Episode 15: Stix, Customer retention from both a marketing and operations POV

Podcast Episode 15 Stix

On this episode of Retention Chronicles, we’re joined by Aminah Fawad, Director of Operations and Emma Henderson, Lifecycle Marketing Manager, at Stix. Stix is the female-founded, no-judgment health brand with the products and space you need to make confident decisions about your body.

What will you take away from this episode?

  • How marketing and operations can be co-utilized in the customer retention space
  • Opportunities that can be left on the table if customer retention isn't at the forefront of your strategy
  • How to first get feedback from your customers and how to implement those findings
  • Why post purchase is important for your business
  • Capitalizing on every touchpoint (even packaging)
  • How to center your team around your brand mission

Be sure to subscribe to stay up-to-date and checkout Malomo, the leading order tracking platform for Shopify brands at gomalomo.com. Try our free trial today!

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Emma Henderson, Mariah Parsons, Aminah Fawad

Mariah Parsons 00:03

Hello and welcome to Retention Chronicles, a podcast sponsored by Malomo, a shipment tracking platform that helps ecommerce brands turn order tracking into a profitable marketing channel. On this podcast, we welcome leading DTC brands and experts to chat about all things customer retention, and E commerce. We absolutely love highlighting all the amazing things that our customers are doing in the post purchase space. If you like what you hear, be sure to check out our website go malomo.com. Maybe you'll even be featured on this podcast someday in the near future, who's to say to help us continue to bring new guests and information to you. Please be sure to subscribe to this podcast, wherever you like to listen. On this week's episode of Retention Chronicles. We welcome the Stix team, Aminah Fawad and Emma Henderson. Aminah is the Director of Operations at Stix. And Emma is the lifecycle marketing manager. Stix empowers competent health decisions. All times you'll hear both of them talk about Stix. But I'm really inspired because it is a brand that is female founded no judgment. It's a health brand with amazing products, and it gives their customers the space they need to make competent decisions about their body. What did we go into? I mean, there's so much one of the things that I love about this episode is how we get both the perspective from an operations standpoint, and then a marketing standpoint. So how do they relate to each other? How are they different? How does customer retention come into play? Why is it important all that you will get in this episode? They also talk about what do they invest in? What do they choose not to. They look at how you know, the messaging that they're putting out there as landing with their customers and their community, and then how they use that data to then support their strategy going forward. Also, what opportunities that could be left on the table, if you don't focus on customer retention, and making sure that every single branch, every single touchpoint, all of the post purchase experience, all the customer journey is not seamless. Well, you'll just have to listen to the full episode to find out. One thing that I also loved that Aminah and Emma talked about is product market surveys. If you if you're not convinced they're necessary, I think you might change that after you listen to what they have to say, because they talk about how they really got a lot of customer feedback and how that helped their momentum as a brand. Move forward. Also, an awesome thing that they talk about is that they highlighted their customers both externally and internally to keep their teams centralized. And really help build that community for their customers each and every day. So welcome, everyone we are at Retention Chronicles. Today we are joined by the Stix team, Aminah and Emma, thank you so much for joining us. We are delighted to have you here. I thought we could start it off with some intros. So Aminah why don't you kick us off, and then Emma we will have you follow up.

Aminah Fawad 03:10

Great. Thanks, Mariah. We're super excited to be here. So my name is Aminah Fawad. I'm the Director of Operations at Stix. I joined the team in February 2021. So a little bit over a year ago now. And I manage all things supply chain for Stix, which includes fulfillment, managing all of our shipping and carriers. So that's where I have come in to work with the Malomo team. Also work on our wholesale operations, and then overall business strategy and operations. So lots of fun things. So pretty much anything related to physical product or operational is all under me.

Emma Henderson 03:46

Awesome. Thank you, Emma. Hi, I'm Emma. I am the lifecycle and marketing manager here at Stix. I joined the team in November of 2021. And I manage all things retention, the mapping and development of the customer journey over time, as well as loyalty and customer lifetime value.

Mariah Parsons 04:07

Awesome. Thank you both as they're sharing. Again, we are delighted to have you on. It's always good to kind of give a background for our listeners about what each brand does. So Aminah, can you tell us about what Stix is what you guys do, and kind of give more of a background?

