This transcript was completed by an automated system, please forgive any grammatical errors.
brands, customers, sale, product, big, question, purchase, affiliate marketing, bought, holiday season, consumers, discount, holidays, year, marketing, offer, based, email, strategy, testing
Zachary Goodwin, Nevin Jethmalani, Dane Baker, Josh Knopman, John Erck, Mariah Parsons, Chuck Melber, Bryan Smith, Brandon Rowe, Ivette Muller, Dan Brady, McKenzie Bauer, Alicia Gaba
Mariah Parsons 00:03
Everyone so people can still continue to join. But we're a couple minutes in. So we're going to go ahead and get started. First of all, hello, everyone. And thank you for being here. I'm Mariah, and I'm part of our marketing team here at Malomo. Now will be one of our CO hosts along with Alicia, this afternoon. So on behalf of Malomo, thank you to everyone who is here and all of our panelists for taking the time to make it a priority to be here with us today, we very much appreciate it. And we're super excited. So for those of you who are new to Malomo, we are a shipment tracking platform that helps ecommerce brands turn their order tracking into a profitable marketing channel. And so I know at face value that can seem daunting, especially if the post purchase experience is something that's new to you. So we wanted to break it down real quick. So during the customer journey, when the customer presses the buy button, everything that happens after that is considered the post purchase experience. And so with that, that's why we help merchants create those branded shipment tracking experiences that can integrate with the rest of their marketing stack, to drive repeat sales, increase customer satisfaction, lower support tickets, educate consumers and analyze shipment, carrier carrier data information. So with that one of our core values at Malomo is to always be learning something new. And so we thought what better way to do that then to chat with some leading brands and technology partners during a live discussion. So to ensure we provide the most value for you all, we wanted to run through some logistics first. So for those of you who haven't gotten the chance to send in the chat, your location and your role and your industry, please feel free to do so now. And please feel free to continue doing this throughout the whole entire webinar, because we want you all to get as much as you can out of this. So the chat function is yours to have to engage with. Now that being said, if you have any questions, please direct those to the q&a section so that we can keep them organized and address those either during the live discussion or in our q&a section after and we know that this panel is going to be pretty jam packed. So we will have a short break between the panelists. But make sure that you stay tuned for the whole thing as we are giving we have a special giveaway for a special attendee at the very end of it. So with that, I would like to introduce our customer panelists today. So we are joined by Dan Brady, customer success manager at pure Vita, a jewelry and lifestyle brand where giving back is at the very heart of their mission. Chuck Melber, who's the marketing director at Nomad goods, a consumer electronics and accessories brand, that values resourcefulness, seeking adventures, and living in the moment. Nevin Jethmalani, CEO and co founder of Bonjean growth, a New York based growth consulting firm, Brian Smith, a ecommerce director at Ned a DTC brands that helps their consumers feel and live better through their full spectrum hemp products. Josh note Minh director of growth and digital product at caraway, a non toxic ceramic cookware and bakeware brand designed to raise your standards for healthy cooking. And last but certainly not least, we can give our co founder of thread wallets, a DC brand with slim, functional expressive wallets that are designed to fit your lifestyle and your personality. So with that, welcome to all of you, our panelists and attendees alike. Thank you so much for being here. I'm going to hand it off to Alicia GABA, our head of strategy here at Malomo. So Alicia, go ahead and take it from here.
Alicia Gaba 04:07
Hey, everybody, hopefully you can hear me. Okay. Thrilled to be moderating with these folks. So I'll jump right in. One of our motivations to have such a broad panel today was to cover all the trends from the past holiday season. So let's kick things off with Dan. We'd love to hear your thoughts on how you handled your Beefy bfcm preparations at pure Aveda and what results you saw. Sure,
Dan Brady 04:35
well, first of all, I want to thank everyone in attendance and thank Malomo for the opportunity. I really enjoyed being part of the first panel discussion and looking forward to this conversation as well. So I think in speaking with Mariah, the first thing that I kind of wanted to talk about was mostly just some of the findings that I personally saw at pure Vita and with my team. And so these are just some suggestions that I think all Personally for future use, and just some things that I kind of noticed for our brand and our customers. So one thing that I noticed this holiday season was just that we aligned with our marketing team. And whenever we had emails or SMS blasts going out to our customers, we always saw a spike in volume shortly thereafter. So I immediately touch base with marketing, just asked for a copy of when these messages would be sent out to our respective customers, just to make sure that we are staffed appropriately, especially through like our live chat panel. Again, it was no secret that anytime we sent out our email blasts, or SMS blasts or promotions, customers do have the ability for us at least to respond directly to those emails. And of course, I'd like to think that pure Vita becomes top of these customers minds, and probably more likely for them to reach out to us. So that was one thing that I noticed this holiday season was that immediately after we sent out these marketing promotions, we did see a spike in volume. And that's something that I think moving forward will definitely be aligned with marketing on just to make sure that we're staffed accordingly. Again, most especially for live chat. But that was one huge thing that we noticed was that whenever we're sending these out, we would see spikes in volume. So that's just something that I would recommend for any customer success or service managers to be aware of is, you know, when you're sending these out, you should expect to see some spikes and volumes and make sure that your staff accordingly for that. So that was one of my key takeaways from this bfcm holiday season. Another thing was, of course, many companies offer cyber, it's now become almost like a cyber week, right? Where it's not just limited to like a day or two. For a lot of E commerce companies. It's pretty