The client approached us wanting to work on the website and the email marketing strategy.
The client was worried about website performance and wanted to see how we could incorporate email marketing into the mix of channels. She knew that automation was missing, and it was time to join in the action.
After six months of cooperation in PPC management, we agreed that CRO is the right approach and that working on the website can help the overall performance since everything is connected and overlapping in digital marketing.
Our main concern was the website speed. We knew any additional plugin could affect it, so we were very mindful of that. Additionally, the website developer was unavailable, and the client had to wait until the developer could make the necessary changes.
Email Marketing Specialist
Our primary focus was to advise and give recommendations, so the client needed an email marketing specialist to do all the heavy lifting regarding email marketing setup and management.
We had to wait until the right specialist was found and could start applying all of our insights into campaigns and flows.
Hotjar Recording Analysis
One of the first things we do is Recording Analysis. We set up Hotjar, a platform that shows users’ online behavior. Once we see the actual user interaction with the website, we can figure out a strategy for how to improve the site’s user experience and performance/conversion rates.
We monitored user behavior for a month and detected some interesting patterns. We decided to create two types of output:
– Recording Analysis Report
– Recording Analysis Presentation
We decided to make a visual presentation to our client based on our positive experience with this approach. We always look out for our client’s needs and adapt to them. There is not one size fits all. Some other clients prefer reports in the form of sheets, and others might prefer to hear the verbal explanation and specific CTA for them to perform next.
The client was delighted with the results, and we got positive feedback for the visual appeal of the presentation.
We agreed to create a backlog to help both sides track and manage these action steps that were a direct product of our analysis.
The Observation Strategy
Okay, so what was our observation strategy, and what were we trying to see?
The secure way to start when you don’t have a clear idea is to observe from a general and inclusive standpoint. That means we watched as many sessions as possible to see what typical user behavior looks like on different pages. We focused on the homepage, category pages, product pages, about us, cart, and so on.
Thanks to this approach, we recognized patterns that pointed us in the right direction. We’ll elaborate on the findings in the section called “Results” in a minute.
Email Marketing Flows
Flows offer an excellent opportunity to continue the conversation with the customer after they leave the website. Of course, the main question is – which flows offer the highest potential? How can we learn that?
We always start with competitor research and analyze which competitors are similar to our client in terms of niche, audience, and product. After that, we collect data and make conclusions.
The second approach is to be in the loop with the best practices in email marketing. Which flows are generally good to have? Which strategies are optimal? How many emails to have in a sequence? And so on.
Last but not least is the creation of the solutions in the form of reports, documents, mock-ups, or any other appropriate format. In this case, we decided to use a combination of:
– Powerpoint presentation
– Mockups of emails in the Flow
The previous positive feedback led us to believe that the visual reports have a better impact and that the client can understand them faster and get an idea of the next steps.
The most significant benefit for the client with this type of reporting and us is that we can quickly agree on changes and apply them on the spot. Or, if the changes are more complex, we do additional research and prepare the following mock-up based on that finding.
We prepared mock-ups in Miro Board, a fun and easy-to-use visual collaboration platform. We could make different flows from scraps we collected from competitor email flows.
We use these mock-ups strictly for presentational purposes, and the client won’t replicate them. They serve as a visual direction for the client so that it’s clear what we mean when we say, “Use large lifestyle images, add Social Proof section, add user reviews,” and so on.
The first Email marketing mock-up we made was the Welcome Flow, the automated sequence that a new website visitor triggers once they add their email to the Homepage pop-up.
We decided to focus on this flow because it was already active, and we saw it needed to be tweaked. Secondly, we wanted to communicate more about the brand, and this seemed like a perfect opportunity for a warm welcome and introduction.
Competitor research confirmed that this flow is essential for the stage setting, and every business that values email marketing has it up and running. We collected some good ideas and also developed some of them on our own.
The client was delighted with the recommendations, and we agreed to continue working on the Abandonment flow next. We also agreed that the client needs to find a dedicated Email Marketing Specialist for implementation and management.
This flow is vital for sale-related goals. Suppose the website visitor is not ready to buy on the spot. In that case, the seller needs to remind them about the product and benefits and ultimately offer a discount that can make a massive difference for the customer.
We repeated the process – check the best practices, analyze competitor email flows, and create our mock-up.
What we noticed is that the current abandonment flow was missing an opportunity. Website visitors would trigger abandonment flow once they proceed to checkout. We advised the client to set the trigger to be in the cart. That way, we can activate the flow for a bigger audience.
