Quick Guide to Email Marketing for Beauty and Lifestyle Brands

Email marketing is one of the best ways for beauty and lifestyle brands to speak directly to their fan base. It can build loyalty, create engagement, launch new products and promote specials. I've been involved with quite a bit of email marketing for beauty and lifestyle brands so I put together this quick guide of FAQs. If you have a question that's not answered here, please feel free to contact me!

What are examples of marketing emails?

  • Launch Emails: Introduce customer base to new offerings.

  • Sales & Promotions: This is one of the more popular things to do with email marketing but only doing sales and promotion emails tends to devalue your brand and misses a real opportunity to connect with customers.

  • Show novel ways to combine and use your products (ex: mixing serum with foundation)

  • Create seasonal content related to user needs (ex: combat winter dryness)

  • Peek behind the scenes is fun and creates loyalty. (ex: Staff Favorites)

  • Reward subscribers (ex. early access to launch of new products)

  • Create activities around products (ex. day spa at home)

  • Focus on one specific product and do a deep dive into its benefits 


What are transactional emails?

Transactional emails are triggered emails by a customer’s behavior. These offer a great ROI but typically do require some help from a developer to implement. Examples include:

  • Abandoned Cart (remind customer of items left in the cart without purchasing)

  • Reminders to review recently purchased products

  • We miss you emails targeting previously loyal customers who have slipped away

  • Sign-up confirmation email

  • Reward new subscribers with a discount code or special promotion

  • Targeting purchasers of specific products with follow-up offers


How often should I send emails out?

This is a question I get asked a lot and unfortunately there’s no magic answer. This depends on your target demographic, their relationship to your brand, and how much time and interest they have in email.

The good news is most email service providers provide great analytics to check open and click-through-rates (CTR) that allow you segment and target subscribers based on engagement. This can also come in handy for geographical targeting or targeting based on specific interests.

Some brands with highly-engaged followings send emails several times a week or even daily. For example, for a big sale you can do a "preview" email to allow early access to subscribers, a "starting now" email when the general sale begins, a reminder (or two) in the middle of the sale and then an "almost over" email the day the sale ends. It sounds like a lot of emails but people are preoccupied and often checking email on the go so it's surprising how much ROI just a few extra reminders can give you.

Experiment a bit to find your list's sweet spot between engagement and annoyance.


What’s A/B Testing?

A/B testing is basically sending two messages to your list and seeing what performs better. To get an accurate result, you need to target one specific variable, for instance your headline, text color or call to action on your button. Then you send out two versions of the email and analyze which performed better in terms of open rate, click-through rate, and conversion at the website.

Most email campaign programs such as Campaign Monitor, MailChimp and Active Campaign have built in testing which makes this quite easy to set-up so I encourage you to give it a try! 


Should I get help with Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)?

Recently I've had a several clients get CRO specialists in to optimize their email marketing. While this sounds like a great idea, in a couple cases the specialist just applied a checklist of ”best practices” without any sensitivity to  the specific brand.

I think at the heart of the problem is a conflict between the goals of building a brand vs CRO. CRO tries to jolt customers into immediate action. However the businesses I work with are interested in building a brand that has a long-term relationship with its customers. Because of this, our emails often more about telling a story, creating familiarity and aspiration rather than rushing the customer to a purchase.

While I don't think it's ever a bad idea to get a fresh set of eyes and opinions on marketing strategies, I do think it's important to find someone skilled and sensitive to your particular niche. 


How do I extend the campaign beyond email?

A popular tactic is to create campaigns that span the homepage of the website, email blasts and social media. The great part is once you have one set of graphics designed and approved, it’s easy and quick to roll that into alternative sizes. It creates consistency across the brand channels while also refreshing the old graphics.


Can you help me with the design?

I thought you’d never ask! I can work with you on email marketing in a few ways:

1. Brainstorming ideas and working with you to build a email marketing calendar
2. Designing templates for an in-house designer to follow
3. Designing individual email campaigns
4. Coding and testing

* I can also outsource copywriting if that’s necessary.

For new clients, I like to have at least a week lead time from creative brief to initial design review to get acquainted with the unique look and feel of your brand, review what you've worked on in the past, and make suggestions going forward.