extended. So one thing that I took away from this holiday season was what happens for customers who ordered prior to your sale, or may have missed your sale? How do you handle when people ask for price match adjustments, because that's one thing that we noticed quite a bit was hey, you know, I noticed that you're now offering 50% off, that was our promotion this year 50% off, and in some cases, even a free gift with purchase? So if you're someone who maybe missed out on that sale, how do you as a company handle those requests, when people are asking for retroactive price match adjustments, or maybe they missed out on the sale? They want you to honor that. So that was something is that I did speak with finance, I just let them know, like, Hey, we're getting a lot of demand for people who missed out on the sale. They're really demanding that we you know, retroactively apply these refunds. How do you want us to handle this, this was only my second holiday season with pure Vita. And I know last year, we kind of do a firm line where it was like, hey, you know, it does stay in our policies, if you didn't order during the sale, you know, we don't do price matches, that's not something we do this year, we are a lot more lenient with it. And I was lucky that finance was pretty understanding. And so we just agreed that we had X number of customers that were willing to price match, I'm happy to report that we didn't need to maximize it. And we didn't hit the number that I was allowed. But I thought that was a really good adjustment that we did compared to last holiday season to this holiday season. If someone missed out on the sale, and you have a customer who asked for a price match, I think it's a good policy to just go ahead and honor that. We had customers who were like, I'm not shopping with you again, or I'll just return your items in order to the sales price. At that point, in my opinion, I felt kind of petty being like, yeah, you know, go ahead and return it. And then you can order for the sales price. Like, no matter how you twist it, that's not a very good customer experience. So next year, I know that we'll be sticking with finance, figure out, hey, you know, do we have a set number of customers that we want to allow for this, and just figure out, you know, how lenient you can be with your customer. So that was kind of another key takeaway that I took from this holiday season. Another thing that I really tried to emphasize with my team was just being very, very personal and personalized in our interaction. So you know, if someone had mentioned they were shopping for, you know, granddaughter, grandson, anyone in their life, you know, we really tried to say just personal messages that acknowledge that, hey, these are not just generic shortcuts, or macros templates were real humans were reading your messages. We hope that your granddaughter in Jacksonville, Florida loves the bracelets that she's getting, or, you know, we hope that your niece and Hollywood loves the sweatshirt that you purchased and just really try to include personal messages and of course, plenty of Happy Holidays, wishing you a healthy new year, you know, just things that add that little bit of personal touch. So we created a lot of little shortcuts that I was encouraging the team to use, and we were just a lot of emphasis on that. And also, I think many companies create gift guides around the holiday season that are you know, convenient PDFs for customers to view and get ideas as to what we're offering. So anytime we had questions that were about, you know, sizing or what should I get? I did really ask the team to include our gift guide a lot. I think that's something that marketing did a great job of putting together we want customers to see that you know, If they missed it in our email promotion, we want customers to be aware we put this together for the customers, we want you to be well informed about what we're offering, what Promotions we have. So that was something else that I really emphasize the team is, hey, we have this lovely gift guide, let's make sure that customers are seeing it. So we're sharing that quite a bit. I just want to go through I see we had some people comment in here, it looks like it's just about locations. That's good. I got a question for you again. Yeah, sure, Chuck. Um, for the bfcm, like sale promotion dates, you know, wherever they were, if you guys ran for a week, or just a few days, you know, if the marketing team was omitting recent purchasers from those emails and SMS, or were they sending it to everybody, regardless of past purchase behavior? That's a great question. And I'll honestly, I don't know, but I'd love to try and follow up with you specifically about that. Yeah, that is a really good question. I'm not sure how they were doing that. But in an effort to save our support team, I tried real hard to make sure I was on bidding people that have purchased in the last 30 ish days. Last year, I was a little bit more fast and loose with it. And there was a lot of tickets similar to the ones you're talking about asking for retroactive discounts. And this year, I was much more strict on it with the exception of Black Friday itself. Awesome. Yes, he helped a lot with the band on tickets. Yeah, that's a really good suggestion. I'll have to sync with marketing. Again, we did get a number of people who retroactively asked for it. So if I had to guess maybe we weren't doing that. But I couldn't say with 100% certainty. So that's a good question. I'll have to look into that and get back to you. And then yeah, I think just the last thing I want to add, I know we do have a time limit. And I'm trying to keep my portion under five or six minutes. But the last thing I'd say is, figure out if you have a lot of companies advertise a last day to guarantee like standard shipping to receive your orders in time for Christmas or any other holidays. How do you handle it? If it does not arrive in time? What solutions? Are you offering your customers and try and figure that out? So you're not scrambling? So we kind of just spoke and we said hey, you know if someone orders after the cyber week sale, but before our shipping cutoff date, which this year, I believe we advertised as 12. Nine, how are we going to handle that our simple solution was if you didn't get the sales price, we're going to give you a 50% refund for the inconvenience. If you got the sales price, I got approval from finance, just refund the entire order up to a certain amount. So just figure out what do you do if your orders don't arrive in time for Christmas or whatever other holiday might be included? So those were some of the things that I noticed this particular holiday season and looking forward to making some adjustments next year. And hopefully people in attendance found some of those pointers to be useful.
