Like many Shopify owners, Brenda McDermott of Rei of Light Jewelry Designs is a one-woman show.
She handpicks only AAA-quality gemstones, mining for the right energy integral to her handcrafted, spiritual and healing-focused jewelry. McDermott designs and makes all pieces — individual creations, bi-yearly collections that range from 50 to 60 pieces each, fine jewelry, and custom jewelry for those battling cancer. She manages the Shopify site, creates every marketing piece, and handles all social media. She’s the shipper, too.
So with all the things keeping her busy, it’s a delight when a subscriber compliments her emails. Especially when they assume a hired marketing expert is behind them.
The truth is that McDermott has no marketing background. The creativity involved in spinning spiritual healing jewelry, she admits, does not extend to graphic design. Instead, she relies on Seguno Email Marketing to help her get the job done.
“I think that it allows me to gain more credibility,” McDermott says, contemplating the significance of a polished look for her brand. “Even the price point of my product — it affirms the value.”
Some of that professional vibe stems from direct support provided by the Seguno team, a service that McDermott calls topnotch. “It’s 10 stars all the time.”
“Someone [from Seguno support] might say, ‘You know, you might want to move this here, or you could adjust this here.’ And it makes all the difference,” she says.
In the following Q&A, McDermott talks about how customer service is a difference maker to her Southern California business. She also discusses the ways that Seguno is influential in developing a stronger online presence, so that in-person events can largely be a thing of the past.
What attracted you to Seguno?
I started with Constant Contact and switched over to Mailchimp mainly because I wanted a free service since, at the time, my email list was somewhat on the smaller size. I used Mailchimp for a long time.
I was super attracted to the fact that Seguno was built in Shopify. I couldn't believe how difficult I had been making my life with Mailchimp, and how many hours of my life I got back by using Seguno.
I was constantly having to upload everything, where with Seguno, I don't have to do any of that. It just linked right up with my Shopify and I can access everything within seconds. I love the Canva feature and easy upload to create. And customer support was another thing where I was just kind of flailing with Mailchimp.
What have you learned about the app’s capabilities since then?
When I installed Seguno [March 2021], I think I was expecting just some basic options. I wasn't expecting nearly all that I get. I’m continually diving into the different options when I'm designing a marketing piece, and all the creativity available.
I definitely did not have any of those options before. It was pretty much boilerplate — this is what you get, and that's it. Seguno has so many options for different templates that are either free or paid, and I’m able to insert all kinds of content into my marketing pieces.
Honestly, I feel I've only scratched the surface. Sometimes I'll reach out to support with a basic question and your amazing team will give me so many more marketing ideas that I didn't even know were options.
Everybody from customer service is responsive. People are always able to help on the live chat and guide me. I'm not super tech savvy, but I learn as I go. Whenever I’m getting help from your support team, they walk me through each step and are super patient.
How has your business benefited from email marketing with Seguno?
I definitely was losing a couple subscribers a week when I was using Mailchimp. I can tell you that now I’m gaining email signups each week.
Reporting is easy, too, because you’re already in your Shopify account and it takes a click or two. It's nice to be able to track, very easily, my conversion ratios when I'm sending out a marketing piece. Before Seguno, I’d have to go to another website, log in, and go five clicks deep to get to where I wanted the information.
I can see the analytics and I can see how many people are ending up on my site. I see it growing. I see more engagement. People are staying on for a longer period.
What type of email program works for your brand?
On the first of the month I usually send an email newsletter focused on my blog. It’s really nice to use Seguno’s template for that. I'm able to add in a little intro, as well as several pieces of jewelry.
For instance, for June I wrote my blog article all about crystals and gemstones that support the Pride Flag. And then I added several pieces of jewelry into that email marketing that reflect the meaning of the flag colors.
I usually send something out each week, and sometimes twice a week if I run a promotional sale for a few days. And then I always do the auto non-opener.
You have a few email automations activated. Are there any that stand out in particular?
I get a lot of people who respond to the review request. Getting reviews is huge. Oftentimes, when I pick up a new customer, they will say, “I have been shopping around and when I came upon you and I read your reviews, I didn't need to go any further. I knew that you were the person that I wanted to do business with.”
I use the Kudobuzz app. So I will just copy the review and paste it into Kudobuzz, which I use to create a little side tab on my homepage that says reviews. People click on that and they can see all the reviews that have been posted. I also use reviews in my email marketing pieces with the testimonial section in Seguno.
How are you using Seguno’s popup app?
I used to use Mailchimp’s popup. I turned that off and started using your popup, which I love, because I can hve several different popups on my site. I can highlight a promotion. I added a popup that takes you to learn about the artist.
One of my popups refers visitors to my fine jewelry website. It’s a showcase of the engagement, wedding and anniversary rings I also design. I have an announcement banner at the top [of Rei of Light] for the site, but it doesn’t stand out like a popup does.
I have seen an increase in visitors to that site with the popup. For instance, someone saw the popup and made an inquiry through my live chat today. She was looking for an emerald and diamond ring.
Otherwise, I have definitely been able to increase my mailing list. That’s really important for me to be able to do because to this day, I don’t really want to be doing weekend farmer's markets and popup shows. The goal has always been to have more of an online presence.