How a Centuries-Old Razor Brand Drives Cutting-Edge Email Engagement Through Personalization
Wilkinson Sword (part of the larger personal care brand Edgewell) is a commonly known name in the UK—after all, it’s been around for nearly 250 years. More than just a household name, the Wilkinson Sword brand still resonates with people, even amid the rise of newer brands that also offer razor subscriptions.
So how has this brand stood the test of time? By embracing their heritage and keeping trust as the core value that has led their strategy from 1772 into the digital age.
Ben and John recently shared some of the key drivers behind how they’ve driven 67 percent of all revenue with email—and why Klaviyo is their marketing platform of choice.
How to digitally honor a heritage brand’s authenticity
Wilkinson Sword’s brand focuses on education and honesty, rather than creating hype around flashy products—and this translates directly to their marketing strategy.
True to their brand roots, even the team’s response to the trend of razor subscriptions shows they aren’t swayed from how they want to show up for their customers.
Far from getting stuck in the past, the team at Wilkinson Sword uses their history and customer trust to continue building relationships online. So how does the Wilkinson Sword team create content fitting for a reputable heritage brand?
Personalization is a cornerstone of Wilkinson Sword’s strategy to capture the same level of customer trust they’ve had for centuries. In fact, the team has tailored each stage of their customer’s journey to ensure the best possible ecommerce experience.
Read on to learn how Wilkinson Sword delights customers through targeted, relevant marketing—from someone’s first purchase to becoming a loyal brand advocate.
How Wilkinson Sword personalizes the brand experience with a better customer experience
From the first touch point, Wilkinson Sword wants to set people up for a highly relevant customer experience—which starts with the form on their website they use to capture new subscribers.
Another critical element of Wilkinson Sword’s signup form—that also hits at the heart of their desire to build trust—is capturing data about customer preferences to serve up highly relevant content.
Adding fields to a signup form can be risky—people might decide it’s not worth their time to fill in additional details and abandon the form altogether.
But when they weighed the value of having more data to personalize people’s experiences, the Wilkinson Sword team thought it might be worth losing submissions.
Using the data gathered in the form, the Wilkinson Sword team created a personalized welcome email series that yields a purchase rate of 39 percent. That means two out of five email recipients make a purchase—which would be a healthy email open rate, so it’s an eye-opening, mouth-dropping purchase rate.
Check out the three versions of their welcome email, each tailored to their customer’s interests based on how they completed the signup form.
Beyond the welcome email: How Wilkinson Sword keeps their content relevant and fresh
Wilkinson Sword’s focus on delivering relevant content doesn’t end with their welcome email.
Since the Wilkinson Sword team runs their online store on WooCommerce, they can connect their website data to their marketing messages in Klaviyo to create ongoing customer journeys based on how people interact with their website.
To create a more personalized customer experience, Wilkinson Sword’s abandoned cart email—the message that sends after someone adds something to their online cart but doesn’t check out—includes a product image of what the shopper had placed in their cart.
This abandoned cart email drives an astounding 15.9 percent click rate, proving the value of detail-oriented personalization.
Plus, with the time the team saves by creating automated emails, they’re able to explore not-so-traditional methods of retargeting to remind customers about a particular campaign or product.
To see this in action, check out this excerpt from one of their email campaigns:
Based on what product people click on, the follow-up email will feature a personalized image. Someone who clicks on the Hydro 3 razor on the right, for example, would get this retargeting email:
In addition to how they target their email messages, the Wilkinson Sword team carefully crafts and tests their subject lines to get as many people as possible to engage with their emails.
How Wilkinson Sword makes sure they don’t spam unengaged subscribers
Yet another contributor to Wilkinson Sword’s impressive growth and brand reputation is their attention to list hygiene—which is a measure of how many wrong emails/unengaged subscribers are on an email list.
For them, it’s more important to have high-quality customer engagement than a massive list of people made up of many who may ignore their emails.
Along with using double opt-in—which asks people who sign up to confirm their email subscription—the team at Wilkinson Sword has set up several automated ways of ensuring the people on their email lists actually want to hear from them.
Plus, Wilkinson Sword has automated how they cull out subscribers who have valid email addresses but who aren’t engaging with their content.
This strategy ensures that Wilkinson Sword has a healthy email sender reputation—which email providers use to determine if an email sender is high quality or spam—and also keeps their data clean so they can accurately measure how people who are truly interested in their brand interact with their content.
What’s next for Wilkinson Sword?
Wilkinson Sword has adapted the best of their past to fit the modern age—so it’s no surprise that historical data is at the heart of their ongoing marketing strategy.
By sourcing this first-party data, Wilkinson Sword will have the ability to create even more personalized email journeys.