Aminah Fawad 04:23

Yeah, it's definitely. So Stix is founded in 2019 by Cynthia posh and Jamie Norwood, our two co founders. And in 2019, they really set out to create a medically backed reproductive and vaginal health brand that is there for you in your most vulnerable moments. Our goal is to empower competent health decisions at all times. And currently we provide products for pregnancy, ovulation, UTIs, yeast infections, and we also have a line of vitamins, pain relief and treatments. And really, the goal is to provide all of these products to whoever needs them in A judgment free environment.

Mariah Parsons 05:02

Awesome. Thank you. And so you had mentioned the two female co founders. So how did they like how did they start Stix? Do you? Do you know, like the background, because I imagine like, the products that you guys have, they're very like intimate for your customers. So I think you have to have like a good foundation to be like to make sure that your customers are like, comfortable. So how did how does Stix kind of come about?

Aminah Fawad 05:26

Yeah, it's actually kind of funny, but also probably mortifying story. We love that. So Stix was founded, like I said, in 2019, after Cynthia actually ran into her boyfriend's mom while buying a pregnancy test at the drugstore. And she called Jamie and was telling her the story of what happened. And they were just saying, like, there must be a better way to deal with situations like this. And that's where Stix was really born. So kind of one mortifying drugstore experience that I think we can all attest to has happened to us, and in many different ways, whether it's buying a pregnancy test, or buying a UTI test, where you're like, Oh, my God, I hope nobody sees me. And just kind of taking the stigma out of those things, providing an education to women about those products and about their bodies. And yeah, the you know, the rest is really history. Like I said, we started with pregnancy tests back in 2019. And now we're here with three categories, and you know, over 10 different products. So a lot has changed. But like I said, the goal has really stayed the same from from the very beginning.

Mariah Parsons 06:33

That's awesome. And I think one of the cool things, of course, I was looking all over Stix. And I've heard Jennie, shout her out, one of our awesome CSMs is just talk about you and your team and how great they are to work with. So one of the things I love to ask our brands that come on the podcast is like, what is it like, like working with such a powerful team? of strong women and kind of like the culture? How does? Of course, we'll get to into like, how that the strategy and everything how that all plays into your brand as well. But I love I love both of your perspectives on what that's like.

Aminah Fawad 07:07

Yeah, so I can definitely start working with Stix is a lot of fun. You know, I, my past career prior to joining Stix in the startup world, was working in consulting, which is very much the boys club. So it was kind of a huge adjustment to join one, a much smaller team, but also team of all women were typically, I was the only woman on a team in my last job. So it's been really great. I think everyone is super engaged with what we're doing, and is really passionate about what we're doing, which I think makes all the difference. So again, like our culture, we've got a team of really empathetic women that are all amazing, and all really dedicated to making sure other women have positive health experiences. So overall, like, every day is a lot of fun. Like, I know that the people that I'm working with all really care about what we're doing, and are also all really great people that have become really great friends as well.

Emma Henderson 08:04

Yeah, I would definitely echo what Aminah said, you know, it's been a surreal experience, in the best way, working at Stix. Everyone is just so supportive and collaborative, we have big goals, and everyone is supportive of each other and reaching those goals. I think another really great thing about working with Stix is if you have a question, or you have a problem that you have to solve, you're fully supported and finding a solution or an answer and really like running after what whatever that solution or answer is.

Mariah Parsons 08:33

Because I'm here, I mean, I always gush about working at Malomo, how it's just a great culture, and it really does make a difference. Like you want to work harder for your customers or brands, whatever, whoever you're servicing. And I mean, from an outsider's perspective, who isn't on the Stix team, it, it truly shines and like how your brand is portrayed. So I commend you both for being able to kind of like show how comfortable your team is together and then to have that comfortability or passion kind of ease your customers and make them comfortable as well. So I also would love to know more about your day to day, you know, I'm gonna you're on the operational side of things. And Emma, you're on the marketing side of things. So I'm, you know, from our team, they're very closely tied together. So I'd love to know more about you know, like, what problems do you guys work on together? Both outside of customer retention, and of course inside it? And how do you kind of go about solving those issues?

