Longplay x Anact

From Zero-To-Launch: Building An Automated Customer Journey With Email Flows

How Longplay rebuilt & optimized Anact's email flows

Building An Automated Customer Journey 

Anact is a sustainable, activist DTC e-commerce brand revolutionizing the textile industry with their hemp towels. Beginning as a successful Kickstarter project, founder Brianna Kilcullen  broke past their $35,000 goal to raise $41,443. 

Anact then continued to grow to become an mission-driven brand that built a movement to create sustainable products & bring transparency and environmentally-friendly practices to the textile industry. Anact has been featured in Good Morning America, The Oprah Magazine and has since made a positive impact on the environment by saving over 5 million days of drinking water and 6.5 million hours of LED bulb energy.

When Anact joined Longplay, they had outgrown their basic email flows - both creatively and strategically, that had been set up during launch. As they were getting ready to scale their brand through increasing paid ads spend & PR, they wanted to ensure they had a solid retention & lifecycle marketing strategy on the back-end.

Key brand needs included:

  1. Communicating their unique brand mission & impact in an authentic way
  2. Educating customers on why hemp towels were the most sustainable
  3. Educating customers on the impact Anact was making through their purchase 
  4. Activating customers to engage with their movement 
  5. Positioning Anact for more repeat purchases through a gifting angle
  6. Templates for campaigns that their team could modify easily

Longplay entirely re-did their email flows and built custom templates for their team.

The Process

Anact’s team went through our in-depth onboarding process which included:

Step 1: Operations Call

The Operations Call focused on developing a great partnership with Anact’s team to ensure they had clear channels of communications with their Longplay team, knew the process to give feedback and have line of sight on project progress. 

Step 2: Creative Call

The Creative Call was an in-depth hour long call for their Longplay Creative Team to ask in-depth brand questions around copy and design. Since Anact wanted a refreshed brand, the creative team asked questions both around what they loved around their current brand, what they wanted to change, and their vision for their brand moving as they evolved. Questions included:

  • What is the main story you want to tell with your product & brand?
  • Describe your brand voice in 5 words
  • How do you see your brand voice or image evolving as you scale or launch more products?
  • What is the main reason customers buy from you?  

Step 3: Strategy Call

One of the core tenets of Longplay’s approach to retention & lifecycle marketing is building for scalable, sustainable growth. This means developing a strategy that works now but can continue to evolve as the brand grows, rather than one that needs to be overhauled again in a few months. Since Anact was bringing Longplay in to set up their retention strategy before scaling, the focus of the call was to learn about the core marketing strategies that worked well and learning more about their customer journey. Questions included:

  • What are the main reasons customers return for a next purchase? (ie. for gifting, for stocking up for more uses around the house)
  • Have you seen any key strategies or brand USPs that have worked well on other channels? (ie. influencers, UGC, impact stats) 
  • Who are your key customer segments - either by demographics or psychographics? 

Step 4: Strategy Roadmap Call

After the initial onboarding calls, Longplay’s team went back to develop a custom strategy roadmap call to develop:
1. priority of projects based on immediate need & ROI

2. Customer journey maps for all flows 

3. Planning out project timelines, milestones & deliverable dates

Step 5: Creative Review Call

As a final step in onboarding, we always do a review of the creative developed for the first project. This helps our Creative Team get the live feedback on what clients love and don’t love about how we’ve visually represented their brand. Often we also get more context on their customers & vision for their brand. 

Before & After Longplay 

Prior To Longplay

Anact’s team didn’t feel the branding of the emails really reflected how they wanted to make their customers feel. The designs felt repetitive & templated, or too corporate. 

After Longplay

Longplay’s Strategy Team restructured each of the flows to incorporate strategies that were proven to work on other channels, clearly communicate Anact’s unique value prop, and leveraged offers where needed to create urgency and incentive. They also collaborated with Longplay’s Creative Team to ensure all emails were built with best practices in mind and optimized for conversion. 

For example, the Welcome Flow structure was built to tell the story that represented Anact while also educating customers on the brand, its products, and optimizing for conversion. Anact was successfully launched on Kickstarter and had seen testimonials be an effective marketing tool on other paid media channels, so social proof was incorporated throughout the Welcome Series. 

Another critical element of Anact’s brand that made them unique in the market was educating customers on why their product was uniquely sustainable - including the material (hemp) that what it was made out of and the environmental impact. These product education elements were also incorporated throughout the series in the form of impact stats & sustainability facts. 

Longplay’s Copy Team spent time going through the questions asked to Anact’s founder, Brianna, and the team to get a better understanding of the tone, voice, and specific words they commonly used to speak about the brand and customers. They also researched customer reviews & social media comments to better understand how customers typically spoke about the brand and its products to their friends.

