“Golden November”: This Eight-Figure Jewelry and Accessories Brand Shares Their Secrets For a Successful Holiday Season

Seven-figure revenue in just 24 hours. From one email. That’s the phenomenal result that PURELEI, a popular Hawaiian-inspired jewelry and accessories brand from Mannheim, Germany experienced when they launched their holiday advent calendar earlier this year.

PURELEI has grown three times in the space of four years to what is now a healthy eight-figure company. The team uses a variety of marketing channels and strategies to help them achieve that level of growth—but an incredible 30 percent of the business’s revenue is driven by email and owned marketing.

And now, following a talk she gave at Ecommerce Expo’s virtual event earlier this year, Jessica Hutchinson, PURELEI’s head of email marketing is here to spill her secrets for a successful holiday season and beyond.

PURELEI’s holiday marketing strategy

1 | “Golden November”: A unique spin on Black Friday sales

Because the term “Black Friday” was once trademarked in Germany and there’s now an ongoing legal battle over it, Jessica said that brands like PURELEI have had to brainstorm other ways to celebrate this popular shopping day for the past few years.

“What we landed on last year, which was very successful for us, was calling it ‘Golden November,’ ‘Golden Friday,’ and ‘Golden Weekend.’ We’ve decided to continue with that this year—partially for brand recognition—but we also know that the market’s going to be flooded with emails and different brands trying to vie for the customer’s attention. We wanted to make sure that we had a similar theme that’s recognizable for our customers from last year,” Jessica explained.

"What we landed on last year, which was very successful for us, was calling it ‘Golden November,’ ‘Golden Friday,’ and ‘Golden Weekend.’ The market’s going to be flooded with emails and different brands trying to vie for the customer's attention. We wanted to make sure that we had a similar theme that’s recognizable for our customers from last year."

Jessica Hutchinson, head of email marketing, PURELEI

During PURELEI’s “Golden November” event last year, the team offered customers a full month of sales and weekly product launches leading up to their pivotal “Golden Friday” moment.

PURELEI's Golden Friday Sneakpeek Email2 | Think bundles and benefits, not just discounts

When asked whether the team offers discounts as part of PURELEI’s holiday marketing strategy, Jessica said, “If you think about what discounting is used for, it’s an incentive to trigger short-term sale activation. A discount is a perceived benefit for your customers to purchase at a specific time, so if you think about it in that way, what’s valuable to your customers doesn’t always have to be a hit to your bottom line.”

"A discount is a perceived benefit for your customers to purchase at a specific time, so if you think about it in that way, what’s valuable to your customers doesn’t always have to be a hit to your bottom line."

Jessica Hutchinson, head of email marketing, PURELEI

Rather than just offering discounts, PURELEI sells bundles of jewelry at a slightly reduced price than if customers bought each of the pieces at the full price.

These bundles are an exciting mix of products—from existing best sellers to brand new, limited edition products. Some of these limited edition products are also only available as part of a bundle, which Jessica says helps to increase the brand’s average order value (AOV).

Jessica shared that they also adapt their automated post-purchase emails at the time of a sale to notify customers who’ve completed one purchase that if they make another purchase during the sale itself, they’ll gain exclusive presale access to a flash sale at a later date.

“We tried this last year, and in January, we had a flash sale for some of our slow-movers and excess products. We had a nice bump in sales in January,” Jessica explained.

3 | Limited edition advent calendars and product launches

One of PURELEI’s most exciting product launches this year has been their advent calendar, which means in the run-up to Christmas, customers can enjoy 24 days worth of limited edition jewelry and other exclusive PURELEI surprises including hair accessories and discount codes.

PURELEI's Christmas Advent Calendar

“Advent calendars have a strong nostalgia factor in Germany, so we knew we’d have interest from the get-go. It’s something we launched last year as well but this year blew us away! Not only was this a bundle, in a sense, where there was a higher value for the products compared to what you had to pay for them individually, but it was also a limited edition product. Every piece in it was limited edition and new. We held a presale for it and it sold out in just a matter of days,” said Jessica.

"Advent calendars have a strong nostalgia factor in Germany, so we knew we’d have interest from the get-go. This year blew us away! We held a presale for [our advent calendar] and it sold out in just a matter of days."

Jessica Hutchinson, head of email marketing, PURELEI

The first email they sent about this new advent calendar, which acted as an exclusive presale as opposed to an official launch, resulted in a 56 percent open rate, 36 percent click-through rate, and an astounding seven figures of revenue within just 24 hours.

PURELEI's Advent Calendar Pre-Sale Email

Jessica says the key to a successful product launch like this comes down to the marketing plans they’d put in place beforehand and how they persuaded customers to sign up for their presale email list.

