Everlane – Breaking down a great email marketing program

One of the best ways of improving your email marketing is to try and learn from the best in their field. Everlane are one of those companies who I always open their emails, everytime they send to me.

Everlane is an upstart clothing brand that have no traditional retail stores, instead they use beautifully shot videos and photographs to craft an experience online. They’re incredibly transparent; letting users know where their factories are and sell direct to the customer. They do marketing very well, sharing images via email and social channels with anticipation-building release dates with the opportunity to sign up for a waiting list. Thanks to their innovative tactics they’ve built up a large following on social media, have created Facebook bots to interact with customers and thanks to this they’re now reported to be valued in excess of $250m. Below we take a look at their email marketing campaigns, and what they do well there.

Segment on signup

The channel you arrive on to Everlane, dictates the website flow you’re pushed through. A user referred by a friend is instantly asked to sign up, whereas a user accessing via Google is presented with an open shop. This is likely due to the intent showed and the implied trust given by these groups. With a word of mouth recommendation it’s likely you’ll trust the company however may not immediately wish to purchase; this makes the option of adding a sign-up gate an interesting one, with the hope you’ll convert the user later via email marketing.

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During the account creation process, you are asked for the styles you are interested in. This data will dictate which sign-up list you’re added to, ensuring your users can receive personal and relevant emails. We often see furniture websites use similar techniques, if you know whether your users have children, for example, you can use this data to send them children’s furniture occasionally.

Great subject lines

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Everlane rarely give away the content of their email within the subject line. They use no more than 5 words, and make use of the pre-header area to give a little more away. Their style is incredibly unique, and encourages you to open the email to see the content. It’s clickbait, without being obvious (or irritating).

Also, it looks like Everlane regularly A/B test their campaign subject lines. This example below contained almost exactly the same content, however featured a twist on words. Experimentation through A/B testing allows companies to find out what consumers really interact with, ensuring you can optimise your campaigns for click throughs and conversions.

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Relevant communications

Everlane use the data collected about you and use this to send relevant content to you. As someone who expressed interest in male clothing, I only ever see male focussed campaigns; even when the clothes being sold are exactly the same.

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They also make use of current events, and link their email marketing campaigns to that. For example, during the Wimbledon tennis tournament Everlane put together an email campaign combined with a web landing page all in a tennis theme. Staying relevant to what’s going on in the world, whether that be a sports tournament or popular video game, rarely hurts a brand.

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Encourage other channels

Few people make buying decisions based on information from a single medium. Many ecommerce brands now retarget email subscribers using Facebook and Twitter, using their email address. Doing so can not only help convert that user, but also help convert their friends as they like and share your content.

Everlane seek to push users to use social early on once you sign up to their emails. Only a couple of days after signing up, I received the following email letting me know of their other channels such as Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat.

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Throughout their email campaigns we see regular references and features from social media. Instagram images from customers wearing their Everlane clothing enhances social proof and also gives potential customers a realistic view of what the clothing looks like in real world situations.

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Interactive/engaging content

Animation in email adds an element of customer delight to a email that isn’t typically possible with static images. Everlane make sparse use of animated gifs, meaning that it still retains the novelty factor when you open their emails.

Using an animated GIF designs is great for drawing users eyes, and catching their attention. They can also be used to help explain or showcase more products in a small space above the fold. It’s worth bearing in mind animated gifs aren’t supported in all clients, but most modern clients such as Gmail and iOS mail do support them.

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