Maternity Leggings: Thinking About Your Email Strategy Long Term
My daughter turned 18 months old this month.
Within days from the start of the New Year, I started receiving emails from Motherhood Maternity promoting their postpartum leggings. I haven’t received an email from the retailer since late summer 2020 and these new emails were a somewhat unwelcomed addition to my inbox.
The first email was met with an eye roll and a quick delete — “Yeah right. This must be a mistake.”
The second email caught my attention enough to see what it was all about — “Do they know something I don't?”
By the third email, I was fondly remembering how comfy my maternity leggings were and made a mental note to purchase more when I might need them again.
The emails weren’t intrusive or over the top and I actually haven’t received any more. It was clear they were promoting their “4th trimester & beyond leggings” and there was no word of maternity clothing. It was just a gentle hello that showed up in my inbox.*
Understanding What Your Data Can Do
For the health of the mother and baby, health experts recommend waiting to conceive your next child 18 months to two years after giving birth. This recommendation alone would be enough for Motherhood Maternity to create an email strategy. However, like most brands, I imagine Motherhood Maternity has mounds of data on their consumers’ buying habits and when exactly the idea of baby #2 starts to creep in.
The emails I received in early January — just weeks before my daughter celebrated her 18 month milestone — were really two years in the making. I started purchasing maternity clothes in January 2020 and I’m sure at some point I provided my due date for my little one. It’s an easy data point to obtain for Motherhood Maternity — what new mother doesn’t want to share her due date?
Among other data points, sharing my due date and email address put into motion promotional email blasts that lasted until July 2020 and started again 18 months later when most parents begin thinking about growing their family. It keeps Motherhood Maternity front and center when I, or any other of their consumers, are most likely to purchase or think favorable of the brand.
Thinking Long Term
Motherhood Maternity could have scrubbed their email data after my due date passed and hope I would make my way to their website when I become pregnant again. It’s an easy bet to make considering how few maternity clothing stores exist.
But, you can’t bet on customers coming back, especially in today’s digital landscape when our attention is being pulled in all directions.
The idea of thinking through a complex, strategic and automated email journey can feel overwhelming for a lot of small business owners and nonprofit professionals. Even with the best intentions, it’s difficult to plan that far ahead and then actually do it. Oftentimes it’s a team of one or a small team charged with marketing among other tasks and responsibilities.
The key is to start small to build a foundation with your email data and content and grow from there.
Keep Your Email Data Clean — I spend a lot of time “cleaning” email data to make sure it is organized in a way that is useful and accessible. Nothing is worse than a robust email database and you really have no idea who the people are behind those email addresses. I want to make sure we have the information we need that will help us to engage better.
Understand Your Audience — Motherhood Maternity could have sent emails without pause since the day I subscribed, but there’s a huge unsubscribe risk with that approach. I’ve spent very little time thinking about maternity clothes since July 2020, but as I find myself in conversations lately about expanding our family, thoughts of cute bump clothes seem to enter my mind too.
This is About Relationship Building — Not every touchpoint needs to result in a conversion! Building strong brand loyalty is the key to long term success. Yes, the Motherhood Maternity email call to action was to purchase leggings, but from my perspective, this touchpoint to me — the 18 month momma — was more about staying top of mind when I need them again.
If you’re ready to start growing the engagement of your audiences through intentional email strategy, let’s chat! We work with small business owners and nonprofit professionals to organize their marketing operations, approach their challenges strategically, and grow their engagement.