May 19, 2015
Case Study

Email Marketing: Ecommerce company expands email program and increases revenue 384%

SUMMARY: Email marketing can be a powerful channel. For ecommerce companies, making the most of an email program means getting beyond transactional emails and batch-and-blast sends.

Read on to find out how JewelScent utilized email to increase order volume 478% and revenue 384% by including welcome series, cart abandonment campaigns and giveaway announcements.
by David Kirkpatrick, Reporter


JewelScent is an ecommerce provider of home fragrance products including candles, hand soaps, body scrubs and aroma fragrance beads. The products come with a twist — each one contains a ring or jewel worth between $10 and $7,500.

Derin Oyekan, co-founder and Chief Marketing Officer, JewelScent, said females 35 and over are the company’s primary target market in the United States. However, the team has noticed an increase with 18 to 24 year-old females buying JewelScent’s products. Additionally, there is a seasonal trend around gifting occasions (such as Mother’s Day and Valentine’s Day) and the holiday season where there is an increase in males purchasing products.


At the company’s inception in 2013, there was essentially no email marketing in place besides utilitarian transactional email: order confirmations and shipping tracking notifications.

Andrew Gambino, Director of Marketing and Analytics, JewelScent, had previous experience working with Oyekan. They began working with existing customer data to build an internal email marketing program in August 2013.

According to Gambino, "What we wanted to do with email was [to] really go with the customer-centric approach. All of us are customers of different brands, and we really took that into consideration when we were building our email practices."

He added, "What we wanted to do was make sure all of our touch points that we had [with customers] made sense and made the customer’s experience with our company just the best experience that we could come up with."


In the initial email program, the team added several types of campaigns beyond the existing transactional email. This included a welcome series, an abandoned cart series and retention campaigns.

With an email strategy and program in place, the team began expanding how it was reaching out to, and engaging with, its customers.

Step #1. Expand the email program

The JewelScent team eventually filled out the email program with a variety of email tracks, including:
  • Transactional

  • Promotional

  • New product launches

  • Giveaways and sweepstakes

  • Retention

  • Win back

Gambino said promotional campaigns included sending email to existing customers with offer messaging for buy-one-get-one or 30% off. He said the idea was to keep the promotional email "fun and exciting." The email was also continually improved to find out what resonated best with the user base.

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JewelScent launched new products twice a month. Email messaging around new product campaigns described the product and included features the team felt users would like. These messages were also used to help generate excitement around the new product.

Gambino said the team added giveaways and sweepstakes to the marketing mix in to order to build the list. Rewards to customers included store credit and products.

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Step #2. Utilize existing customer base for giveaways

Oyekan said JewelScent did not utilize paid media channels for its giveaways.

"We’re not buying media around [the giveaways]. It’s really more of a way for our existing customers to share with their friends an opportunity for [the friend] to win," he said. "We know referrals coming in from people who already transact with our brand and already like our brand are worth a lot more than going and paying for a sweepstakes entry."

He added that the next stage in giveaways and sweepstakes will be co-branded deals with logical partners, such as Oyekan said the idea was to find partners where there is "a lot of synergy and a lot of relevance between the demographics."

Step #3. Take advantage of special occasions

Two of JewelScent’s more standout email campaigns were both based around events — one was the company’s one-year anniversary and the other was Black Friday.

For JewelScent’s first anniversary, the company created an anniversary candle that was the first candle the company released, containing three rings. Gambino said the team promoted the upcoming anniversary on social media with messaging, letting followers know that the company was coming up with something special.

When the email campaign for the anniversary went out, Gambino said KPIs, such as open rate and clickthrough, were above average.

He said, "We saw huge open and click rates and people were really happy with the experience that they received with that email."

For Black Friday, JewelScent offered a 30% discount plus two bonus rings with a purchase. Gambino said that day was the best the company had in terms of all KPIs, including email metrics, orders, sales and average order value.

Step #4. Integrate social media into the email program

The team’s strategy was to get its base engaging with the company’s marketing across both the email and social media channels as well as on multiple social platforms.

Oyekan said, "There’s definitely the ecosystem to consider, so we always try to get our email subscribers to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and follow us on Pinterest, and we try to get our Facebook followers to subscribe to our email list. So we cross-promote any promotion we have across both channels."

Some of these tactics include:
  • Popups, modal boxes and banners on the website

  • Social media links and icons in every email send

  • Giveaway campaigns that encourage sharing and liking on social media

Gambino added, "The messaging is very consistent across the two channels ... whenever we are running a promo for email, it’s usually pretty consistent with what we’re running on Facebook. And we have the ability to actually message [those promos] a little bit earlier on Facebook and let people know that these are things to watch out for on their email."


Gambino said the main email key performance indicators tracked by the team include:
  • Open rate

  • Clickthrough rate

  • Conversion from email campaigns

  • Revenue per subscriber

  • Lifetime value of subscribers

  • Average order value

  • Revenue per thousand emails sent

Looking year-over-year from January 2014 to January 2015, the team has achieved:
  • 478% increase in order volume

  • 384% increase in revenue

  • 335% increase in subscribers

  • 12% increase in revenue per subscriber

On the final metric, Gambino noted, "When the list size grows at the rate it has, it is not a guarantee that revenue per subscriber will increase. However, we have seen it increase with our practices."

He also outlined changes the team implemented over the year that were attributed to the success of the email program:
  • An added light box that pops up 10 seconds into a new website visitor’s session with an offer and has increased registrations and first-time buyers

  • The welcome email series increased by two messages

  • Understood the importance of cadence and timing of email sends

Gambino pointed to his and Oyekan’s previous experience and said, "We have been in the industry of ecommerce marketing and online marketing for a number of years now, and one thing we know doesn’t work is over-mailing our customer base … we’re very sensitive to that fact."

Oyekan added, "We believe it’s a lot more expensive to acquire new customers than to keep an existing one, so we try to balance out the communication we send out — a combination of both promotion as well as giveaway so we’re not constantly asking for stuff — and just being mindful of when we’re sending out the emails … making sure we aren’t overburdening people."

Based on this campaign, Gambino offered advice for marketers saying, "Pay attention to your KPIs as much as possible. The data will tell the story at the end of the day, and if you pay attention to that stuff, then you’ll know when your campaigns are either being effective or if you need to change something."

Creative Samples

  1. Promotional email

  2. New product email

  3. Giveaway email



RJMetrics — JewelScent’s marketing data vendor

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