Alicia Gaba 12:38
Yeah, okay. That was like jam packed with pro tips. That was awesome. Okay, so speaking of shipping, it was pretty unanimous that everybody was worried about shipping delays this past season. So from the last session, I've gotten notes, what we talked about was, we were gonna push things live earlier, ensure you were communicating with your customers just being overly proactive about expected shipping delays. So how were the shipping delays during the actual holiday season? And did you guys see common trends? Was it bad? Not as bad, as expected? And, Chuck, we'll start with you. What did you see at nomad?
Chuck Melber 13:18
I mean, luckily, the media did such a good job latching on to the container getting happening on the coast of California that I think a lot of people were, like, pre trained to expect delays and order in shop early. Okay, I've talked to my mom about it, for example, and I don't talk to her about business, but she's like, Oh, my goodness, did you hear about all these shipping delays that are happening, I'm starting to shop for Christmas in like November one, basically. So I think that helped a lot as far as setting expectations goes. And then for us, we're able to use those messages from the media to also further inform our customer base, let them know, like, hey, this might be a problem. So you probably shouldn't shop early. So to that effect, we did run a sale like November 2, I think, that wasn't as good as Black Friday, Cyber Monday, but it was an extremely transparent sell, where it's like, Hey, here's 20% off, we might have a better sale on Black Friday, but we also might not have inventory then. So if you want to get a discount, now's the time to do it. And we were extremely transparent with the text based email and like, literally told people we're gonna have deeper discounts during Black Friday, but we're not sure what inventory is gonna look like. And that worked out really well. We didn't have a ton of complaints or anything like that. And it was a nice little bump to the sales early early on sales basically. And then as far as like actual like final delivery goes like FedEx ups and stuff for us. It worked out really well. We didn't really have any problems. We were a bit more aggressive with their shipping cut off and Dan it per Vita, I think we cut off at like the 16th or 15th of December. But even then it was like a risky decision. We didn't really have good strong data to support it. But at the same time we wanted to try and get as much as many last minute sales as possible and it worked out well.
Alicia Gaba 15:00
Awesome. It's a Smart Campaign to run. Anyone else want to weigh in on how things went for them?
Nevin Jethmalani 15:07
Yeah. Chuck, I actually have a quick question. How did you How do you think that first sale would have performed had you not said anything about the discounts being as less than Black Friday because we did the same exact thing. And we also pushed it in terms of our last ship dates we actually used one day before, what our warehouse said the last day to ship before Christmas, would we. But we did the same thing just without that transparency. So we just said, Hey, we've got a big sale early, Black Friday, starting at the beginning of November. And it's going to be the same discounts as Black Friday. So shop early, so you don't have to worry about the shipping delays. And you don't have to worry about inventory running out. And we saw a really strong bump in our sales early in the month.
Chuck Melber 15:49
I mean, sales were up year over year, for the beginning of the month. So I I want to assume the email didn't have a negative impact on it. But I also didn't run an A B test on it. So I don't have any strong data there one way or the other.
Nevin Jethmalani 16:01
But just what your what's your feeling? If you thought, you know, maybe you take that copy away and just say, hey, just another sale at the beginning of month, do you think would have performed much better? Or do you think transparency was good?
Chuck Melber 16:12
I think, ultimately, transparency is good for brand and just customer feelings. But yeah, I think if we didn't have that transparency of like, it's going to be better in Black Friday. It probably wouldn't perform better. But then you also throw the caveat of like there might not be product, then I think there's still that sense of urgency, regardless of the fact that might be better discount later. Chuck, if you don't mind me asking what was the difference from like a percentage sales point in terms of what you offered in early November compared to your cyber week? Sale 20 during early November and 30 drinks every week. Okay? And yeah, I really like how you kind of created a sense of urgency by being transparent and just letting people know about inventory issues. I know, we ran out of stock for a lot of our items. I think that could be something we look to implement next year, just being transparent and just saying, hey, you know, if you're, we want to guarantee that you get it, it might be a less discount, but you know, you haven't likely run out of stock. So yeah, we got we were really lucky with supply chain. At the end of the day, we were able to front load a lot of our inbound shipments. So while talking with other marketers, I've heard a lot of companies did have issues with actual inventory during Black Friday, Cyber Monday and into December, of course, but we pretty much made it through unscathed in that regard.
Alicia Gaba 17:31
Awesome. Okay. So Nevin, you consult with a number of brands, I'm curious, was there anything else that was unexpected or surprising, or anything else you saw that went exceptionally? Well?