PURELEI offered an enticing incentive to customers who were already part of their loyalty program; if they renewed their subscription for the month of September, they’d gain access to exclusive perks including the presale of the advent calendar.

Alongside this, PURELEI promoted their advent calendar across all of their marketing channels and drove potential customers to a specific landing page where they were prompted to enter their email address to register their interest.

“It was a combined effort across all our sales channels. We were aligned on our messaging with email marketing, made sure that we got the word out to some of our brand partnerships, and used paid social alongside email. We had tens of thousands of people sign up within just a matter of days!” exclaimed Jessica.

Keeping customers engaged beyond the holiday season

With tens of thousands of new subscribers interested in their jewelry and the majority of customers coming back for more, it seems PURELEI’s striking the right balance for driving both customer retention and acquisition.

So how do they make sure they keep speaking to the right audience beyond the holiday season? Jessica shared three winning strategies.

1 | Segmentation

PURELEI keeps existing customers and subscribers happy by segmenting their email list and offering different and highly relevant incentives based on how familiar subscribers are with the brand and products.

“We have a few foundational segments, which are segments you don’t just create and use once but that can be applied to different situations. An example of this is people who’ve recently engaged with us by opening or clicking an email in the last 30 or 60 days. Every time we have a sales campaign, we also segment people who’ve only opened or clicked during times where we offer a significant discount and we target those people the next time we have a sale,” Jessica explained.

"Every time we have a sales campaign, we segment people who’ve only opened or clicked during times where we offer a significant discount and we target those people the next time we have a sale."

Jessica Hutchinson, head of email marketing, PURELEI

Alongside email opens and clicks, PURELEI uses a variety of metrics to determine whether a subscriber is engaged with the brand or not, such as whether they’ve placed an order, been active on their website, or have subscribed to their back-in-stock list for a specific jewelry collection.

“We use any metric that gives us an indication that they’re interested in something we have to offer, whether that’s opening an email because they’re interested in the subject line, a click because they’re interested in the content, or a purchase because they’re connecting with a product they saw on our website,” said Jessica.

2 | Customer surveys and advanced segmentation

Jessica says the team at PURELEI is not afraid to ask their customers what they’re interested in. 

By using customer surveys within their post-purchase emails, PURELEI can garner valuable feedback from their customers about what they like and don’t like and then use this to inform the team’s marketing strategies and product designs.

PURELEI also sent out a one-off survey to all their customers and subscribers during the summer months to help them gauge interest in the calendar’s upcoming launch and to ensure they’d be targeting the right people later on.

“Based on their answers, we redirected them to a landing page to provide them with more information and to see which pieces of content they reacted better to. We then used this to further segment them via email and target them with relevant social ads,” said Jessica.

PURELEI's Survey Email

3 | Loyalty programs

PURELEI also offers customers a loyalty program called the “Mahina Club,” which comes in the form of a monthly jewelry subscription box.

“In addition to the perks customers receive with that subscription, they get invited to exclusive presales and access to behind-the-scenes content, so there’s an extra incentive for them to stay engaged with us,” Jessica concluded.

Jessica’s advice for brands navigating the “new normal”

With coronavirus cases sadly increasing across Europe and brands needing, once again, to adapt and pivot across the globe, Jessica also shared some useful insights they learned during the height of the pandemic earlier this year.

1 | Communicate clearly and openly with your customers

“The best thing that we can do is communicate clearly and openly with our customers and only promise them things we can deliver. We’re going to stay up-to-date with whatever the current restrictions are and assure our customers that we won’t do anything that puts anyone at our company at risk and that we’re taking the concerns of the consumer to heart.”

2 | Implement shift work in your warehouse

“During the first wave of lockdowns, we had shift work in our warehouse. Instead of having full capacity, we had different groups of shift workers who would change in and out, so if someone tested positive [for Covid-19], it didn’t completely shut down our entire warehouse.”

3 | Develop strong relationships with multiple couriers

“I think a lot of people are concerned about what’s going to happen to the postal services during this time as they’ll be hit hard with a flood of online purchases. We’re not only looking to work with the main courier that we have been to date, but we’re also looking at contracts with others. If one breaks down, then we have another one that we already have a plan coordinated with, or we can work with several simultaneously so that the volume we’re stressing each courier with is relatively lower.”

A whole lot of “Aloha” for PURELEI

PURELEI has seen extraordinary growth over the past four years. While email marketing has been a solid cornerstone of that success, PURELEI’s unique marketing ideas, beautiful jewelry designs, and exciting product launches have truly propelled the business forward and inspired a whole lot of “Aloha” (love) for this Hawaiian-inspired jewelry brand.

Want to level up your content ahead of the holidays? Here’s what consumers say they want to see.

Back to Blog Home
Get email marketing insights delivered straight to your inbox.