How One Fine Jewelry Brand is Personalizing the Customer Journey Through Online Experiences

The team at Dana Rebecca Designs knows that good things come in small jewelry boxes.

Dana Rebecca is a third-generation jeweler and the founder of the namesake fine jewelry brand, which she started 13 years ago after recognizing her passion for jewelry design and eventually pursuing a degree in Gemology.

“Dana wanted to make timeless classic jewelry that can make people feel good when they wear it, whether it’s paired with a white t-shirt or dressed up,” said Blair Peterson, vice president of strategy at Dana Rebecca Designs. 

Dana strongly believes in a woman being able to buy jewelry for herself. She wanted to make sure that Dana Rebecca Designs’ price points allowed for this, and we work hard to keep sharp pricing. While all our jewelry is 14 Karat gold and diamonds, we have pieces starting at $140 to over $3,000,” she added.

Even though Dana Rebecca Designs is relatively affordable, building customer trust is crucial when you’re trying to convince customers to consider fine jewelry an everyday essential.

Find out how Blair and the Dana Rebecca Designs team curates unique online experiences for their customers from initial engagement to conversion.

From showrooms to online shopping

In addition to their direct-to-consumer (DTC) website, Dana Rebecca Designs has a strong retail presence, which includes selling wholesale to independent boutiques and Nordstrom alike. They also have showrooms in New York and Chicago. 

But amid retail closings across the country, Dana Rebecca Designs has been no exception—their New York showroom is closed and their Chicago showroom is open by appointment only. As a result, they’ve had to rely heavily on their online store. 

“We’ve seen a huge increase in our ecommerce business. It’s always been about a quarter of our business, but we also think it’s our biggest growth opportunity. And we’ve seen that come to light since our retail channels have closed,” said Blair. 

But how does a brand bring one-on-one assistance and personal styling to their customers’ laptops? The team at Dana Rebecca Designs quickly realized the best way to create a consistent, omnichannel experience for their shoppers was to offer virtual appointments.

“Especially with jewelry, most times people want to see it layered with other pieces as part of a complete look. They want to see how a stack of rings looks together or what happens if you mix metals, so the virtual appointments are about providing as many visuals as we can,” said Blair.

Additionally, Blair and the Dana Rebecca Designs team have been investing more of their time in creating content for social media that achieves a similar goal of showing shoppers their unique pieces and collections. 

“We’re also doing Instagram lives, which is just another way to connect with the customer. They can write in and ask questions, and then we’ll show the collections they ask about. For example, we had one question about ring stacks, so people can ask, ‘Can I see these two pieces together?’ and we’ll show them live,” said Blair. 

“It’s another way to connect on a personal level without being physically in-person. It gives us an opportunity to connect with our customers and visually present pieces together, which has been really effective,” she said.

"It's another way to connect on a personal level without being physically in-person. It gives us an opportunity to connect with our customers and visually present pieces together, which has been really effective."

Blair Peterson, vice president of strategy, Dana Rebecca Designs

A segmentation strategy for the long haul 

Today, Dana Rebecca Designs depends on email marketing more than ever to stay connected with customers. As for Blair, she’s become an expert at segmentation during her time at Dana Rebecca Designs, and she told me she enjoys building and experimenting with different segments. 

“I love being able to see what somebody has done and trying to track how people are active on our website. I think that’s so helpful to understand, not just from an email perspective, but also from a content perspective. The information that you can gain from segmenting has a broader reach than just the email,” said Blair. 

"I love being able to see what somebody has done and trying to track how people are active on our website. I think that's so helpful to understand, not just from an email perspective, but also from a content perspective. The information that you can gain from segmenting has a broader reach than just the email. "

Blair Peterson, vice president of strategy, Dana Rebecca Designs

“Segmentation also helps you understand, ‘How do I continue to keep people engaged? How do I convert our potential purchasers? How do I speak to people who have been active on the site, but haven’t purchased? Or how do I reengage people who were potentially active during last holiday, but haven’t been in lately?’ It really helps you identify exactly what people are doing on your site and how you should speak to them after that. I think it’s all about trying to understand the customer’s journey and Klaviyo has really helped us understand the bigger picture,” she said. 

