It’s no secret that email marketing is a key part of any company’s marketing strategy. Whether it’s to grow customer relationships or sales, marketers are often trying to find that winning formula that works. Yet, not all companies are able to provide an effective email marketing experience for their customers – except maybe one …
We sat down with Brontë Aurell, food writer and co-founder of the UK’s biggest Scandinavian food distributor, ScandiKitchen to uncover a story like no other! Read on or watch the video to hear about the success of the company’s quirky and memorable weekly newsletter, its impressive engagement results, and how they’re doing it!
Brontë Aurell’s previous role at Innocent Drinks inspired her to craft an email newsletter as part of ScandiKitchen’s marketing strategy. When looking back, she explained it helped the team to connect with the part of the family that they wouldn’t get to see all the time: the customers. Fast-forward to when she started ScandiKitchen with her husband Jonas, she thought it would also be a great way for them to connect with their audience.
“Rather than being a few lines about a product, it became like a little tourist agency and a cultural agency because a lot of our customers have British family members now.”
However, their newsletter took on a life of its own. From the first, they were fully aware that many of their customers have British family members, have married British people, or married those from elsewhere. Their “a-ha” moment came when they realized that their audience would find great comfort in getting an email about things from back home. They’ve hung on to that same formula ever since.
Brontë claims not to be a professional marketer, but her newsletter analytics tell a very different story. The company has about 48,000 subscribers with open rates averaging between 45% and 48%. The click-through rate, on the hand, can be anything from 3.5% to 7%.
Keep in mind that many big brands achieve an average open rate of between 15% and 18%. So these figures are pretty mind-blowing, especially for what is essentially an e-commerce or online retail outlet.
“I send it between seven and eight in the morning because that’s when I’ve usually finished it. But, you know, I’m a mum and sometimes things go wrong.”
Even though she tries to plan things in advance, Brontë wears many hats within the business. She usually ends up sending the newsletter out between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m. She explains that whenever she sent it any later than that, she’s noticed a general drop in engagement. Brontë puts this down to the fact that her subscribers usually read the newsletter on their way to work. Therefore, if she sends it later people are less likely to take time out of their working day to read her content.
Brontë explains that knowing your audience is vital. ScandiKitchen is able to achieve this easily since its founding partners both fit the profile of the company’s ideal customer: Scandinavian expats living and working in the UK. However, that’s just one piece of the puzzle.
She goes on to explain the importance of defining a specific objective for the newsletter itself. In the case of the company’s weekly newsletter, the emphasis is on connection and values, rather than pushing products and sales.
Brontë is quick to point out that although the newsletter has a series of defined sections, she doesn’t follow any specific strategy per se. However, we took a look at ScandiKitchen’s email archive. It’s clear to see that there are a few things that help it to stand out from the crowd in subscribers’ inboxes.
Firstly, the fact Brontë sends a new newsletter every Friday morning without fail has undoubtedly played a part in its success. This consistency has managed to generate a sense of expectation among subscribers, so they know when to expect their weekly dose of Scandinavian food and culture.
“There’s been everything from hats to pants to love or weather. I just find a random subject and then I make sure I have a few good facts to write about.”
The bizarre subject lines that Brontë comes up with also spark curiosity and undoubtedly help to boost the open rate. On the other hand, the weekly—and often humorous—staff updates and fascinating Scandinavian facts encourage readers to keep scrolling.
We have attempted to unpick Brontë’s successful framework of engaging her customers:
If you’re still wondering what you can do to improve your email marketing efforts the answer is simple: get to know your audience. By conducting surveys, looking at your customer insights, writing blogs, engaging in direct conversations and more, you can find out what your customers really want. Then, you’ll be able to come up with an original way to offer it to them, just like ScandiKitchen.
Brontë’s example just goes to show that segmentation is more of a suggestion than a must. If you think that segmenting your list will be beneficial, by all means, go ahead. But don’t think you need to be a top-class marketer to make an impact. You can be innovative and still be able to connect with your audience on a personal level and make them genuinely want to hear what you have to say.