Aminah Fawad 09:31

Yeah. So every day is a new and different challenge working in operations. As we know, in 2022, the world of supply chain is still just, it's living in its own world, or just having to deal with it. So my days are split, I would say one, one side of my work is making sure that our customers have the best possible product as human as quickly as humanly possible. Well, so a lot of time working with our suppliers on existing products, working with new suppliers on developing and launching new products, working with our warehouse, making sure that fulfillment is going well. And making sure that our customers are, you know, get it, like I said, getting their product as quickly as they can. So shipping innovation is also something that I'm always working on and trying to find new ways for people just to get our product faster. I also spend a lot of time supporting internal operations at Stix, which means a lot of project management. But it's also really, really fun because I get to touch almost every other part of the business. So for example of getting to work with Emma, on different aspects of customer retention, and how that relates to physical product and operational needs. That's really cool for me, because you know, as a supply chain person, you don't necessarily get to touch all all the other parts of the business, including marketing. So being in that operational roll, and on the operational side of the business really lets me do that, which I love. So, like I said, every day is new and challenging, but definitely is a really fun, it's fun to you know, I wake up and I don't really know what I'm gonna get myself into for the day. So it's overall, it's always just a fun challenge to have.

Emma Henderson 11:17

Yeah, to be totally honest, my day to day varies a lot, which I honestly love, like one day, I'll be diving into email, SMS flow strategies, and then the next day, I'll be launching a loyalty and referral program. So it's a lot of moving parts, definitely keeps me on my toes, which I really love that fast paced kind of environment. In terms of retention, a lot of what I do is focused on customer data and insights, which I kind of use to inform the different projects that we're working on. This means getting on calls with customers to understand their experience with Stix better, which is always a really amazing experience kind of getting to learn directly from those customers, as well as interpreting survey data to better understand our customers and their needs. I think, you know, that survey data is really important to inform the different initiatives that we're, you know, running, especially in terms of retention over time. And I generally allow these learnings to kind of lead retention efforts in my day to day.

Mariah Parsons 12:19

Right. Okay, so yeah, you both I mean, I'm pretty similar, like having a hand in each project is kind of fun, right? Like, sometimes, of course, it's a little overwhelming, because you're like, oh, my gosh, there's so many good things that you can do and learn from each little project that you're working on. But I mean, that's, I love having both of your perspectives on here for customer retention. And it's so interesting to see because I think, of course, operations and marketing, they have to ebb and flow together. But I would love kind of your perspectives, both of your perspectives as to why you think customer retention is important for from a customer's viewpoint of like, Why do you think it matters so much to make sure that you are ensuring your customers are happy and they every interaction that they're having with your brand is a good experience?

Emma Henderson 13:10

Yeah, I can start on this one. So I was the first person at Stix brought on to specifically focus on lifecycle marketing. So I think retention at Stix has definitely become an increasingly important focus here. Personally, I think retention is crucial for a brand like Stix that is constantly evolving and growing over time with its customers without lifecycle and retention, a lot of opportunities left on the table, and a lot of opportunity for growth is lost. Our customers are our most valuable resource. And we have to keep learning from them so that we can continue to serve them over time as they grow, you know, personally and with the brand. Some examples of this are launching our new referral loyalty programs, which some customers were extremely excited about, and using data to inform new product development and introducing our existing customers how their products through cross sells and upsells.

Aminah Fawad 14:06

I was gonna say, I think, you know, operationally retention is really important to us to like as we think about just operating an efficient and successful business like we want these customers to come back and stay in the Stix pipeline like it makes life easier for all of us. You know, we acquire that customer wants and keeping them in the fold is just a lot more economical than always having to acquire new customers. And like Emma said to like it helps us gather more data on what products are actually doing well, what new products people might want. And that helps us make decisions as well on, you know, where does our product line go? What do we invest in? You know, what do we not invest in? So really having those like loyal and dedicated customers makes our lives just so much easier, and allows for everyone to have a better experience. So both are all the people working at Stix and all the people that are pro Just saying from Stix and benefiting from the products that we're able to offer them.

Mariah Parsons 15:05

That's awesome. I definitely want to dig into there were a couple of things that stuck out to me from both you. So thank you for sharing. Emma, you had mentioned the opportunities that can like be left on the table. If a brand doesn't focus on customer retention, do you have any of those that come to mind?

Emma Henderson 15:21

Yeah, I mean, I think to echo and I said, it's, you know, expensive to keep, you know, bringing in new customers, rather than nurturing the customers, the existing customers that you already have, especially in terms of like how we can also grow our suite of products. That's really an important part of growing your brand. And I think by listening to our customers and focusing on retention, it takes a lot of that guesswork off the table.

