Case Study: Icebreaker Breaks Records With Holiday Email Campaign
Goal: Icebreaker, a Wellington, New Zealand-based outdoor apparel company, wanted to entice U.S.-based consumers to purchase Icebreaker clothing as gifts for their friends and families during the holidays, ultimately driving 2009 holiday sales.
Solution: Partnered with an email marketing agency to create a multipart holiday email marketing campaign promoting its brand to its U.S. list.
Results: The campaign improved Icebreaker's 2009 holiday online sales versus holiday 2008.
Icebreaker, the outdoor apparel company founded in 1997 that's known for its outdoor clothing made from pure Merino wool handpicked from New Zealand's Southern Alps, decided last year it wanted to increase its U.S. direct e-commerce sales during the holidays through a sophisticated email campaign.
Given the surge of emails consumers get in their inboxes during the holidays, Icebreaker wanted to stand out with excellent creative and a solid content strategy.
Icebreaker's primary target was a U.S. mailing list, which included Icebreaker customers who subscribed to its email list and consumers familiar with the Icebreaker brand interested in outdoor sports. The list demographically skewed male.
To reach these subscribers, Icebreaker partnered with Portland, Ore.-based email marketing agency eROI, which created a holiday 2009 campaign that included 11 unique emails. Since the campaign's send frequency increased from one email every few months (when it began in the fall of 2009) to two to three a week by the end of the campaign, it weaved a gift-giving story throughout to keep the content fresh.
Unique email examples
Each email in the campaign had a specific theme, according to a case study whitepaper prepared by eROI. The emails included the following:
Email 1: Give Green. The focus of this campaign was to let subscribers know that Icebreaker's merchandise was 1.) great for gift giving, and 2.) sustainable.
Email 2: It’s Hot. This email focused on showing subscribers Icebreaker's top 10 selling items, and offered 20 percent off of these items.
Email 4: Gift Guide. The goal of this email was to direct subscribers to Icebreaker's "Gift Guide" landing page, which highlighted items perfect for Icebreaker's customers.
Email 9: Last Minute. This email informed subscribers there were only five days left before Christmas, and the window to order online and have the item shipped before the holiday was closing.
Other emails highlighted Black Friday deals (offering 30 percent off all black items sold online), special collections and Boxing Day, among other things.
Clickthrough rates for the unique emails ranged from 1.14 percent (for the "Last Minute" email) to 8.99 percent (for the "It's Hot" email).
Icebreaker reached its goals, according to the whitepaper. The company increased its direct sales; its total holiday online sales increased over 2008's holiday online sales; it successfully promoted and raised awareness of its brand in the U.S.; and it saw massive residual brand impact, according to the whitepaper.