Bagging brand loyalty: The Cambridge Satchel Company turns loyal customers into brand ambassadors
Inspired by traditional leather school bags, The Cambridge Satchel Company is known for turning classic designs into contemporary accessories. Founded in 2008, the luxury British brand has become a global success with a £50 million turnover, multiple stores, and countless celebrity followers. The stylish bags are handcrafted in the UK from sustainably sourced leather and are shipped to customers globally.
Learn how the luxury label used email personalisation to boost sales conversion and build a brand community
In 2021 The Cambridge Satchel Company was aware that the looming data privacy changes were going to have a significant impact on ecommerce. The iOS update and Google’s plan to phase out third party cookies would make it much more difficult to deliver personalised and targeted messages to consumers. Not only that, but paid advertising was getting pricier and more difficult to measure.
The business decided to future-proof its marketing model by shifting to a first-party data strategy and focusing more effort on its owned marketing channels. The brand recognised that customer data was becoming integral to the business. The new approach would also bring other benefits:
Klaviyo integrated with the company’s UK and international stores, with Japan launching last year. Further market expansion is possible but that doesn’t faze the ecommerce team – the platform scales with ease and can handle multiple stores, languages and timezones.
Since customer-first data has become the focus, Klaviyo’s sign-up forms have helped the satchel maker grow its subscriber list by 15% in a year. What’s more, automated emails created to nurture and convert subscribers are generating two thirds of email revenue, making the channel highly cost effective.
The approach goes beyond transactional marketing. Using Yotpo, the brand has recently launched a loyalty programme that’s designed to deepen its relationship with buyers and convert enthusiastic customers into brand ambassadors. Klaviyo integrates with Yotpo so that subscriber activity in Yotpo triggers email notices about points, referrals, and tier benefits. Once it’s been set up, the programme runs itself.
Luxury leather satchels are the opposite of fast fashion – they’re not a frequent purchase. For that reason, the loyalty programme takes a holistic approach. Points are awarded not just for shopping with the brand, but also for signing up, social follows, referrals, and creating UGC – easy wins, without spending a penny.
For brand enthusiasts who do make multiple purchases, a VIP club provides additional benefits, such as early access to sales and birthday treats. The bag maker uses Klaviyo’s segmentation to identify VIPs – its most valuable customers – and send them personalised messages containing special treats. The Black Friday sale is a great example of this: in advance of the holiday weekend, the brand builds excitement and anticipation by emailing VIPs a link that gives exclusive, early access to its sale stock.
The brand’s colourful satchels show lots of personality, and so do its emails. Data gathered via an online quiz is used to create highly-targeted messages, while Klaviyo’s product feeds show subscribers satchels they’ll love, from the bestsellers list or from ranges they’ve been browsing.
Having a single view of customer data also means that the ecommerce team can see when customers’ buying habits have shifted, and then adjust marketing tactics accordingly. A recent observation is that UK consumers are less likely to buy on impulse – perhaps due to the cost of living – and so are more likely to respond to email three than email one.
With the customer-first data strategy clearly working well, The Cambridge Satchel Company can outlast any data privacy changes to come. And furthermore, it’s building a community of people who genuinely love the brand.