Mariah Parsons 15:50

Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. We've We've definitely seen, the lift that comes from if you have a good retention strategy, like you're just wait a brand is way more I think the percents i, we have a fact check at the end. So I'll check this, but I believe it's somewhere around like 60 to 70% of customers, if they're returning customer, they'll purchase but a new customer, it's like 5 to 20%, I believe. And so we definitely see like that as a common shift as well, because the privacy like Apple and Google updates, the privacy changes that have occurred could have kind of forced brands, I think, to shift into focusing on retention more than acquisition just because of the expense alone. But to me, like it makes sense, even from a consumer standpoint of like, Oh, if you know and love a brand, because you'd like their product and the experience you have like, it's annoying or difficult to try and go find another product, if you like the product, but you just didn't like the experience, you know, you're like searching for something that's similar, but maybe has a gets you quicker or something along something along those lines.

Emma Henderson 17:01

Yeah, absolutely, absolutely. And I think that's why it's so important for us to like, talk to our customers and look at the data and send surveys because our customers will literally tell us what they want and tell us about their experience. We just have to be receptive and listen to them. And I think that that's a really large part of the retention work that we're doing. And I totally agree with you that shift that's happening. You know, with privacy policies, it's really important to focus on, you know, the customers that you do have and make sure you're nurturing them as a brand.

Mariah Parsons 17:33

Yeah, I definitely want to go into listening to your customers. So I would love to know more about like, you've mentioned, surveys and getting that data, how do you go about listening to your customers and making sure. So I think, Emma, this would be more towards you like how do you actually go about getting those surveys or those interviews in front of your customers? And then maybe, Aminah, you can take the like, how do you actually take that data and like rope it into your strategy moving forward?

Emma Henderson 18:07

Yeah, so I work with our customer experience, associate, so to get on with customers, which really helps us to get a better understanding of their experience by having those face to face conversations. And really understanding you know, what their needs are and what their experience with the brand is over time. And in terms of surveys, it's really important, I think, to have different surveys at different touch points. So for example, one of the surveys that I've been digging into recently is our post purchase survey, which really kind of digs into the experience as a whole from start to finish, and what ultimately allowed a customer to decide to purchase their Stix. And that data, again, has helped us to kind of inform lifecycle decisions, as well as potential new products that we want to launch. So I think, you know, sending different surveys at different times is really important to get a better understanding of how people are experiencing the brand and potential opportunities to optimize our brand over time.

Aminah Fawad 19:17

Yeah, I think to add on to what Emma was talking about, from a survey perspective, we've also done some really targeted surveys outside of the post purchase experience where we want to gather information on a certain topic. And it's sometimes things that we even put out probably like on our Instagram, or we're like, hey, take a survey. And that helps us also gather data not just about our customers, but kind of like the broader demographic that we're that we're talking to, and to learn information about, you know, what kind of products are they looking for, or what, what kind of stage of life where people in and what might that mean? How might that translate to different things that we do from a content or education perspective as well. Another survey that we really use is Um, product market fit. So kind of assessing how customers feel, if they didn't have Stix, and if they didn't have Stix products, and overall really positive results, but the product market fit surveys that we've done have also just resulted in a lot of interesting feedback coming to us. And some of the biggest pieces of feedback that we got over the last like year or so was having clear instructions, which is really important to us, for us to be kind of like jargon free, be really easy to read, easy to use, easy to understand. So we recently went through a rebrand for our packaging and our instructions and kind of our look and feel if so, you know, same Stix underneath, but just like a new bolder look. And as we went through that, we also took time to revisit our instructions and make sure we were really having clear, concise, easy to read, easy to use instructions for everybody. Another piece of feedback that came out of those surveys was having faster shipping. So our products are something that you need in the moment. And when you need it, you need it, there's no like, oh, I can wait five days for this. You know, and there is an aspect of being able to be prepared, which we do talk to our customers about. But sometimes it's like I said, if you need it, you need it. So something that I'm always working on. Something that I mentioned earlier is shipping innovation. So that's something that we're working on, in Q2 of this year is just working with delivery partners, and maybe non traditional delivery partners and couriers to get product to customers faster, so that we can really meet them where they are. So those are just two other examples of how we like really put customer feedback to use in developing a stronger Stix for them.

Mariah Parsons 21:47

Yeah, those are great examples. Do you find that a lot of you'd mentioned like social media, I'm guessing like email, they also go out via email. And SMS, I'm sure. But do you find like that your customers, when you give them the opportunity to provide feedback, they usually are motivated to or, like, I guess I'm asking about the response rate. And like, if it even varies across whatever medium, you kind of put it out there to get in front of your customers with.

