a weekend flash sale for the weekend prior to Black Friday to drive engagement and interactions with the brand, setting the stage for the main event then combined extensive testing lead-up preview emails the day before Thanksgiving, and additional triggers based on engagement.
The earlier campaign calendar, combined with compelling email content that included dynamic countdown clocks to foster a sense of urgency, resulted in a significant Thanksgiving weekend sales jump. Click through rate grew by 30%, powering 192% revenue gains for the weekend.
Tailored Messaging Drives Engagement and Sales
With the basics of a consistent calendar established, Elite SEM helped MVMT take the next step toward email sophistication: deployment of segmentation and one-to-one personalization strategies. Cadence and content are attuned to recipients’ needs, maximizing relevance for shoppers and upping the effectiveness of each email sent.
Improvements to MVMT’s series of “welcome” emails to new subscribers reaped significant benefits. Elite SEM improved design and content to focus on calls to action, and to align the messaging with the brand’s overall mission and current promotions. More than half of all recipients of the first welcome message in the series now open it — an improvement of 30% — while conversion jumped 45%. For the series overall, the click-to-open rate grew by 61.7%, signaling a marked increase in sustained engagement.
The innovations go well beyond welcome series triggers. For the launch of a new product line, Elite SEM segmented subscribers to offer exclusive pre-launch ordering and enticed viewers with in-email video and a launch countdown timer. And when targeting subscribers who haven’t purchased, Elite worked in collaboration with the MVMT marketing team to highlight social proof, showcasing reviews and top-rated products to motivate recipients to buy.