Blair has tested many segments throughout her time with Dana Rebecca Designs—in fact, they currently have over 130 different segments. She mentioned that she’s seen success with ones such as:

  • Customers who take part in the brand’s loyalty program 
  • Potential customers who have visited the website or opened an email but who haven’t converted 
  • Customers who purchased for Mother’s Day

 

In terms of their most reliable segment, Blair told me they focus on their most engaged customers, which is a segment of users who have visited the website, opened an email, or made a purchase in the last 180 days. But while it may sound simple, Blair’s got the strategy down to a science.

“We use 180 days because the buyer’s journey is a bit longer with us as a luxury brand. If you’re more of a commodity, then look at 30, 60, or 90 days. For us, it takes about six months for someone to make a repeat purchase, so that’s why we’re using 180 days, but everyone should shift that based on their business turnover,” said Blair.

“You also have to think about all the different ways that somebody could be active when you create an engaged segment. To us, being active doesn’t just mean buying something—it means someone’s interacting with the brand,” she noted.

"You also have to think about all the different ways that somebody could be active when you create an engaged segment. To us, being active doesn't just mean buying something—it means someone’s interacting with the brand."

Blair Peterson, vice president of strategy, Dana Rebecca Designs

Additionally, segmenting their email list paid off big time for Dana Rebecca Designs during Cyber Weekend.

“We built out some new segments that were successful including ‘Window Shoppers’ and ‘BFCM 2019 shoppers’ ensuring we were talking to people who shopped last year, even if they weren’t the most engaged,” said Blair.

“Another focus for us was our early access list, which we created a promotional banner for on our website and pushed heavily in our Instagram stories. Early access launched a full day earlier than the public sale, and that email had a 30 percent open rate and 79 orders placed, which is larger than any other email all year.”

Automation that stands the test of time

In addition to email segmentation, Blair has also proven to have a knack for email automation. Blair has found that the two most impactful email automations, or flows, for Dana Rebecca Designs have been their abandoned cart emails and the back in stock flow

In terms of the abandoned cart and abandoned checkout emails, Blair emphasizes the importance of acknowledging two customer journeys: the shopper who has purchased before and the one who hasn’t.

“We’re catering to those two people differently because with the people who haven’t yet purchased, we’re trying to get them interested in the brand and trust us, so we’re sharing reviews and the backstory of Dana and the company. In a cart abandonment email for somebody who’s previously purchased from us, we want to talk to them about building and expanding their Dana Rebecca jewelry collection,” said Blair.

“It’s really two different conversations that we’re having based on who is brand familiar and who would you need to educate more and give them social proof with reviews,” she said.

"It's really two different conversations that we're having based on who is brand familiar and who would you need to educate more and give them social proof with reviews."

Blair Peterson, vice president of strategy, Dana Rebecca Designs

For the back in stock flow, Blair told me these notifications have been most impactful for lower-priced items and best-sellers. Before the pandemic, though, Blair had only set up back in stock alerts on some products, whereas now, they’re more commonly set up across the collections. But Blair ensures they’re very purposeful about which items they set up back in stock notifications for.

“Any time something goes out of stock that we’re actively reordering, we put a back in stock option up. But if we’re phasing it out or we’re unsure if we’ll be ordering more, then we don’t have the notify me when available option because we don’t want to leave people hanging thinking it will be available again. It’s all about building trust with our customers,” said Blair.

 

Blair’s advice to other marketers

During her time at Dana Rebecca Designs, Blair has gained invaluable insight into how to communicate effectively with customers online.

Here top advice to other marketers? Test different segmentation strategies and use the results to learn about your customers.

“I probably have more segments than I need, but the information I’m gathering from them is so impactful. Test the segments in your flows so that half of your subscribers are going to get one thing and half get different content. Then you can see what resonates,” said Blair.

“I think what’s so great about Klaviyo is that there’s so much flexibility. Make sure you’re using segmentation to learn about your customers and then you can decide how to move forward, 30, 60, and 90 days post-purchase. Experiment with different things because you just don’t know what people are responding to until you try it.”

"I think what’s so great about Klaviyo is that there's so much flexibility. Make sure you're using segmentation to learn about your customers and then you can decide how to move forward, 30, 60, and 90 days post-purchase. Experiment with different things because you just don't know what people are responding to until you try it."

Blair Peterson, vice president of strategy, Dana Rebecca Designs

Interested in discovering more segmentation strategies? Learn about three emails to segment before you send them to your entire list.

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