Aminah Fawad 22:18

I'll let I'm gonna speak to kind of what we see on post purchase surveys, which are like embedded into the journey. But when we do you like customer interviews with things like that, we do incentivize customers with gift cards. And from there, we have a really solid response rate. People are, yes, definitely motivated by the $50 gift card or whatever it is. But we've had some really, really, you know, across across the last few months, and since we've really been diving into customer interviews, month over month, really just strong feedback from customers that they want to share their experiences and share what would make Stix better or like how, you know, something that they learned that might help somebody else's experience. So I think it kind of just comes back to this really strong community of women who just want to help each other. So overall, like response rates are really positive. And it's really like good feedback. It's not just people getting on the phone and saying like, yeah, like I liked the product, or Yeah, like, you know, it could have a nicer color box or something like that. It's people giving really meaningful feedback.

Emma Henderson 23:22

Yeah, to echo, um, and I said, you know, we definitely incentivize people in all different parts of the journey to share their experience, because we do want to make sure they're incentivized for the time that they're taking to fill out the different surveys that were sending, as well as I think what you touched upon in terms of like, these are really vulnerable products and moments for people in some cases, and I think that people are excited to share their experience if they're having a positive experience with Stix, because of that kind of community aspect, and generally, the feedback that we're getting is really constructive and positive. So that's really amazing to see as well.

Mariah Parsons 24:04

Awesome. Yeah, I can imagine like a very strong community, kind of, like surrounding Stix, both internally and externally. And I imagine there's like an element of comfort to from like, oh, like, you know, you're not alone. You're buying these products, UPC, like product reviews, or other customers or like following their social media, whatever it is, you're kind of like comforted by having, you know, and perhaps, we talked, we briefly touched upon, like the stigma that surrounds like these products for women of like, whether it's UTI or medicine or pregnancy tests, anything along those lines. So I imagine like coming to steaks, you're like, oh, some of that is like kind of eradicated and it just lends into a better experience as well. Like buying actual product. One of the things too, that I wanted to touch upon was and we've, we've mentioned it with the post purchase surveys, but I'm curious to know, like, I think post purchases more, it's a newer space of people are starting to, like grow into that space and realize the importance of like, oh, you know, the after your customer buys from you that shouldn't be the last interaction you're having with them. So I guess when did has post purchase always been kind of part of the strategy for Stix? Or if not, when did it kind of become something that you all started exploring?

Emma Henderson 25:28

Yeah, I can speak to that. I definitely think again, like, as I was brought on to do the specific lifecycle work that Stix, I think it shifted and important, and I think it's become increasingly important over time, as we're focusing on retention, and really nurturing our existing customers. I think, again, because of the nature of our products, that post purchase experience, and making sure that customers have the information that they need have the education and the resources that they need to, you know, properly use our products and feel good about using our products is really important, as well as, again, that retention piece, right, like making sure they know all of the products that we offer, and that we're meeting them at all different stages of their life and stages, and you know, the potential need for different products that we sell.

Mariah Parsons 26:21

So would you say like, what, um, what opportunities, I guess like what arise from focusing on the post purchase experience?

Emma Henderson 26:29

Yeah, so we're actually currently like revamping our entire post purchase experience. So a lot of that has to do with making sure that we're really providing like a holistic experience in terms of like, ways to engage with Stix and the community. So sending them relevant Real Talk articles, and retail Real Talk is our incredible blog with a bunch of educational information surrounding the specific product category that they've ordered. Making sure we're talking about our referral and loyalty programs, which is something that we just launched and definitely want to highlight, so that they can engage with those and you know, grow over time with Stix, as well as just again, like cross sell and upsell information, making sure they understand the different products that we offer and how they can continue to grow a stick over time, as well as that survey that I was talking about, you know, making sure we're revamping that constantly asking new questions and getting a really holistic understanding of our customer experience and how we can continue to get better and grow with them.

Mariah Parsons 27:36

Yeah, I was actually reading through the real talk blog. And I think it's great that you have that on they're just like from the educational point, yes. But it just like it's kind of comforting, knowing you know, you have like, actual backed blogs of like, these are the things that you should be aware of for your health. And yeah, I loved going through, I was like, Oh, my God, this is so interesting. Like it was like entertaining as well, like they're so well written. And I love that you guys include that as part of your post purchase experience as well.