All of this research was used to write copy that truly reflected the vision Brianna had for Anact in a way that also resonated with customers and highlighted the uniqueness of Anact’s products. Through this research and onboarding period, the Longplay team was able to write founder’s letters from scratch that reflected Brianna’s voice and message she wanted to share. 

Longplay’s Design Team completely revamped the branding approach to Anact, by shifting the colour palette to a lighter one while keeping key components of their brand in place such as the bold blue, green & yellow in their colour palette, along with the use of circles and curves represented in their logo. 

They also brought more visual elements of sustainability into the design strategy by incorporating natural elements such as a paper texture and using the towel texture as a background style.

The Work

Welcome Flow

The purpose of this flow is to get non-purchasers to make their first purchase within the shortest time possible by introducing customers to the brand & product. An effective Welcome Flow can:

  1. Increase the non-purchaser conversion rate (ie. % of customers who join the list as non-purchasers to become purchasers)

  2. Reduce the time to first conversion (ie. the amount of time it takes someone to go from being aware of the brand to becoming a customer)

  3. Increase the $/lead (this can be from increasing the % of customers who convert or increasing the AOV per customer)

  4. Clearly articulate what makes the brand & its products unique

Buyer Intent Flows

The Buyer Intent flows are the three flows that customers receive when they’ve shown intent to purchase:

  • Browse Abandonment Flow: to customers who viewed a product but didn’t add the product to cart to make a purchase
  • Add To Cart Flow: to get customers who added a product to cart but didn’t start checkout to make their purchase.
  • Abandoned Cart Flow: to get customers who started checkout but abandoned the checkout process (ie. didn’t complete checkout) in the middle & didn’t resume within 4 hours to complete their purchase. 

The goal of these flows are to:

  1. Increasing conversion rate (ie. % of customers who add a product to cart to convert)

  2. Increasing the $/lead (this can be from increasing the % of customers who convert or increasing the AOV per customer)

The Browse Abandonment flow leverages multiple dynamic elements to create a completely personalized experience including:

  • Dynamic “Recently Viewed Products” block to remind customers of the product they were viewing
  • Dynamic Product Recommendations block to recommend customers other products they may like based on the product they were viewing 

The Add To Cart flow leverages:

  • Dynamic Added To Cart Block to remind customers of what they added
  • Engaging Header Call-To-Action and CTA buttons above the fold to optimize for = conversion
  • Impact Stats & Social Proof since these two strategies are a key element of their brand unique value prop & has worked effectively in other marketing strategies

The Abandoned Cart leverages

  • Multiple Variations depending on what products customers had in their cart to ensure relevant & personalized messaging 
  • Engaging Header Call-To-Action and CTA buttons above the fold to optimize for conversion
  • Impact Stats & Social Proof since these two strategies are a key element of their brand unique value prop & has worked effectively in other marketing strategies

A Limited Time Offer to create urgency and optimizing for conversion

Post-Purchase Nurture 

The purpose of this flow is to thank customers after purchase, nurture customers & cross-sell them on their next purchase. The Post-Purchase Nurture flow is built to:

  1. Increase the repeat purchase rate (ie. % of customers who purchase 2+ times)

  2. Reduce the time to next conversion (ie. the amount of time it takes for a first time customer to place their second order, or a repeat customer to place their next order)

  3. Increase customer LTV - this can be done by increasing AOV (ie. getting customers to purchase bundles or higher priced products) or upselling them into subscription

  4. Increase product adoption (ie. the number of different products a customer is purchasing)

  5. Generate word of mouth (ie. getting them to refer a friend, post on social media etc.)

The Post-Purchase Nurture leverages elements such as:

  • A Personal Founder’s Letter to tell the brand story to represent what Anact stands for and add a personal touch to the purchase experience
  • Product Education on the impact customers have made by purchasing from Anact to enroll them into the brand mission & movement, along with helping them promote why Anact’s products are more sustainable than competitors

Leveraging Show/Hide Blocks to personalize what products are cross-sold depending on their original purchase

Winback Flow

The purpose of this flow is to winback customers who have not purchased in a while & are becoming lapsed customers to purchase again. 

The Winback Flow is built to win back lapsed customers who have not purchased in a while.  This flow leverages personalized recommendations, an offer to create urgency, and a founder’s letter to add a more intimate, personal touch to the offer to build a better brand relationship with the customer. 

Retention Flows 

We also set up a few retention flows to turn Anact customers into raving fans such as:

  • An Anniversary Flow to celebrate customers & also encourage a next purchase
  • A Review Request Flow to generate social proof to support success on other marketing channels
  • Campaign Templates to set the Anact team up for success in easily being able to send ongoing branded emails for regular campaigns such as company updates, blog roundups & Activist Profiles beyond their relationship with the Longplay team