Sephora and the Beauty of Successful Email Marketing
Every few days, I take a moment to scroll through my email inbox. And every few days, it’s always the same thing: a flood of advertisements from companies that I wish I hadn’t given my email to. I am consistently bombarded with subject lines that read “50% off this” or “25% off that.” When companies are really feeling desperate, I can count on the occasional, “We miss you, Jennifer. Here’s 15% off. Come visit our website!”
Let me get one thing straight, I’m in no way against email marketing (which is good, considering where I’m interning). I’m actually a huge proponent of it – when the emails have some substance. I am much more likely to open an email when the company has consistently provided me with engaging content in the past. I love having something to read or watch that I can connect to, something that gives me more information about the product and how it applies to me.
There is one brand that has managed to set itself apart from all others in my inbox. It is among the few that I’ll actually open and pay attention to, and that says a lot considering I currently have 4,067 unopened messages.
The brand I’m referring to is Sephora: a French chain that sells over 100 brands of beauty essentials and 13,000 different kinds of makeup. (Any guys reading this can stop yawning now, because Sephora offers a wide range of men’s products as well!) There are currently 1,300 Sephora stores, 300 of which are in the United States. Sephora differentiates itself in the makeup and beauty-product industry by encouraging customers to try on all the products on their own or with the help of an employee, something that is not usually offered in department stores, and is never an option in drug stores.
What I love about Sephora’s email marketing strategy is that they share a large quantity of information in a concise way. They often show a vivid image displaying their most recent or popular products, creative gift ideas or “editors’ picks” of products. They also display their VIB (very important beauty insider) rewards in their emails. These rewards are based on a point system — points are awarded according to how much money you have spent in the store — and the rewards are updated often. Their emails keep me informed about what reward is currently available for the number of points that I have.
The prospect of getting my “reward” almost always leads me to click on the email, where I am taken to the website for further shopping. On the website, there are makeup and beauty tutorials available to educate the consumer on their products.
While Sephora’s smart email marketing strategy helps them nurture relationships with customers outside of the store, it is inside the store where the relationship truly flourishes. Sephora’s overall marketing strategy seems to work in a cycle. In the store, I am always given excellent service from amiable employees. When I checkout and am asked for my email address, I don’t feel intruded on because I was taken care of so well that I actually want to receive Sephora’s emails. Having quality service in stores that matches their excellent email marketing strategy is one of the primary things that makes Sephora the whole package, and helps them to be so successful. It’s also what will keep me coming back for many of my beauty necessities.
What emails do you look forward to receiving? Let us know in the comments below.
Jennifer Herman is a Content Marketing Intern at Fiore Communications.