Emma Henderson 28:09

Yeah, for sure. I think it's a, it's a very important part of our post purchase experience. And I think it really helps you know, when someone's going through a vulnerable moment and needs more information or needs to know that they're not alone, and that what they're going through is completely normal. I think real talk definitely helps with that.

Aminah Fawad 28:28

For sure, yeah, I think another interesting thing that we just started doing as a part of our rebrand as well as like, we're bringing people back to real talk as a part of the physical post push purchase experience. So once you actually have your product in hand, we have QR codes on all of our packaging that bring people back to real talk, bring people to kind of a specific article or kind of like landing page that is related to the product that they purchasing, and then kind of allows them to explore, we'll talk on their own. So it's just another way that we're bringing people you know, back into the fold and back into the community. Throughout, you know, both the digital post purchase experience and the physical post purchase experience.

Mariah Parsons 29:08

That's an awesome idea, like I love that so much putting the QR codes on packaging to blogs that are related to their product. You know, it's something small, but like, monumental, you know, possibly throughout the customer journey, so I haven't seen that. And I think that's, that's pretty cool. I commend you both for having that. Having that innovation, you'd mentioned as well that you just had started rolling out am I the loyalty programs, or maybe revamping them, but can you tell us a little bit more about kind of like, how you started rolling that out? And then what like the goal of that strategy is.

Emma Henderson 29:52

Yeah, for sure. So when I was brought on, we were actively already kind of rolling out that loyalty program which was actually by I knew for Stix and then also completely revamping our referral program as well. A large part of it was awareness around loyalty and referral, right? Like, how do we message to people that we now have this and that, you know, they can use it to grow with the brand over time. I think a large part of that strategy is also retention as well obviously, like incentivizing people to continue to come back to Stix and rewarding them for doing so I think that's a big part of, you know, taking care of our customers and building trust with them. You know, providing them different opportunities to engage with the brand, right, like giving them different points for different things, for example, you know, going in reading Real Talk articles, or taking our quiz on site, to get like customized product recommendations, all of these different ways to earn points over time, and keep them engaged and keep them a part of the Stix community, I think is a large part of that strategy. And I think that will ultimately help with retention and creating that Stix community that we're really trying to build.

Mariah Parsons 31:09

Do you guys have like any not referrals and rewards? Any reviews? That's the word I'm looking for? Do you have any like reviews? I'm curious like that customers give as well, that you like put in front of other customers, like on your website, or anything along that line? Those lines?

Aminah Fawad 31:29

Yeah, so yeah, I'm gonna go ahead and I can take it. So I'm gonna say from like a social and email perspective, and a lot of our campaign emails and things that we do on social, whether it's stories or posts, we do often do review roundups, because we get a lot of great feedback from customers about, you know, just how great a product is, or again, how convenient the shipping was, and how that really was a game changer for them. Like, we've had customers, right in that they live, you know, 30, 40, 50 minutes away from a drugstore, or from like a target or a grocery store. And so being able to get products shipped to them is like, amazing, and it's a game changer for them. So we do like to kind of share that out with the group, with all of our customers through those different channels. We also as a team, start our weeks every Monday with a customer review, to really like center ourselves on why we do what we do. And so that's always a really great way for us as a team to come back together and say, like, again, this customer, you know, is really benefiting from these products in these ways. And just really centering us on why we're here, which is to serve our community.

Mariah Parsons 32:40

Awesome. I mean, I love that you guys, share them with your customers, but also internally, I think that's a great practice. And did you want to add anything on there?

Emma Henderson 32:51

Yeah, I think I'm gonna, you know, really hit the nail on the head, just making sure that we're highlighting those reviews and talking about them, including them across the customer journey and throughout the lifecycle. And really sharing the experience that our customers have, because I think it's really special. And it's something that absolutely differentiates Stix.

Mariah Parsons 33:10

Yeah, yeah, I completely, I completely agree. And I could definitely see that being a differentiator in the like, customer experience as a whole. One thing as well, that I think is that we touched on a little bit in the beginning, but um, uh, you had said that you helped build out the SMS strategy or made sure that you know, your, your customers were being properly communicated with. So I was curious if you could tell us about, yes, we can touch on like emails, but SMS as well, because I think it's I've at least heard through this podcast or through other brands, that there's a little bit more of a hesitancy to like accepting SMS as using it, coupled with email or instead of email, however, a brand takes it. So I'm curious to hear both of your takes on, you know, the progression of using SMS maybe instead of or coupled with email.