Nevin Jethmalani 17:44
Yeah, a couple things. One of the big things that I noticed was that the bigger the sale, the better the performance. And I don't mean just, you know, the biggest sitewide sale, I mean, the bigger you could message it. So the brands that did something along the lines of like 40% or 50%, off select styles, plus some kind of site wide sale did really well. So they were able to offer the deep discount, get people to click to the site, check out the site. And then, you know, the discounts weren't as significant on some products, but they still were able to, you know, message that big sale messaging, I think those are the brands that you know, saw the best numbers overall. And from the data that I saw, and the brands that I work with as well, it looks like most brands did hit their numbers or their previous year's numbers, which was good to see. Then the other thing that I that I saw was that the last ship dates during the holidays, at least this may not be so relevant to Black Friday, Cyber Monday, but during the holidays, the last ship dates were relatively conservative across brands. I don't think there were many brands like one of the brands that I work with pre Barrow, I think I work most closely with them. And I didn't see many brands push the push, push it to the end of December. Probably like what Chuck was saying no bad that as well.
Chuck Melber 19:03
As most of them were messaging like mid December is a cut off.
Nevin Jethmalani 19:07
Yeah, I felt like most brands were doing it much earlier, especially relative to what we did for last trip dates. And then I think the trend just across the industry is starting these sales so much earlier. And we started ours on for pre vai at least on Monday. And this is the Monday before Cyber Monday not Yeah, so I felt like you know even we started late. I think a good day to start would have been Saturday we probably lost some sales to other brands because we didn't start until Monday. So that's definitely something to learn on our side. Because you know, everyone is just starting earlier because they people only have x number of dollars to spend. If some brand comes and says hey or Cyber Monday or Black Friday sale starting early and they spend their money there that those guys have that have those dollars
Chuck Melber 19:58
we launched on Friday night You definitely saw a nice big spike there.
Nevin Jethmalani 20:02
Yeah, exactly. So that's, that's a. That's a week before Black Friday, right? Yeah, yeah,
Chuck Melber 20:07
exactly. Works really well or seem to work really well for us.
Nevin Jethmalani 20:11
Yeah, exactly. I mean, that's definitely what we're gonna do next year, either Friday or Saturday.
Josh Knopman 20:16
Yeah, I definitely echo that as well, that was one of our biggest learnings from 2020. We launched about, I think, a week ahead of Black Friday, we actually launched this year on November 8, Monday, November 8, so quite a bit earlier. It drove a massive, massive increase in revenue from what we can tell incremental millions of dollars. And the efficiency we are seeing was tremendous. I think our Early Access SMS alone drove $100,000. And just seeing the season kind of creep up. I think we've started internally, and now branding, using the term cyber season instead of cyber week or cyber month to make it clear how expensive it is, because I think you're seeing some large retailers start in late October and go all the way through December. And so that's something we're trying to figure out for next year of just how early do we want to start that sale? Because we really do see a strong customer response. And yeah, I'll be really curious, Chuck, we kept our offer consistent, probably could have done a better job messaging that it would be consistent, we'll always see some element of people waiting. But that's yeah, definitely a strategy we're exploring as well. Yeah. So you guys kept it from November 8, all the way through to the end of November, through the end of December. Actually, it was supposed to be right after Cyber Monday. And the numbers were so good that we said, let's just keep going. And then every week, you can check in or look, the numbers look great still so kept going. So it definitely it felt kind of endless towards the end. But it was definitely strong performance that we saw from it and to your earlier point. And then as well, we did a pre launch AB test between two different tier structures. So we offered 1015 20% off depending how much you spent, we tried putting our hero product which was a cookware set in the 10% bracket versus 15% bracket and tested it with a subset of consumers, I hit up our public launch for our offer. And we saw a double digit increase in revenue by putting that hero product in the 15% tier with a smidge lower ARV. But the revenue difference was huge. And it actually maximized our top line and bottom line. So to your point on maximizing discounts as much as possible, and really pushing it. Yeah, definitely saw that effect. or so. No, that's that's exactly what we saw as well. The more discount you can give anything above 20% really moves the needle, anything below 20% Just doesn't for us at least 20 I mean, that being said, our welcome offer that 15. So yeah, I guess different brands, different scenarios.
Dan Brady 22:51
Josh, I'm curious, since you had cyber season, you know, it's very extended, from a marketing perspective, when you're sending out marketing emails, like how did you get fresh, exciting verbiage in there to like let customers know the sale was still going on, while not sounding like super repetitive just being like, hey, you know, just reminder, we're still running the sale? You know what I mean? Like?
Josh Knopman 23:14
Yeah, that's a great question. We definitely had to put our thinking hats in for that one, considering how long it when we luckily launched a limited edition color at the same time, around the same time. And so we kind of alternated pushing that we came out with a gift guide. I know we're talking about that earlier, alternating, pushing that as well. And so we tried to switch up the messaging and make it front and center. But not everything was like sale sale sale. I think nailing email and SMS frequency is very difficult during the November timeframe, but our kind of unsubscribe rates were well below target overall. And yeah, I mean, those two channels alone, we saw a huge, huge impact.
