Brand Love – Creating Loyal Customers through Impactful Email Programs

Whether it’s Lowe’s or Home Depot, Jet Blue or Delta, Coke or Pepsi, most people have strong bonds with at least a few specific brands. These are brands they trust and have a deep affinity for, whatever the reason. They’ll continuously shop at these stores or buy these specific products over their competitors. For me, one of these brands is J.Crew. A long time devotee of the brand, I remember the days before online shopping when I circled my picks in the catalog, called to place my order, and then eagerly awaited its arrival. Even though my current shopping method has changed, my love for the brand hasn’t. In fact, it has only grown stronger due to their smart, targeted email marketing efforts.

So what is it about J.Crew’s emails that strengthens our bond and makes me a loyal shopper?

  • Segmentation. J.Crew acts like a close friend that knows exactly what’s going on in my life. While pregnant, I received an email promoting their new line of maternity jeans. Using data to segment the list, they were able to target me at the exact right time when the information was the most relevant to me.
  • Triggered Messages.  A few days after browsing for shirts on the J.Crew website, they sent me a triggered message with the subject line “What are you waiting for?” This question grabbed my attention immediately and after opening the email, they encouraged me to shop knits & tees. Like a friend would, this email gave me the push I needed to purchase the t-shirt I had been eyeing.
  • Relevancy. A day after chatting with a coworker about how cold our office is in the August heat, I received an email with the subject line “Woman vs. AC (plus, 50% off final sale styles),” promoting summer sweaters. J.Crew used current events such as the weather to make this email relevant and timely, almost like they had eavesdropped on my conversation.
  • Editorial Subject Lines & Content. Like my very own fashion stylist, J.Crew keeps me up to date on the latest fashion trends and news through their editorial approach to subject lines and content. Added into the promotional mix, this tactic keeps me engaged even if I’m not looking to make a purchase.

Using Inbox Insight, our competitive intelligence tool, we’re able to see that these tactics are paying off for J.Crew as they’re achieving higher performance metrics than competitor Banana Republic:

  • Looking at recent data, we can see that 31% of J.Crew’s subscribers also subscribe to Banana Republic.
  • For that overlapping audience, the read rate for J.Crew’s campaigns is 37% higher than the read rates for Banana Republic’s campaigns.
  • Looking at the past six months of receipt data for these overlapping subscribers, we see that the percentage of subscribers that convert from J.Crew campaigns is 75% higher than the percentage of subscribers that convert from Banana Republic’s campaigns.

Although it’s been said time and time again, this helps demonstrate why companies need to move away from the batch and blast mentality and towards a one to one relationship with each subscriber. In a crowded marketplace where customers have a wide variety of shopping options and subscribers are overloaded with email, these methods can help companies become brand favorites to ensure they stand out in the inbox, earn more revenue from the email channel, and stay ahead of their competitors. Building strong, loyal relationships with subscribers will result in improved engagement, conversions, and deliverability. This can be accomplished by using segmentation, personalization, and a variety of email best practices to target subscribers with relevant content and offers at the exact right moment in time.


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