Emma Henderson 34:07

Yeah, I think SMS is really important. And it's something that we were doing when I came onto this team, but I think it's something that we're definitely looking to continue to optimize and iterate on over time. I think one of the things that's really special about SMS is it allows us to get directly in front of our customers and really, almost have a conversation with them in a way and you know, our messaging is extremely conversational. We really focus on feeling more like a friend than, like, just a random person behind the screen. We really want them to feel comfortable with us. And we want them to feel nurtured over time, especially, you know, existing customers. We want them to feel supported from start to finish in their journey, whether that be through shipping notifications and knowing exactly where their order is providing them with that tracking information. Postcard Just opportunities to join different programs like referral and loyalty. I think that's all important to include in those SMS communications. And I think that SMS is sometimes overlooked in a way by brands. And I think it's a really important part of what we do, especially because of that communication piece and that nurturing piece of building trust with our customers.

Mariah Parsons 35:26

Yeah, and I've heard like, we had like an email expert, Jesse Burn, shout him out love him. But he came on the podcast. And he was kind of like telling us all about email. And like, the conversational piece of SMS of how like you are, you do have to acknowledge like, it's your phone, your text, like your friends and family are texting from, like, you know, your inbox, an email is perhaps a little bit more professional or a little bit more distant from the consumer itself, or themselves. So how do you like make sure even if it's down to the details of like the copy that you're sending? I know your messaging is conversational, but like, how do you actually make sure that the customer feels like, oh, like, I can just reach out like, this is yes, their customer success team or customer service team? But how do you make sure that like the whole team is centralized on making sure the customer feels like they're just talking to a friend?

Emma Henderson 36:22

Yeah, I think the copy is a large part of that. We have a really amazing copy and Editorial Manager who helps me with that copy, and making sure that it does feel very conversational and nurturing and it feels like, you know, Stix. I think also including different images and gifts, and like anytime we can like humanize ourselves, right? Like, we've done like highlights on like different team members. Like anything that humanizes us as a brand to make it feel again, like more warm and like building that trust, I think is really important. As well as just like, yeah, like you said, showing up in their inbox is a little bit more intimate. So making sure that we're giving them, you know, the information that they need to make decisions and have feel informed and nurtured over time, I think is really important as well.

Mariah Parsons 37:16

You want to make sure that you're sending like that crucial information, like if it's good at quality information, and it adds value to the customer. I'm of the opinion that, you know, I would text like, I'm going to check that way more frequently than I do email. And so it's like, oh, if I get a very high value, add through my through texting, like Oh, sure. Like I love that. I think SMS is one of those tricky things that if people worry that it's spammy, but of course, you're going to differentiate between customers. So like some people prefer only email, write only SMS, whatever. But I think having like for that exact reason as well having email and SMS, both options, because customers might prefer one of the the other I think is a great, great approach. And I believe you all are on the Attentive integration as well, which is fine, because we just launched with them. So there's a lot of excitement around that. So we love seeing, of course, success, success stories around Attentive and one of our partners. But I love that approach. Aminah, do you have anything else add around like operational standpoint for SMS?

Aminah Fawad 38:29

No, I'm really excited for the Attentive integration that we're, you know, have set up right now. And we'll continue to work on but again, just like sharing tracking with people, like through SMS, like to me as a consumer, I love that. And I think that's like, yeah, I just I check my phone a lot more than I check my email. So yeah, if I get it, like just getting a text to say, like, my Stix is here, I'm like, amazing. I know exactly like what's going on. Um, so I think that's just again, like meeting customers where they are. And we know like, customers use their phones. And there's people that are opted in, and we know that's the best way to reach them. So being able to just to capitalize on that throughout that kind of physical journey as they're actually receiving their product is really exciting.

Mariah Parsons 39:13

Yeah, I completely agree. This isn't great. One of the this is one of my favorite parts of our podcast is asking about like resources that you all would recommend. Whether it's someone who is just getting started out in the space or something that you know, you take a long side with you every day as you're approaching work. So what's one thing that you would like to share with listeners as far as you know, like this has been helpful for me to know or this is what I've learned, kind of about, like customer retention or just in general.

Emma Henderson 39:48

Yeah, I can go. I definitely think Attentive University has been really helpful. Like retention with SMS. Yopto, it has also been a really great resource for us in terms of referral on loyalty, and then also, HubSpot, I always turn to you for just like trends. I currently have the loyalty trends of 2020 to open on my computer. So I think those three are kind of like my top in terms of retention.