Chuck Melber 23:56
I'm curious to hear how you guys, especially do you, Josh, and maybe it's well, basically everyone during Black Friday, Cyber Monday season, how do you treat your audience, especially your email and SMS list after they make a purchase? Do you then omit them from future marketing sense for a duration? Or do you just keep going for it the whole cyber season? Yeah,
Josh Knopman 24:15
it was a little difficult because we ran into some supply chain issues because we like blew through most of our inventory. And so with that, we did do some exclusions. We're focusing kind of now as things start shipping out, we ship dates as late as February on kind of the cross sell side, but focus mostly on the new customer acquisition and acquiring customers or in sorry, and retention marketing with customers who joined I think at least 30 days before to your point earlier, we excluded the people as well, who bought right before the sale. So this is I'm glad you actually brought this up again, because I had a point on this. I think it varies brand to brand. So it depends on on how, how frequently your customer buys from you, and how, how many of them buy from or what period of time after their first purchase, they make their second purchase from you. So for pre Vai, for example, we ran the data. And we noticed that within 60 days of the first purchase, I think 70% of our purchasers our second purchasers made their second purchase within the first 60 days. So based on that we limited the amount of segmentation that we did in terms of purchasers, we didn't want to overwhelm customers, so we didn't send the daily emails to everyone. So we did exclude purchasers on Sundays. But we still sent even to purchasers throughout cyber week, multiple times. And we see all we saw an uptick from that when looking at the data after
Chuck Melber 25:48
what about someone who bought on like day one a cyber week, would you then also send them a Black Friday, you know, in a Cyber Monday email?
Nevin Jethmalani 25:54
Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, we sent we sent them because our, we sell eyewear, right, so a pair of sunglasses, if the price is good, people will buy multiple pairs. And if they do not necessarily buy eyewear, sunglasses, or they have bought sunglasses, they may buy prescription eyewear or they may buy something as a gift for someone. So yeah, we found a very effective to send to purchasers, especially on those two big days, maybe we might have said segmented out purchasers on some of them days in between that those two big, big ones we definitely sent to our all our list.
Chuck Melber 26:27
What about you like Brian and McKenzie.
McKenzie Bauer 26:35
We always try to like segment out. So sending wouldn't like never sending to the we don't send to our whole list every single time we send so segmenting and then opting certain people out and they purchased within like that week. But then bringing them back in when, like we did our thing this year was like every week, we kind of did like a flash shell or like a new promotion. So it wasn't like they were getting our Black Friday deal the whole month. But each week one product or one like design was discounted. So sending that out to new people like those people would get new, the new updates, but then Black Friday week specifically, if someone purchased on Black Friday, then we would exclude them from a send on Saturday. And then come Cyber Monday when we're sending out a reminder about cyber Monday, we send it to them again. So there were getting excluded for some not being bombarded. But getting the high like the high value emails when they needed them. Which this was our first year having an agency help us do all our SMS and email, which was so nice. So like we had flows built out in a lot better way. And that helps as well. When you've got people purchasing that frequently. I think a lot of times people ask, and I saw on the list of questions, it's like what do you do after someone purchases during these months. And having your flows nailed down I think is one of those really important factors into keeping them in the know with your brand and what's going on. And this month is our birthday. So re engaging them for the fun things that we have going now. And I think is really important with flows, which our marketing agencies helped us a lot with, with speaking. Go ahead.
Nevin Jethmalani 28:34
Go ahead. Go ahead.
Chuck Melber 28:36
Um, yeah, I just wanted to add, like on the segmentation plan during the holidays, you know, one of the things that I don't like is when I place an order, and then it's like, on the way to me, and I haven't gotten it yet. And the brand comes back and says, Hey, here's a new thing you might want. So we have tried to treat people that have an order in transit a little bit differently. But as soon as someone receives their product, at least, you know, our business like there, we find them ready to go again. And that experience of receiving it really lends them to maybe coming back and using the holiday code again, we don't limit it to one use. So we might say hey, feel free to get whatever else you want. And that doesn't create the same tension of like getting the email and thinking, Well, you know, my order from Tuesday is still not here. So why am I going to order again? And there's there's a ton of ways to do that through segmentation or with flows.
McKenzie Bauer 29:37
I think it's also really important to understand I mean, we all know this, but to really think about it in the fact that like for us at least we use Klaviyo for email and attentive for SMS. So Clay vo we're paying for our subscriber base not person, whereas a tentative we're paying per send. So you don't want to be sending to everybody. At one point, you want to be excluding people who have purchased or who are waiting for their orders, things like that. Because otherwise your bill is going to be so expensive for people who aren't, they already purchase, they don't need to get another text the next day. So we really tried this year to be conscious of who was getting an email who's getting a text when they were getting the email when they were getting the text, so that they weren't getting email, text, email, text, email to all all of the things all at once.
Alicia Gaba 30:31
Yeah, these are amazing points. So let's, let's shift gears to this year, we did an amazing job covering what everyone did last year. So Brian, let's start with you. What are you? How are you tackling this January through October to prep for the next cyber season?
