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Filed in Email Marketing for E-Commerce — February 20, 2024

Case Study: Email Open Rates Up By 50%

We’ve been teaming up with this e-commerce jewelry brand for about half a year now. It all started back in spring 2023 when the owner reached out to us, asking for help with email marketing and making sure their emails actually land in people’s inboxes. They had a less-than-pleasant experience with a previous email marketing agency—which resulted in their emails ending up in spam, with a 10% open rate, and next-to-nothing conversions. So, we dug in, got to know the brand inside out, came up with a solid email marketing and deliverabiliy plan, and put it into action.

A Bit of Background

Originally, this client was using an email marketing system that was clunky and lacked robust analytics. They knew that with a better system, they could see a much bigger ROI from email marketing–so they did some research and heard about Klaviyo (hands down our preferred ecommerce email platform!).

Before we started working with this brand, they had hired a different email marketing agency to help them transition from their old system to Klaviyo. That was when their problems first started. Once set up in Klaviyo, the brand’s email open rate plummeted. Even with their original, limited-capability email platform, open rates tended to be above 40%, but now open rates were consistently less than 20% (oftentimes closer to 10%). When we heard this news, we practically cried with them. 

The agency they were working with at the time kept telling the brand that it took at least three months to see results. (Conveniently, this was the same length of time as the agency’s contract…but we digress.) Knowing something wasn’t working the way it should be, the client started looking for other options, and when the contract was up, the owner got in touch with us. 

And this is where the story gets good. 😉

The Email Marketing Strategy

Our first priority was to tackle as many in-email issues as we could within the first two weeks of working together. If you’ve downloaded our deliverability guide, you’ll know that a lot happens in between sending an email out and having that email actually land in someone’s inbox. The good news? There’s plenty we can control to maximize the chances of making sure email providers let those emails through. 

Some of the simplest fixes are making sure images are compressed, avoiding any spam red flags in the subject lines, and leveraging in-app Klaviyo features to build out the emails. We narrowed down the newsletter send list to go out only to highly engaged email subscribers, which is a typical part of the list-warming process. We tested send dates and times, and A/B tested email subject lines to see what would resonate best with subscribers. 

After all of these changes, we did see some improvements in the open rates–but nothing close to the 40% open rate we wanted to get back to. We noticed that contacts with certain email providers (Gmail specifically) were getting incredibly low open rates. This red flag gave us the clarity we needed…it wasn’t just the email design causing deliverability, it was domain reputation. Gmail was flagging the brand’s emails as spam–and if you’ve read that deliverability guide, you’ll understand exactly how damaging this is for your sender reputation.

At this point, we made the important switch from shared domain sending to dedicated domain sending. Domain sending has to do with how emails are routed and managed. Under a shared domain, multiple senders send emails from the same email domain name, and if one sender gets flagged as spam, all the others take a hit to their sender reputation too. With dedicated domain sending, each sender gets a unique domain and has complete control over their sender reputation. 

In the case of this client, dedicated domain sending was the best–and really only–choice. It gave us absolute control over their deliverability, meaning no other email sender was adversely affecting our emails. We could reestablish trust and credibility with email providers, and build a good reputation that would help the brand stay successful long into the future. 

The Results

Once dedicated domain sending was implemented, the first email sent out received a 60% open rate. The second and third emails received 75% and 80% open rates. These are extremely high open rates for any brand, and we couldn’t have been more thrilled at the success of dedicated domain sending paired with deliverability best practices! This was a major win for the jewelry brand.

At the same time as we were working on troubleshooting the clients deliverability issues, we had redesigned the brands email sequences with better design, stronger copy, and improved deliverability practices. Once dedicated domain sending was in place, the welcome flow we set up started bringing quadruple the amount of revenue as it had the month prior. Other sequences, like the abandoned cart and browse abandonment flows, started bringing in extra sales, too. 

→ By September, the brand had already made more money in 2023 than they had in the entirety of 2022, in large part to email marketing

→ Open rates remain steady around 60%

→ Email marketing accounts for around 40% of the brand’s gross revenue. 

A robust platform like Klaviyo paired with a holistic email marketing strategy is a powerful tool for any business–and it’s a lucrative one, too!

Here’s what the client has to say: “Molly has been incredible! She is incredibly knowledgeable, kind and invested in the success of our business. She goes above and beyond to make sure that everything she does has the proper attention to detail and has made us feel totally at ease putting such a big part of our business in her hands.”

The Future Strategy

After wrapping up the email sequences for this client, we’ve continued to support the business with consistent newsletters and email optimization to ensure their email marketing remains successful. 

In the past several months, we’ve continued to A/B test sequences to narrow down what imagery and copy resonates best with the audience, which subject lines garner the most opens, and what the optimal timing of emails in sequences should be. We developed a strategy to clean their email list to keep their sender reputation healthy, and have helped the brand launch sales and new releases. 

Going forward, we continue to look for even more ways to grow their email list, stay top-of-mind for their customers, and provide valuable content that subscribers look forward to receiving in their inbox.

Curious about work we’ve done with other clients? 
25% List Growth With Revamped Email Strategy
Brick-and-Mortar Business Takes Advantage of Email Marketing

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