When Brittney Bellamy started her business in May 2020, she didn’t think it would change her life. But that’s exactly the effect of her all-natural self-care products.
“I've gone from ‘Oh girl, your little business is so cute’ to ‘Are you hiring’?” she says when describing Mary & Grace All-Natural Whole Body Essentials.
Bellamy attributes the trajectory to, in her words, a “game changer:” Seguno Email Marketing.
The app has helped her transform her Tampa-based endeavor — a creative pursuit, named for her mother and grandmother, and backed by no previous entrepreneurial experience — into a company that’s providing for herself and her three children.
“I'm just a single mom that's running a business. So I don't have a lot of capital. This is me putting my heart and sweat and tears into what I do, simply from passion and wanting to connect with people,” says Bellamy. “And I found the way to do that is through email marketing.”
That connection is making a real difference. Engagement is consistently rising, which translates to dollars and cents.
The path to understanding email’s value
Bellamy hasn’t always had a positive relationship with email marketing. There was a time when she didn’t grasp its importance, found it difficult to connect with her customers, and questioned if it was right for her shop.
She experimented with Shopify Email when first spreading the word about her homegrown business. Mary & Grace stems from years of making skincare products with natural ingredients, first as a hobby and then as an antidote for her family’s health needs. Bellamy’s son battles eczema, and daughter was born a preemie with extremely sensitive skin.
While juggling ownership, product formulation, and social media — not to mention full-time caregiving to her child who has developmental delays — Bellamy struggled to create attractive emails. It was also time consuming.
She decided to give Klaviyo a try. More challenges led to discouragement and wondering if email truly has value.
“They had a lot of neat ideas, but putting the templates together and really trying to create a vision was really difficult,” she says. “They gave you all of the tools that you needed, but I had no guidance. Eventually, I just stopped logging in. It was way over my head.”
Bellamy was ready to give up on an email service provider, until something made her scroll through the Shopify app store once more.
She noticed the high ratings of Seguno and installed it. As she browsed the templates, she thought, “I can do this.” The further she explored, the more she realized how easy it was to plug in customizations and create an email within minutes.
That was September 2021. She has been sending emails with Seguno ever since. Little by little, subscribers began replying back, commenting how they noticed the emails were more polished.
“It's eye-catching. It's professional. It's nice and refined. It doesn't look like a complete amateur is sending out emails,” Bellamy says, explaining it all means she’s more effectively connecting with her audience.
Experiencing the impact of email marketing
Bellamy knows she’s connecting better and making an impression upon her subscribers. She’s noticed an increase in website traffic. The data also shows:
- The subscriber list is growing. Email contacts have just about tripled over eight months of Seguno usage.
- Sales are up by about 56% since using Seguno. That, as Bellamy says, is “a big deal.”
- Mary & Grace performs within the top 24% of similar Shopify stores that launched in the same time period, according to Shopify. “I can only thank my most consistent weapon, which is email marketing through Seguno,” Bellamy says.
“I went from barely being seen — maybe getting one or two clicks a week on my website,” Bellamy says, “to consistently seeing people opening up their emails, clicking those website links, putting things in their cart and checking out.”
How Mary & Grace uses newsletters and automations
Bellamy puts a lot of care into her products, which are made to order in small batches. Her high standards extend to email communications, which she’s been using to create a “community of skincare enthusiasts.”
She credits Seguno’s resources — the templates, plus weekly email newsletters and educational videos that guide her with the how-tos and subject ideas — for bolstering her confidence.
“I can easily go in and, between feeding my kids or what have you, put something together real quick, and send it out to my subscribers,” she says. “Next thing you know, the sales are coming in and I didn't spend all day putting together the email.”
A Mary & Grace promotional email is sent about once a week, sometimes every other week. Otherwise, Bellamy is wading into a number of email automations. She likens them to a well-oiled machine, explaining it feels as if a team is working on her behalf.
Her automation lineup includes the following:
- New purchaser. Bellamy sends hand-written notes with all packages, and wanted to convey the same type of warmth through email. The automation has prompted responses like “Thank you so much” and “I'm so excited to try your product,” opening the door to new conversations.
- Welcome and discount reminder. Bellamy offers a unique discount code in her welcome email, then follows up with everyone who doesn’t use it 48 hours before it’s about to expire.
- Lapsed purchaser. This automation saves Bellamy from manually determining those shoppers who haven’t stopped by in a while and could use a friendly nudge.
- Repeat purchaser. Acknowledging and thanking those who have given Mary & Grace a chance is important to Bellamy. “I don't want them to ever feel like they aren't appreciated. I also know that I can't go in each time and hand type an email to say, ‘Thank you so much. Good to see you again’.”
Each automation has removed a load from her shoulders, allowing more focus on “the products, getting things out, connecting with people and taking care of my family.”
Additionally, she installed Seguno’s Dynamic Banner Suite to promote free shipping on orders over $50. It’s something she has always offered her customers, but wasn’t prominently highlighting before the app. Now, anyone who adds items to the cart is alerted to how much more they need to spend to hit the threshold — something that encourages shoppers to add an item or two when they’re close to hitting the mark.
The constant pursuit of building relationships
Mary & Grace marked its second anniversary in May 2022. Bellamy is as energized about her business as ever.
She admits she’s still learning her way through Seguno’s app, and will continue to lean on its resources and advice. Her goal is to build relationships with her subscribers and customers — similar to the relationship she feels she has established with Seguno.
“It feels like you [Seguno] actually care about what I'm doing, versus just giving me some stuff, charging me for it, and not really worrying about what the end game is,” Bellamy says. “It's going a step beyond to say, ‘Not only are you our customer, but we want to take you under our wing and share our knowledge with you’.”