Bryan Smith 30:54
Yeah, it's, it's a, it's kind of a, it's a hard question for me, because in my head, the holidays are still like four years away. But they're actually going to be pretty quick. So um, you know, for us, we we went through quarter three and four last year, we migrated back to recharge. And for me, the thing I realized is just choosing your, your software, and your stack carefully so that the things you can actually do with those services work and end, you know, I find a lot of times that it's easy to add an app, and then you get 90% of the way there and you find out there's some missing component to the integration that prevents you from doing what you want to do. So, you know, I found that just like really like thinking about the strategy from the end goal backwards is super helpful. And on the personalization side, we've just started sending traffic through a quiz, and have just found really interesting information through that process. And we're now updating that quiz to be a little more strategic for the next nine months. And, you know, quizzes are nothing new. But I think, for our whole team, including even, you know, customer happiness or fulfillment, the quiz is showing us things that we didn't know before. And we're really trying to use that information going forward through the year. And then I think the last thing I wanted to mention was some of the best advice we got last year was on our post purchase survey. And it was just the suggestion to switch it up and ask something different. So typically, we run a quiz, that's how did you hear about us, and we try to assist attribution, especially in channels that aren't as easy to track. But during the holidays, we just asked, What's the best net gift that you can give. And we offered five choices. And as soon as the holidays were over, we built our quarter five plan around the more popular products that were listed as gifts. And you know, it's it's great to use those periods of time where you have super high order volume to get really strategic with something like a quiz or post purchase, so that you can sort of stack the volume into a short timeframe.
Alicia Gaba 33:37
I love it. Those are awesome initiatives. Does anyone else have any? Any thoughts on this topic?
Dan Brady 33:43
I just wanted to add in regards to post purchase surveys. If any companies run a NPS survey, I know for us we do so via delighted if you have here set for maybe like seven weeks or two weeks after purchase, I would strongly recommend changing that to 30 days after purchase just in the event. It doesn't arrive there in a week, we quickly noticed our NPS score was taking a little bit of a hit. I think we had our set for like seven days after purchase, which maybe outside of the holidays is okay. But quickly, our NPS survey became more of a avenue for complaints in terms of I haven't received my order, which of course, you know, in often cases, then we have to follow up with the customer. So just changing the timing for when your NPS survey is sent out I think gives you a better true NPS score as opposed to just you know customers expressing frustration in terms of not receiving their orders.
Nevin Jethmalani 34:35
I think through Malomo You can set it up to trigger Once an item is delivered or X number of days after an item is delivered. Right?
Alicia Gaba 34:43
Sure can. Yeah, yeah.
Nevin Jethmalani 34:46
Just a suggestion there.
Alicia Gaba 34:49
Yeah, that's awesome. All right, let's, let's switch gears to privacy changes obviously Hot Topic Last year. Continuing it will continue to impact things This year, so Josh caraway, how how are privacy changes impacting your strategies for this year?
Josh Knopman 35:10
Yeah, so I think like many marketers, we underestimated how significant the effect of the iOS 14.5 rollout starting last April would be. And kind of how Facebook dealt with it from a targeting and measurement standpoint, was quite dicey for a while, and you know, to a certain degree, still fairly dicey. And so for us, you know, one channel that we've been really excited about, that we've scaled up a lot is direct mail. So it's, it's definitely one of the more you know, old school or older channels, I mean, I would say a lot of brands are starting to do it now. But for us, you know, it's something that we're so excited being a very visual brand showing kind of the the cookware, the bakeware, to customers kind of on these large, their inserts or mailers. And kind of having the information to do from a measurement standpoint to do kind of, they're called incremental address match back. So we're able to look at, hey, these are who, you know, the mailers went out to, these are the addresses of people who bought and kind of mash them together, you can do a whole that as well to gauge incrementality. So in my opinions on my favorite channel, because you get the best of both worlds, you have a chance to showcase visual creative. And if you do it right, it'll really stand out in people's mailboxes. The measurement is fantastic. Those that's measurement, you know, a incremental match back or incremental address match back is better than most measurement you'll get from the digital platforms. And something that we're kind of excited about and really tried, you know, last q4 scale. So we spent, we spent almost 5 million mailers of various types during November alone, to really, really hit people over the head with our sale. And so with that, yeah, McKenzie just mentioned Posty, I've heard great things about we you share local media and have some direct partnerships as well. Highly recommend them. But it's definitely a channel that, you know, we continue to focus on, and one that we're super excited about moving forward. You What kind of robots do you see on that? If you don't mind me asking? Um, yeah, we see ro as above paid, you know, kind of traditional paid social channels quite a quite a bit above, we actually hold it to quite a high standard. And we focus exclusively on the increment, incremental metrics. So we make sure that we are first purchase profitable on every purchase coming from direct mail.
Bryan Smith 37:37
What kind of Josh what kind of, like, in terms of creative and messaging and offers, do you find something moves the needle with direct mail more than than others?
Josh Knopman 37:48
You know, we, I think still have a lot to learn about the channel, we, you know, we've been testing, we've been testing format, we've been testing creative, not as much offer testing as I would have liked. But I think for us, you know, one thing that we've learned is, like, try to simplify it as much as possible and make the CTA, you know, as as large as possible. But as emphasized, it's always kind of a, I don't say a battle, but a compromise between the growth team and brand team about like the growth teams always like, oh, I want this like massive thing that says, here's a discount go here, the brand teams like no top brand, we don't want to be a discount brand. And you kind of go back and forth when you align on something in the middle. And so that's what we've done a lot of. And I think for us, like we just tried to really refine the messaging and like, essentially, like one side is just like meant to like, look pretty and convey, hey, this is non toxic, because where the other side hits on a few key points, and we're like, here's our website, here's the offer, and that kind of go versus trying to tell them our whole, you know, life story, or in the opposite end, just just showing a pretty picture. So try to kind of get it in the middle there.