Mariah Parsons 40:14

That's awesome. I love HubSpot, too. I always Yeah, I'm the same way.

Aminah Fawad 40:21

I've like as a non marketer, I'm always like, why is HubSpot and now that I look at Stix, like people actually use HubSpot, I'm like, okay, get it out. So I feel like you know, prior to working with Stix, people always talk about it and I'm like, but I wouldn't even say these are operational resources, but two like newsletters that I love subscribing to and actually read our oneness thing testing and one is modern retail. So both are really interesting. And think testing kind of shares new and upcoming brands and what they're doing sometimes it's it talks about sustainability, which is also interesting, you know, for every brand to think about. And modern retail similarly, let features different brands and kind of their different approaches on things. So I always just love reading those newsletters because they feature so many different topics like operational topics, supply chain topics, retention topics. So it's just really interesting to educate yourself on what other brands out there are doing and like, continue to grow our network like as, as Stix and meet other people in this space and learn, you know, what are other people doing and what works, what doesn't work? So I always love reading those, those two newsletters. Those are those are the two that actually like stay in my inbox until I read them versus like directly get archived. Yeah, so those are kind of my two things that I really recommend for people and just, you know, some nice like, casual light read.

Mariah Parsons 41:46

Yes, yeah. I love Nick Sharma too I subscribe to his newsletter. Like just like so. So much information all like in one email, like, okay, good. Like I can read this easily digestible. And you brought up one good point of like, just learning about what, what other brands are doing and like, what's worked well for them? What hasn't? I think that's I found an ecommerce space, or like DTC, people are so willing to share. And I think that's one great thing of like, oh, this is not working for us, like, what did you do if you had a similar problem and just learning from others. So I love those recommendations of like platforms that you can use to help you get, achieve your goals that you're trying to achieve. And then also the like references that you can read to like, be well informed. Thank you both for sharing. And this has been so phenomenal to have you on the podcast. It's been awesome. I want to give you the space, if there's either of you if there's anything else you would like to like, talk about or mention. But this has been phenomenal.

Aminah Fawad 42:50

Yeah, nothing else. This has been great. I'm super fun to get to share some of the things that we've been working on. I think overall I am I definitely touched on it. But just having Malomo as one of the tools that we utilize for our customers has been great. Like, prior to using Malomo. We did like nothing from like a tracking experience or a post purchase experience. So for me, like being able to make sure customers are like getting what they need as quickly as they need it. Malomo has been just such a huge upgrade in terms of what we're able to offer to our customer. So it's been a really, really great experience. And we're excited to kind of like see, you know, what else is down the line for us in terms of our partnership together, but also with other you know, tools that will just help continue to increase customer retention. And, you know, keep our customers happy and loyal.

Mariah Parsons 43:40

Thank you for sharing. I mean, we love hearing that. It makes my day to hear it. That's what we try and do best. So thank you.

Emma Henderson 43:48

Yeah, to echo what I'm gonna said, I think I'm very excited to, you know, continue to utilize Malomo It's really helped us to level up our post purchase and tracking experience and just made for an overall like, better customer experience and journey. And yeah, thank you so much for having me on the podcast. I really appreciate it.

Mariah Parsons 44:06

Our pleasure. We love it. We love highlighting our our customers and our brands and all the things that all the amazing things that you all are doing. So really thank you. I hope you enjoyed that episode. It was so intentional and impactful that I know I really enjoyed getting to know Aminah and Emma a little bit more and more about their brand more about all the amazing things that Stix is doing in terms of accessibility to health products and building a community of reducing stigma around female reproductive products. There was only a couple other a couple things that I had to fact check. In this episode, I do want to say the one fact that I literally say in the episode that OFAC check is correct. So returning customers are 60 to 70% more likely to purchase then the only other thing that I really wanted to emphasize on you and Fact check was the resources that Emma provided which was going reading up on Attentive University, Yopto HubSpot, there are great resources highly recommend. And then just to re emphasize ominous recommendations of newsletters, Think Testing and Modern Retail. So if you look both of those up, you should be able to find where you can subscribe if you're interested. We hope you'll join us for our next episode. We have quite an amazing guests coming on, be sure to subscribe to this podcast on your favorite listening platform and be sure to follow us on social media to stay up to date on all things Malomo.