Email strategy teardown: Converse vs. TOMS

Great marketing is successful because it treats users as individuals— real living, breathing people— not just as email addresses. Great email marketing strategies succeed for the same reason.

For our latest email strategy teardown, I’ve focused on two super successful ecommerce fashion & apparel businesses. While fashion & apparel is a huge space, I looked to narrow down the playing field and focus on a subset of the industry, which brought me to shoes.

While I may have a few pairs of heels in the closet, Boston has a reputation for being “America’s Walking City” with 14.5% of the population walking to work each day. Suffice it to say most Klaviyos have a few pairs of kicks in their closet because walking the city isn’t so much a choice as a way of life.

With all that in mind, I decided to break down the email strategy of two house name brands: local mega brand Converse and west coast giant TOMS.

They’re both successful shoe brands that the Klaviyo team loves. We wanted to take a look under the hood and examine their email marketing strategy to see if they were doing everything that they could to send the best emails.

Why Converse vs. TOMS

The backstory of Converse

Converse is a now-famous shoe brand with roots in Malden, Massachusetts right outside of Boston. Converse is known for their rubber sole and canvas upper shoe that was originally designed for basketball. In 2003, the company was purchased by Nike for $305 million.

A look at the history of TOMS

TOMS brand is built around their One for One business model, where they promise to donate a pair of shoes to someone in a developing nation for every pair of shoes sold. Founded in 2006 by a former contestant of the reality TV show “The Amazing Race”, TOMS has grown into a huge company.

What I did vs. what they did

I signed up for emails with Converse and TOMS, performed the same shopper actions with each brand, and even purchased!

What I did

I signed up for their email lists, abandoned a cart, and purchased after a week.



Converse Sneakers

We kept it classic with some classic Chuck Taylor All Star Seasonal Low Tops.



We ordered the popular TOMS shoe in Faded Roses microfiber.

What they did

Each company sent me a variety of emails: from welcomes series to flash sales to newsletters.

See the complete teardown

Learn more about the email strategy of Converse and TOMS, review their email flow timelines, and their email creative in our complete email strategy teardown.

Alicia Thomas
Alicia is a Content Marketing Manager at Klaviyo. She is fired up about helping marketers learn the best tactics and strategies to grow their businesses. Prior to Klaviyo she held positions on both agency and in-house marketing teams. When she's not writing the latest ebook or blog, Alicia can be found producing marketing videos.
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