The client was happy with the mock-up and the logic we applied. We agreed to continue working on the pop-up strategy next because we must ensure potential customers leave their emails first.
Pop Up Strategy
Pop-ups are essential for email marketing. Subscribing to the website newsletter can create a dialogue between the potential customer and the seller.
For pop-ups to be effective, they need to appear in strategic places with the right offer and message. Many websites fire pop-ups left and right with generic offers, creating frustration and zero consideration for leaving an email address. That is not the right way to collect email addresses from website visitors.
In our process, we first look at the user recordings to see if users fill out pop-ups prevalently on some pages compared to others. We noticed that website users usually need a few minutes to explore, and discount pop-ups are not effective on the homepage for our client. Website visitors tended to leave their email addresses on product pages.
We also researched the types of pop-ups that would suit the client’s purposes and bring more emails. We were mindful of the overall funnel, different pop-up messages, and the potential customer’s mindset at each part of the website.
Based on the combination of these activities, we created a mock-up of multiple pop-ups and elaborated their logic to help our client understand what the goal for each pop-up was.
The client was satisfied and gave us positive feedback. The created pop-ups sparked additional research, ending with a few more pop-ups with specific quiz ideas.
The Assets & Mock-ups
Hotjar Recording Analysis
As we’ve mentioned in the previous chapter, we created a Recording Analysis Report in the form of a Powerpoint presentation.
Our first insight was about the navigation bar. We noticed there was a difference between mobile users and desktop users. Mobile users used the hamburger menu more confidently, and desktop users used the navigation bar less. Instead, they relied on the search bar to find products.
Our recommendation was to reconstruct the navigation bar and make the categorization clearer. That way, users will use the navigation bar more, indicating that they can easily understand where and how to get to a particular product.
Another conclusion was directly linked to the search bar usage. The users who use it type specific name products. That signaled that the potential customer knows what they want but doesn’t know how to get to the specific product quickly and easily. The reliance on the search bar for navigation stems directly from the fact that the website didn’t have filters.
Filters are the most common and efficient way for a user to narrow the search and find the right product. We recommended adding filters as soon as possible to upgrade the website and make it easier for customers to find the right products.
Next, we emphasized that the users zoom in on product images, but they are not high quality, which doesn’t help the user get the right impression.
We recommended that the client change the Layout of product photos, maximize the picture size, and show the available colors in the customization section.
These changes would impact the impression and help users decide faster.
Additionally, we noticed a chance for an upsell section because the potential customers like to “play” and create their products. That is a great chance to offer products from a similar collection or the perfect complimentary product. We suggested renaming the current section to “Complete the look with.”
The client was amazed at the level of detail we noticed through user sessions, and we were satisfied that the client was open to all of our suggestions for changes. In the following months, we’ll be able to monitor and compare the effect of the changes.
We first focused on the Welcome Flow and created a mock-up to present to the client. We create these mock-ups strictly for presentational purposes, and we communicate that to the client.
The flow consisted of three emails. They all start with the client’s logo and the main message we further develop through email. And every email ends with a footer that contains social media links and a final Call to action.
We explained to the client that an email is like a landing page; it needs a specific flow, visual attractiveness that creates desire, and clarity of information that creates certainty. Every section needs to act as a doorway that leads to the website.
How did we do that?
First impressions matter the most, so the first newsletter customers receive needs to be a warm introduction to the brand and interest them in clicking on something on there to go back to the website.
And even though it’s the first email, we suggested placing the discount code they subscribed for at the beginning, fulfilling the users’ intent for a subscription.
In the second email, we suggested going deeper into the brand story by saying more about Cut+Clarity’s founder – Mariana. The products we’d display in the newsletters serve as an emotional touchpoint with the customer when we would have a quote from the owner about each product.
In the third email, it’s time to make the sale intent slightly more apparent. We suggested this newsletter look a bit like a catalog where we’d show off the bestselling pieces and make the Email “pushier,” as we like to say, by strategically placing the shop buttons.
We suggested that this email focus on one of the most popular collections: Zodiac. The intent was to inspire the audience to explore and create a personal meaning behind these custom pieces and celebrate their zodiac sign. Later, we suggested transforming this concept into a campaign on its own, in which we would send newsletters to our subscribers for each zodiac sign season (e.g., “Leo season,” “Saggitarius season”).