McKenzie Bauer 38:56
Yeah, we use I just I mentioned this in the chat, but we use Posty for direct mail. And we always see that CRM campaigns perform a lot better the row as is significantly better than prospecting campaigns. But what we really have liked, one way that we've used Posty that's been really helpful is we're rolling out kiosks. So owned retail, is that we can target people in that area. And a lot of times we see that although we're sending it out about the kiosk, we see an influx of sales attributed to our website, because people get it. It's just another touchy touch point. So I tell everybody that they should introduce that into their strategy, especially going into the holidays because yeah, with the rows that we see is significantly less than what we're paying right now for like CPMs online when we're doing retention campaigns as opposed to prospecting
Nevin Jethmalani 39:52
and Josh when you were comparing the row as to paid media, were you talking about prospecting or retargeting as well? Good question prospecting. We've also run kind of retention campaigns as well, as a business were more acquisition focused just because we're MCs were more more similar to like a mattress than a subscription brand. Because we emphasize kind of quality cookware, you shouldn't have to replace it, you know, every six months. But that is something we've dipped our toe into, we send over 100,000 kind of retention base mailers, this past holiday season. Unfortunately, for us, they actually arrived two days after our most popular new skews ran ran out of stock, because we hit the acquisition part so hot, so hard. So of course, you know, fun little supply chain challenges, but something that we've seen kind of strong rows on increment rows on in the past.
McKenzie Bauer 40:49
And you can always do at least with our the Posty, we you can do a B tests with different creative, different CTAs, all of that different offers so that you can be tracking what's going to perform best for your brand at during certain times of the year.
Alicia Gaba 41:07
Alright, sounds like direct mails hot in terms of working around privacy. Any other thoughts on that topic?
Dan Brady 41:16
I would just be curious. I feel like there's a lot of emphasis on companies and brands trying to become more and more like go green. Did anyone who ran direct mail get any complaints in regards to like, please don't send me these moving forward, you know, you're hurting the environment or anything to that extent.
McKenzie Bauer 41:35
I'd have to check with our customer experience team, but I don't think so. I don't think we've had any complaints about that. I think some people will be like, how did you get my address? It's like, well, because you purchased that's how we have your address. But other than that, I don't think we've gotten like green specific, eco friendly templates.
Dan Brady 41:58
Oh, I'm just gonna say for pure Aveda. Last year, we opened our first retail store here in San Diego. And I know our goal is to open another two to four this year. And one thing I wanted to suggest a management was just testing out direct mailers specifically probably maybe to start like San Diego, Los Angeles area. And just you know, test it out to try and drive more foot traffic to our retail store with like a discount they could bring into the store or maybe even also use online. And yeah, as it just seems ironic, we're like trying to become more go green, and like a B Corp certified and sustainable shipping. But then at the same time be like, Alright, let's start a new direct mail campaign. But yeah, I was just curious if you did get any customer complaints in regards to that. It doesn't sound like it's too big of an issue. So just curious.
Nevin Jethmalani 42:47
McKenzie, what do you try to, sorry.
McKenzie Bauer 42:50
People are worried about plastic these days of paper? It's like everything's going towards paper. So I don't know excited? No, what were you gonna say? Nothing?
Nevin Jethmalani 42:59
Yeah, have you? Did you guys see a positive ROI on prospecting when you tested it? Or is it just based on your CRM
McKenzie Bauer 43:07
for us, I need to log into it. It's been a while since I have logged into it myself. We have our Chief Brand Officer and our marketing director who do it more specifically now. But in the past, it's always been CRM that performs better. And I think that's because we are more like this or subscription. Like it's time to get something new. We've got new designs, it's fresh, it's fun. Whereas prospecting, it's kind of like, I don't need a new wallet, like I've got a wallet already. And especially if they've never heard about us. So CRM has always performed better, but we still send prospecting campaigns as it's just another touch point, but we usually allocate less of the budget for posting. So like, if we're sending out 100,000 mailers. Maybe we'll do 20,000 prospecting 80,000. See?
