Kristin Flynn is happy to fund her employees’ learning opportunities.
But paying for a three-hour online chat about a technical matter, only to result in an outcome they would have to fix on their own? Not at all.
The experience confirmed that Omnisend didn’t match the email marketing needs of her Maine-based yarn shop, The Cashmere Goat.
“I would rather pay Iris for just writing the email instead of monkeying around,” Flynn says, referring to her assistant, Iris Eichenlaub. “That’s a way better use of her time and my money.”
It had been nine months of on-again, off-again struggles. “The Goat” was due for a change.
Rather than researching email service providers, they returned their gaze to what they relied on before Omnisend lured them away.
Ease of use plus “personalized, human-centered service at its best” convinced them to give Seguno another chance. It’s proving to save them time, money and a whole lot of hassle.
Revamping The Goat
Email marketing is a priority for Flynn. It’s helped her achieve month-over-month growth.
She started leveraging newsletters soon after purchasing the brick-and-mortar store in 2020 from its original owners, motivated by the desire to help anyone become a successful knitter or crocheter.
“You lose so many people when they can't figure something out or when they make a garment and it doesn't fit. Or they're struggling with learning to knit,” Flynn explains. “YouTube only goes so far. We want to help them be successful so that they will come back again and again and again.”
She immediately got to work on her dream of building a nationally recognized business. It required a massive reorganization and systems upgrade, as well as migrating the online store to Shopify.
At that time, the pandemic severely impacted in-store shopping. Business survival depended on online sales, making email marketing imperative.
A first attempt with Mailchimp proved too cost-prohibitive and challenging to use. Seguno’s affordable pricing attracted her to give it a go. She used it for nearly a year and a half before switching to Omnisend.
Returning to a customer-centric platform
Before bailing on Omnisend, Eichenlaub and Flynn wanted to learn about Seguno advancements since their departure. Their inquiry led to a Google Meet with two Seguno team members.
“They really wanted to understand some of the features we were looking for. They took the time to screen share and show me around a bit — some of the stuff that had changed,” Eichenlaub says. “It felt like, ‘Wow, this seems like a really customer-centered organization.’”
Now, they don’t hesitate to tap Seguno’s one-on-one chat or email assistance if they hit a snag and help documents don’t contain the answer.
“It’s a time saver,” Eichenlaub says. “I know I’ll get an answer that isn't going to lead me to more problems I have to mop up.”
They also share product feedback, knowing that Seguno is interested in their concerns.
“We’re a customer support business and we know how much that makes a difference,” Flynn says. “There's so many places in the world today where you don't actually get the kind of customer support you need. So we appreciate that a lot.”
The Seguno difference
The return to Seguno has drastically reduced email-related headaches. “I haven’t cried once,” quips Eichenlaub.
She has developed a consistent and frequent email cadence, backed by strategy, to provide value to a niche community of yarn lovers. Wednesdays are typically reserved for product or collection features. Saturdays are for inspiration.
“I think people now look for it, which has helped our open rate,” Flynn says, reflecting on averages in the 50% to 60% range. “And it does bring people into the store in a way that it wasn't last year.”
Participants of the knit alongs — multi-week programs that guide everyone through the same project — receive two more emails per week with project-specific tips. This segment’s open rates are even more impressive, hovering between 80% and 85%.
Eichenlaub and Flynn have a lot to say about how Seguno makes creating emails easier, from the heavy hitters to the small, yet impactful, perks:
- Integration with Shopify. Embedding a collection is easy. There’s no need to upload products and write descriptions, as they are pulled straight from Shopify.
- Quick onboarding. Eichenlaub spent substantially less time — as in hours less — getting started with Seguno in comparison to Omnisend.
- Intuitive navigation. “I don't create a lot of emails,” Flynn says. “But I couldn't just pop into Omnisend and whip out an email. In Seguno, I can do an email pretty quickly.”
- User-friendly interface features. From swapping in a product variant image to adding a hyperlink, the small things stack up to save time. It’s easy to customize themes, too.
- Option to round image corners. When Flynn boasted about the feature, Eichenlaub couldn’t understand her excitement. “Now that I've experienced the rounded corner experience for myself, I have to say that that is a game changer. Yarn looks great round.”
- Direct uploads. Eichenlaub frequently snaps images with her phone as she’s building an email. No air-dropping required.
Each feature contributes to greater usability, freeing Eichenlaub to focus on the content and writing.
“I get to hone right in on it and spend time thinking about the flow of this email. How's it going to lead someone to the product? Or what's the ultimate goal — the call to action?” she says.
How email marketing serves the ‘long game’
Flynn said she’s “playing the long game” of building community through a mix of email newsletters and automations, blogs, social media, YouTube and advertising.
Plans include further experimentation with email segmentation, perhaps by grouping top customers and rewarding them once a year or creating content specifically for crocheters.
Everything is aimed at strengthening bonds between the staff and customers, whether they’re local or live far away.
Inroads are happening. Take the knit-alongs. Emails paired with weekly Zoom sessions foster a personal experience not usually associated with an online business. The shop regularly receives email replies in return. Some have never stepped foot in the store.
“The emails are a touchpoint,” Eichenlaub shares. “These are customers that now feel like we're their shop, when they could be shopping with anyone online.”