This email can be the “pushiest” in the bunch, where we suggested how to combine certain gold pieces from Cut+Clarity to create statement pieces. Newsletter subscribers will have been introduced to the brand multiple times when they receive this email. We also considered communicating the concept of Cut+Clarity rewards to get discounts, which is encouraging since we are telling them to spend more on jewelry to stack multiple pieces.
Since Mariana’s primary concern was not giving out too much information in the first emails or pushing too many products so we’d have good content to save for later.
Pleased with our approach, she wanted to discuss the length of each email more and our help in deciding which products we would push first.
When it comes to ensuring users return to the cart, the focus should always be on the benefits and products they’ve viewed. Also, since it’s in the client’s interest to increase sales with these newsletters, we spoke to Mariana about increasing the discount with each received email.
In this email they receive after abandoning their cart, we ask them to view the product again and offer them a discount to use in the first half of the message.
They may be a new user who doesn’t trust us yet, so to soften them up, clearly communicating the brand’s vision and benefits in the second half of the newsletter is key.
Here, we tickle their imagination by testing how sure or unsure they are about purchasing the product they viewed. So, we decided it’s best to answer some FAQs they might have when buying a piece of jewelry.
Also, a small catalog offering similar products increases our chances of getting the user to return to the website.
At this point, we’ve had a chance to charm the buyer with more than one product and a discount that increased. Talking to Mariana, we decided this should be the last email that will serve as a reminder that it’s the last chance to apply for a discount.
Creating FOMO at the right time and spot can do wonders. To spice things up, we thought of adding a counter to emphasize this one-time opportunity.
Here, we have a chance to do an A/B test by sending one email with the same discount as last time and another with an additional discount to sweeten the deal.
With social proof to seal the deal and strengthen the trust we’ve already built with two previous Emails, we aim to pin down the cure for an abandoned cart.
Mariana loved these ideas and is open to split-testing. Newsletters to see what works best. Her additional concerns were communicating the discount and making these offers sound on-brand, which is when we discussed copy tactics that ensure that.
One of our client’s goals for capturing users’ Email addresses was to make effective pop-ups strategically placed across the website. So, we jumped on board and observed user behavior in Hotjar to think about where they would fit best on the website.
What made this task more complex was Mariana’s intent to offer a prize for subscribing by playing a game, doing a short quiz, or having a raffle in the pop-up. The solutions are pretty fun and include 4 pop-ups spread across the website.
Now, we had fun with this one…
The first pop-up
Like the welcome email, the first pop-up on the homepage should say something informative about the brand, evoking trust, especially when it’s offering a prize.
So, to capture their email and phone number, we agreed to offer an easy way to win the prize by subscribing. Since Cut + Clarity has a rich base of influencers, the best choice was to include their tags and a collage of their photos, assuring trust simultaneously.
Simply put, the goal was to assure trust + value by putting the user first and making them feel special by getting the prize easily.
Our client was big on creating an association with fashion and the feeling of being stylish.
So, what better way than to make a gamified pop-up in the form of an on-brand quiz?
Like with the other pop-ups, we created a mock-up for a universal quiz for every product page that captures their emails by giving them a fun time with a simple quiz about their style.
We wanted to double down on the information about the user to reach them deeper in the funnel, so we suggested that the questions include asking about their jewelry preferences (color, material, budget).
This way, we can send more personalized newsletters to them in the future, based on the type and color of jewelry they usually prefer.
When the users try to leave an empty cart, it’s good to remind them what they’re missing out on.
So, we suggested a pop-up that communicates the discount and gently “warns” them that they are leaving without the gold goods when they try to exit their cart.
To decrease the bounce rate, we discussed a pop-up that could appear after the users have been browsing for a while without putting anything in their cart.
This pop-up could communicate a discount they hadn’t seen before when we also discussed whether it should appear right after users click the “back” button, on click, segment, or after reaching a certain scroll depth.
The primary focus when it comes to choosing the approach we take for each client is to tailor it towards them and their business, but also take a lengthy walk in the customer’s shoes to understand them.
We did our research and listened closely to the client’s needs and goals, connecting the dots weekly, which resulted in a harmonious mixture of activities that strengthened our insight data.
This way, working with the client, we came up with ideal solutions for the given situation, which set a robust base for long-term testing and optimization that will result in growth and better performance.
To optimize Cut + Clarity, we focused on:
- User Recording Sessions
- Competitor Research
- Website Optimization
- Email Marketing Flows
- Pop Up Strategy
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