Nevin Jethmalani 43:57
Yeah, I mean, we're just really looking for some kind of replacement for Facebook and Instagram, to find a positive ROI. Yeah, and we're testing everything like we were on tick tock now. Yeah, just finding really difficult to find profitable growth, essentially, our biggest
McKenzie Bauer 44:13
things just talking about like post post purchase experience of moving into the new year, how do you take what you've learned, like this Black Friday was so expensive for us, we like we look back at the good old days when we first started marketing and like CPMs was it like our cost per acquisition was like four to $6. And now it's like 18, and our average order values like $32, because we have a low price point with high margin products, but they're low price points. So it's really hard to compete online. So Black Friday was really expensive for us this year. So going back to what people said, we're going to start earlier next year, we've really started to lean into Amazon more because after the shipping deadlines, all those things, it's like people can still go to Amazon and it's still probably For us, and often even more profitable than what we spend on Facebook or our website, because of how expensive things are getting, even though we have to pay like Amazon fees and all those things. But one of our biggest goals going into this year is going from like a multi channel approach when it comes to our business to an omni channel approach. So that because we're introducing kiosks, and our wholesale presence is expanding, and we have our website, and we have Amazon, that making making sure that our customer is having the same experience wherever they go. So we were talking about mailers and having a discount that the customer could get in store. But what if they don't want to go in store can they get that same discount online, so reducing the friction and the tension that's there for the customer, I think is going to be a big win in terms of like the increasing cost of online advertising because getting those customers to come back and feel that like extreme loyalty to your brand is and like for us, we're watching new products, higher price point items, trying to increase that ARV. So trying to get people to come back and feel that loyalty through an omni channel approach where they fill thread is consistent at every touchpoint from their customer experience online to our customer experience at our kiosks, I think is going to be crucial for every brand to like take a look and say okay, AR ar, ar AR channels siloed and working independently. Are they all working together to help because, you know, at some points in our business, it was like, Oh, if Amazon's winning, that it's taking away from DTC Oh, like, oh, hold of our wholesalers are winning, that we're not getting that margin. But instead looking at them as like, they're all helping each other. They're all really powerful touch point on the journey and making sure that our customers fill that cohesiveness I think is going to be a huge thing. Moving into 2022
Alicia Gaba 46:55
Awesome. I love it. All right, Mariah, I think we have tackled all of the planned topic areas. So you want to kick in with q&a?
Mariah Parsons 47:05
Yes. So I saw a few of you already answered Morgan's question about what flows that what flows are you focusing on? So thank you to you all, who answered and I saw Ashley had a question that we a question about a topic that we hadn't gotten the chance to cover yet. So this can be for anyone on the panelists, but how do you use load or leverage your loyalty and referral programs? And so anyone if anyone has any strong opinions about this, but how did you do so over this past holiday season?
Chuck Melber 47:48
I'm curious how many brands have a loyalty slash referral program? I'm not talking about affiliate but like customer referrals and stuff?
Nevin Jethmalani 47:56
Yeah. So we do that prevail? At least we do. And I mean, for us, it's just not the best performer. It's something that we didn't implement. I mean, yeah, we didn't implement it wasn't implemented properly before I got there. And then I kind of set it up to be properly implemented. But we still haven't seen a crazy good result off of the referral program for sure. And even though loyalty program is nothing, nothing crazy. What about you guys? What have you seen?
Dan Brady 48:29
I just wanted to add, like for pure Vita, you know, we have a loyalty and referral program. But as far as I know, I don't believe how we like it was essentially the same that we like, it was no different from how it would be outside of the holiday months. Like I believe for us. If you refer a friend, they get 50% off their first purchase. First purchase being key, you know, we can't have the same people getting this discount over and over. And then yeah, as far as our loyalty program, basically, you get like swell, swell points. I think we call them short dollars. And you know, you can use those for purchases. But again, those are things that we have 365 days a year. I don't think that how we use those different at all during the holiday months. So it's great to have those but I don't think we leverage those any differently during November and December compared to the other 10 months.
Alicia Gaba 49:20
Brian, did you have any thoughts? I thought I saw you come off mute, maybe.
Bryan Smith 49:25
No, just echoing what Nevin and Dan just said, I think we've just kind of like, we have a referral program running and it's pretty well integrated with, you know, our subscription and membership side of the business. But, you know, we just, we typically don't see that being like a big, big driver of performance, especially during the holidays, but I wish I could say otherwise. So if anyone has any great tips, you know, send send them our way.
I think it's also depends on the product category that you're in for us, we're in eyewear and that two, relatively affordably priced eyewear. So I don't know how many people are saving up their loyalty points on like a $40 pair of sunglasses right.
McKenzie Bauer 50:17
Now that's the same thing, we actually had a referral, we introduced a referral program and a loyalty program in 2020. And at the end of last year, we discontinued both of them because they weren't, we were not seeing the ROI that we wanted to. And so one of our big like, philosophies that business in business is like go deep rather than wide. So we cut off the lens that we're providing any fruit when the branches and are going to go deeper with things that we know work like email, SMS, different things like that, I would be curious to know that Pete, like the brands that have made it work, because I feel like same for us. Our wallets are 15 bucks, 25 bucks. So I don't know how many people are like stacking loyalty points to get any sort of discount on their product. So we found that those didn't work for us, which was unfortunate, because there was a lot of time and energy, but you got to try things to know if it does work.
Nevin Jethmalani 51:11
I'm glad we're not the only one.
Yeah, and I just wanted to add, the more I thought about it. So with our promotion, it was 50% off site wide, no discount code needed. However, with our swell loyalty program, I believe the way it would work is once you've accumulated those, you could then enter a discount code that would actually be applied on top of the 50% off, because keep in mind, that's no discount code required. So I think we did see some examples of people who were using these reward points during our 50% off sale and getting like 70 to 80% off. And so that was caught pretty early on someone on my team mentioned it, I think with our ecommerce manager, and we disabled that. And to be fair, it's not like they kind of found a little bit of a loophole, because we do very clearly advertise that you can't pack discounts on top of one another. And like when we have 50% off site wide, like that's as great of a sale as you're going to get and you can't stack any additional discount codes on top of it. So that was one adjustment we had to make was just being sure to not allow for customers to apply their loyalty points on top of the 50% off as well.