How Email Marketing Became a “Lifeline” for Grind’s Business
Industry: Food and beverage Platform: Shopify Plus
David Abrahamovitch founded Grind, an established cafe, in 2011. Eventually, he evolved Grind into the cafe-bar based in Shoreditch, London that it is today. Fast forward nearly a decade later and Grind now has a total of 11 London-based espresso bars, cocktail bars, and restaurants with their own roastery in Elephant & Castle, London. In 2018, the team also launched a Shopify store, using it to sell the UK’s first completely compostable coffee pods online alongside their cult-favorite blend of ground and whole-bean coffee.
Grind’s products are available as a subscription or one-off purchase via their ecommerce website, within their cafe-bars, and from select stores such as Selfridges, Ocado, and Holland & Barrett.
Grind is also the exclusive global coffee partner for Soho House member clubs and hotels and has been featured in top publications including The Telegraph, Bloomberg, Vogue, and GQ. They’ve also recently launched their first TV ad through a competition with Sky.
Frankie Cooke is Grind’s brand coordinator and oversees the company’s email marketing, partnerships, and brand activations.
She recently told us about how the team had to ramp up their online sales and email marketing quickly when the pandemic and stay-at-home orders threatened the business’ revenue—and why the team chose Klaviyo as the marketing platform to help them do it.
Why Grind switched from Mailchimp to Klaviyo
Before Grind chose Klaviyo as their email provider, Frankie said they were using Mailchimp and admitted that email marketing wasn’t a core part of the brand’s strategy at the time.
Frankie’s initial skepticism was magnified by the lack of features in Mailchimp that were needed to help Grind’s email marketing strategies thrive. In particular, sophisticated segmentation, email automations, and useful data insights—such as the ability to see how much revenue they’re generating from emails—were lacking.
The threat of the pandemic and how Grind quickly ramped up their email marketing
Little did Frankie and the team know that Klaviyo would later become a “lifeline” for Grind’s business.
In February 2020, roughly seven months after Grind first started using Klaviyo, the team knew they were facing the very real possibility of all their physical coffee locations having to close because of the pandemic and predicted lockdown restrictions coming in March.
At the time, they had just one email automation running in Klaviyo (their abandoned cart flow), but the team understood the need to ramp up their email marketing efforts and build more flows.
Frankie was nervous that she would be facing a huge learning curve ahead of the pandemic with only a few short weeks to overhaul Grind’s entire email strategy.
She was keen to stress that the help she received from her Customer Success Manager (CSM) and the support team at Klaviyo was paramount to Grind’s success at the beginning of their ramp-up phase and throughout the transition to Klaviyo from Mailchimp.
Despite only focusing more heavily on their email marketing in February, by the end of Q2 2020, Grind was looking at a 675 percent increase in revenue since Q1 and a 3,142 percent revenue increase compared with Q2 2019.
Frankie also explained that it’s unlikely Grind would have achieved this level of growth had it not been for Klaviyo.
How Grind uses automation to drive sales
Email automation was a major reason why Grind chose Klaviyo to replace Mailchimp, so naturally, this was a fundamental part of Grind’s renewed focus on email marketing and ecommerce sales.
Grind uses two separate abandoned cart flows—a general one for customers who abandon one-off purchases and another, which is integrated with ReCharge, for customers who abandon setting up a new subscription—and they were the first automated emails Grind set up within Klaviyo.
Grind’s general abandoned cart series is their highest revenue-generating flow, driving a 12.3 percent average conversion rate and 41 percent of all revenue attributed to their automated emails.
Alongside abandoned cart emails, Grind has also calculated how long it takes the average person to finish a tin of 30 coffee pods and sends automated replenishment emails based on that timeline to remind customers to refill their tins. This particular flow is worth 19 percent of Grind’s total flows revenue and converts at 4.4 percent on average.
Grind also sends automated thank you emails as part of their email strategy. Though thank you automations aren’t typically huge revenue-drivers, these emails drive 16 percent of Grind’s total flows revenue in Klaviyo.
How Grind manages customer retention
For a coffee subscription business, retaining customers is key to Grind’s success and the team’s growth so far.
Seventy-one percent of Grind’s revenue is from repeat customers and a key driver of that is their automated canceled subscription emails. Based on the information customers give when they first cancel their subscriptions, Grind sends specific sets of emails to try to tempt them into keeping their subscription running.
These automated canceled subscription emails drive some of Grind’s highest revenues per recipient (RPR) across all their flows in Klaviyo, which suggests the content they’re using to support these emails is also clearly working.
Alongside canceled subscription flows, Grind has also recently launched an automated email series that Frankie calls a “subscriber flow.” This flow automatically triggers a series of emails to all of Grind’s new coffee subscription customers.
Grind also uses their emails to highlight their customer service team who is available seven days a week and to send customers content that keeps them engaged with the brand long-term.
How Grind develops their email content and brand voice
The first step Grind took in deciding what content to send and when was to determine what kinds of emails their subscribers want to receive. Grind’s dashboards in Klaviyo were showing them that editorial emails convert better for them than sales-focused emails.
Frankie believes the main reason why Grind’s editorial emails work well for them is that their customers are not just buying great coffee, but they’re also buying into the brand, so they desire content that brings them closer to the company and the people behind it.
This brand voice is also reflected across Grind’s automated emails—particularly within their win-back flow—which uses a humorous GIF and a movie quote to entice customers back. With an average open rate of 40 percent and average click rates of seven percent, it’s clearly working.
Frankie believes this is mostly because the use of humor and pop culture fits in with Grind’s overall brand voice and the other content they share—both online and offline.
What’s next for Grind
Looking ahead to the future, some of Grind’s plans for launching new physical locations and reopening others in full are on hold for now because of the uncertainty related to the coronavirus crisis.
Given the success of the brand’s online sales throughout this year, and what’s sure to come next year as they focus more on their direct-to-consumer (DTC) online sales, Frankie explained that their focus will be on maintaining excellent customer service throughout this period of hyper-growth and beyond.